Honor Mackenzie started working in search and rescue after her fiance, who was a firefighter was killed in the days after 9/11.She also worked as a firefighter, but nasty rumors spread and when a reporter got hold of the story her reputation was ruined causing her to quit the fire department.Now her day job is working in the billing dept for the local hospital, and she volunteers for SAR with her two Golden's Rowdy and Rerun. She also trains SAR dogs and their owners. When she meets Matt Phillips she decides to avoid him because he is a reporter, but as she starts to know him, and learn about his twin sons, she can't help but feel something for him. Matt feels drawn to Honor, but also feels guilt because his wife Faith has only been dead for a little over a year. His life revolves around his ten year old twins Warner and Steve, and while he wonders if there could be a relationship between him and Honor, he has also heard the rumors about her past. Will their friendship turn into something more, or will the past stand in their way?
This book pulled me in immediately. At the loss of her fiance Honor decided to become a First Responder, what a wonderful tribute to pay to someone. As I was drawn into her story,her character became very easy to like, but I couldn't help but wonder what it was that was haunting her from her past. I thought Matt made a great male lead character. Some of his friends called him the Defender because of some of the things he had done. As the story unfolded I couldn't help but become invested in the lives of the characters and wanted to know how things would work out for them, and even though the plot moved along at a pretty brisk pace, the ending felt incomplete.While this book is the second in a series it can be read as a stand alone work, I didn't read the first book and didn't have any problems following this story.
Overall if you enjoy stories with compelling, easy to like characters,a slow building romance, a faith based message,and a fast moving plot that certainly gives us a glimpse of the sacrifices First Responders make then your going to enjoy this story. The ending certainly leaves me anxious to read the next book in the series.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This is the second book in the First Responders series, following From Ashes to Honor: Book #1 in the First Responders series. If you liked the first book, I'm sure you will like this one, as it has the same excellent writing, and elements of the sub-plot carry on fron the first book. But if you are one of the readers (like me) who found that From Ashes to Honor ended too abruptly without sufficient resolution of the plot, then I imagine that you won't like this sequel either.
Honor Redeemed follows Honor Mackenzie, who trains search and rescue dogs, and Matt Phillips, a widower with two small children, employed as a newspaper reporter. The two meet and a relationship develops, but there are dark secrets in Honor's past which have not been dealt with that causes struggles for them both. Then (and this is a direct quote from the book blurb) "he's told Honor has disappeared during a rescue effort".
But this happens in the last quarter of the book. One of my pet hates is when the book blurb or title talks about something that doesn't happen until well into the book. How is it that a book review should not contain plot 'spoilers', but the advertising copy can? Again, this was a good story of a sweet relationship as it progressed, but parts of the story, especially towards the end, felt rushed, as though something was missing. We do find out Honor's dark secret at the end, and we don't get to see what will overcome it - at least not in this book.
Loree Lough is an excellent writer with engaging plots and 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. Honor Redeemed was the same, and I didn't like it. I admire Lough's desire to honour those who work in first response situations. But authors such as Dee Henderson, DiAnn Mills and Irene Hannon have written romantic suspense series covering similar professions, yet, in my opinion, were much more satisfying.
Thanks to Abingdon Press and NetGalley for providing free ebooks for review.
The first book in the series is called From Ashes to Honor, if you enjoy series books you may want to read it first as they hint towards things that happened in it.
Matt is a reporter and Honor is a SAR who also trains search dogs and teaches their handlers. The press had done Honor wrong so she immediately becomes defensive around Matt. But he breaks through her hard shell and soon she enjoys being around Matt and his twin boys. They both struggle with believing they can make it though. Matt is concerned of his boys getting hurt and Honor is always waiting for the past rumors to come between them or that they could harm Matt's family.
This book was excellent as far as "seeing" how a search and rescue is and what a rescue dog and their handler would do while searching. The book did not have the clear closure at the end that I like to see but that is my personal preference.
Loree Lough as brought us the second installment in, "The First Responders Series", entitled, "Honor Redeemed". Now, before we begin, I would encourage you to begin with book one in the series, "From Ashes To Honor". I have had the great pleasure of reading both of these titles and I can tell you that they are at the top of my favorites list!
If you have read the first book and got to those last pages and thought, "Wait, it can't end like this", don't worry. We get to see, Mercy and Austin, return along with with more amazing characters. Just a hint.. your going to love their story!
Now we are introduced to Honor Mackenzie and Matt Phillips. Once again, I fell in love with these characters. Yes, