Secret Santa (Secret McQueen #2.5)

Secret SantaBy Sierra Dean

Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd.
Publication Date: November 29, 2011
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Author

’Tis the season for ho-ho-homicide.

Secret McQueen, book 2.5

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.
BLI Holiday Challenge
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.

Goodreads Summary

It’s the holiday season in New York city and newly-minted Vampire Council member Secret’s hardest assignment yet is trying to get some sort of grip on all of the people (furry and toothy) that she’s managed to accumulate in her life over the past year. She’s managing to work with her own ward Brigit quite nicely, a truce of sorts has been called with one half of her werewolf bond-mate duo Lucas and she’s living in general domestic bliss with the other half, Desmond. If there’s a little ripple of discontent, it’s with her warden and former mentor Holden.

As Secret and Desmond prepare to celebrate the holiday with his family, her friend Mercedes asks for her PI skills on a gruesome case with some paranormal overtones. Under strict Council orders for her safety – and needing his help anyway – Secret asks Holden to join her on the baffling hunt. As Christmas day nears, they get closer to finding the killer – but before they do, the killer finds someone close to Secret.

This is, for the most part, a much lighter book than the others in the Secret McQueen series and I don’t think you need to read the books that came before it to enjoy this one. The cast of characters that appears is smaller and the people that aren’t in it aren’t mentioned much so you won’t get the feeling that you’re missing some vital information.

Wherever there’s Desmond, the story is mostly the lighter, fluffier side of Secret. They’re completely living as a couple now and he’s pretty much gone all Martha Stewart on her. I honestly haven’t been a fan of his – I think he’s a little too beta for the utterly alpha Secret – but he’s kind of cute here. I even…liked him, although I might deny I wrote that if you ask me again in a few months.  Not much is mentioned about Secret’s dual bond with Desmond and Lucas and I was glad.

Secret on the case is very much business as usual, grouchy and smart-mouthed. I wondered a lot about whether or not her former boss, now fellow Vampire Council member Sig would really let her run around putting herself in danger – he usually seems to know every breath she takes and lately has been a little obsessed with her personal safety. The plot with the killer was a little hard to follow at the end – simpler may have been better, even at the risk of removing some paranormal folklore.

Holden continues to push himself into Secret’s relationships, which makes me glad, since I just can’t help cheering him on after his hot elevator scene with her in The Secret Guide to Dating Monsters.  If there’s relationship angst here, he’s it, but I can always be counted on to enjoy a little Holden angst.

My Summary: I continue to be a big fan of the series and enjoy seeing the evolution of Secret. Despite her getting all gooey with Desmond and having a few steamy scenes, she’s kept her fighting edge and I like the tight chemistry she still has with Holden (my personal feelings for his character aside, honest). This was a nice light change from the darker full books, even if there still was a bloody killer running amok – this has it all from dinner with the parents to a knife fight to the death. If you haven’t read the other books in the series, this could easily be a good place to dip your toe in.

My Rating: A-




  1. I can't wait to read it! I love me some Secret. And some Sig… 😉

  2. Er. Don't be lookin' for too much of his hot blonde fang-ness in this one. Although he and Holden did spend a whole lot of time in my head with me. O.O

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