Book Review: Secret by Brigid Kemmerer

Secret (Elemental, #4)

Title: Secret (Elementals #4)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Magic, Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Allen & Unwin (Australia), Kensington Teen (US)
Publication Date: January 2014
Pages: 375
Rating: 4.5 stars

Note: The Australian edition of Secret contains Nick’s novella, Breathless, which introduces the dynamic between Nick and Quinn as well as Adam.

Synopsis (from goodreads):

Nick Merrick is stretched to breaking point. He’s trying to keep his grades sky-high or he won’t get in to college. He’s trying to keep his brother’s business afloat or the Merricks will be out on the street. He’s trying to keep the secret of where he’s going in the evenings from his twin brother Gabriel – or he fears he’ll lose his family. And he’s trying to keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who is his ‘girlfriend’s’ partner.

And then Quinn takes to hanging around his sworn enemy, and an Elemental Guide is counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers. Storms are brewing. On all sides.

SECRETS IN THE WIND. DANGER IN THE AIR.

My Review:

Nick Merrick has been keeping a secret. He’s been having feelings for his girlfriend’s male dance partner and Quinn is the only one who knows. But Quinn has a secret of her own. Her homelike has been getting worse by the day and she feels like she can’t tell everyone just how bad things are with her mother and older brother. The Guides are getting closer and the threat to the Elemental Merrick brothers is imminent. With Tyler, a local teen who has been torturing the brothers for years, popping up and Nick’s secret growing heavy on him, Nick needs to decide who he can trust before things get out of his control.

I’ve been a fan of this series since I read the first book, Storm, and I get more attached to the Merrick clan with each new instalment. This book focuses on the romantic relationships between Nick and Adam as well as Quinn and Tyler. I do enjoy the romance in this series and it felt like it was going back to the start where more of the focus in the novel was romance and less drama. However I found myself missing some of the action and excitement that the Guides bring. In many ways the prologue felt slightly out-of-place – with a discussion between the Guide which caused Hunter so much pain in Spirit but then not being addressed for the rest of the novel.

Whilst the title of this book doesn’t follow the Elemental aspect of previous books, Secret is a perfectly fitting title. Near all the characters in this novel have secrets that they don’t know how to handle. From Nick’s sexuality to Quinn’s family and the part of himself that Tyler is keeping hidden from the world – the theme of secrets was beautifully reiterated throughout the book. One of the things I liked most about this book was how supportive the majority of characters were when faced with other’s secrets.

Overall I enjoyed this book. This novel was a pleasure to read and with a few surprises that I was not expecting (I can’t wait to see the fallout from the ending).  With the focus being more on romance and relationships as opposed to the Elementals vs. Guides battle, Secret felt like it was laying a lot of ground work for the next book in the series. There’s a lot up in the air (no Air Elemental pun intended!),  I can not wait for Michael’s story, Sacrifice.

 Thanks to Allen & Unwin for the review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Booktopia | Book Depository | BookWorld

Check out my reviews for the other books in the Elemental series:

Storm (Elementals #1)

Spark (Elementals #2)

Spirit (Elementals #3)

Novellas: Elemental (Elementals #0.5), Fearless (Elementals #1.5), Breathless (Elementals #2.5)

Book Review: Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer

 

 

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Title: Spirit (Elementals #3)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Magic
Publisher: Kensington (I received an ARC from NetGalley)
Publication Date: May 2013 (Allen & Unwin are publishing Spirit in Australia in June 2013)
Pages: 301
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
With power comes enemies. Lots of them.

Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.

He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.

Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.

With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust…

My Review:

I don’t know how Brigid Kemmerer does it. With every word I read in the Elementals series – be it a full length novel or novella – I fall more in love with the stories, the series plot and especially the characters.
Spirit is Hunter’s story. He’s on the outs with the Merrick brothers, his mother is still weeping over his father’s death six months ago and his grandfather thinks he’s a delinquent – a theory that’s only strengthened when the headmaster rings home after Hunter is accused of assaulting another student.

