ARC Review: Spirit (Elemental #3.0)Spirit (Elemental #3.0) by Brigid Kemmerer
Published by Kensington on May 28, 2013
Pages: 301
Format: eBook
Source: Netgalley
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With power comes enemies. Lots of them.

Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.

He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.

Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.

With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust…

Regina’s Review:

Spirit was a bit of a ride for me. For most of this story I felt like I was breathing with cinder blocks on my chest, waiting for the next drop. I felt like I was behind a glass wall, screaming at Hunter to make the right decisions. I wanted an insta-stick worm hole that I could toss on the wall and step through to guide his thoughts.  This roller coaster ride of high anxiety, sexual tension, rage and despair had my adrenaline glands pumping overtime. Hunter faces so many set backs and emotional highs and lows throughout, that I was anticipating his spirit to break. This book features Hunter as the MC once again, and I was a little put off by that going into it. Hunter has been my least favorite character in this series even though Brigid managed to warm me up to him in Fearless. That aside, I went into this book knowing that the caliber of Brigid Kemmerer’s writing would be enough to make up for the latter.

Hunter is a Fifth. People are drawn to him. The good and the bad. The last lesson Hunter’s father ever taught him was to use people before they used him, and Hunter hasn’t had an easy time playing the cards he was dealt with this advice in mind. Hunter lacks the rigorous, desensitizing training that most Fifths go through at puberty so his conscience is constantly warring with what he was trained to believe was his duty by his father, and what he feels in his heart. As a Guide, Hunter’s duty is to kill all full Elementals without a second thought. This installment picks up where Breathless left off, and we are drawn back into the complex thoughts and motivations of Hunter Garrity.
Hunter is mentally battling everything out in this novel, from his questionable relationship with the Merrick brothers to his precarious relationship with his mother and grandparents. Hunter’s bumpy existence turns into a cyclone of sorts when a couple of kindred spirits blow into town.  Meet Kate and Silver. Both are Fifths coming to pick up where the other Guides left off,  and wipe out the Merricks. Silver is in his early twenties, and of the sexy terminator variety, accent and all. Kate is no older than Hunter and is still trying to earn her stripes.  When Kate becomes acquainted with Hunter, she may be on a mission to kill and obtain information, but the pull her and Hunter feel for each other is undeniable, and leads both of them to question their allegiance. The mind games between these two takes reconnaissance to new levels, and Hunter can’t seem to catch a break in life or love.
 In Spirit, we see Hunter spiral down into a full blown dark night of the soul, and even Michael Merrick can’t console him despite his efforts. From trouble at school, a falling out at home, to questions of loyalty; Hunter is repeatedly pushed to his psychological limits. When it rains, it pours would be an understatement for Hunter in this novel, but we all know what comes after a storm. A rainbow. Vindication and security are Hunter’s pot of gold at the end of this book, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the ride.
P.S. If you’re HOT for Gabriel Merrick like me, Brigid is kind and throws us a few bones in the second half of Spirit. 🙂
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Breathless (Elemental #2.5)Breathless (Elemental #2.5) by Brigid Kemmerer
Published by Kensington on April 30, 2013
Pages: 65
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
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Nick Merrick is supposed to be the level-headed one. The peacemaker. Since it’s just him and his three hotheaded brothers against the world, that’s a survival tactic.

But now he’s got problems even his brothers can’t help him survive.

His so-called girlfriend, Quinn, is going quick as mercury from daring to crazy. Meanwhile, Quinn’s dancer friend Adam is throwing Nick off balance, forcing him to recognize a truth he’d rather shove back into the dark.

He can feel it—-the atmosphere is sizzling. Danger is on the way. But whatever happens next, Nick is starting to find out that sometimes nothing you do can keep the peace.

