Favorite Quote: “If I wanted questions going unanswered, I could just watch Lost.”
Never has a book been so aptly titled than Secret Unleashed. Number six in Sierra Dean’s dark and wickedly sexy urban fantasy Secret McQueen series. In this installment, Secret learns some secrets that will leave her and readers reeling from the implications.
Recap from book five.
In book five, Grave Secret, Secret was challenged on many levels. She is forced to go to the Fae to retrieve her arsehat husband’s sister, is still trying to gain Desmond’s forgiveness, sleeps with Holden, investigates her bff for murder, and learns her mother will do anything to take the title of queen from her. And we learn exactly what anything entails. Also, as always, previously bad decision making on Secret’s part left her with a huge bill to pay…and she pays in spades here. The ending left us with a broken heart and Secret with a whole new appreciation for life.
Secret Unleashed starts off with the repercussions from Bridget’s death. As the key to keeping Secret’s nemesis, Alexandre Peyton in prison, Bridget’s death means his freedom. Secret finds herself being smothered by her friends and lovers as they seek to keep her safe while the Tribune tries to recapture Peyton. When a job goes bad and Secret lands in herself in jail, Sig has had enough and decides to send Secret to investigate a mystery for the California Vampire Tribune. Someone has stolen a valuable relic from them and they want it back. Piece of cake right? Not so fast. Before heading out to Cali, Secret learns some interesting and disturbing background information about the thief and why Sig is so interested in her. Grabbing Holden, Secret travels to California to begin her search for the missing relic. From there she uncovers a twisted mess of lies and deceptions that makes Secret long for the days when she was nothing more than an enforcer. I do want to note that I wouldn’t recommend starting here if you haven’t read the previous books. This arc is long reaching and each book picks up where the last one leaves off with almost no recap.
Secret Unleashed is a emotional roller coaster ride that ends with Secret at the proverbial crossroad. Either path she takes will result in danger and possible death. Dean provides us with some much needed answers but at the same time opens the way for new adventures. I won’t lie to you, this book is harsh. Secret is tested in ways we have never seen before.
I thoroughly enjoy the world that that Ms. Dean has created in her Secret McQueen series. From the beginning Ms. Dean has written an energetic and feisty urban fantasy with its wonderful balance of humor and suspense. Continuing world expansion and deepening character development keeps this series fresh and engaging. Non stop action and machiavellian inspired plot lines will leave you wanting more long after you reach the end.
Emotions run high as Secret is manipulated through circumstances into a situation that may result in her becoming the hunted instead of the hunter. An action packed storyline is made even more exciting by being built around the Winchester House in San Jose, California. I visited there once and it’s absolutely incredible. And creepy. If you don’t know about this particular piece of history, you can read about it here.
The main conflict is ripe with suspense, action, and horror. The subplots begin to intertwine with the main storyline, feeding off one another to lead Secret into a situation so twisted that we aren’t sure she will survive this fight. But survival is what Secret does best, so when a new monster rears their ugly head and friends are caught in its grip, Secret’s guilt only serves to increase her anger over the entire episode. She warns all those involved that heads will roll by her hand. The ending will leave you shocked by the implications of what’s to come.
New friends are made while old friends reveal pieces of themselves that shock Secret and cause her some disconcertion. Trust is a fragile bond that stretches and in some places, brakes, leaving Secret to wonder who else has been lying to her. The romance isn’t as prevalent in here as it has been in the last few installments which I appreciated as it is my least favorite aspect of the storyline. Lucas has been persona non grata, especially after dropping his balls, errr, I mean THE ball in Grave Secret. Desmond and Holden are both at Secret’s side and while I like that they are trying not to push her, it cannot stay at this impasse. Decisions will have to be made. Plus, Lucas, the douche, still has a foot in the door as her husband and supposed soul mate so he can’t be dismissed outright. But he can be killed. *hint-hint*
Once again, Sierra Dean leaves us bloody and shell shocked as we follow Secret down the rabbit hole. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Secret in book 7-title and release date to be revealed.
Rapid Reads– B