Reading level: Adult
ebook: 272 pages
Genre: Urban fantasy
Release date: February 5, 2012
Series: Secret McQueen #3
Source: Personal shelf
Reviewed by: Jenn
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.
DEEP DARK SECRET is Secret McQueen's third novel-length adventure and Sierra Dean has upped the stakes on both the romantic and political front. The previous two novels have focussed primarily on vampire business and added some werewolf romance but DEEP DARK SECRET turns that formula on its head, with the politics being werewolf in nature. Lucas' territory is being encroached upon by Secret's family and it forces Lucas and Secret's relationship issues to the foreground of the novel. I've always found Lucas to be a bit high-handed and autocratic and I was none too pleased with his behaviour in DEEP DARK SECRET since he takes this behaviour to new levels. Thankfully, Secret doesn't take to this very well, which leads to some awkward but important conversations. She does, however, go along with some of the situations he creates for the good of the pack, which shows how much she's learned about her status in the pack and how her actions affect not only her own future but those of her packmates. It's great to see her becoming more aware of the bigger picture, but it would be nice if Lucas wasn't always forcing decisions on her. I hope that the next book, GRAVE SECRET, shows us a more considerate side of our determined werewolf king but I doubt it.
On the plus side, some of Secret's other relationships (romantic and otherwise) are not so fraught, which is good considering she has to find Genevieve's missing niece Lucy. The mission takes some interesting twists and turns and the series mythology expands to include previously undiscussed supernatural elements. The Big Bad is a type of monster common in urban fantasy and paranormal romance but Dean does a nice job of making it her own (and extremely icky). The climactic battle is really exciting and it has some nice surprising elements that I think everyone will enjoy.
We actually get to learn a lot about Secret's past because an ex-boyfriend features rather prominently in DEEP DARK SECRET. Secret's interactions with him give us a lot of insight into her character, and also highlight how much she's grown since we first met her. There was one reveal in particular that will likely have serious ramifications for the series, but it comes towards the end of the novel so I won't spoil it for you. You'll just have to read DEEP DARK SECRET for yourself if you're curious! :)
Though I didn't like DEEP DARK SECRET as much as the previous installments in the Secret McQueen series, it's still a fun, fast urban fantasy ride that delivers the level of action, humour, and sexiness I've come to expect from Sierra Dean. The characters continue to grow, Secret continues to kick butt and snark her way through all of her challenges, and her life gets ever more complicated. I can't begin to guess what might befall Secret next but I can't wait to read it!