Regina’s Review:

That moment when you’re reading a book, and a couple of chapters in something “clicks” and leaves you <insert sharp intake of breath here> Breathless? Yeah, this installment in the Elemental series gives bold significance to the title from the start.
This book had a different feel than the rest for me. I felt more like a voyeur, vicariously experiencing something forbidden through the thoughts of Nick Merrick, Gabriel’s identical twin. Nick is our cool, calm, and collected brother next to our vesuvian like Gabriel. In tense situations, Gabriel usually tries to feed off the promise of violence in the air where Nick tries to disperse it. They are appropriately coined ”polar opposites” in every sense of the word.
Nick shares this novella with Quinn, and her character is like a breath of fresh air. I loved Quinn’s attitude in the previous novels, and was glad we were given a chance to bond with her and see what colors her personality. Her less than desirable home life and struggles with her self-esteem make her a curiously perfect match for Nick Merrick. Nick is sweet and patient, where Quinn is temperamental and harsh. Nick and Quinn seem to balance each other out, until a third wheel is thrown into the mix.  Nick and Quinn are both struggling with what makes them unique as a person on top of their separate family dramas, and when boundaries are pushed and new revelations bring back old memories for Quinn and new longings for Nick, this Merrick twin is forced to step out of his comfort zone.
Brigid is awesome at connecting with the reader through her characters, and making seemingly individual struggles so relatable. A secret is revealed in this novella that bonds Nick and Quinn together in a new light. The atmosphere is thick with tension and buried desires coming up for air in this installment of the Elemental series. It’s Nick’s turn to shine, and Brigid Kemmerer uses the element of suprise to take our breath away.
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Book Review: Spark (Elemental #2) by Brigid KemmererSpark (Elemental #2) by Brigid Kemmerer
Published by Kensington on August 28, 2012
Pages: 345
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
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Regina’s Review:

Gabriel Merrick has consumed me.
Gabriel Merrick starts out as a guilty pleasure. Like a song you hear on the radio that you hate, but can’t get it out of your head so you end up actually liking it.  On first impression, he is a (very attractive) prig and deserves to be slapped for his crude humor and ne’er do well ways. But smart girls like me (and Brigid Kemmerer) know there’s always some sexy redeeming qualities under that defensive armor, and Gabriel Merrick’s silver lining will melt your heart.
When I first started reading Spark, I was still crushing hard on Chris Merrick and was a bit frustrated when I realized I wasn’t going to get any more one on one time with him or Becca. Frustration was quickly replaced with a burning desire for more of this intense twin. We first meet this Merrick brother (Nick’s twin) in Storm (Elemental #1) and become acquainted with his bad boy attitude and spit-fire wit. It’s in Spark (Elemental #2), that we discover there’s more to Gabriel than his hot jock looks and lady killer ways.
 This book basically picks up where Storm left off, but from a different point of view. We are introduced to Layne, your average nerdy girl next door who has a few secrets of her own and is carrying the weight of a tragic past. Her family may be loaded, but money doesn’t matter when it comes to trying to keep her dysfunctional family a-float.  Back at the Merrick house, Gabriel is experiencing family feuds of his own and can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Gabriel and Layne’s worlds collide out of one’s necessity and ones compassionate curiosity. Oddly enough, this girl who is far from Gabriel’s usual type seems to lite a fire in his heart and inspires him in noble ways. The embers slowly burn between these two and their falling for each other is heartfelt and sexy.
  Barns, fires, parties, self-loathing, MATH, angst, intense emotions, forbidden love and deep character development are just a few of the ingredients that made this my favorite Elemental novel yet. This novel takes us through Gabriel’s inner struggle to come to terms with his power and control and Layne’s struggle to come into herself. Gabriel may harness the power of fire, but it was his desire to be better and his feelings for Layne that brought on the heat.
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Book Review: Fearless (Elemental #1.5)Fearless (Elemental #1.5) by Brigid Kemmerer
Published by Kensington on July, 31,2012
Pages: 59
Format: eBook
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Being a force of nature doesn't keep you safe . Hunter Garrity is used to watching his back. The kids at school sense something different about him... And they're right.

