Thursday, January 9, 2014

Under Pressure - A Review of SECRET by Brigid Kemmerer

(Goodreads Blurb)
Nowhere is safe. Not even home…

Nick Merrick is stretched to the breaking point.

Keep his grades sky-high or he’ll never escape his hometown.
Keep his brother’s business going or the Merricks will be out on the street.
Keep the secret of where he’s going in the evenings from his own twin—-or he’ll lose his family.

Keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who’s supposed to be his “girlfriend’s” partner.

Of course there’s also the homicidal freak Quinn has taken to hanging around, and the Elemental Guide counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers.

There’s a storm coming. From all sides. And then some.

Nick Merrick, can you keep it together?

Huge thanks to Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.  

The Story...

The Merrick brothers are all in danger.  They are pure Elementals, they can control the elements of Earth, Water, Air, and Fire respectively.  The Guides have been sent to their small town in Maryland and have orders to kill any pure Elemental that shows a display of their power.

Recently Nick has admitted to himself and to Quinn, his pretend girlfriend that he is really into guys.  One guy actually.  Adam.  Quinn's dance partner.  But now what?  Can he really come out to his family?  Will his brothers accept him if they know the truth?  Would Nick be able to handle the pain of rejection that he feels almost certain to come his way from his twin Gabriel?

While Nick wrestles with his own demons, a Guide more ruthless than ever begins clearing a path to get the Merrick brothers separated and able to be dealt with.  With everyone he loves in danger, Nick feels pressure like never before.

What Worked...

I am in awe of the delicate way that the author handled this potentially combustible topic.  This was not just a story about two dudes getting each other off.  This was a relationship with budding seeds of trust that had been planted and needed to be cultivated and that grew into something spectacular.  It iss a story about life and facing prejudice, and most importantly, finding acceptance in unexpected places.

This series is completely action packed.  From the moment I reach about 25% of these stories, I am unable to set them down.  The tension builds and expands.  The threats are real and the danger in life-threatening.  The Merrick brothers are completely swoony.  They are sweet and protective and would kill to save someone they love.  They lost their parents a few years ago, but are now willing to expand their family to include those who need one.  These boys have become very close to my heart (I am a mom of three boys) and I absolutely drop everything as soon as these books become available.

What Didn't...

My only complaint is that after finally getting me to love Hunter, he wasn't a in this story much.  That being said, Hunter was the first to accept Nick's secret and I loved the talk they had after Hunter's discovery.  There was nothing that didn't work.  It is an amazing story.

5 out of 5 stars

About the Author...

Brigid Kemmerer finds the time to write somewhere between caring for her family and working at her day job, but sometimes she ends up mothering her coworkers and managing her family. Storm: The Elemental Series is her first novel.

Author's Website

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Secret on Goodreads

Available January 28, 2014

Secret (Elemental) on Amazon
Secret (Elemental) on Barnes & Noble
Secret (Elemental) on iTunes


The author lists her own playlist at the end of the book.
Demons by Imagine Dragons
Hey Pretty Girl by Kip Moore
Same Love by Macklemore ft Ryan Lewis
Cough Syrup by Young the Giant
Get Your Shine On by Florida Georgia Line
Follow Your Arrow by Kacey Musgraves
#thatPOWER by feat. Justin Bieber
Bruises by Train ft Ashley Monroe
Brave by Sara Bareilles
Stubborn Love by The Lumineers
All This Time by OneRepublic
As I was reading Nick's story, there was one song running through my head as Nick's theme song.  Nick feels pressure from his teachers, to help his brother's business, to rescue Quinn from her home life, to keep people safe from the Guides, etc.  Plus, his element is Air which also works well with the idea of "pressure".  

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