Keep Your Friends Close … a review

I picked up this book because the blurb read like a very intriguing plot. Natty and Sean Wainwright are happily married and co-own a successful hotel in the Lake District of England. They are super busy, filling and fitting their lives around each other and around their two daughters. When their younger daughter, Felicity, suffers a medical emergency while in France, Natty has to rush. To help with the care of Alice, the other daughter, and housework, she takes up the offer of an old college buddy. Eve is a psychologist, and soon we find out, a home wrecker. She goes all guns blazing on Sean and seduces him, so much so, that by the time Felicity and Natty are back, Sean wants out.
Now, Natty, devastated and tattered, is trying to scoop up some pieces of her battered self when she receives a note saying that this isn’t even the first time Eve has ‘stolen’ a husband! Natty takes it upon herself to prove to her husband that Eve is not what she seems and in exposing her, try and save her marriage and the lives of her daughters. There are a couple of other sub-plots involving her relationship with her father and her descent into some sort of psychotic behaviour as well. From this point on, the plot twists and turns to an exciting culmination of events. The book was an okay-ish read. Some of the parts of the plot were highly improbable, like the speed for which Sean falls for Eve, how successful she is in wrenching herself into the story, and how easily Natty falls apart. The writing style is decent, Paula Daly has a good flow going, easy-to-read and smooth. But the loopholes and the stretching of imagination was a bit much for me.
Even so I finished it, and it would possibly be a good read for a day or two on a beach holiday or a long haul flight 🙂

The King’s Great Secret …a review

Have any of you watched the movie ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’?

It is a very good movie.

In a similar way, I loved this book by Julia L.A. Kelly. It is an insightful account of the life of Anna Boleyn, much loved, much wronged. The work is written in first person, which makes the joys tangible and the grief, palpable. Anna, a simple girl, like any other is catapulted to the throne as the
Queen of England (wife of King Henry VIII) during ‘a cruel, barbaric age where people were murdered in the streets for food, every man was clambering for power, and every woman treated as a nonperson’.
Along with a life of aristocracy came a life of ploys,  lies, and deceits. Wronged by her husband, cheated on by her friends, and stabbed in the back several times by her courtiers, this simple woman was blamed and framed throughout her life. Yet she forged on bravely. I love strong women, I am fascinated by them. People were malicious to her, slander was atrocious. Simple emotions of love and tenderness were portrayed as evil deeds and witchcraft! At one point in the book, there is a quote that I thoroughly believe in.

‘But Anna Boleyn … does not believe in forgiveness. I believe that it is better that people do no wrong in the first place than expect everyone to go around forgiving them after the deed is done, for if they do no wrong there would be no forgiveness needed. People should have no excuse for committing a crime.’  So true…
Following the coronation of her daughter, Elizabeth, as queen, Anna was venerated as a martyr and heroine of the English Reformation. Anna has been called ‘the most influential and important queen consort England has ever had’…

Another highlight of the book is the delightful number of men that feature in the book. Everyone from Nostradamus to da Vinci, to Shakespeare! So awesome to meet them as they were, men with pure passions for their arts 🙂
This book is a must read!

I received a complimentary copy of ‘The King’s Great Secret’ as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team. Visit to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team. Please visit as well.