I have a lot of love for Ms. Dean’s Secret McQueen series and was very sad to see it end. I relished the last book in the series and took my time reading, hoping to make it last. There were certain characters who I needed to see carry on and Genie, Secret’s magical werewolf sister, was one of them. I was very excited to see a spin-off series in the works for her. Bayou Blues is the first book in the Genie McQueen series and picks up several years after the events in A Secret to Die For.
When your sister has already saved the world, you have an awful lot to live up to.
First off, let me say Genie McQueen is just the type of heroine I look for in Urban Fantasy romance. She’s brave, but fully admits her limitations and is willing to overcome any odd to protect those she feels she has a responsibility for. But really it’s her self- awareness and humor that allows the me as a reader to enjoy seeing events through her eyes and being in her head for 250 pages. As an avid fan of this author this is world is not new to me, but Genie brings something new to the table as she isn’t like her sister in many ways and must prove herself right off the bat. Where Secret was a bad-ass who jumped into all kinds of messes with both feet and eyes wide open, Genie treads a little softer. She’s more hesitant and definitely not a hard, snarky leader like her sister. Not yet at least.
When the story opens Genie is a college student living away from the pack. She has a human boyfriend and no real desire to step into a leadership role for her uncle. This is what her twin brother has been groomed for years, so it’s not really an idea that she has given much thought. She is well-known, I mean she did help her sister save the world from zombies and she’s a werewolf princess to boot, but she has no love for the paparazzi standing on her lawn and invading her life.
The supernatural world is suddenly receiving all kinds of attention and there are hate groups and anti-supe churches popping up all over the place. Genie is called back home when her uncle, the Alpha, starts to receive threats to the pack. The Church of Morning is spewing all kinds of hate across the media and even goes so far as to kidnap a pack member and send a video of him being tortured. It’s not until Genie realizes that no one intends to rush in and rescue him that she decides to take matters into her own hands. She doesn’t especially like the man abducted. Hank is a racist asshole who hasn’t exactly proved his loyalty, but Genie truly believes her pack comes first in everything. So she sets out to find him and bring him home.
Her apparent love interest and partner in this adventure is Wilder Shaw. Brother to Hank and a man who sets her teeth on edge with his flirtatious attitude. I liked Hank. Like really liked Hank. Alpha, but no too alpha, good-looking, flirty and sarcastic, I knew immediately he would be a character I would fall in love with as this series progresses.There is a whole history behind why he left the pack and his time away that I can’t wait to dive into. He and Genie make a good team as they are unraveling the mystery and uncovering exactly what’s going on with the Church of Morning and what they soon find out is years of its abuse and murder of werewolves. It does take a while for them to mesh, but when they did it was like they just clicked.
The Genie who just wanted a normal life with her human boyfriend at the beginning of Bayou Blues evolves into a much different woman by the end. She’s stronger than she knew, and I think realizes that she can be a bad-ass leader in her own right. She surely proved herself by the time this book wrapped up. I look forward to seeing her grow even more.
While I do think this Bayou Blues can be read as a stand-a-lone, with no prior knowledge of the previous series, I do think readers would get more enjoyment out of it if they did decide to start at the beginning with Secret McQueen. I certainly enjoyed myself and am already looking forward to the next release in this series. Black Magic Bayou is expected to release somewhere in December of this year and I am very much looking forward to it. Final Grade- B
I didn’t need to be my sister.
Being me should be enough.