Review: A Secret to Die For by Sierra Dean

secret to die forReviewed by Jen

I’ll admit, I started this book with fear in my heart. Sierra Dean has been very upfront about her plans for carnage in this book. She has said openly that people will die… that this series would go out with a bang.  And while I have downright lobbied for the death of at least one character in this book, Dean has proven over and over that she never chooses the easy path for her heroine.  As expected, this book is no different. [Read more…]

Review: Cold Hard Secret by Sierra Dean

cold heart secretReviewed by Jen

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. [Read more…]

Series Reading Order: Secret McQueen

This is the reading order for the Secret McQueen series by Sierra Dean:

sierra dean

*Denotes short story/ novella

Review: Secret Unleashed

secret unleashedReviewed by Jen

You know what?  For book after book, this series has become more and more about the messy love life of its title character.  It has made me angry and frustrated –and, at times, eclipsed everything else going on in Secret’s life.  Well, that ends here.  Don’t get me wrong, there are still romantic entanglements. But I promise you, when you finish this book, romance will be the furthest thing from your mind.  Sierra Dean took a huge, shocking turn with this installment, and I was totally blown away.

As the story begins, Secret is in hiding. Her mother still wants to kill her and so does her vamp-nemesis Peyton.  She’s laying low until her comrades can neutralize the threat –or least that was the plan, until she joins Shane for a hunt with a less than subtle result.  [Read more…]

Review: Grave Secret

grave secretReviewed by Jen

I will give Sierra Dean due credit. She has crafted a world and characters that have completely sucked me in. I can’t stop reading these books.  I have feelings –very strong feelings—about these stories that I cannot ignore. This says a lot about Dean’s gift as a writer.   Book after book, I am on the edge of my seat, thanks to the great pacing, the plotline, the action and the danger.  And book after book, I find myself inordinately pissed off with at least one of the characters and increasingly incensed by Secret’s romantic entanglements.  In past book, all my hate went to Lucas. But here… here I think I am starting to hate Secret too.

Hate Secret? You gasp.  She’s the main character! [Read more…]

Review: A Low Down Dirty Shane

low downReviewed by Jen

I am a big fan of the Secret McQueen world, so when I found out about this spinoff series, I was pretty excited. This story focuses on the vampire hunter Shane Hewitt. Secret fans will likely remember him as the smart-alec vampire hunter that our favorite member of the Tribunal was training in Keeping Secret.   This story falls shortly after that book –and references a few events there– but I don’t think a new reader would have even a little trouble jumping in here.

So, our buddy Shane is just minding his business, killing vamps one night, when he is accosted by a sexy Druid who is in the middle of a fight with a giant troll.  He ends up joining the scuffle, and after their victory, the fiery Siobhan asks him for his help with another problem. [Read more…]

Review: Keeping Secret

Reviewed by Jen

I hate Lucas.

I hate him with the fiery passion of a thousand suns.  With every book in this series, my loathing for him grows.  And with every allowance Secret gives him, I want to douse her in cold water.

As evidenced by the amazing cover, this is the wedding book.  (Yes, I thought it came along fast, too.) In the last installment, Secret agreed to marry King Douchecanoe and she finally stopped fighting his sexual advances.  Now, despite all of his machinations and manipulations, they are taking things to the next level. [Read more…]

Review: Deep Dark Secret

Reviewed by Jen

You can’t see me, but I swear I am gnashing my teeth right now. I am just on the cusp of loving this series.  I love Secret… and almost all of the secondary characters. The world building is great.  The pacing is good.  I like the concept, the plot, the dialogue.  But then there is this goddamn love triangle that makes me want to tear apart my nook with my bare hands.

Let’s start with the good stuff, though, shall we?  As the story begins, we see Secret starting to come into her own as a member of the Tribunal.  But she is still itching to go back to her bounty hunter adventures.  So when Holden’s maker Rebecca asks her to investigate a missing person’s case, Secret doesn’t mind one bit. [Read more…]

Review: A Bloody Good Secret

Reviewed by Jen

Secret McQueen is back, and she’s… well, she’s hiding out at her grandma’s house and licking her wounds.  But that doesn’t mean she isn’t totally still a badass.  She just needs to regroup.  After all, she was nearly killed; her boyfriend(s?) found out she is part vampire; and she has been instructed to kill one of her only friends.  Her life has been better.  But her wallowing can last only so long before she’s dragged back to New York to face the music.

There are so many things I like about this series. The world-building is great; and once Secret gets back to the Big Apple, the pacing is right on. I like the author’s voice and the main character. But I am growing increasingly uncomfortable with the love triangle… Rectangle? Too many angles.  I am down with Desmond, I really am.  I could be ok with Holden.  Hell, even Lucas. But all at the same time is squicking me out a bit. [Read more…]

Review: Secret Santa

secret santaReviewed by Jen

This novella is a great little side adventure for Secret and her harem those who love her.  Lucas is actually MIA, but she does get some quality time with Desmond, and treads a little closer to a romantic entanglement with Holden.  The romance, however, takes a backseat to the action in this Christmas short.

Secret is growing restless in her new position as part of the vampire Tribunal.  She misses the rush of being a bounty hunter.  So when her friend Mercedes approaches her to help solve a grisly case, she doesn’t think twice about stepping up.  Someone –or something– is snatching children and leaving their body parts in Christmas stockings like a bloody gift.  And Mercedes thinks the culprit is supernatural.  It’s a perfect fit for Secret’s brand of justice.

Of course, the mystery does manage to tie in with Secret’s love life. The search pairs her with Holden, reminding her of their growing sexual tension.  And it ends up with a connection to Desmond that Secret can’t ignore.  (He’s not the bad guy; don’t worry.)  Seeing Secret with Desmond makes me all the more frustrated by her inability to just pick a dude and stick with him.  In particular, there’s one line in the book where she calls herself a prude because she isn’t sleeping with Lucas too.  What?  She clearly loves Desmond.  He loves her.  The rest is grating on the romantic in me.

But as with the other installments in the series, I liked the other elements of the book enough to try to push my feelings about this aside.  Though it is growing increasingly difficult as I fall harder for Desmond.  The mystery is interesting and exciting.  The villain is gnarly.  I like Secret.  I like the secondary characters.  The writing is good. The story is good… and I enjoyed the Christmas tie-in.  It’s a fun ride. But we need to start eliminating romantic interests.  (And by that, I most assuredly do NOT mean by killing Desmond.  Right now, I can’t see any other way to legitimately remove him as a love interest.  I’m scared.  Obviously, there are too may evil authors in my library.)  I will keep the faith.

Rating: B

Click to purchase: Amazon

Secret Santa
by Sierra Dean
Release Date: November 20, 2011
Publisher: Samhain