Jun 27, 2014

Posted by in Reviews | 2 Comments

Early Review: Cold Hard Secret by Sierra Dean (Secret McQueen #7)

coldhardsecret5 star

Urban Fantasy
July 1 2014
281 pages
Received from author

Kick Ass Chick – Secret McQueen

From Goodreads –
The Secret’s out, and heads will roll.

Ever since her near-death experience at the hands of the villainous Dr. Kesteral, Secret McQueen hasn’t been the same. As in damaged almost beyond repair. But as usual, Secret has no time to lick her wounds.

Armed to the fangs, she and Desmond embark on a whirlwind quest for revenge that takes them to the sewers of Paris to put an end to Alexandre Peyton. Instead, it’s almost the end of them, and before she can stop him, Peyton rips the veil off her deepest secret.

The devil’s not through muddling up the details, either. An eye-opening confab with Sig in the Big Apple leaves her wondering if she’s ever been in control of her own life at all. Plus, a cryptic postcard sends her racing back to her Manitoba hometown, fearing for her grandmere.

With the Council holding the power of life and death over her head, Secret’s circle of friends is shrinking, while the pool of enemies looking for payback is widening like a pool of her own blood.


Leave it to Sierra to leave me in a blubbery snotty mess…and nobody ‘special’ even died! *grabs Kleenex, wipes eyes, blows nose*

Where to start?!

Cold Hard Secret is the seventh book in Sierra Dean’s Secret McQueen series and the title suits is perfectly. Our Secret, our snarky sassy Secret, has changed. What happened to her in the last book has pretty much crushed her spirit and who can blame her? No one would be able to survive what she did and escape unscathed. Sierra did a fantastic job writing the ‘new’ Secret but I have to admit that she was very hard to read. I felt so bad for her and just wanted to give her a hug!

The book starts with Secret with Desmond in Paris. They are hunting one of the big-baddies from this series, Peyton. I knew from the blurb that this would be the book where Secret would have her showdown with Peyton but I never expected it to go quite the way it did. Or that it would not take up more of the book! But ultimately, it was done well with all the twists and wtf moments you expect. And that is just the beginning of those kids of moments in this installment.

Secret does not get any downtime after meeting Peyton in Paris. The story takes on directions I never expected! There is a lot of killing in this book. Now I don’t usually cheer when murder occurs – that just seems wrong – but I must say that the two main deaths in this book were freaking fantastic.

As I mentioned, Secret definitely has some stuff to work out and I don’t feel she’ll ever be fully healed from her ordeal. She’s harder and so is her wolf. But as the book progresses, I felt a little of the ‘old’ Secret peeks through which made me realize that no, she’s not the same and she is very damaged but yes, she will ultimately be okay.

One of the most gripping aspects about this series is the relationship between Secret and her men. Yes, men. As in plural. There was a love square for a while then a love triangle. I have said this before and I say it again: I’m not a fan of love triangles but the way Sierra writes it in these books is really good. You don’t find any whining or other petty and annoying romance-book-love-triangle clichés. We are dealing with adults here after all.

You may have heard rumors about Secret and how she says “yes” to one of her men. Well, it’s true. Secret turns her love triangle into a perfect circle. I can’t wait to see what you guys thing of her choice! I have been torn between Des and Holden for the last couple of books and I honestly can’t tell you what I think of her choice. I actually saw her with both men, each having something to offer Secret. So I was surprised when I was a little disappointed when she said ‘yes’. But really, I think that I would have been a little sad with a ‘yes’ to either one. That is just how well Sierra has written these characters.
Speaking of the men, I love them both in this book. They both have moments where they shine but I think Holden wins in this book where that is concerned. He has a speech-moment and OMG! It will make you swoon! And ball. And think your man at home is inadequate. If you were not a Holden fan before, after his little speech, you will be. And that is all I’m going to say about that. But Desmond fans, do not fret. There is a lot of Desmond and Secret alone time in this book so you’ll be happy.

There is another man that is somewhat prominent in this series, but not in a romantic way and this man has one hell of a scene in this book. Yes ladies and gentlemen, I am talking about Sig. All there is to say really about him and this scene is ‘whoaaaaa’.

Sierra Dean should be obligated to stick around twitter and not go anywhere when people are reading her books. You can’t read and not want to either ream her out or ask her “why? Why? WHY?!”. She has the ability to get her readers emotionally involved in her books at a level that not many authors manage to achieve. I am not overly excited that the next book, A Secret to Die For, is the last in the series but I can’t wait to see what happens.

Cold Hard Secret was a great read. It continued the series perfectly and answered some questions with answers I did not expect. If you have not taken the time to read these books, I urge you to do so. It really is a fantastic series.

And now I’m off to read that Holden soliloquy again. *sigh*

5 stars

Giggle worthy quotes –

“Dodging a few slow-moving pedestrians, I scanned the crowd for a sign of Desmond or the man he was chasing.  Given I was a mere five four, it wasn’t easy to see much of anything form my lowered vantage point.  Hopping up and down to see over people’s heads was always an option, but it tended to take away from my polished badass veneer.”


“At some point during the conversation Holden had picked up my sopping-wet pants and clothes-pinned them to a hanger.  They were now hanging from my closet door with a towel underneath.

Where had this man come from?  Seriously.”

Books in the Secret McQueen series –
Something Secret This Way Comes
A Bloody Good Secret
Deep Dark Secret
Keeping Secret
Secret Unleashed
Cold Hard Secret
A Secret to Die For (December 2014)


  1. Michele says:

    Totally agree with the Holden speech-moment. Swoon worthy for sure! This was another great installment in the series. Ready for the next one!!

  2. Now that I’ve finally read the book, I’ve come back to read your review! I avoided it first so I didn’t influence myself. 🙂 This book started off a little slow for me, and I was a bit disappointed. But then came the first fight scene and then – whoa, no breaks for Secret!
    I, for one, was incredibly happy about Secret’s choice as it’s who I’ve wanted for her from the beginning. I’m actually kind of dreading the last book because I don’t want anything to happen to him or go badly with their relationship. With a title like “A Secret to Die For”, I’m anticipating very bad things to come. 🙁

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