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Within the Flames: A Dirk & Steele Novel (Dirk & Steele Novels) [Mass Market Paperback]

Marjorie M. Liu
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

5 Dec 2011 Dirk & Steele Novels

“Marjorie Liu is magic! Her writing is passionate, lyric, gritty, and riveting. She belongs high on everyone’s must-read list.”
—Elizabeth Lowell

“Anyone who loves my work should love hers.”
—Christine Feehan

A pyrokinetic former thief who fears the destructive power of flame at his fingertips…A beautiful shapeshifter with fiery talents of her own hiding in the tunnels below Manhattan from those who destroyed her family and her race…Put them together and you have Within the Flames, a powerfully sensual and totally gripping new Dirk & Steele romantic adventure from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Marjorie M. Liu. One of the boldest, most exciting and original voices in  paranormal romance, Lui returns once more to the supernatural detective agency she made famous, a heroic covert organization that specializes in protecting extraordinary beings. This is strange excitement, a deeply emotional, brilliantly conceived and executed winner by an author on a par with Christine Feehan, Jeaniene Frost, and Nalini Singh.  Within the Flames is a must-read for paranormal aficionados. Remember: “If you have yet to add Liu to your must-read list, you’re doing yourself a disservice” (Booklist).

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (5 Dec 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006202017X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062020178
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 733,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Joining the Dirk & Steele Agency turned Eddie’slife around. A pyrokinetic and former car thief, he cannotrefuse an assignment to cross the continent in orderto rescue an extraordinary woman in peril . . . even thoughhe fears losing control of the destructive power offlame at his fingertips.

The last of her shape-shifting kind, Lyssa hides in theabandoned tunnels beneath Manhattan, seeking refugefrom those who murdered her family a decadeago and would now destroy her as well. Like Eddie, fire isher weapon, her destiny . . . and her curse. Yet shewants nothing to do with this mesmerizing stranger whoseeks her trust while enflaming her passion.For beneath Lyssa’s extraordinary beauty are dangerous secrets . . . and even darker, nearly irresistible urges.But she has won the heart of a fearless protector . . .and all the demons in the world willnot make him back down.

About the Author

Marjorie M. Liu is an attorney and New York Times bestselling author of paranormal romances and urban fantasy. In the world of comic books, she is also the writer of NYX: No Way Home, Black Widow, X-23, and Dark Wolverine. She lives in the American Midwest and Beijing, China.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Dirk and Steele Novel 4 Feb 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Eddie's life turned around when he joined the Dirk & Steele Agency. The former car thief is a pyrokinetic who sometimes still loses control of his fire. He has recently learned that the man who had killed his little sister has been released from prison. Eddie would enjoy nothing more than to crush the life from the man. But dealing with Swint will have to wait, because Eddie has an urgent assignment. Eddie must travel to New York City to find and protect Lyssa Andreanos from those who hunt her.

Lyssa is the last of her shape-shifting kind. The dragon within her sleeps, waiting for the day Lyssa kills for the first time. Lyssa has been on the run from the Cruor Venator for ten years. That was when the Cruor Venator murdered her family. The Cruor Venator are Blood Hunters. Witches who steal power from blood. Lyssa's dragon blood would give the ultimate power boost. Like Eddie, fire is Lyssa's weapon. But she refuses to give in to her dark urges. She wears long sleeves and gloves to conceal the red dragon-scales down her right arm and the golden claw where her right hand should have been.

When Eddie finds her, Lyssa wants nothing to do with him. But the stubborn and tenacious man refuses to budge. He was sent to protect her and nothing would stop him from doing so. Lyssa finally understands that after a decade of hiding, it is time to fight and die. Or fight and kill. And Eddie will do anything he has to in order to stand by her side.

**** FOUR STARS! Do not worry if you have never read a Dirk & Steele novel. The agency is only mentioned in passing. This is a stand-along story that focuses on Eddie and Lyssa. As the reader, I watched as Lyssa went from the prey to the hunter.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  35 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars - Love burns hot within the flames 4 Dec 2011
By melindeeloo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The early release from prison of the man who murdered Eddie's sister, dredges up the past and shatters the control that Eddie has worked so hard to achieve, the control that keeps his power of fire from being a danger to others. Even in his volitile state he embarks on his next mission for Dirk & Steele, searching for a missing shapeshifter, Lyssa, who is hunted by the one of the most dangerous and fear inspiring predators in the paranormal world. When Eddie finds Lyssa, he finds a woman who has spent years in hiding, a woman with a soul as damaged as his, and the woman who stirs all of his protective instincts - the one women with whom he can go up in flames.

Though the background story does have dark moments, Within the Flames is a gentle romance that grows amidst the danger, as Lyssa is hunted and those she has reluctantly come to care for are put in danger. Eddie who has appeared, and grown up, throughout the series is a quiet, protective and yet still wonderful leading man. And in Eddie and Lyssa, author Liu has created two haunted people who are just so completely perfect for each other. In addition to the instant connection between the pair, Eddie and Lyssa, both have suffered unspeakable things at the hand of monsters (both supernatural and human), and both understand living just to survive in the aftermath, and when all is said and done, they both have experiences in which they 'see' what the other has suffered so that they are able to help each other to finally start to heal.

Even though Within the Flames can be read as a standalone, for those who have followed Dirk and Steele, there is an interesting little revelation about Eddie and there are cameos from other characters from earlier books, including a decent little subplot for past leads gargoyle Lannes and his witchy wife Lethe. (Missing though are Koni and Ricktor - I am still waiting for their books.)

