Well, if you’ve read my blog before or seen my reviews on Goodreads, you already know that I love The Elementals series by Brigid Kemmerer. And what’s not to love? Four attractive brothers who also happen to control water, fire, air, and earth. Four hotties whose personalities and temperaments are as unique as the abilities they possess. You’ve got quiet Chris, who may not say much, but when he does, shut up and listen because you’re about to hear something important. And if you piss him off, get away from the water because you’re gonna get drenched. Hotheaded Gabriel who reacts first and apologizes later…sometimes. He’s as hot as the fire he controls and more than likely to burn someone before they can hurt him. Steady, loyal Nick, who hides himself and his secrets behind an air of calm that becomes a hurricane when you threaten his loved ones. And then there’s Michael. Michael Merrick who put aside his dreams of becoming a professional baseball player to raise his brothers after their parents died. The oldest brother who keeps food on the table and clothes on his brothers’ backs by running a landscaping company, while raising three troublemaker boys and trying to have some semblance of a life and a relationship.
I confess that I didn’t like Michael much in the beginning of Storm. Let’s face it. He seemed like a bit of a jerk and rather controlling of his brothers, and not very nice to Becca. But then came the scene that made me:
You guessed it….
THE PANCAKE SCENE!
Just in case you are not like me and have not re-read that scene 8,991 times, let me give you a refresher:
First, let me set the scene. The morning after a school dance that ends in a massive fight on the athletics field, Chris, Gabriel, and Nick haven’t returned home and Michael has gone to Becca’s (she was Chris’ date to the dance) to find out what happened the night before. Michael is injured and after some doctoring, Becca’s mom insists on feeding him, so he and Becca are parked at the kitchen table eating pancakes:
He picked up his fork and cut a piece of pancake. “Smiley faces?” he said, spearing some with his fork. “Mom gets into her cooking,” said Becca.
Michael must have liked the pancakes. He cut another piece. “I forgot what that was like.”
“Cooking?” she said.
He didn’t look up. “Having a mother.”
I was runny, gooey pancake batter after that. Michael might as well have been eating my pancake heart because he cut it into a million pieces with those three little words. And I totally loved him for it! In one sentence, Meanie Michael became I Miss My Mom Michael, quickly followed by My Favorite Merrick Michael. (Hard to keep them all straight, isn’t it?)
And then that scene was soon followed by:
“There was a fight. Just boys from school. Chris— we ran them off. But something happened. Lightning started chasing us across the field or— I don’t know.” Again, she [Becca] didn’t have the right words. “But when it started, he gave me his cell phone and told me to get his brothers.”
“Jesus, Becca .” Michael set his jaw and looked off across the field, then back at her. “I’m his brother, too.”
Where we see that Mr. In Charge is actually vulnerable and scared and freaking out over what could have happened to his brothers, and we realize he is carrying the weight of the world on his broad, nicely muscled shoulders, and that raising Chris, Nick, and Gabriel is the hardest thing he will ever have to do, and they don’t even appreciate all that he does for them, and now they’re missing! PANIC!
Okay, deep breaths.
So then, Spark comes along with those Michael/Gabriel scenes and just when I think I can’t heart Michael anymore, Kemmerer delivers Spirit and a Michael who reaches out and saves a lonely, hurting kid and puts a roof over his head when no one else in the world seems to want him. Michael is already raising three brothers. He certainly didn’t have to take another person under his wing, but he does and, while I am no Grinch, that just made my heart go:
And with Sacrifice, we lucky, lucky readers are finally going to get inside his head!!! I can’t wait to see the way he thinks, feel what he feels, and see Chris, Nick, Gabriel, and Hunter through his eyes. What’s it like to raise three brothers while trying to hide their elemental abilities and hopefully prevent a war that could kill them all? How does Michael cope with so much responsibility?
Seeing the fifth Elementals book posted on Goodreads.com made me squeal with delight, but then I really looked at the title, and my eyes narrowed, and my heart did this odd constricted thing, and I might have stopped breathing for a half a minute.
Oh no, no, no, no. I do not like the sound of that at all. That is a very foreboding word. What or, more importantly, who exactly is being sacrificed???? It better not be my precious Michael! We already know that he’s a throw-himself-on-the-grenade type of guy. He would do anything – ANYTHING – to protect his brothers. This could be bad, very, very bad. Kemmerer wouldn’t kill off a Merrick brother, would she? WOULD SHE????
Clearly, I am going to be on tranquilizers until Sacrifice is released (and yes, possibly sporting one of those oh-so stylish straitjackets), but even a potential emotional breakdown is worth it for a chance to see the world from Michael Merrick’s point of view.
In the meantime, I will be stockpiling tissues and counting down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until Michael’s book is firmly clenched in my greedy, obsessed, possibly neurotic, and totally in love hands, which according to online posts is tentatively scheduled for October 2014. It can’t come soon enough!
In the meantime, Nick Merrick’s book, Secret (#4 in The Elementals series) comes out next Tuesday. Check out my post about that awesome book and pick up a copy next Tuesday!