Reviewer: Amy Lignor
Title: From Ashes to Honor
Author: Loree Lough
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Release Date: September 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: Inspirational Fiction
Year/Setting: Present/NYC & Baltimore
Overall Rating: 3.5
Sexual Content Rating: None/Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None/Mild
Violent Content Rating: Minimal/Moderate
Loree's Website: www.loreelough.com
When we first meet NYC police officer, Austin Finley, he is at a coffee shop with his partner when a slight rumble seems to shake the ground. Immediately his cell phone begins to ring. The call is from Austin’s brother - a suit-wearing Wall Street man who is older than Austin by exactly five minutes - and loves to play big "brother" by trying to convince Austin that his career on the streets is far too dangerous. Not wanting the "talking to" this particular morning, Austin ignores the call - only to watch the ground ‘quake’ once more, as the glass shatters and the world that Austin has always known fall to dust. The morning is September 11, 2001 at 8:40 am…
Three years later we catch up with Austin as he sits in a police counselor’s office. Austin has been pulled from the streets because of his overzealous ways, and has been placed behind a desk - with no opportunity to hit the streets once again unless this counselor, Dr. Mercy Samara, recommends it.
Suffice to say…Austin chooses to stop being a NYC policeman, moves to Baltimore, and lives on his boat - One Regret - in the Chesapeake Bay. Even though Austin was angry at first, he has come to love his new life. In fact, he’d like to find that counselor from so long ago and thank her; without her saying "no," Austin would never have found the ‘niche’ he now loves. He works as an EMT helping others, and his neighbors - a wonderfully funny elderly couple named, Flora and Bud - keep Austin’s life happy and rich.
Mercy Samara also left NYC behind and has become a school counselor in Baltimore. What she doesn’t know is that one day, when a child hurts himself on the sports field, that the EMT who comes to take care of him will be the one man whose career she still regrets ruining.
Just like the hands of fate, Mercy and Austin find themselves growing together. They’ve both seen and been through so much, that the magnetism drawing them closer makes them each feel more alive. The only unfortunate part? Austin found the Lord through the horrific issues he’s had to overcome, while Mercy simply can’t believe - considering the world in which she lives - that the Lord even exists. So the question remains…can a couple who truly love one another deal with the fact that they are complete opposites when it comes to faith?
This author has written a lovely story without the normal, boring trappings of "romance novels." Using her eloquent "voice," she does make readers see that there are not always perfect answers to life’s questions, but where the real entertainment comes from is Flora and Bud. Anyone would want these two as their next door neighbors!
Until next time,
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