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review 2015-05-28 18:11
Review: Something Secret This Way Comes (Secret McQueen #1) by Sierra Dean
Something Secret This Way Comes - Sierra Dean

How did I miss this series?? I totally blame Carmel at Rabid Reads. She doesn't know it, but it's her job to steer me towards new series. Just kidding, Carmel.

What I liked: I was very surprised to get hooked so quickly. Usually I cut the first book in a series a bit of slack because it has such a tough job. Grab your attention, keep your attention while building the world of the characters. Of course, the characters have to be developed enough to give you an idea of what to expect without giving out too much information. So, overall, a first book in a series, has to be well balanced.

Something Secret This Way Comes exceeded all my expectations. Ms Dean does an excellent job of getting you hooked in a short amount of time. I found the book to be a quick read even for me. Even while reading so fast, I didn't get lost with who was who. That's also a key in my book. You can have lots of characters but the author needs to make each one memorable. 

I loved the portrayal of Secret McQueen, even the "funny" first name made sense and Ms Dean played on the character's name throughout the story. (Maybe a bit too much for some readers). Secret's job, while not totally unique is just different enough to keep the reader guessing. She's a killer but not indiscriminately. The Vampire Council orders the kills and there needs to be a reason for the kill. It can't be a willy-nilly reason either. It's almost like the Council weighs and measures each action before it acts. I liked that part.

Most Urban Fantasy books include shifters and vampires but in Secret's character, we get a rare combination. She's half vampire and half werewolf. She embraces her vampire half but tries to completely ignore her wolf. Well, until this latest case anyway; her wolf is more than making herself known. The wolf decides Secret is mated not to one, but to two werewolves. To make it even more interesting, the mates are Lucas Rain, King of the East Coast werewolves and the other is Rain's second in command, Desmond. 

While this whole soul mate situation throws Secret off her game, Lucas and Desmond seem fine with it. I'm not sure how this is going to play out but I feel as if Lucas has plans for Secret that she has no idea about. (Just guessing here). Ms Dean wastes no time in getting Secret and Desmond in bed but Lucas is more controlled (controlling?) with the mate bond. 

What I didn't like: So you can tell by my long winded "likes" that I really enjoyed this book. I did find myself worried a bit about Secret's age but Ms Dean handled it very well. I thought Secret might be too young for the character but I was wrong. Also, I'm one of those who thought the jokes about Secret's name were a bit over done.

The ending of Something Secret This Way Comes completely floored me and I immediately bought the next in the series which I'm trying desperately to fit into my reading/reviewing schedule!

Highly Recommend!!!!

Source: www.justtalkingbooks.com/blog/review-something-secret-this-way-comes-secret-mcqueen-1-by-sierra-dean
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review 2015-04-16 10:58
Perfect Catch (Sierra Dean)
Perfect Catch - Sierra Dean
Perfect Catch is the second book in Sierra Dean's "Boys of Summer series after Pitch Perfect. It features Alex Ross, the catcher for San Fransisco Felons as well as Tucker's best friend (the hero of book #1) and Alice Darling, who works as umpire for minor baseball league during spring training season.

I would like to commend Ms. Dean for featuring a woman with interesting occupation. Duly noted that the number of sport-romance books that I have read maybe lower than fans of this genre, but I think female umpire character in romance is quite rare. I was pretty excited with it.

Unfortunately, Alice's professional life as an umpire didn't have a bigger role than I expected. Considering the uniqueness of this job, I want to read more about the ins and outs of being a female umpire. There was one scene in the beginning, where Alice had to deal with an asshole of a player and I thought she was excellent there. She kept her head cool and didn't back down on her decision. I thought that scene was quite engrossing. Which was why I was disappointed that I didn't get more of that.

Instead, the story mainly dealt with Alice's issue in starting relationship with a baseball player. Alice held Alex in arm's length because she had been burned by a baseball player before. Almost a decade ago she dated one and she ended up with a daughter that he refused to acknowledge publicly. This made Alice distrusts baseball players in overall. In addition, Alice insisted that the relationship would not work anyway because they would have long distance relationship most of the time, with Alex traveling during the season, while she stays in Florida.

This became the source of my frustration with relationship. I could understand that Alice wanted to protect herself from making the same mistake, but she didn't completely stick to her principle all the time. Alice accepted Alex's offer for dating, had sex with him, and when Alex left, she text-ed him a lot. Also, Alice realized that she was using the men (her ex and then Alex) as people to blame for rather than dealing with her own issues, but she didn't really stop doing it. Then when shit hit the fan, she immediately blamed Alex for everything, accusing him of leaking the reporters about their relationship in purpose.

Honestly, I found this push-pull reaction to be a bit off-putting and made Alice less than likeable for me.

Alex, on the other hand, was quite a darling. I thought he was sweet. When she was with Olivia (Alice's daughter), he tried to make a connection with her. Alex was also more of a beta hero: he wasn't domineering, he didn't stand over six feet tall, and he didn't act all possessive-like. He genuinely wanted to make the relationship works and he wanted Alice to see that he wasn't like her asshole of baby daddy. This made me in favor of Alex more so than Alice (gosh, they have similar names!). At times I thought that he deserved someone better. Especially the problem with Alice bled into the ballpark and hurt someone else in the process.

I guess I was expecting something a little bit different with the story -- especially since Ms. Dean had a very good premise of this story, with Alice being a female umpire and Alex a baseball player. I thought the complication of their situation would already be interesting to be explored, without Alice's rules of not being involved with baseball players.

Anyway, everything concluded rather fast in the end -- truthfully, I would expect Alice to do some groveling. I always say so when it is the hero that done stupid thing; I guess it is fair that the heroine should do the same if she is the one messing things up.

All in all, this one falls into okay category in my book. I really loved Alex but I had a hard time warming up to Alice. I guess in the end, their romance didn't convince me much to root for their happiness.
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review 2015-03-31 03:56
A Secret to Die For (Secret McQueen) - Sierra Dean

I found this slightly disappointing. I kept waiting for something exciting to happen and the ending just seemed so generic and boring. She didn't come across as smart and made a lot of impulsive decisions.Part of my disappointment is her

choosing Desmond over Holden. I kept thinking she'd change her mind and realize she made the wrong choice.

(spoiler show)

It wasn't meant to be, I guess. There were good moments though, so it wasn't a bust overall. It just wasn't the ending I envisioned for Secret. 

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text 2015-03-13 20:37
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Bayou Blues - Sierra Dean

I like that this spin-off series focuses more on the werewolves that make up this universe, and the story was some grade-A Urban Fantasy. Genie lacks the snark of her big sis though, and she's definitely not Secret's equal in the badass department, but her heroine career is just beginning, so I'm willing to give her a couple of books to prove herself...

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text 2015-03-13 00:01
Reading progress update: I've read 94%.
Bayou Blues - Sierra Dean

My Urban Fantasy debut! And, of course I get offed. LOL Still cool!

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