The third book in the Secret McQueen series, to be published March 6, 2012.
I have won this ARC on Twitter from the author herself.
The only good Secret is a buried Secret.
Secret McQueen has hunted vampires, werewolves, and every conceivable supernatural menace-to-society. Seen it all? Not even close. When the queen of the were-ocelots comes to her for help finding a missing girl, the half-vampire/half-werewolf soon realizes how much she has to learn about the things that go bump in the night.
The case of the missing cat is one thing. Pile it up with her new duties as a Tribunal Leader, her tenuous position as mate to the king of the Eastern werewolves, and a slew of new (and unwelcome) supernatural abilities, and Secret is once again in familiar territory. Way over her head. But for this multitasking half-breed, it’s business as unusual.
What knocks her for a loop, though, isn’t her lover’s intoxicating kiss. It’s the missing memories rushing at her from out of nowhere, signaling a rapidly approaching fork in her destiny. Her choice will affect not only her life, but her love.
Warning: Contains a werewolf king with wandering hands, a creepy English professor with nefarious plans, and one hell of an unexpected gala evening at Columbia.
If you have not read any of the books in this series, this review for sure will be telling you spoilers, so read on at your own risk. I’ll try to keep them to a minimum, but I am very enthusiastic about this book, so no promises. If you plan on reading it soon, just go look for the review of the first book, the prequel I reviewed in October, and the first full book in December 2011.
Secret McQueen sure has a lot to deal with in her life. She is the latest member of the Vampire Council, and its leader, Sig, is ready to throw her in the deep end and deal with the business at hand. Is she really ready for that? Secret wishes she was still allowed to hunt rogue vampires, instead of giving someone else the execution orders. She misses the hunt, the adrenaline, as both her natures need it. Secret is a rare half vampire and half werewolf, and one hundred percent nocturnal. She has never seen the sun.
Secret has a live in boyfriend slash bodyguard she loves very much, Desmond, the Wolf King’s second in command. Lucas, the Wolf King, is her second boyfriend. She is bound to both men by the soulbond but so far, she is only in love with Desmond. A feeling that has nothing to do with the soulbond. But Lucas has got some more moves to perform. All he can think of, is the good and welfare of the Pack, and at the moment they are in trouble. One of the other Wolf Kings in America is trying to take over some of his territory, a Wolf King who just happens to be Secrets Uncle. A man she has never even met. But Lucas needs Secret by his side, and so he decides to take matters in his own hands, as usual. He forces the matebond on Secret, which is even stronger than the soulbond. Without telling her anything about what he has done, or what it means and implies, he then sends her home. Where she unknowingly breaks Desmond’s heart, causing him to almost leave her.
But Secret really has no time to deal with her personal life. She has been asked by the Ocelot Queen to find her missing niece. She is convinced the girl has not just run off with a boyfriend, something bad must have happened to her. And as there are only 8 or so ocelots left in the country, the girl is very valuable to the race. Which does not mean Genevieve doesn’t genuinely love her niece.
Lucy was a serious student at Columbia, and she regularly called her aunt, but she has not been in touch for over 2 weeks now. So Secret sets out to investigate, with her vampire bodyguard and former master Holden at her side. Matters sure get convoluted when the police arrest her former (and first) boyfriend for murder. He also works at Columbia University, and he knows more than he wants to tell her. So why did he call for her help, instead of a lawyer? They broke up over three years ago, and Secret really does not want anything to do with him at all. Still, she goes to the police station for some closure, and find out why he did call her.
Gabriel sure is something. He is a real player, changing lovers like another man changes socks. But she does believe he is not guilty of murdering, so she promises to look into things. Another lead into Colombia, could those cases be connected?
Secret sure smells something fishy, when lots of pretty and smart collegue girls are attracted to a not very handsome professor, in his fifties, with a limp. Until he opens his mouth, and that sexy English accent comes out. There is just something in that voice, that draws them all in. Secret doesn’t really understand what is happening. Surely, it is just a harmless professor? Until she suddenly has lost an hour of her night … Secret surely is in for the battle of her life, and even Calliope cannot predict the outcome this time!
Calliope tells Secret she is approaching a crossroads in her life, and she will have to make a decision, one way or another. There are two lifelines, and unless she makes that choice, even Calliope cannot foresee her future.
The more books in this series I read, the better they get. I really enjoyed it. I still strongly dislike Lucas, the Wolf King, I still think Desmond is not alpha enough, although he was trying this time. And Holden, well, he has to make his move! And I would have loved a bit more of Sig, but I have to admit, he doesn’t really fit in this story.
Lucas is so extremely high handed, deciding upon Secret’s life and future, without consulting her. He just forces the matebond on her, without her knowing what it is, just because it is good for the pack. He totally acknowledges he doesn’t care what it does to him, Secret and Desmond, he needs her by his side. As does the other thing he does, putting her in a very public position, unable to say no.
Holden sure doesn’t like it one thing, but there is nothing he can do about it. I do like him, he is a good one in a fight, and in his own strange way, he loves Secret. And I know Secret likes him, and is attracted to him as well. As she is to Sig, to Lucas, to Desmond, but Secret is not a slut, and she cannot deal with four guys fighting for her attention. She has chosen Desmond, and wants to stick with it.
Lots of things happen in this very intriguing and fast paced story. Secret has little time to come to her senses, figure out what she wants, and who she wants. If I were Secret, I would dump Lucas, soulbond or not. He treats her like property, and not as a beloved partner. He is highhanded, overbearing, and totally capable of abusing his power over Desmond. That the Pack is in trouble is his job to handle, not Secrets. Killing someone out of self defense, and helping the Pack at the same time is nice, but does not make her obligated to give up her private life in service to the good of the Pack.
And Desmond. Sigh. Finally he tries to stand with Secret in her fight against the big bad evil. But in the end, he falls short in my opinion. And he does not even try to follow Secret, he goes home like a faithful dog to wait for its owner. I really do wish Sierra Dean would toughen him up a bit, make him more equal a mate for Secret. I think it is time for a little werewolf revolution in New York City.
There was also a little but I think important scene in a bar, where Secret runs in some new paranormal beings. I do have the feeling, we will see them again.
The sword thing in the end was really cool, that fighting scene absolutely awesome. Nope, not telling anymore ;) go buy and read the book yourself!
All in all, I like Secret a lot. She is still kick ass and snarky, which I love in a heroine. I enjoy her best friend, police officer Mercedes, but I am not all that fond of all the men in Secret’s life. I am almost hoping for something new and different to really sweep her of her feet somewhere further in the series.