Something Secret This Way Comes (Secret McQueen #1)

Secret McQueen #1By Sierra Dean

Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Publication Date: May 10, 2011
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Some secrets are dangerous. This Secret is deadly.

Secret McQueen, Book 1

For Secret McQueen, her life feels like the punch line for a terrible joke. Abandoned at birth by her werewolf mother, hired as a teen by the vampire council of New York City to kill rogues, Secret is a part of both worlds, but belongs to neither. At twenty-two, she has carved out as close to a normal life as a bounty hunter can.

When an enemy from her past returns with her death on his mind, she is forced to call on every ounce of her mixed heritage to save herself-and everyone else in the city she calls home. As if the fate of the world wasn’t enough to deal with, there’s Lucas Rain, King of the East Coast werewolves, who seems to believe he and Secret are fated to be together. Too bad Secret also feels a connection with Desmond, Lucas’s second-in-command…

Warning: This book contains a sarcastic, kick-ass bounty hunter; a metaphysical love triangle with two sexy werewolves; a demanding vampire council; and a spicy seasoning of sex and violence.

Goodreads Summary

Secret McQueen technically shouldn’t be something that exists.  A vampire-werewolf hybrid is unheard of but because of an incident during her mother’s pregnancy and a wise grandmother who knew what to do with her after she was abandoned, here she is.  She’s completely suppressed her wolf half and chooses to live her life as a normal human as much as possible, dealing with her vampire half when necessary.

One necessity for Secret means working for the vampire council as a bounty hunter.  They’re picky about her ashing anyone off-contract though and she’s already been called to appear before them once for a mess she made with three unsanctioned kills.  Her neck may be on the line for the last time for her most recent – a newly-made vampire she caught chasing a girl through a park.  Instead of ordering her death, the council gives her a new job – find the master vampire that turned the one she killed and bring him in – alive.

When things couldn’t get any more complicated, Secret finds out she’s soul-bonded to two werewolves, which presents a problem since one is the King of the Eastern Werewolves, the other is his second and they haven’t got a clue she’s half vampire (not a good thing for the werewolves).  All Secret needs to do is track a master vampire who’s her sworn enemy and find a way to get him back to the council alive so she can keep her own head, figure out what to do with a couple of unexpected werewolf mates, dodge vampire attacks, were attacks and have a little hot sex in between.  No problem, right?

This was a pretty fun book for the most part.  It moved quickly and the plot was perfect for introducing all of the necessary vampire-related characters, including the one who delivered Secret’s orders, Holden, members of the council and the Oracle Calliope.  The idea of tying in the story with something out of Secret’s past – the master vampire was one of her first foes – gave a nice chance to see who she was before she started working with the council.  I didn’t think the werewolves were introduced as smoothly and as a result, I didn’t really warm up to any of them for a while.

I think Secret makes a great UF heroine – I really liked her.  She wasn’t any superwoman with ten swords and some throwing stars hidden in a leather duster.  She packed a gun and blew vampires’ heads off usually.  She kicked butt – a requirement – and when necessary, had a terrifically smart ass comment ready but she was also smart and kept her mouth shut and thought things out a lot of the time.  It was sad that she was so conflicted about her own “racial” identity until she was forced into dealing with it by Lucas and Desmond when they activated the mating bond.  If there was anything about Secret that bothered me it was that her brain seemed to take a vacation when she was around Desmond.

As the King of the East Coast Werewolves and the one that she felt the initial bond with, Lucas seemed like he should have had the stronger connection to Secret, but all of his contact with her felt utterly flat to me.  He generally acted more business-like than romantic, despite some obvious jealousy towards Desmond.  On the other hand, Desmond was very likable and he had great chemistry with Secret.  He had some very romantic and sexy lines and they were smoking in bed, but the one thing that bugged me was that it was quite clear that Secret is the alpha in the relationship.  Unless the author has something up her sleeve, I fear he’s never going to be anything but a beta.

