Dec 16, 2011

Posted by in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Secret Santa by Sierra Dean (Secret McQueen #2.5)

Urban Fantasy
November 29 2011
128 pages
Samhain Publishing
Received from author

Kick Ass Chick – Secret McQueen

From Goodreads –
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The season for mistletoe, Christmas lights…and a killing spree. When Secret’s friend, Detective Mercedes Castilla, asks for help to solve a series of murders longer than a string of lights, Secret resigns herself to the fact her holidays will be anything but peaceful.

It seems someone is killing New Yorkers in an unusually gruesome way, and as the bodies pile up faster than presents under the tree, the police are no closer to finding the killer than Secret is to finding the perfect present for one of her boyfriends, Lucas.

Tracking down a monster in Manhattan the week before Christmas is almost as difficult as shopping for her ever-expanding collection of loved ones. When tragedy strikes close to home, Secret must do everything in her power to put an end to the horror in time for Santa to come down the chimney.

Warning: Contains a less than merry McQueen with a sword and a reason to use it; a festive new use for mistletoe; and a promise that will haunt Secret like the Ghost of Christmas Future.


Secret McQueen’s story continues in Secret Santa, the second novella in Sierra Dean’s kick ass series.  I often use ‘kick ass’ to describe this series because it really is the best word for it.  The stories are kick ass.  The writing is kick ass.  The characters are kick ass, especially Secret herself.  I know I usually say this at the end, but I will say it at the beginning this time around:  If you are a fan of Urban Fantasy books like Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series or J.A. Saare Rhiannon’s Law series, you HAVE to check out this series.

Okay, now that I’ve got that out of the way, let’s get to my review for Secret Santa.

This is a Christmas time novella but don’t go into thinking you’re going to be choking on Christmas themes or anything like that.  Nope.  You get a mystery involving missing youths and Christmas stocking filled with human body parts appearing at the most unfortunate places at most unfortunate times.  Yeah…this story is a little on the gruesome side.  It’s all good though.  Vampires and shifters and such are not ‘out’ in the world that Sierra created, but Secret’s best friend knows that Secret isn’t human.  She doesn’t know that she’s half vampire and half werewolf, but she knows she is not human.  Oh, and her friend is a cop.  When she realizes that the serial killer case is showing some paranormal elements, she calls Secret to help out.

I always like the mystery element to these stories.  They are really well written and you never know how they will end up.  Of course there are other story lines mixed in.  The one that romance readers will be more interested in is the one about the men.  Yes, men.  As in plural.  Secret has three men in her life.  Now, I usually don’t enjoy reading books that have a slut for a heroine, but Secret is no slut.  Just thought I would get that out there before you start thinking it.  There is a draw to Holden (a vampire) and she is soul-bonded to two werewolves (not a common thing).  One of them happens to be king and the other happens to be his best friend.  This part of the story is well told.  It’s not annoying.  Is it a little “holy cow, what is she going to do and how is he going to react?”  Of course!  But it’s written in a way that you are not only curious about it all but you are feeling for Secret and the situation she’s in.  The only thing that makes me weary about Secret’s situation is that the guys characters are so well written, it’s sad to think that one of these days one, if not two of these men will end up feeling hurt.  And I don’t like the idea that some of these guys will be sad.  🙁

One of the men that Secret is with is Desmond.  I didn’t mind him in the first book but I ended up loving him in the second book.  And I like him even more after reading Secret Santa.  You find out more about him.  Quite a bit more.  You find out…naw, I’m not going to tell you.  But I like that he is more than just ‘the king’s buddy and associate’ now.  We know of his family and his ‘real’ job too!

Lucas is out of town so don’t go thinking that that part of the trio-puzzle will be resolved in this book.  But I will offer a quick teaser for those of you who have read the books.  There is one scene in particular that involves Secret and Holden and a certain deal…  You will totally gasp and say “ZOMG!”

I love the way Sierra writes her novellas.  They are full and complete stories without any missing parts.  You really can’t read this book alone though – you have to read the other books first.  Well, at least books one and two.  I find that even though things are well explained, you won’t feel the same way towards the characters if you skip right to this one.  These are great characters that are worth reading from book one.  Actually, from book .5!  Secret is kick ass yet still vulnerable and the side characters are so different one from the other and equally well written.

Fans of the Secret McQueen series have to read this book.  And for those of you who have not read the first few books yet, do it then come back to this one.  You will not be disappointed.

4.5 stars

Giggle worthy quotes

“My mouth formed a hard line, and if looks could kill, Holden Chancery would be an obliterated pile of steaming vampiric ash.  Since I had not yet learned to kill telekinetically, he remained in one solid piece with a smirk on his face that would have melted me under better conditions.”


‘Thanks to my new winter boots with their four inch heels, I was able to kiss him without either of us having to contort too much.  I was a mere five-foot-four to his six-foot-two.  Let it never be said shoes can’t bring lovers together.”

Books in the Secret McQueen series –
The Secret Guide to Dating Monsters (novella)
Something Secret This Way Comes
A Bloody Good Secret
Secret Santa (novella)
Deep Dark Secret (March 2012)

  1. *Nods head in agreement* Totally agree with everything you said. Go Team Lime, lol!

  2. I have been seeing this one around *points to Colette* And she sure seems to like it 🙂

  3. Colette – Team Lime. LOL I like that. 🙂

    blodeuedd – I think you should try it…when you get your eReader. It’s a great series. 🙂

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