Trial by Fire is the third book in the Shadows of London series. The books are intended to be read in order and this review will naturally reveal plot points for the series.
As a registered latent, Dom’s life hasn’t been easy. From his childhood surrounded by mobsters, to his time in the military, everyone has always had an agenda where Dom is concerned. Working at Kempthorne & Co has become a home to Dom and it’s where he wants to be. He especially wants to be near his boss, Alexander Kempthorne, and the atmosphere becomes alive when the two are near each other. But Dom can only dream about being with Alexander as he knows the man is way out of his league and Dom knows only bad things happen to people that get too close to him.
But bad things are happening all around London and dark secrets are threatening to spill out. The mysterious “M” has the men cornered and Alexander is trying to save Dom, but all of his connections aren’t working. Dom thinks he’s on his own once again, but Alexander needs Dom more than Dom knows and Alexander is even considering revealing everything to save Dom. It’s hard to know who to trust and the men know they can’t trust Kage Mitchell anymore as his allegiances lie elsewhere, but their lives still overlap. Time is running out for Dom and Alexander and maybe Kage as well and if “M” gets their way, the men will won’t be able to find their way out of a never ending quest for power.
This book picks up where Tide of Tricks left off. The series has a story and relationships that reach through all of the books and the series should be read in order. Dom was not in a good place when we left him at the end of book two, as he became unstable and was taken into custody and the crew at Kempthorne & Co can’t get him out without bringing more unwanted attention to them. It’s getting to the point that all of Alexander’s secrets will be revealed and unraveled and Alexander is almost ready to step more into the spotlight to save Dom.
Trial by Fire gives us Alexander’s point of view, which we haven’t had in the past. It was greatly needed to move the story along and it was intriguing seeing the world through his eyes. His life has never been his own and his childhood is one of abuse and torture and he has had to keep all the parts of himself hidden for so long. The story came together more for me here as the plot points were put together in an accessible way. The tension between Dom and Alexander reaches an all time high and seeing them move their relationship along was rewarding, but they are certainly not on stable ground yet.
The mysterious “M” is revealed and, while that’s not my favorite type of storyline, the story takes great strides forward with action and pivotal scenes. Kage is back again as well, and Dom and Alexander always questioned whether they could trust him and Kage makes some moves here that allow the men to see more of his motives. Kage is American and I can’t say that I enjoy what is done with his character. For me, it reads as if Kage is American to highlight all the potential things not to like about Americans and it really detracts from my reading experience.
This book and this series are filled with action and secrets and psychic energy and dark forces that threaten the men again and again. A highlight here was definitely seeing Alexander and Dom move their relationship forward and, with two more books in the series, there is a lot more for the men to uncover about each other and about the trying to survive as latents.