Speculating on SpecFic

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Breathless

Breathless - Brigid Kemmerer Nicholas Merrick has always intrigued me. He's always been solid and dependable in the previous books: the cool-headed one who diffuses the tension between his three brothers. So it was a surprise for me to get inside his head and find it so tumultuous.Constantly being the responsible one has taken its toll on Nick - he's under tremendous pressure to act a certain way and be someone he's realising he just ... isn't. He's been hanging out with Quinn a lot, he thinks dating her is a Good Thing, but Nick is increasingly aware of the lies he's built his life on.The foundations start crumbling when Nick meets Alex, a friend of Quinn's who shares her passion for dancing.Nick's insecurity, his confusion and reluctance to make waves are endearing, and I love him for it. The surprise for me in this book is Quinn, who isn't as shallow and inane as I'd initially pegged her to be. It's enlightening to see from her point of view: her pain, caused by a horrible family life; her fear of losing Becca to Chris and her jealousy of their relationship; the feelings of inadequacy brought on by the way people treat her. There's a lot going on here, and I loved the opportunity to see a bit of Quinn's life.I also really liked Alex, and I hope he's in future books (in Siege, Nick's book?). Although we didn't get to know him as well as I would have liked, he seems like a great guy and I want to know more about him. He's so comfortable with himself, and I think he'll be a great source of support for Nick.I haven't read any of the other Elemental novellas - I was sceptical that Brigid could bring the same magic to a novella that she can to a 300+ page novel. But the novella delivers - it's an emotional, realistic glimpse into Nick's life that has me desperate for more of his story.  Now I'm looking forward to not only reading Spirit, the third full length book in the series, and Siege when it's out next year, but also the other two novellas, Elemental and Fearless.While not required reading for fans of the Elemental series, Breathless answers a few lingering questions and (I suspect) sets up the next two books of the series quite well. Definitely recommended for readers who can't get enough of the Merrick brothers.A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.You can read more of my reviews at Speculating on SpecFic.