Austin and Mercy’s lives collide in the wake of September 11. Pain, anger, and regret threaten to wreck their lives. Austin Finley is a New York City cop haunted by the horrifying images of that day and the phone call he had ignored. Mercy Samara is the shrink who holds his job in her hands. When she deems him unfit for active duty, Austin resigns from the department, refusing to be trapped behind a desk.
Years later, Austin has built a new life for himself in Baltimore where he now works as an EMT. With the help of his new found faith in God, Austin has gathered the broken pieces of his life and released the hurt and hatred that held him back. While responding to a 911 call at a high school, his path intersects once more with Dr. Samara who works as a guidance counselor there. This time, the interest they feel toward the other is immediate as they embark on a somewhat unconventional relationship. While their reunion resurfaces old scars, their biggest challenge is her lack faith in his God. Despite their love for each other, this is one area neither one seems willing to compromise on.
From Ashes to Honor is a story of endurance and of rising from the ruins. Loree Lough delivers characters that are both flawed and loveable. The reader can easily relate with them. She tackles the gritty and age-old quandary of mixed-faith relationships. Lough’s thought-provoking novel forces the reader to examine his/her own priorities and commitments, both to God and others.
The shocking end met me with an astounding sucker punch, happily deflating my pre-conceived notions of the story. I can’t imagine any other ending that could have afforded more strength to the novel. I recommend the first book in the First Responders Series to anyone ready for a story about tackling a not-so-perfect world head on, and realizing that with faith we indeed have what it takes to rise From Ashes to Honor.
Review copy provided by publisher.
**Originally posted on Fiction Addict.