Rating: 4.75 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
The third book in Andrew Grey’s By Fire series, Burnished by Fire is the continuation of Dirk and Lee’s relationship and is a wonderful story of healing and growth.
It has been eighteen months since Lee barged into Dirk’s life. Now that they have committed to their relationship, are living together, and working well as a team at the firehouse, Dirk and Lee have decided to take a vacation. Still reeling from a fire where he was unable to save three people, Dirk needs time away from his job in order to come to terms with what happened. The cruise that he and Lee have been planning sounds like just the break from work he needs. Only when they arrive, Dirk and Lee come face to face with the last person they expected to see – Dirk’s father.
Refusal to accept that Dirk is gay and in a relationship with Lee, years of trying to control Dirk’s life, and constant arguments have soured Dirk’s relationship with his father. And focusing on his father’s closed-mindedness is a sure way to ruin his vacation, but thankfully Lee – Dirk’s voice of reason – won’t let Dirk ruin it for the both of them. With the goal of avoiding his father, Dirk makes an effort to relax and enjoy their vacation.
When Dirk saves the life of another passenger while snorkeling, he starts to see a change in this father’s attitude toward him and Lee. But is it too late to try and heal what is already so broken between father and son?
Andrew Grey never ceases to impress me in that he always presents such likable and strong characters, and sweet, heartfelt storylines. This series has followed Dirk and Lee from their first meeting, to coming out, through learning to trust one another, to learning what commitment means, and finally to a loving, established relationship.
One of the best aspects of this series has been Dirk’s progression from stubborn and angry to loving, accepting, and even forgiving. Dirk started out as a man who refused to ask for help – which was a pride issue then – to a man who is able to realize when he needs help and ask for it. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still a hot head, especially where his father is concerned, but Lee is around to balance him. Lee is the stability in their relationship – the rock. He is Dirk’s voice of reason. They complement each other perfectly.
This story focuses less on the relationship between Dirk and Lee and more on the broken relationship between Dirk and his father. Yes, there is plenty alone time for Dirk and Lee, but their relationship is stable and strong. The animosity in the father and son relationship is a storyline that spans the entire series, and one I’m happy to see resolved in such a heartening way. I appreciate that all is still not perfect in the father/son relationship at the conclusion of the story.
If I had a complaint, it would be that the story was almost too perfect, a little too easy after all the damage caused to Dirk and his father’s relationship in the past. But a common trait of Grey’s stories is that they end with very little conflict or confrontation.
Burnished by Fire by Andrew Grey is the final story in the By Fire series. It is a lovely conclusion to a fabulous series complete with imperfect characters and charming storylines. This is a series that I recommend in its entirety.