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Customer Reviews for Abingdon Press From Ashes to Honor, First Responders Series #1

Abingdon Press From Ashes to Honor, First Responders Series #1

If he had only answered that last phone call from the World Trade Center . . .
Minutes before two jumbo jets changed U.S. history, New York police officer Austin Finley ignored the call from his brother, who'd been bugging him for days. Trying to live with his one regret causes hatred and bitterness to consume Austin, and when counselor Mercy Samara recommends desk duty, Austin resigns. Haunted by her own memories of 9/11, Mercy takes a job as a school counselor in Baltimore. When Austin, now an EMT, responds to an emergency at Mercy's school, both are stunned and wary.

Finally their common-and painful-memories turn suspicion into friendship, then romance. But hard questions linger: Can they truly move beyond their past harsh judgments and harsh words? Will their past finally bring them closer or-as the tenth anniversary of 9/11 draws near-drive them farther apart?

Average Customer Rating:
3.643 out of 5
3.6
 out of 
5
(14 Reviews) 14
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (14 reviews)
5 stars
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4 stars
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10 out of 1471%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for From Ashes to Honor, First Responders Series #1
Review 1 for From Ashes to Honor, First Responders Series #1
This review is fromFrom Ashes to Honor - eBook.
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Realistic

Date:November 5, 2013
Customer Avatar
CurledUpWithaBook
Location:The Maritimes
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
This story is shaped around 9/11 and it dealt with some of the trauma that people faced as a result of losing loved ones. I thought it was a great book containing romance, losses, struggles of the faith, happiness and victories. I usually take my time reading a book but this one I couldn't put down for long. Some other reviewers rated it quite low but don't let that discourage you - this really is a great book. I will definitely want to read more by this author!
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Review 2 for From Ashes to Honor, First Responders Series #1
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

bad ending

Date:July 1, 2013
Customer Avatar
bookboss
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
"spoiler alert". The book pulled me along with a good story, but the ending was not what we want in this genre. It was realistic - I'll give you that. But so disappointing.
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Review 3 for From Ashes to Honor, First Responders Series #1
This review is fromFrom Ashes to Honor - eBook.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Very interesting

Date:May 15, 2013
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Anne
Location:Montreal, Canada
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I enjoyed reading this book very much and it made me want to read more from this author.
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Review 4 for From Ashes to Honor, First Responders Series #1
This review is fromFrom Ashes to Honor - eBook.
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great story

Date:April 25, 2013
Customer Avatar
Cindy
Location:Wooster, Ohio
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
This has great story. Love the hero types of books, ie: firefighters, cops, etc.
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Review 5 for From Ashes to Honor, First Responders Series #1
This review is fromFrom Ashes to Honor - eBook.
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Good Book

Date:March 1, 2013
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SUZANNEBEHR
Location:Kentwood, Michigan
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This book really helped to bring this terrible tragic event to the front of my mind again. Not being personally affected myself, it is sometimes easy to forget about the events of that awful day. A good reminder of the brave ones who sacrificed so much on that day.
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Review 6 for From Ashes to Honor, First Responders Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 13, 2012
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Robin
I really enjoyed the book. The story makes you wonder what is going to happen with Austin and Mercy in the end.
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Review 7 for From Ashes to Honor, First Responders Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

can't put it down

Date:April 25, 2012
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diby
Location:Albany NY
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This book is one of my favorites for action, and romance. Remembering 911 on the personal side adds to the meaning. Well written.
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Review 8 for From Ashes to Honor, First Responders Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A stirring tribute to first responders