And then he meets Kate. Sassy and strong, the new student makes Hunter feel like no girl ever has before. But as sexy as the mysterious transfer student is, she’s also secretive and may or may not have a boyfriend. Hunter’s father taught him to use everyone else before they use him but as Hunter gets to know the Elementals he’s starting to question everything he’s ever known.

I wasn’t expecting to love Spirit as much as I did. But I fell in love with how terribly life treats Hunter. He’s only sixteen but has been though so much. He survived a car accident that claimed the lives of his father and uncle, he’s somehow managing to cope with a withdrawn mother and grandfather who doesn’t know how to deal with his tattooed and pierced grandson. And I have to say it’s a fantastic thing for Hunter that he knows people who can draw on the elements to heal…

And through it all Hunter manages to pick himself up and try to carry on as he thinks his father would have wanted him to. His relationships with others are rocky and trust isn’t something that comes easily to the Spirit Elemental. But he evolves throughout the book. His romance with Kate was my favourite relationship to read so far in this series. They’re not conventional but somehow they work so well together.
The Merrick brothers and their other halves are brilliant in this latest instalment of the Elementals series. They add a spark of drama but in the end are there of each other (and Hunter if he lets them) when it storms. I really enjoy how Chris, Becca and Gabriel pop in and despite their happy endings, they aren’t over glamourized as characters. They have their faults and their finding love hasn’t completely changed their personalities.

This is my favourite book in what is quickly becoming one of my favourite series. I can not wait till early next year when the fourth book (Nick’s story!) is released.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon
Book Depository 


Optional Goodies:

— code for free download for the Elementals ebook (available on Kensington site only, through link below):

http://bit.ly/105eIEt

The promo code is: VCARD

It’s active until May 31st.

 

I’m delighted to have participated in the Spirit blog tour hosted by The Midnight Garden. I recommend stopping by and checking out the character interviews, exclusive content and giveaways!

TMG blog tours

Novella Review: Breathless by Brigid Kemmerer

I think I’m going to have to reconsider my former statement on not liking novellas. Because the novellas in the Elemental series (Elemental #0.5, Fearless #1.5 and now Breathless #2.5) are incredible!

Since this story was so short and sweet my review will be too.

Title: Breathless (Elementals #2.5)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Magic
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: 30 April 2013 
Pages: 65
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Too many secrets. Not enough time.

Nick Merrick is supposed to be the level-headed one. The peacemaker. Since it’s just him and his three hot-headed brothers against the world, that’s a survival tactic.

But now he’s got problems even his brothers can’t help him survive.

His so-called girlfriend, Quinn, is going quick as mercury from daring to crazy. Meanwhile, Quinn’s dancer friend Adam is throwing Nick off balance, forcing him to recognize a truth he’d rather shove back into the dark.

He can feel it—-the atmosphere is sizzling. Danger is on the way. But whatever happens next, Nick is starting to find out that sometimes nothing you do can keep the peace.

My Review:

Everytime I read a story from the Elementals series I find myself finding a new favourite character. After finishing Spark (Elementals #2) I was hooked on Gabriel but now it’s his twin, Nick, that I can’t get enough of.

A true testament to Brigid’s writing that a novella of only 65 pages could leave such a profound impression on me.

Nick – the responsible Merrick brother – has a decision to make. Does he stay close by to be there for his family or does he take the chance and break out on his own and go to a college far away when he can just be Nick – and not just known as Gabriel’s brother.

His sort-of girlfriend, Quinn, is making Nick even more uncomfortable with feelings of insecurity, uncertainty and a dash of guilt but he wants to be there for her. He is her sounding board and the perfect gentleman despite her (possibly deserved) reputation as being easy with her affection. And then there’s Adam – Quinn’s dancing partner who is there for Quinn no matter what… and if Nick let’s him would be there for him too.

There’s so much more that happens in this story but I really don’t want to divulge anything too spoilery. It’s just that good! Breathless left me breathless (pardon the pun). It’s short and sweet and has me craving the more of the somewhat forgotten Merrick brother!

Spirit (Elemental #3) comes out on May 28th.

Purchase the ebook from:

Amazon