The Secret Guide to Dating Monsters (Secret McQueen #.05)

Secret GuideBy Sierra Dean

Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Publication Date: July 19, 2011
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Author

They say it’s impossible to find a man in New York City. Secret McQueen needs to find two in one night. Of course, it’ll mean pulling off the impossible—find and kill a displaced rogue vampire without disrupting the first promising date she’s had in ages. As a werewolf hybrid used to walking a fine line of survival in the vampire world, though, Secret eats impossible for breakfast.

Somewhere between hello and the first round of drinks, Secret makes her move. Her target, Hollywood’s biggest star, shouldn’t be hard to spot. Just look for swarms of fans. Except every time her vampire liaison, Holden, helps keep her mission on track, her date runs further off the rails.

Either Holden has a hidden agenda, or he knows more than he’s letting on about her quarry. One way or another, Secret is determined to get her man, and meet Mr. Right. Or die trying.

Goodreads Summary

Secret McQueen is unique.  Well, or an abomination, depending on who you ask.  She’s the only half-werewolf, half-vampire hybrid known and neither side would be happy to know that she’s a mix of the other so she keeps that little bit of information private.  Right now she’s playing all fangy and working for the Vampire Council bringing in rogues or ashing them depending on her orders.

Between that whole no sunlight thing and her job for the Council, Secret’s dating life has dwindled to nothing. Her friend keeps setting her up on dates but when they usually end with Secret getting called out on a job… well, there’s only so much a friend is going to put up with. She’s giving her one last chance with a really nice guy – and to Secret’s surprise he really is a nice guy and they hit it off. Of course things just can’t go right because mid-date, her Council liaison Holden shows up with an urgent job for her – urgent as in right now, tonight. Of course it can’t be anyone easy, it’s one of the biggest celebrities in Hollywood, the Council wants him ashed and he just happens to be in Times Square.

I’d read the first full book in the series, Something Secret This Way Comes (Secret McQueen #1) before this and it references the sort of major event that takes place as something that was pretty remarkable in Secret’s life and career.  It made this both a lot of fun and important to read for the series.

The more I read about her, the more I really like Secret. She’s a UF heroine who doesn’t have any particular superpowers from her vamp or werewolf sides other than being a little faster, being able to see better in the dark and some speedy recovery time from getting hurt. Her preferred weapon is a gun to blow the vampires’ heads off with to get it over with nice and quickly. She’s funny – she gave me more laugh out loud moments than places where I thought she was just snarky – and in general she’s just a less hardened version of what I’d think of as the typical UF heroine.

Because it’s a novella there’s really only space for one secondary character and it’s Secret’s Council liaison Holden who’ll play a larger part in the next couple of books. He’s very suave and slick and overall just delicious and surprisingly has some very hot and sexy moments with Secret. She has a very strict policy – don’t date coworkers. Holden seems to have his own policy – date anything with a pulse.

The action segments of the story are actually pretty fun if you don’t mind the whole cutting bodies into parts thing. There’s another reference to Secret’s infamy that I always liked in SSTWC (her name is supposedly used to strike fear into children and make them be good, among other things) and there’s an interesting revelation about Holden’s tie to the Hollywood star. When the fighting moved to the subway station, it was clear what the connection was to a reference in the first book and it was all the more exciting to see it play out, knowing what it was going to cause.

My Summary: I liked the first book but was a little worried about a couple of things. I really, really liked this prequel novella because it gave me a better perspective of Secret that may just improve my feelings about Something Secret This Way Comes. This had lots of great swordplay and action, some very hot and sexy moments, lots of humor and a UF heroine that’s a little something different. I recommend reading this first, then picking up book 1. The second full book in the series, A Bloody Good Secret, is out in September.

My Rating: A




  1. Perfectly said! Secret really is a great UF heroine. I like the heroines who have skills and strength, even just natural ability ones that come with who she is. No TSTL moments for Secret!

  2. Ha, I've got you hooked! I love that Samhain added a UF line, she's perfect for it. I'm glad I made you buy these (bwuahahaha – rubbing hands together and wondering what else I can get you into..)

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