So with love amidst danger and fire, Within the Flames was a great Dirk & Steele addition that has me wishing that it wasn't so long between books.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Dirk & Steel 30 Nov 2011
By Cory R. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Within the Flames is the latest addition to the Dirk & Steel series, and it holds up to the high standards of the previous novels. I have been waiting for Eddie's story for a while now, and it's wonderful to see him shine in the lead. Lyssa is a terrific woman for him. Both characters suffer from PTSD, and it's wonderful to see them help each other come to terms with some of their issues. There is also a scary enemy that keeps the couple on their toes while they deal with their own internal problems, and the prejudices of the paranormal community.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Within the Flames 9 July 2013
By Aurian - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Eddie and Lannes are sent to New York city, to find and protect a young woman, a girl who can control fire, a shapeshifter, a Dragon, from the Cruor Venator. A shapeshifter has asked Dirk and Steele to protect her, and now he is dead, murdered and tortured. He gave them some of her favourite places to hang out, and an old picture. Long Nu also wants them to find her, but she won't tell why. The Cruor Venator are a truly evil kind of Witches, they steal power from blood, by killing and torturing their victims.
A girl being hunted is knowledge enough for Eddie, he will try to find her, and then protect her. His own past has come back to haunt him, and the memories are hard to live with. His own little sister died by the hand of their mothers boyfriend after she was abused for weeks. And Eddie, just a 14 year old boy back then, killed the wrong man. And now the murderer is free, out of prison again. Eddie never told his mother what he is; he just ran away from home and lived on the streets. Until Dirk and Steele found him and took him in. Now he is schooled and trained in controlling and using his powers, and he likes helping others, meeting others just as different as he is. The world is a stranger place than many people know.

His friend Lannes is a gargoyle, and especially afraid of witches after being tortured by one for centuries. But still he wants to help Eddie find this girl. And when they do see her, she flees. But it is not all that difficult for Eddie to follow her, and when she attacks him with her fire, he can withstand it, as he is fire himself as well. But the damage is enormous, and they need to get to a safe place fast. Which means Lannes' home, and there Lannes finds out there is more to Lissa than being a dragon. She is part witch as well. And part ... something else. And so he does not want her in his house anymore, even though he needs Eddies and Lissa's help in rescuing his wife from her family. They don't want to let her go home to him, as they think she married way beneath her. Of course they don't know she married a gargoyle. Talk about bad inlaws!
But going to her rescue, endangers them all, as the Cruor Venator shows up on their doorstep. But together they can fight her, and win, but they need to run now, and fast.

If I would be telling you more, I would spoil too much, and I won't do that. There are more important secondary characters in this book, and evil things happen.

Thrown together, Lissa and Eddie slowly start to share their background stories with each other, and discover they have lots in common. Of course, fire is attracted to fire as well, especially as they cannot hurt the other. Together they are a force to be reckoned with, and both are very protective of their friends, which I liked. For the first time in many years, Lissa gets to experience a bit of normal life, once she is living with Eddie, but of course that does not last long.

I am not sure I want to recommend this series. Yes, it is different and original, but it is not a fun read at all. It is a good book, a good series, very well written. But my emotions are just not very much involved in it. I think you can read it out of order, as there is not much of an overall storyline going on. I think I stopped loving this series after the sixth book or so. Of course, being a true book addict, I will probably buy the next book too, but when that one will be read?

7 stars.

2013 Reviews by Aurian

Full review on my blog, [...]
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely phenomenal story 10 Dec 2011
By EnglishBabe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have always loved every story that Ms. Liu has written. Every story is packed full of twisting, turning, riveting plots that keep you reading til the last page and this story doesn't disappoint! This is a must read for anyone that craves strong story lines, outstanding plots and a tinge of sex scenes. This book is about Eddie, a pyrokenic and Lyssa, a shape-shifter dragon/witch, who has no idea just how powerful she is. With Eddie's love and support, she finds herself. If your looking for a lot of sappy, sex dripping love scenes that take up 20 pages, forget it. This book has a story to tell and it does so in a mind bending, spine tingling way. This is a must read!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two Tortured Souls Seeking Peace 9 Dec 2011
By Bukcrz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is not my first book from Ms. Liu but although her distinctive voice and style are the same her stories, though in a series, are individually unique in their twists and development. I enjoyed Eddie and Lyssa's story that began as a rescue to a supposedly helpless woman only to end up standing with the same woman facing the real monsters.
After losing her parents in a brutal murder during her early tens, Lyssa live on the road and off the radar and managed to keep herself just off the monster's claw. She travelled from city to city hiding in plain sight of the crowd and we met her in an underground tunnel in New York.
Eddie, on the other hand, ran away from home at twelve to escape from pain of abused and from himself. He became a survivor on the street until D&S took him in just when he was reaching legal age to drive.
Being a street kid was not just their connection but their affinity with fire. And before I end up retelling the whole story let me just say that this is another solid Ms. Liu book. Both main characters are tortured souls trying to find pear inside and out and both are fighting inner horrors and outside. Mostly fast-paced and I loved that although the heroes have the HEA, the author did not glossed some reality in life that made their HEA all the more precious.
The villains the story are new characters, new names, and either I did not read a lot paranormal stories or Ms. Liu's idea is a unique twists on an old horror character.
Aside from the repetitive inner turmoil and monologue, I enjoy watching Eddie and Lyssa pump their fists against the faces of the enemy.
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