Title: Redemption by Fire
Author: Andrew Grey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Characters: Dirk Krause, Lee Stockton
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
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?
Dirk knew he wasn’t well-liked by his fellow firemen. He often comes across as a big jerk and he’s knows the people around him think he’s as friendly as a rattlesnake. But when Dirk is injured on the job, he’s surprised by how disliked he really is. None of his fellow firemen bother to check in on him and there isn’t a flower or a card sent to his hospital room. As he spends a day or three alone with no visitors, he comes to the realization of how unpopular he really is. Just when he believes no one really cares for him at all, a handsome young rookie, Lee, from his department comes to check on him. Hurt and feeling more than a little bitter, Dirk isn’t exactly feeling gracious to see Lee, so he does what Dirk does best. He tries to push Lee away with his cruel words and angry demeanor. But try as he might, Lee keeps showing up and looking out for him and helping Dirk with is recovery. As time goes by, Dirk finds it harder to push aside his attraction and the respect he has for Lee. But since Dirk has kept his homosexuality secret from everyone, he’s afraid of the consequences he would have if he comes out of the closet to others.
Lee knew he drew the short end of the stick when he was ‘volunteered’ to check on the injured firefighter, Dirk. Even though Dirk is definitely easy on the eyes, the man is definitely not an easy person to like. Between his razor sharp tongue and his standoffish demeanor, Lee recognizes that Dirk is pushing others aside to hide who he really is. Even though Dirk does everything he can to push Lee away, Lee can’t help but want to help out the lonely Dirk. As their relationship slowly develops between them, Lee becomes determined to break down the wall around Dirk’s heart. Soon Dirk knows he must face up to his sexuality and his attraction to Lee if he really ever wants to have a happy life. Will Dirk have the strength to embrace who he really is or will fear and mistrust keep him in the closet and from having a warm and loving relationship with Lee?
Dirk is definitely a hero that was hard to love. He’s bitter and angry and keeps people at arm’s length at all times. Although he’s a jerk, I did feel sorry for him. His father isn’t exactly father of the year, and it’s understandable why Dirk has isolated himself from others. When he first met Lee, he definitely isn’t on his best behavior. There were times I wanted Lee to shake some sense into Dirk. There were also times I thought Lee was too good for the bitter and surly Dirk. Lee certainly has a heart of gold and a beautiful soul, and I wanted Lee to have someone worthy of him. Although, Dirk does come around, in some ways I never really warmed up to him. I don’t know if it’s because the story might have been rushed a little or what, but I never really connected with this couple together as a whole.
Andrew Grey is a must-read author for me. I love his well-written characters and his interesting and romantic storylines keep this reader fascinated with their story from start to finish. Although, Redemption by Fire isn’t my favorite Andrew Grey book, I did like it…I just didn’t love it. I do wish the story had been longer and would have liked to see a more solid foundation develop between Dirk and Lee. Fans of Andrew Grey will definitely enjoy this book because it does have Mr. Grey’s easy style of writing and addictive storytelling skills. I’m looking forward to reading more books by Andrew Grey and will actively book looking out for more in the future.
Reviewed By: Gabbi