Published by Kensington on August 28, 2012
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
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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.