Secret (Elementals #4) - Brigid Kemmerer
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
EARTH. FIRE. AIR. WATER.
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 (Description from Goodreads)
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And the Merrick boys do it again!
I can't express how happy I was when I found out there were going to be more books to this series, especially when I was so sad that two of the fabulous Merrick brothers didn't get their own books. But then this happened and I could jump for joy again. It's definitely worth extending the series.
I had a rocky relationship with Nick. I loved him in Storm, was so damn pissed at him in Spark, was learning to love him again in Spirit...and then his novella happened and I was back in the OMG! NICK! fan club for good. Secret only made that stronger. I love how vulnerable he becomes, when we're inside his head; and how loyal he is to his family - despite the sometimes rocky relationship with Gabriel. But, as a twin myself, I know it happens. You like to think your twin is you in another body, but they don't always do things the way you would.
In terms of characters, I thought Secret was flawless. Nick, Adam, Michael - the other Merricks and their girlfriends - it was all perfect for me. While I'm still not sure I'm a fan of Quinn and I didn't totally warm to Tyler (although I liked him more than Quinn) they all had an edge that just screamed "I'm a 3D character. I have substance." But it was Adam and Nick that blew me away with their love for each other, the way they found comfort in their sexuality and just the whole exploration of self. Nick had his crazy moments, taking on so many secrets and responsibilities - I couldn't blame him for losing his cool every now and then.
But it wasn't all about Nick. I was a little surprised that the main POV switches were only between Nick and Quinn. We usually get the love interests - Boy and Girl in the past - but with Nick's growing feelings for Adam, I was a tad sad we were getting a chance to be in Adam's head too. While I found Quinn's scenes weren't really making me love her any more than before. My biggest problem with Quinn is her constant cries for sympathy. She acted like the only one with issues in the world. And I know teens sometimes need someone else to reach out to them first, to feel like someone cares enough to listen, but it just annoyed me so much.
I really liked this book, and while I LOVED the character development and relationships, I was a little disappointed with the plot. We're introduced to another new Guide at the very start of the story - surprise, surprise, the Guides are coming to town - but then there's nothing for almost the entire book. I know it was important for Nick to come to terms with who he was and what he wanted in life; but the way the Guide story was brushed over - slotted in almost as an afterthought - well, I just wanted more. I love the Merricks, but I don't read the story for them alone. I love the world Brigid Kemmerer has created and I LOVE the tension between the Elementals and the Guides. We've had four books with that tension, I just feel like the wasn't enough continued momentum for that part of the story.
I did really love the semi-cliff hanger. What a shocker! Can't wait for Michael's book, it's going to be epic.
(also posted on Goodreads)