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Hope everyone has a GREAT EASTER or PASSOVER or just lovely weather- Spring I hope or Fall if you are in that part of the world! If you are getting a break YAHOO! I'll be out of internet service for the next several days. My mom lives in the dark ages!
See you next week!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Spark The Elemental Series by Brigid Kemmerer Review

Spark The Elemental Series

by Brigid Kemmerer
Amazon, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound
Goodreads Summary:
Gabriel Merrick plays with fire. Literally.

Sometimes he can even control it. And sometimes he can’t. Like the fire that killed his parents.

Gabriel has always had his brothers to rely on, especially his twin, Nick. But when an arsonist starts wreaking havoc on their town, all the signs point to Gabriel. Only he’s not doing it.

More than Gabriel’s pride is at stake -- this could cost him his family, maybe his life. And no one seems to hear him. Except a shy sophomore named Layne, a brainiac who dresses in turtlenecks and jeans and keeps him totally off balance. Layne understands family problems, and she understands secrets. She has a few of her own.

Gabriel can’t let her guess about his brothers, about his abilities, about the danger that’s right at his heels. But there are some risks he can’t help taking.

The fuse is lit…

When I read Spark I couldn't believe it was from the same author that wrote Storm. They are as different from each other as the boys they are written about. But, Brigid Kemmerer is a talented author and the emotion in Spark is so raw and on the surface just waiting for you to rub it the wrong way so Gabriel can lash out at you.  He wears a heavy cloak of guilt for something that happened when he had no control over his powers, when he was still a kid. And he blames himself every single minute of the day and believes all of his brothers do, too. Especially Michael, his oldest brother who is more parent to the boys than anything. 

This is a really hard review for me to write as I loved this novel and read it in a few hours. I never write the best reviews of the books I love. It's not one that's easy to put down. Gabriel could be off putting if you didn't know how much he was really hurting inside. In some ways, he's never gotten past that day his parents died in the fire he started. The one he lost control of, that killed them. And he feels like everything is his fault. Nicky is the good twin. Gabriel feels like he's the bad one. He brought all the trouble down on them. He's the reason Michael has to be their parent instead of their brother. And instead of waiting around to hear it, he goes on the offensive and is obnoxious at times, picking a fight with anyone he can to keep from hearing what he already thinks he knows.

One of those fights is over Nicky's new girlfriend who doesn't just sit and listen, she fires back. And for the first time in his life Nicky and Gabriel aren't talking to each other. In fact, Gabriel is barely staying at home. He crashes at Hunter's (yeah, he's in this one too). Unbelievably, Hunter becomes a friend to Gabriel. They hang out and play X-box. They don't talk about feelings, they just work out and do guy stuff. 

Then  Layne enters Gabriel's life. She's the girl that everyone thinks is a freak because she wears turtlenecks all the time. She sits next to Gabriel in math and he asks in a not too nice way to borrow a pencil after he breaks his in frustration. They have to trade papers to grade a quiz and she sees that all his answers are wrong, but knows he always gets A's (because he and Nicky trade places on test days). Something makes her change his answers so he gets a better grade and he doesn't understand why. This intrigues him. Then, unknowingly, he helps her brother from getting beat up and she agrees to tutor him. Things are off to a rough start. Layne has her own secrets and her own emotional scars.

Gabriel and Layne make a great couple, a balm for each other's wounds but they are both so defensive, the dance they play "are you hurting me or being cautious" takes a long time for them to learn. Accusations about the arson fires come from his brothers and more hurt is added on top of the already soul deep wounds. I'd be staggering under the weight of the hurt Gabriel carries around with him, but he is astoundingly strong. Layne has a strong belief in his innocence.  And she risks her father's anger to get him help.

The romance is sweeter, gentler in Spark despite the title. But for two damaged people, the healing that happens is more the fire. I loved this novel as much as Storm but in different ways. While Storm was smoking hot in the romance and the adventure was fast paced, Spark was slower paced and an emotional, heart tugging novel. There was still a huge amount of adventure but there was a lot of emotion. I wanted to gather both main characters up and hug them. 

I still want to give those Merrick boys a Mom to love and take care of them so they can have home cooked meals and wash their clothes and listen to them. And yeah, mainly give them the hugs they need. 
I have to be honest and say, I still don't like Hunter. I think the author has her work cut out for her to make me care for him in even the smallest amount that I do for those Merrick boys. But given this novel, I just don't have any doubts that she can do it. I'm just sayin' she's got her work cut out for her. She's made him pretty detestable. 