Date:April 12, 2012
Customer Avatar
Anne
Location:Willows, CA
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
NYPD officer Austin Finley, one of the responders to the Twin Towers disaster, ignored a call from his twin as he sped to what would later be called Ground Zero, not realizing that he missed the last chance to talk to Avery.
After several explosions temperwise, he is ordered to begin sessions with Psychologist Mercy Samara. He attends enough to make him sick to his stomach, much preferring his bottle of Jim Beam in the privacy of his home.
It doesn't take long for him to realize he cannot continue as a police officer. He retires to a houseboat on the coast, becomes an EMT, begins attending AA and becomes a Christian, and his life is changed.
Mercy goes through enough traumas herself to realize she has to leave the first responders counseling. One of her counselees commits suicide. Her father dies in her arms. She attempts suicide herself.
When Austin and Mercy meet up again, they realize they share more than a disastrous history. It doesn't take long before they are linked. One problem seems insurmountable: Austin does not want to be unequally yoked to an unbeliever, and Mercy chooses not to believe in a God who did not step in to save her mother, her father, or her counselee.
Yet--he cannot ignore the deepening love he feels for this caring woman. And she wants so much to be part of his life, just not at the expense of her own beliefs.
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Review 9 for From Ashes to Honor, First Responders Series #1
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Not a Romance

Date:January 24, 2012
Customer Avatar
Iola
Location:New Zealand
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
From Ashes to Honor is the story of Austin, a New York cop who lost his twin brother on 9/11, and Mercy, the police psychologist who declared him unfit for police work. They accidentally meet in Baltimore a few years later, having both changed careers, and find that despite their history, there is a mutual attraction. But Austin is a committed Christian, and Mercy is an unbeliever.
This is where the book lost me - I saw why Mercy was interested in Austin, but I never really understood why Austin was attracted to Mercy, nor why he was developing a romantic relationship with her knowing that she did not share his faith and knowing how important that should be. It irritates me when a novel gives us a 'conversion of convenience' a few short pages before the end, with no real progression from non-belief to faith. In real life, very few people become Christians as adults without a period of thought and reflection, so it annoys me when fictional characters have the literary equivalent of a death-bed conversion. However, this novel gave me something I like even less – no conversion at all.
Loree Lough is an excellent writer with engaging plots and (mostly) likeable characters, and From Ashes to Honor was looking to be a solid four star plus read, until the end. It just finished. No happy ever after, no resolution of the main conflict, nothing. The essence of a romance novel is that a couple meet, a relationship develops, and there is a happy ending as the couple fall in love while they work together to overcome obstacles. A romance novel, according to the Romance Writers of America, must have an “emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending” (more commonly referred to as the ‘happy ever after’ or HEA). From Ashes To Honor is therefore not a romance novel. It is Christian fiction and clearly follows the development of a relationship, but it is not a romance novel.
I've also read an advance copy of the sequel - Honor Redeemed - and that had the same non-ending, as well as a host of 'how exactly did that happen?' moments when comparing the two books. If you want spoilers, post a comment.
Thanks to Abingdon Press and NetGalley for providing free ebooks for review.
+1point
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Review 10 for From Ashes to Honor, First Responders Series #1
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

what a waste!

Date:January 15, 2012
Customer Avatar
mother of 3 blessings
Location:Georgia
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Value: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
I normaly don't write book reviews, or any review for that matter, but I felt like there are some things the next reader should know before investing time in this book. First, don't bother- the story line isn't that great to begin with, then to make it worse you have 36 chapters of he loves me- he loves me not. The spiritual content is a joke and the ending leaves you with more questions than you know what to do with! There are so many loose ends you could make a rug from it. The book was free which was good because if I had bought it I would seriously be upset! I've read another book by Lough and liked it very much, which led me to read this one.... must have had some writes block going on. There were likeable charactera bu tthat's about all that it has going for it.
+1point
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Review 11 for From Ashes to Honor, First Responders Series #1
This review is fromFrom Ashes to Honor - eBook.
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Very Disappointing!

Date:January 31, 2012
Customer Avatar
crtnybc
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Value: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Though the write up looks good, there was no action to speak of past the first few chapters. Instead it focuses almost entirely on the main characters' dating and whether or not they should because she is not a christian. Then it just ends. Horribly. Nothing is resolved. The point of reading a novel is a pleasant, or satisfying at the very least, escape and this is a badly written, plotless, waste of time.
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Review 12 for From Ashes to Honor, First Responders Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

AMAZING! No other words needed!

