This book did not play out the way I expected it to. Maybe because I have gnashed my teeth through six prior installments of Secret flitting from man to man, I have really gotten to the point where I thought Sierra Dean would never end her waffling. Yet, it appears Secret has finally settled on a paramour. I think I might drop dead from the shock of it. Better yet, I am going to steel myself for the possibility it’s all a colossal fake-out and the winning sweetheart will suddenly drop dead in the last book –or something equally awful to cancel out Secret’s decision. Because Dean is cruel like that. She likes to raise my blood pressure.
Admittedly, she was doing a good job of that at the beginning of the book. All the sympathy I had for Secret’s PTSD nearly evaporated when she started complaining about how she couldn’t get back to sleeping with Desmond and Holden. She continues to string them along for most of the book, in fact. But I am willing to let it go (really!) since she made a commitment before the end.
Of course, the relationship stuff played second fiddle to the major plot developments happening here. Secret faces off with not one, but two, of her major nemeses: Peyton and her mother, Mercy. Either one of these death-matches would be enough of an arc to stand on its own, but Dean manages to fit them both in, continuing her relentless assault on Secret’s mind and body. It’s extremely fast paced and action-packed. Yet Dean still makes time to remind us how we got to where we are in the story and how Secret has gotten to the state she is in. From Brigit to the Doctor… Lucas… Callum… the swamp wolves… it’s really kind of a miracle Secret can function at all.
But she does more than that. She somehow manages to be more than the sum of her parts. Despite her emotional vulnerability, she remains powerful. Determined. Deadly. (And I loved what happened with her mom in the end.)
I am both excited and anxious to see how it all will end. (Are zombies legit?)
*ARC Provided by author for review
Click to purchase: Amazon
Cold Hard Secret
by Sierra Dean
Release Date: July 1, 2014