Secret, The Elementals #4

Okay, so as promised, here is my review of Secret, the 4th book in The Elementals series by Brigid Kemmerer.

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But IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE FIRST 3 BOOKS AND THE NOVELLAS…

STOP!

Stop reading this post, go buy the books, then call in sick to work or school, lock your doors, turn off your phone, ignore your inbox, and start reading. When you are finished, then come back and read this blog.

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS (ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVEN’T READ BREATHLESS).

You’ve been warned 😉

 

Nick Merrick has a secret, a secret so big he lives in total fear that his brothers will find out what he is hiding. The stress is tying him in knots, while his potential boyfriend is making him come undone. It’s a battle that unfurls into all out war, and it’s a guessing game as to who will be left standing when the final page is turned.

I literally couldn’t put this book down. The pace was terrific without feeling rushed, but also heightened enough during the fights that I couldn’t read fast enough to find out what was going to happen.

Kemmerer deals with a sensitive issue in this fourth installment of The Elementals Series, and she handles it with sensitivity and dignity and in a way that the reader feels every emotion that Nick feels. Kemmerer portrays Nick’s struggle so well and so realistically. I have read so many LGBT books where the character realizes he is gay and five pages later he is totally fine with it and is in a great relationship ten pages later. I hate those books. So unrealistic, but Nick’s fear of coming out to his brothers is so real, so tangible. I could feel it in every page and every thought he had. And the tension doesn’t stop when the secret comes out. I loved Michael’s reaction and Chris??? OMG, if I knew how to insert GIFs, I’d have little bursting hearts all over this review. And when a reader feels an irrepressible urge to punch a fictional, nonexistent person in the face, you know that is some damn good writing. Kemmerer stays true to the characters her fans have come to know and love. Their strengths, weaknesses, triumphs, and failures are laid out for us to see from one chapter to the next.

But just because Nick’s secret was revealed in Breathless, don’t think that Secret doesn’t have plenty of surprises and OH MY GOD moments. A complete jerk and an enemy of the Merricks becomes a well-rounded character who develops into someone the readers can relate to and sympathize with. One of the biggest surprises for me was Quinn. I confess I have never liked her. I thought she was an obnoxious, reactive drama queen and I hated that sweet Nick had started dating her. I have to admit, I am still not crazy about her, but after Secret I do have sympathy for her and the terrible abuse she has suffered from those who should love her the most.

Kemmerer once again takes characters that could be flat and forgettable and turns them into these amazing (fictional) people who tug our heartstrings and make our eyes leak, and she leaves plenty of questions for upcoming Elemental books (notice I used plural because I am hoping, praying, pleading that Michael’s book is not the last in this fresh, original, excellent series).

Pre-order this book now and have the tissues handy! And if Nick’s self-doubt and pain don’t move you, go to a doctor and get your humanity checked. This is going to be on every Top 10 YA and paranormal must read list of 2014!

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