The first book in the Secret McQueen series, published May 10, 2011.
Some secrets are dangerous. This Secret is deadly. 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.
Secret McQueen was only 16 when she came to New York to kill vampires, confident that she was unbeatable, being born half vampire and half werewolf, and blessed with the powers of both species, and of course, cursed with their weaknesses. Her mother was a werewolf, but her human father got turned into a vampire when she was 7 months pregnant with Secret, he bit her mother, almost killing her, but saving her with his own blood in the end. Being a werewolf, her mother would not turn into a vampire, but something strange happened to Secret. Her mother abandoned her after birth, and dumped her with her maternal grandmother, a human woman, but also a powerful witch. She knew what had happened to Secret, and she knew how to care for her. Keeping her out of the sun, away from silver, and feeding her with blood. Not any grandmother could have done that. She has not embraced either half of herself. She has suppressed her werewolf side, never having shifted into her wolf in all her 22 years of living. Her cool vampire half sure helps with that. And now she is a bounty hunter, employed by the Vampire Council to hunt and kill rogue vampires. And sometimes other paranormal creatures who have earned their deaths.
And so, Secret was happily slaying young vampires, until an old one hunted her down instead. He almost killed her, if it wasn’t for a human who saved her. Francis Keats, or Keaty, thought her how to fight, to defend herself, and to kill or disarm the monsters most people don’t believe in. Together they own the company: Keats and McQueen – private pest control. He was also the one to introduce her to the Vampire Council, who were happy to employ to hunt her own kind. They appointed warden Holden to be her liaison, meaning, the one who gives her her assignments, and who accompanies her when she is called to appear, usually when having killed someone not sanctioned.
One lovely late night in New York, Secret was just minding her own business, when she spotted a young girl being chased through Central Park by a rogue vampire. As a bounty hunter, and employed by the Vampire Council, she had to safe the girl if possible. To her surprise, the vampire is not scared when he learns her name, he is pleased, telling her his sire will be happy that he has killed her for him. And Secret’s biggest fear comes true when she discovers who his sire is: Peyton, the rogue vampire that almost killed her 6 years ago. She knocked one of his fangs out when they fought, and that is one thing a vampire cannot heal or regrow. And so his bite is pretty remarkable and recognizable to her. She is afraid, he did tell her he would be back for her. But she is no longer that inexperienced 16 year old girl, she will not go down without a fight.
But then her night is not over yet. While enjoying some coffee in her favourite café, she is approached by a werewolf. She knows he is one immediately, but what is new, is the attraction she is feeling! But she will not give in to it, and walks away. To her surprise, she is abducted and disarmed, and thrown into a limousine. Where the wolf in question is waiting for her. And not just a werewolf, but the werewolf King, Lucas. And a really famous billionaire. He has felt the same attraction, and he does want to act on it. Apparently, she is his soulmate. He takes her to the very luxurious hotel he owns, to tell her about her heritage. Being a McQueen means she is werewolf royalty, something she never knew. And the bond between them is destined to be. She cannot fight or deny it, nor the immense attraction between them. Her wolf has never been so alive before. Secret agrees to go out to dinner with Lucas the next night, where he will explain more to her. She is still keeping it a secret that she is more than a werewolf though. There is little love between vampires and werewolves, and Secret is convinced that they will drop her when the truth comes out.
The next evening though, she is summoned to appear before the Vampire Council, where she is interrogated about her unsanctioned kill, and her suspicions Peyton is back in town. To her surprise, she is given the order to bring him in, alive. But first, she will have to find him. Her second date with Lucas is even more confusing, as she can also “taste” his second in command, Desmond, who doesn’t seem to like her at all. If that is one of the tells of being soul bonded, can she really be soul bonded to two total strangers at once?
A great first book in a promising series. Lots of action, and fast paced. I liked Secret a lot, she is not fearless, and not always cautious, just plunging headfirst in action. But she is a real kick ass chick, and she doesn’t deny herself the attraction she is feeling towards Lucas and Desmond. Which makes for some hot love scenes. There are some great secondary characters in here as well, not just Holden and Keaty, but also the Oracle, and her human police friend Mercedes sure has potential. And then the plot, which was great as well. Original, and surprising, and I liked it. A lot.
I am looking forward to reading the next books in this series.