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.