Book Reviews

Redemption by Fire (By Fire 1) by Andrew Grey at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 07-May-2012

Book Blurb

Dirk Krause is an asshole of the first degree. His life is a hell of his own making, and he makes everyone around him just as miserable. When he's injured on the job while fighting a fire, he's nearly unbearable to the hospital staff, and of course no one from his unit cares enough to visit. Lee Stockton is the new guy at the station, so he gets saddled with the job of bringing Dirk a sympathy bouquet from the guys at the firehouse. To Dirk's surprise, Lee sees through him like a pane of glass and doesn't take any of his crap. Lee's determined to get Dirk to stop being a dick just to push everyone away. When their fighting turns to fucking, will the fireworks shine brightly on a possible relationship or leave them with nothing but ashes?

Book Review

Starting with the cover, which is about as gorgeous as it is hot, this book pulled me in. Of course, as soon as I started reading, the cover and everything else were quickly forgotten, as my fascination with the characters took over. As common as closeted men may be, they are not easy to write, and Andrew Grey did a great job at capturing these guys’ essence in the story. What they go through is not easy, and it takes them a while to figure out what is really important. For me, that made the book and the story all the more real.

Dirk is described as an asshole, and in many ways he is. However, he is not an irredeemable one. He is not a man who would kick puppies or steal from you, he is, after all, a very committed fire fighter who saves lives every single day, a man who will risk his own life to rescue a baby from a fire when it seems impossible. No, his ‘assholeness’ is of a subtler kind, which makes it much more insidious and difficult to fight. He is emotionally insecure, totally repressed, has denied who he is for years, and is, basically, very unhappy. Rather than try to work things out, he uses his anger and fear to push others away. Extremely successful at this, his colleagues recognize his professional abilities, but his personality causes a lot of friction and makes them think of Dirk as an asshole. Honestly? I cannot blame them!

Lee is the complete opposite. He is friendly, outgoing, has good relationships with his colleagues, and has only one problem: he is attracted to Dirk. Dealing with someone who is in the closet as deeply as Dirk is tough, and Lee, being the loving man he is, suffers a lot. He also does not take sh*t from Dirk, and stands up for himself and his needs very well. I think that helps Dirk, in the end, admit who he really is. Who could withhold himself from a gorgeous, amazing man like Lee?

The scenes between Dirk and Lee are intense, extremely hot, and when they do finally make love the depth of their emotions flares up to new heights. My only regret? While the ending of this book was emotionally very satisfying, there is lots more that can, and I am sure will, happen. I cannot wait for the next volume to be published so I can find out what else happens in Dirk and Lee’s lives. One thing I am sure of is that it will be just as intense and wonderful as the initial stages we got to see in this book. If you like fire fighters, men who struggle with their identity (both sexual and otherwise), and if emotionally intense and, ultimately, rewarding relationships are your thing, you will probably love this book as much as I did.

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreasmpinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and audio
Length Novella, 96 pages/24789 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 02-May-2012
Price $3.99 ebook, $6.95 audiobook
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