There’s a comment made by the Oracle and some hints dropped along the way that made me shudder.  I’m praying with all of my heart that the second book isn’t going to go there because if the author does, she’s going to get an avalanche of comparisons to Laurell K. Hamilton and that isn’t fair to Secret who’s an entirely different sort of character.  I actually really like the other character that’s potentially being set up and if some other things are dealt with first then things might work out, but forcing it too fast is going to lose me…fast.

My Summary: I was very intrigued by the blurb for this book and was happy that it delivered and I’ve found a new UF series to follow.  I like the concept of Secret’s warring vampire and were sides, especially when both cultures find the other taboo.  Although I think she might have jumped into things a little too quickly, there’s no denying that Secret’s relationship with Desmond is flaming hot and likely to get hotter, whoever ends up joining in – and I’m making the assumption that sooner or later, someone will.  The book mostly settles one story but one devastating line at the end sets up the second, which will be released in September (A Bloody Good Secret).  A small warning – don’t go looking for the blurb for the second book at the author’s website unless you want spoilers for this book.  I accidentally did while looking up the release date and title and got a surprise that has me itching for it even more (I’m a horrible spoiler-lover).

My Rating: B+

Barbara

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Comments

  1. I heard some good things about this book and damn you make me want it even more. The setting reminds me of Keri Arthur's Riley Jensen series. And I hope we won't get LKH repetition- one is already more than enough. 😉

  2. It's really good and it's from Samhain and they don't charge a fortune for their books so it's practically painless (this is me enabling you to go buy it, lol).I'm hoping that because Lucas is so..chilly(?) that there won't be a threesome in Secret's near-future with him. I'm crossing my fingers that the other part will just play out slowly. I do like the other person, so I guess we'll see.

  3. Evil bookpimp! Just one more week and I can go buying again!

  4. (blows on fingernails and rubs on shirt)I consider my work here done.;)

  5. I'm intrigued. I love me a good UF series! I've been needing a new one to follow, and this one looks promising. Although.. why does every story line these days have a love triangle? *sighs* I'm getting a little tired of that kind of relationship angst!

  6. This is really good – it's not exactly a love triangle, I promise. More like potential triangular complications. Secret's not doing this whole "who do I pick" between guys, I swear.

  7. As the blog owner, you know I have the POWAH to go back and edit my comments properly, but you know I'm just lazy that way…I wanted to add, I'd say more but it's sort of spoiler-y. Nothing happens in SSTWC that officially starts a love triangle. There are things said and of course the were-bond thing that suggest that Secret is destined to have a very complicated love life ahead. I've chatted a little with the author today on Twitter (she's super nice – @sierradean if you want to follow) and she assures me she's working not to pull a LKH. 😉

  8. LOL The POWAH huh? It's so handy that you can just chat with the author like that. I need to use my Twitter account more. I only got through book 9 of the LKH saga, and couldn't stomach any more. I should have stopped after the first one, but I like to torture myself I guess.I like the sound of a difficult love life ahead better than a love triangle. I'm not sure what the difference is really, but there is one. I know it. 😉

  9. Ha, it's the only time I have any POWAH, believe me. I never know what to do with it either. 😉 I like Twitter, but I'm not a huge chatter. I tend to follow conversations. The author actually said something to me first b/c she saw my posting the review and it went from there. I tend to not talk to most authors b/c it can get weird when you review their books and don't like them, at least that's the way I feel. Some reviewers don't. There are a few that I'm comfy chatting with, but most I follow and just like checking out when books come out, ARC giveaways, stuff like that.Ugh, LKH. I'm not sure when I stopped. I know I have 3 unread ones on my shelves. I liked her Merry Gentry series until it turned into Anita Blake, part 2. I have 2 unread Merry books. I hang my head in shame.Hmm, difficult vs. love triangle. Well, I can say that it involves her were vs. vampire sides; the Oracle in the story had a prediction about her future and it was sort of cryptic but when I read the blurb for book #2, it made a lot more sense. It's just super spoiler-y.

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