Mar 2, 2012

Posted by in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Deep Dark Secret by Sierra Dean (Secret McQueen #3)

Urban Fantasy
March 6 2012
248 pages (according to my Kobo)
Samhain Publishing
Received from author

Kick Ass Chick – Secret McQueen

From Goodreads –
Secret McQueen has hunted vampires, werewolves, and every conceivable supernatural menace-to-society. Seen it all? Not even close. When the queen of the were-ocelots comes to her for help finding a missing girl, the half-vampire/half-werewolf soon realizes how much she has to learn about the things that go bump in the night.

The case of the missing cat is one thing. Pile it up with her new duties as a Tribunal Leader, her tenuous position as mate to the king of the Eastern werewolves, and a slew of new (and unwelcome) supernatural abilities, and Secret is once again in familiar territory. “Way” over her head. But for this multitasking half-breed, it’s business as “un”usual.

What knocks her for a loop, though, isn’t her lover’s intoxicating kiss. It’s the missing memories rushing at her from out of nowhere, signaling a rapidly approaching fork in her destiny. Her choice will affect not only her life, but her love.


Deep Dark Secret is the third book in Sierra Dean’s Secret McQueen series and it continues to show how well Sierra can write and weave a story.

This is very much an urban fantasy series:  you have your kick ass chick in Secret who is half werewolf, half vampire and you follow her from book to book as she hunts down rogue vampires, solves crimes, gets tangled up in situations that are way over her head all the while mingling with not one, not two but three men.  Well, I suppose technically it’s two men since one is only interested in her but they are not actually doing anything about that…

Secret is an amazing heroine.  In fact, I’ve added her to my favorite characters list because that is how awesome she is.  Even though she isn’t human she is trying to hold on to the humanity that was instilled in her by her Grandmere, but she is beginning to feel the ‘monsters’ getting closer and closer to the surface.  She is very good at her job(s) and knows it, yet she is often vulnerable and sweet…in her own way.  I love how Secret is snarky and strong yet not afraid to ask for help.  She is relatable and funny and just all around a great read.

One of the men in her life is Desmond.  I know that many people think he is too weak to be with Secret but I am one of those who think they are awesome together.  He is a werewolf and is the Alpha’s second, but even as an alpha, he is not afraid of showing Secret his softer more playful side.  Secret is all over the place sometimes and she needs someone who will balance her out.  That’s what Desmond does.  I really like them together.

Next we have Holden.  He isn’t in this installment much but when he’s on the page, you take notice.  He is a vampire and used to be Secret’s handler.  Now…well she is sort of his boss.  Yeah…you would think that would be awkward, and sometimes it is, but neither of these characters is shallow enough to let it get to them to the point where we want to bang someone over the head.  I like how Holden sees Secret for whom and what she is and still appreciates her.  I like how he cares for her without expecting anything…much.  He really is a good guy but before I can really say that Secret belongs with Desmond and not with Holden, I think I may need to see how Secret is with Holden in a romantic (and not forced or awkward) setting.  Will we ever see that?  Who the heck knows?  In this series, anything is possible.

And our third and final contestant is…Lucas.  Lucas is the werewolf Alpha – he is the king.  I was a huge Lucas fan girl while reading book one.  In fact, if you were creepy passed by my window you would have seen me with an ‘I heart Lucas’ sign in one hand and a pom pom in the other.  But now…I may have spray painted my Lucas sign with a big red X and may have stomped on it a few times.  I may have even let the kids play with their trucks on it.  I understand his motives but his execution is terrible.  There are times in previous books where I thought Secret may have been a bit too hard on him.  After this book, I want to go back and cheer Secret on during those scenes.  Really…gah.  Yet my heart somehow still goes out to him.  He is the werewolf king and he has to consider his pack first.  That’s just how it is.  I don’t remember disliking and liking a character equally like I do Lucas.  Once again, proof that Sierra can write.

Before I continue, I can see how some of you have just read my paragraphs about Secrets three men are rolling your eyes.  But do not judge and do not fret – Sierra does this love ‘square’ exceptionally well.  I have mentioned this before in previous reviews and I feel it bears repeating:  Secret is not laying around with her legs open for guy one then guy two a little later in the evening.  She is true to her feelings and is aware of the others’ feelings.  She is not hiding anyone from anyone either.  She is bonded to two men and close friends with another and it is because of this that she is in the situation that she is.  I am not usually a fan of love triangles – I think they can get very messy and I hate how someone always gets hurt then turns into a big fat immature jerk making me lose all respect for him.  But in this case, I think everything will turn out for the best.  I have faith in Sierra and in her writing.  Her stories draw you in – whether it be her novellas or her full length books – and she knows how to balance love and action and mystery.  One does not necessarily overpower the other.  She has some serious writing chops and I trust her.  (Do you hear me Sierra?  I trust you!  Don’t break that trust!  ;))

As usual, the story in Deep Dark Secret is…busy.  People need help, people are missing, people are dying and Secret must help figure it all out.  The ultimate villain is creepy as heck – in what he does and what he looks like.  Sierra writes creepy yucky villains people.  ‘Ew’ worthy villains.  And in this book we witness Secret in her “very important vampire person” duties and also in her “very important werewolf person” duties.  I wonder what will happen when the masses find out that she is a mixed-breed?  Then I think I don’t want to know because how people react to that sort of news has the potential of being quite predictable.  Then again, it all goes back to trusting the author and her ultimate vision for this series.

I wasn’t 100% sure how to rate this book.  In the first 80 or so pages we are introduced to many many many little plot lines.  As I said, this story is busy.  I found myself wondering where they were all going and hoping they would start to make sense soon.  They were really entertaining, don’t get me wrong.  The pace of the book is fantastic as always, but I was just wondering.  Suddenly bam!  I stayed up late finishing this book…and at 4am when my son came into my room because he couldn’t sleep and needed help finding his doudou, I found myself falling asleep thinking about the book.  I also thought about it first thing when I woke up.  That is the sign of a great book in my opinion and that is why I rated it the way I did.  This series is fantastic.  The writing is constantly solid and tight, the stories are incredible, the characters are amazing – and create very passionate responses in readers.  If you haven’t found this series yet, you must give it a try.  It’s just incredible.

5 stars

Giggle worthy quotes

“’Little girl,’ he boomed, his voice resonating like thunder trapped in his enormous diaphragm.  The cement beneath my feet rumbled.  ‘You have released me.’

‘Awesome.  Do I get three wishes?’

‘Secret,’ Desmond hissed.  ‘Shut up.’”

Books in the Secret McQueen series –
Something Secret This Way Comes
A Bloody Good Secret
Deep Dark Secret
Keeping Secret (late 2012)

  1. Great review Julie, I like this series more and more with each book, but I am one of those who thinks Desmond is not strong enough to be with Secret. He is supposed to be her bodyguard, but is (almost) never around when she could use one.
    I do love the bit with her sword, wonder where that is going!


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