Hunter has powers that have nothing to do with how hard he can throw a punch.

Maybe that's what Clare Kasten is picking up. She s shy, quiet, and intense, but she's sought him out. There's no telling what she wants from him.

But Hunter knows enough to sense a secret when it's close, and getting close to Clare is a danger he's ready to face.

Regina’s Review:

I was reluctant to do a review on a book strictly about Hunter from the Elemental series because I’ve been holding a grudge. When Hunter’s character was first introduced in Storm (Elemental#1), I was gung-ho Team Chris and realized Hunter was going to put the Isosceles in C&B’s relationship. Hunter was introduced pretty early in the story, and I was desperate for Chris and Becca to gain more ground with each other before a wild card was thrown into the mix. In Fearless, Brigid Kemmerer has managed to make me admit that I jumped the gun in begrudging Hunter.

In Storm, we discover that Hunter is a 5th.  A ”Spirit” who can tap into Earth/Wind/Fire/Water. People are intrinsically drawn to Hunter because of his special energy. In this novella,  Hunter is 16 and ready for his militant father to show him the secrets of his element and what exactly being a “Spirit” means for his future. Hunter’s father has laid down specific rules and guide lines for everything in Hunter’s life. Everything, EXCEPT girls. When Hunter meets Clare, a shy beauty from class, events start unfolding like an after-school special. Hunter’s heart and obedience to his father are both tested.

Through shades and lines of the human psyche, Brigid shows us what Hunter is made of. Hunter’s powerful, yet subdued persona are what make him so likable to me in this story. Brigid paints an insightful and sympathetic portrait of Hunter, and I  was struck by her ability to capture the nuances of a 16 year old boy’s budding romantic feelings, and the inner struggle of maturity verses defiance towards one’s father. From fluttering heart beats to  killer instincts, Hunter is FEARLESS.

 

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Book Review: Elemental (Elemental # 0.5)Elemental by Brigid Kemmerer
Published by Kensington on March 27, 2012
Pages: 50
Format: eBook
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Earth, Fire, Air, Water – they are more than you dream.As an air Elemental, 17-year-old Emily Morgan doesn’t have much power. That’s okay—she knows what happens to kids who do.

Like Michael Merrick. He’s an earth Elemental, one with enough power to level cities. Which makes him sexy, dangerous, and completely off limits. At least according to Emily’s family.

But her summer job puts her in close contact with Michael, and neither of them can help the attraction they feel. When forces of nature like theirs collide, one misstep could get someone killed. Because Emily’s family doesn’t just want her to stay away from him.

They want him dead.

If you are like me, you are always wondering, “Do I really need to read the 0.5 or 1.5 or 5.5 novella? Is it worth my .99 cents???” More often than not, the answer has been “YES!”  for me. Elemental is worth the read (and buck) not because it is integral to understanding the rest of the series, but because it is integral to understanding Michael’s character.  Insightful and romantic, Brigid Kemmerer sweeps me off my feet with this installment about Michael, the oldest of the Merrick brothers in the Elemental series. She gives us a short and sweet peek into what makes this Super-Brother tick. We first meet Emily in this novella. She is a less powerful Elemental and her family wants to do away with the “dangerous” Merrick brothers. When Emily and Michael meet for the first time, their star-crossed fates are sealed. Michael is earthy and attractive, and doesn’t seem to fit the mold her family has cast of him. Emily is brave and timid, and doesn’t seem to despise Michael like the rest of her family. One destined encounter turns into attraction and understanding, and ignites their curiosity for more. From brawls to batting cages, Brigid hit a home run with this one.
This Romeo and Juliet like story left me satisfied yet wanting more. It leaves off where the first full book in Brigid’s Elemental series begins.  Note: This should be read AFTER Storm (Elemental #1).
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