Date:December 14, 2011
Customer Avatar
Robin Prater
Location:Missouri
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
When you pick up a book penned by Loree Lough, you know your in for a special treat. She has the ability to take you back in time. She has the gift bringing you to the heart of a character as they experience falling in love, facing struggles and coming to terms with loss. You find yourself cheering on the characters that she brings to life. When they feel joy you cannot have a grin on your face. Loree takes you are on a journey. A journey you won't soon forget. She sets the stage and your off, turning pages all night.
She has written, "From Ashes To Honor", book one in her new series , "The First Responders". Loree takes us back to that day we will never forget. It's that day we now have imprinted on our hearts forever. 9/11 was a tragedy that rocked our world, but brought us together, stronger than ever before. It made us very aware of the sacrifices of those First Responders and the families they have at home waiting each time they leave out on a call.
In this first book, Loree, brings us to know two characters with very different experiences. One who was there in the towers and one helping those First Responders to cope with the nightmares that plague them. This book isn't just about the day of 9/11, but the years following and this day lives with those involved in many different ways. They want to move forward, but guilt overcomes them as they try to forget.
We meet Mercy and Austin. Two people who I fell in love with instantly. Although I wasn't there that day, I could feel their pain. Deep pain. One in a building, another watching, knowing her job was about to get harder. As Austin tries to overcome his pain, Mercy, holds a pain that has been kept hidden as she reached out to others. For me, both of these characters were heroes.
Something I loved was how, Loree, named the character, Mercy. All throughout this book we see God's mercy move. We see Him at work in the lives of those who believe and in the lives of those choosing not to.
If you haven't read a book penned by Loree Lough yet, I encourage you to begin with this remarkable series. It is one you will never forget. I am one of her biggest fans!
Stay tuned for book 2, coming out soon. Watch for the title, Honor Redeemed. Another you will fall in love with, my friends!
This book was a gift from Abingdon Press for it's review.
P.S. For those of you who didn't enjoy the ending, just wait for book two.
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Review 13 for From Ashes to Honor, First Responders Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Loved the book ... not the ending

Date:October 30, 2011
Loree Lough is a new author for me, and I was really excited when I read about her new First Responders series. For some reason I really like books about modern-day "heroes" . . . doctors, paramedics, firemen, policemen.
The first book in this new series, From Ashes to Honor, pays tribute to first responders at the World Trade Center on 9/11. Loree tells a great story that features Austin (a police officer turned EMT) and Mercy (a policy psychiatrist turned high school guidance counselor). They each have their own trauma associated with 9/11 and moved to Baltimore to escape the constant reminders of living in New York City. When they see each other again, sparks begin to fly and they must determine if they can overcome their differences and the past in order to secure a future together.
Loree weaves together an intricate plot that not only features the two primary characters but works in a great cast of supporting characters. The storylines are realistic and packed with emotion. I loved Loree's writing style and the way that she taught biblical principles while she was telling a story . . . and managed to do so without being preachy.
I will say that I was totally shocked . . . and disappointed . . . with the ending of the book. Every book doesn't have to end the way that I want it to. However, after 300+ pages, the book just stopped. The ending was so abrupt, I thought for sure I had missed something or that Austin's and Mercy's story would be continued in another book. That does not seem to be the case, though. I just felt a bit . . . cheated. After investing that much time with the characters, I felt like they (and I) deserved a bit more thought and care in the resolution. Upon further thought, it seemed that as some of the other plot lines ended as thoroughly as I would have wanted either.
All of that to say . . . the first 300 pages were fantastic. The ending was just a little weak. I will definitely give Loree Lough a second chance with the second book in the First Responders series.
I received a free e-galley from Abingdon Press and Net Galley in exchange for my fair and honest review.
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Review 14 for From Ashes to Honor, First Responders Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Sweet and Enjoyable Read

Date:August 23, 2011
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Kathi Macias
Location:Southern California
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Kudos for Loree Lough for taking the topic of 9/11 and building a story around it that totally surprises yet engages her readers. From Ashes to Honor is an excellent read, and I highly recommend it.
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