Friday, January 24, 2014

[ARC Review]: "Secret"

Secret by Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: K-Teen (January 28, 2014)
Series: Elemental, 4
Genre: YA Paranormal

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?

Where to Buy*:
More Info:

Series Reviews:
Storm (#1) -- TBQ
Spark (#2) -- TBQ
Spirit (#3) -- TBQ

My Review:

After reading Breathless, we found out that Nick is hiding something. Now, finally, in Secret, it all comes out. It's not pretty, it's not easy, and it's definitely not painless. Nick gets hurt, Gabriel gets hurt, even Adam and Quinn get hurt from it. But it needed to come out; Nick is gay.

I know I don't read m/m romances, but it's not because I'm against gays. To be honest, I'm more neutral than anything – but that's an entirely different story, and something that has nothing to do with this review. If anything, my reason for avoiding m/m is due more to the fact that I'm just not sure where to start, how to find the type of story, characters, and writing I would like. But, again, I'm getting off subject, sorry about that.

I'll admit, for a few brief moments after Breathless, I was worried that I wouldn't like Nick's book. Then I realized, two things. First, this is Kemmerer's writing; she could take the story ANYWHERE and I'd still love it. And two? I can't hide the fact that I really liked Adam and Nick's first kiss. Wow. And just that quickly, I was as anxious for Nick's book as I was for all the others.

Looking back now, I'm not sure why I hesitated, even for that brief time. Secret was everything I expect from Kemmerer and so much more!

Like with the rest of this series, Secret packs a punch – raw emotions, great characters, enough action and suspense that this should be a movie (assuming it wasn't butchered, like many books-turned-movies are), and, yes, a good dose of heat and desire. It's a YA series; there's nothing graphic (though, dirty girl that I am, I'll admit, I would happily have took some graphic somethin'-somethin', both in Gabriel and, now, Nick's books!). But man, does Kemmerer know how to write such fantastic sexual tension and desire, even without turning it into erotica!

I loved seeing Nick and Adam trying to figure out their relationship. Nick's new at it, but Adam's not exactly a pro, either. They both blush, which I loved watching, especially with Nick. They had their sweet moments, were I almost wanted to cry, and they also had their really hot moments, when it was literally slammed-into-the-wall passion. Either way, I was a very, very happy reader!

Adam was so sweet; he's perfect for Nick (and Nick is perfect for him, of course). I admit, I even started crushing on Adam a bit. I never once felt uncomfortable while reading this book; this was love, fresh and new and uncertain, no matter who the couple was.

I have to admit that Tyler really took me through a variety of emotions. I was very uncertain through the first part of the book, not sure which side he was on, what he might do to Quinn, etc. But looking back on it, why didn't I simply trust Kemmerer? I should know by now that she always makes it work in the end, and she did. Tyler changed, which did surprise me, but also made me smile. I think I liked the interactions between Tyler and Quinn almost as much as I did Nick and Adam.

I won't spoil anything, but I will say this – be prepared when you pick this one up. Reading Secret knocked me on my ass more than once, surprised at the new turn of events Kemmerer created. And I loved every minute of it. I flipped the pages like a woman possessed, needing the next surprise, yet dreading it, not wanting the book to end. When I finally hit the last page, I may have threw a fit. Just a small one. * pauses * Okay, fine, a LARGE fit. Is it October yet? I want Michael's book. No, scratch that, I want more Elementals. PERIOD. More Nick, more Gabriel, more Hunter – heck, even more Chirs. I just want more, Brigid, more, do you hear me?

As with Gabriel and Hunter's books, Secret is going on my keeper shelf when it releases in print, and I'll be putting this one towards the top of my best of 2014 books. I'm already twitching, waiting until the official release date when I can share Nick and Adam's story with my friends. I'll have to put duct-tape over my mouth until they've finished the book though. And that, my fellow readers, is always the sign of an amazing book—dying to share it with others, ready to reread it at the drop of a hat, and wanting your own copy to pet and cuddle and lovingly mark favorite passages in. I'll be doing all of these things with Nick's book for years to come!

4 1/2 STARS! 

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I recieved an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest opinion.

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I can't tell you how much I LOVED this book, hell, this entire series! I rarely do rereads anymore, but the moment I finished Secret, I had to restrain myself because I wanted to flip back to page 1 and start all over again. Confession: my control only lasted about a day  before I did just that, and loved every minute of the book AGAIN! 

Wickedly Delicious and I even had a very long email discussion about this book while we read it (that was fun, thanks hun!). I'd share it here, but it would need a lot of polishing. We were far too happy to be finally reading Nick's book, and our emails were filled with typos and errors and fan-girl moments . . . Just trust both of us; pick up this series NOW! You won't regret it! 

As you may have noticed, reading Nick and Adam's story actually got me into reading a few M/M romances this month. For that alone, I will always thank Kemmerer. I won't be giving up my M/F romances, but I've found that there are some great M/M romances out there, and I've had a good time exploring the genre. 

Have you read Brigid Kemmerer yet? Do you read M/M romances, YA or adult? Are you against the genre, or just more unsure of it (like I was)? 

Enjoy!hank B

Until Next Time,


  *TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!


Wickedly Delicious said...

Beautiful review. I still need to get mine together. I had a blast buddy reading this with you! I just love how we have the same thoughts when it comes to this series. I want a TV show with the Merrick brothers not a movie.

The_Book_Queen said...

Thanks, hun! I had a blast, I can't wait to buddy read Michael's book!
Oh, yes, a (well done) TV series would be even better. More Merricks = happy me! :)