Series: Redemption by Fire
Author: Andrew Grey
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 72 pages (novella)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 1, 2012)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3 1/2Hearts
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?
Review: The opening scene of this book is a gripping one with Dirk, one of the main characters, struggling to get a baby to safety in a raging house fire. While he is successful at his mission of saving the child, he lands himself in the hospital due to an assortment of injuries. He gets a visit from Lee Stockton, one of his fellow firefighters, who arrives with an arrangement of flowers from the guys from the firehouse. And apparently the only reason Lee is there is because he is the newbie and had no choice. Seems like Dirk is a major asshole with an attitude problem and no one really likes him enough to make the trip to see him. Dirk isn’t really surprised and continues with the crappy attitude even during Lee’s visit. Lee, however, sees right through the attitude and correctly deduces that the major source of Dirk’s anger is the fact that he is gay and trying to hide it.
Between working in a rather homophobic career and having an extremely conservative father, Dirk doesn’t really feel comfortable outing himself. Lee is a rather decent guy and even after Dirk is released from the hospital, he tries to visit him at home and help out as much as possible. Unfortunately, Dirk is still pretty much a pain in the ass although the heat of anger quickly turns to passion and they find themselves burning up the sheets on a regular basis. Lee isn’t going to stay Dirk’s dirty little secret, though, and the two of them have some serious issues to work out if they are going to find happily ever after.
I think, in general, I liked the story line and writing style in this book. My major problem was that I thought it was a bit rushed. I really would have loved to see a chapter or two before the fire and hospital scene to introduce Dirk and Lee and get to know them better. I actually thought at the beginning of the book that Dirk was a total newbie to the gay lifestyle which I learned was not the case a little later into the story. There was a lot of anger and passion between the two men which made for a rather intense story. I also would have like to see the ending stretched out a little bit longer. Just a wrap up to the relationship would have been nice. Overall, I think this is a good story and I do so love the closeted firefighter theme. And the cover is an absolutely beautiful thing….absolutely drool worthy!