The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives by Tim Darcy Ellis

"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
Book Cover

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a great book for historical fiction readers that enjoy the Tudor time-frame! It has wonderful characters and a story that draws you right in!

Juan is a Spanish Jew, but is hiding his religion by pretending to be a “New Christian”. His journey was filled with exciting situations and some great romance. I loved his character arc, and couldn’t stop thinking about what was happening while I wasn’t reading the story.

Book photo of book on top of diary

The descriptions of this time period really pulled me into the story. It created a wonderful story that I found myself completely immersed in. I thought the author did a great job of mixing the history with narrative to really draw the reader into the book, and truly made it hard to put it down!

I really enjoyed learning more about the 16th century through this story. I have always enjoyed Henry VIII stories, and getting to glimpse his reign through a new lens was great!

To Read or Not To Read:

I would recommend The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives for readers that are looking for a historical fiction with great character growth and some romance.

Where to Find This Book:

The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives by Tim Darcy Ellis is available at these sites:
Amazon ~ Kindle ~ B&N ~ Goodreads


It is 1522, The Spanish Netherlands, Juan Luis Vives, a renowned academic, has fled Spain to avoid the fires of the Inquisition, yet even here he is not safe. When England’s Sir Thomas More offers him the role of tutor to Mary, daughter of Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIII, he eagerly accepts.

While publicly navigating life as a ‘New Christian,’ Vives is quickly drawn into the secretive and dangerous world of London’s Jewish community. With a foot in each world, he is torn between the love of two women.

Inside the Tudor court, the king and queen separately seek Vives’s assistance to support their opposed demands. He must betray one to help the other, knowing his decision could cost him his life. Whom will he choose? Will his wily skills allow him to manipulate them both? Not only his survival but that of his family and his entire people hang in the balance.

Just the Facts:

The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives by Tim Darcy Ellis
Genre: Historical Fiction
Page Count: 274 pages
Publisher: Tellwell Talent
Pub Date: August 2, 2020

Tim Darcy Ellis (BA BSc, MHSc) is a writer, physiotherapy business owner and formerly a professional archaeologist. Tim studied Archaeology at the University of York (BA Hons 1988) and as a professional archaeologist, worked on sites throughout England and Wales. He held posts at the Museum of London and the British Museum’s medieval galleries. Tim is currently Managing Director and Principal Physiotherapist of Excel Physiotherapy and Wellness. He qualified as a physiotherapist at the University of East London in 1998. He moved to Sydney in 2000 where he completed his master’s degree in 2002. Tim is chief writer of Excel Life magazine: writing and teaching extensively on health and wellness and specializing in the treatment of complex hip and pelvic pain.

Author Link:
website ~ facebook ~ twitter ~ instagram


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I was provided a gifted copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.

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