Friday, March 10, 2017

Release Day Review ~ Cleansing Flame by Andrew Grey (Giveaway)

Release Day Review ~ Cleansing Flame by Andrew Grey (Series Review)

Title: Cleansing Flame

Series: Rekindled Flame: Book Two

Author: Andrew Grey

Release Date: March 10, 2017

Category: Contemporary

Pages: 200

Life has been grinding Dayne Mills down almost for as long as he can remember. First he lost the love of his life in an accident that also left him with a permanent injury, and then his mother passed away a year later. When his house burns to the ground, it’s the last straw. He can’t take any more, and if it wasn’t for kind and handsome firefighter Lawson Martin offering him a hand up and a place to stay, he doesn’t know what he’d do. Dayne would love for his relationship with Lawson to evolve into something beyond charity, but he knows going after a man so far out of his league will only lead to yet more heartache. It’s best to just keep his mind on his research.
It’s that research that leads Dayne to an old student journal that not only provides clues to the Native American heritage Lawson has been searching for, but chronicles a century-old love story. The tale that unfolds might be just what Dayne and Lawson need to remind them that no matter how dark life becomes, love can find a way to shine through.

Cleansing Flame is Book 2 in Andrew Grey's Rekindled Flame series. This book could be read on it's own, even though there are some appearances from the couple in the previous book, but why not get the full enjoyment of the series and start with Book 1. :) 
Firefighter Lawson finds himself comforting Dayne, whose house just burned to the ground. Lawson had noticed Dayne earlier in the day when they were both at the Historical Society. Dayne had noticed the hot guy at the Historical Society but never gave consideration that someone who looked like Lawson could ever be interested in him. The complete loss of his house is just another hit in Dayne's life. He lost his boyfriend in a car wreck that caused him damage to his own legs; then a year later his mother died; and now he lost his mother's house and almost everything he had left of her and everything he had. He can't stop his tears when he realizes everything's gone and to his embarrassment he finds himself in Lawson's arms. Dayne isn't sure what he's going to do, but Lawson invites him to stay a couple of days at his house. Dayne is unsure, but Morgan and Richard vouch for him, so he agrees to stay the night but Lawson works to keep him there longer. Dayne struggles to get his life back in order, deal with issues with his legs, and to accept Lawson's interest.
Lawson is an adrenaline junkie, but once he has someone he's interested in, he doesn't have that same need. Like with Morgan in the first book, Lawson seems to be too good to be true. He's willing to open his home to someone in need and provide assistance where he can. He's interested in Dayne and encourages him in all aspects of his life. He's thoughtful, caring, and a firefighter! I liked Dayne, but his constant negative self thoughts continued through 80% of the book, and it was a little difficult to reread the same negative thoughts throughout all of it. But, he did get better and slowly developed more positive thoughts. He'd had a rough life and instead of enjoying when things were going well, he was instead waiting for the other shoe to drop.

This story was really a great story of two men meeting, getting to know each other, and a relationship developing from that before love entered the picture. This story had a special storyline that added another layer to this book, and that was Dayne's research into Native American information, and what happened once white men decided to educate natives on the proper way to live and brought them to a school to teach them. I loved this plot line and thought the author did a great job!

Rating: 4 stars!

Previously in the Rekindled Flame series: 
Rekindled Flame: Book One

Firefighter Morgan has worked hard to build a home for himself after a nomadic childhood. When Morgan is called to a fire, he finds the family out front, but their tenant still inside. He rescues Richard Smalley, who turns out to be an old friend he hasn’t seen in years and the one person he regretted leaving behind.

Richard has had a hard life. He served in the military, where he lost the use of his legs, and has been struggling to make his way since coming home. Now that he no longer has a place to live, Morgan takes him in, but when someone attempts to set fire to Morgan’s house, they both become suspicious and wonder what’s going on.

Years ago Morgan was gutted when he moved away, leaving Richard behind, so he’s happy to pick things up where they left off. But now that Richard seems to be the target of an arsonist, he may not be the safest person to be around.

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

Rekindled Flame is Book 1 in Andrew Grey's Rekindled Flame series. Morgan works as a firefighter and on a call, rescues a man in a wheelchair who was unconscious. When he goes to the hospital to check on the rescued man, he's surprised to find that it's the most important person from childhood, his best friend Richard. Morgan and Richard lost touch as teens when Morgan's father moved him away. The men took different paths in life with Richard joining the military, where he lost the use of his legs. Morgan is happy to find Richard and invites him to live with him until he gets things figured out with his living situation. Richard, though, doesn't understand why Morgan, or anyone, would want him around. Richard is in depression and suffering PTSD, and it's going to take him and Morgan to pull him out of it. And further investigation reveals the fire was not accidental.

Morgan was a too good to be true type of guy. He was was happy to find Richard, who he always felt was his soul mate. He was happy to have Richard in his home, and was a really positive person. He didn't have a great childhood, but he really appreciated his life. And, he just seemed to know how to deal with Richard. He didn't coddle him, he pushed him to make the needed changes, while his actions continued to show his love. Richard was a very broken character, that was struggling with guilt and his place in life. His depression and PTSD were well done, but definitely did not make this a light-hearted read. He fought Morgan's love and assistance through most of the book, and kudos to Morgan for not giving up on him. The arson/mystery element was always on the fringe of this story, reminding you that not everything was ok.

I enjoyed this story and all the characters in the book; it was a great second chance romance story with a HEA. Though feelings were involved early between Morgan and Richard, not that they were voiced, they definitely had to work for their HEA. And, this was a book full of firefighters! If you haven't had the chance to read this book, take the time to do it now!

Rating: 4 stars

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  1. My favorite firefighter book is Beyond the Surface by Felice Stevens

  2. Favorite firefighter book...that is tough. I've read so many of them. A recent favorite was Rekindled Flame.

  3. i dont have a favorite firefighter book

  4. I love Firefighter stories one of my favourites is Jamie Lynn Millers' "Burning For You" Series and of Andrew's "Rekindle Flame"

  5. One of my favorite firefighter books is Damon Suede's Hot Head.

  6. Congrats and thanks for the post. My fav firefighter book is actually the Mahu series by Neil Plakcy, where the detective's lover is a hot Hawaiian firefighter and he gets some good story time along the way. - Purple Reader
    - TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  7. Damon Suede's Hot Head is my fav, also. And one of the earlier m/m books I read.