Book Reviews

Strengthened By Fire (By Fire 2) by Andrew Grey at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 27-August-2012

Book Blurb

Lee Staunton and Dirk Krause have been seeing each other for a couple of months when they get the bad news: the firehouse they work at will be closed unless they can come up with the money to complete some maintenance and repairs. The union wants to stand and fight. There’s just one problem: the only suggestion for how to raise the money is Lee’s. And Dirk hates it.

Unfortunately, everyone else thinks Lee’s “Chicken and Beefcake” dinner—which they’ll attend in just their hats, boots, and fire pants—is a great idea, and Lee goes ahead with the organizing. But interference from the borough council and low ticket sales threaten to rain on Lee’s parade. If Dirk can’t put aside his pride and stubborn nature for one night, it could cost both him and Lee their jobs—never mind their relationship.


Book Review

As with the first book, the cover drew me right into the story and reminded me of the great story that was the beginning of Lee and Dirk's lives together. They have certainly come a very far way since they came out of the closet – pretty much for each other's sakes. The sometimes mundane obstacles of daily life is what this book is all about in terms of their relationship. Of course, to make things more interesting, Andrew also throws in a major point of disagreement at their workplace, then makes them struggle through it. I was involved from the first to the last page!


Dirk is no longer the asshole he used to be – well, mostly. He still has his moments, but with Lee's help he is beginning to see how they affect others. That understanding, and his love for Lee, are more than enough incentive to try to change. He is still emotionally insecure, which only makes sense because years of hiding who he really is don’t vanish overnight. He is far less repressed that he used to be, and the joy he gets from making love to Lee is definitely making him a happier man.


Lee is as friendly and outgoing as ever. He has an amazing idea to help save the fire station from being closed due to budget cuts and is crushed when Dirk doesn’t want him to follow up. Being a stubborn man, he pursues it anyway. Tensions mount and I was fearing the worst for a while.

The scenes between Dirk and Lee are as intense and extremely hot as in the first book. Maybe even more so, because the emotional closeness that was only starting then is coming into full effect here. They are both vulnerable to each other and need to get used to the influence that has on how they communicate and live together. Not an easy thing to learn, and Andrew describes the issues with great understanding and sensitivity. If you like fire fighters, men who try to out-stubborn each other, and if emotionally intense relationships are your thing, you will probably love this book as much as I did. I hope there will be another installment soon!



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


Additional Information

Format ebook and audio
Length Novella, 103 pages/27139 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 08-August-2012
Price $3.99 ebook, $6.95 audiobook
Buy Link