Oh, and I still want Michael to have his own novel!! Are you guys with me or what? I mean if Hunter gets one....(Brigid Kemmerer is probably tired of hearing from me!)

Thanks to Kensington Publishing for the copy of the novel for review. I received no compensation for my review. The opinions expressed in my review are my own.

Heather

17 comments:

  1. This series is fanfreaking amazing!! And I agree, I was blown away by this book since it was so different than the first! I loved them both for very different reason. But Gabriel now and forever has a place in my heart!

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    1. Mine too! Even a bigger space than any of the others except maybe Michael. I could see a Noah breakdown in his future.

      Heather

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  2. SO GOOD HEATHER! I'm pumped you loved this book as much as I did, I'm just madly in love with Gabriel. Reading his story had me all over the emotional map and I loved every second of it. I agree that this book felt entirely different from book one, and that's something I appreciated because Gabriel is such a different character from Chris. I'm all for Michael getting a story, and maybe Nick too, with his book just running parallel to the Gabriel's book. Bottom line: More Merrick boys please!

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    1. Wait a minute, is Nick not getting his own book??? I thought that was a given!!! And man does Michael need his own story! After reading your review, I knew I couldn't write a review even close to yours. I wanted to say, refer to the review at your blog, but I agreed to review it so I had to write a review. It still didn't say what I felt.

      Heather

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  3. You know how much I liked Storm, but I loved this one even more. I wanted to hug these characters too, especially Gabriel. This was an emotional one, but I love those kinds of reads.

    Did you see this? A Nick novella coming out next year!
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15819003-untitled-nick-merrick-novella

    I'm all for a book for Michael, just not sure how she would do it and have it be YA since he's older. Hmmm...

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    Replies
    1. He only got a novella??? I was hoping for a full story!
      I want all the Merrick boys to have full stories. But yes, I wanted to hug them too.

      Michael's story would have to be New Adult. Go to The Bewitched Bookworms. They had a post on New Adult this weekend. It's like a bridge between YA and Adult. Michael would fit perfectly in that category.

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    2. I was actually thinking that myself about the New Adult, but I wasn't sure if he was just past that age or not. I think that could work though :-)

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  4. One more thing...I know you're not a fan of Hunter, but did you read his novella? It was released at the end of July. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13503581-fearless

    Note from author regarding "Fearless": "While the events in this book take place before Storm Elementals 1, I recommend reading it after Storm. This is Hunter's story before he meets the Merricks, so it's full of spoilers if you haven't read Storm yet. :-)"

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    1. I didn't read Hunter's story yet. Did it make you like him? I'll grab it tonight and read it. I know he's getting a full book. But I thought Nick was too. PLEASE let Nicky get his own book!

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    2. I liked that we got to know more of his background story and a little more understanding of why he is the way he is. I will say though that I wish it had been longer. It's a quick read and I wanted a little more, but still a good short story.

      I would love a full book for Nick too! I hope she does one like she's doing for Hunter.

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  5. Btw... you write excellent reviews! I can tell you loved this book and that makes me want it more. Oh you and Jenny have me wanting to read this series so bad! Oh and I'm so curious if she does make you like Hunter. I feel that way about Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series. I would hate a character and then in the next book love them. So, even that got me wanting this series!!

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    1. Melissa-
      As you have made me want to pick up so many PNR and UF series it's only right that I influence you to pick up this series. You should really read this series. You are gonna love it, I'm telling you. Jenny told you!
      Get it!!

      Heather

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  6. I grabbed a copy of "Storm" from the library when I saw it after reading your review. Very excited to read it! I love books with sexy brothers. ;) I'm just trying to survive the next few days so I can enjoy it then.

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    1. Oh Rummanah, I hope you get through the next few days!
      I'll say a little prayer to the Universe! Through some good Karma out your way. Hope you find a chance to read Storm soon!

      Heather

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  7. I keep hearing so much about this sexy boys and I am remiss to say that I haven't met them yet. Who is this Michael you speak so highly of? And I am all for a sweetter and gentler romance!

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  8. Bah - everyone keeps raving about this series - I NEED to get with the program. When I see you say that you don't know what to write because you liked something so much - that equals adding it to the TBR list!!!

    - Jessica @ Book Sake

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  9. I really enjoyed getting to know Gab more in this one and boy was it hot

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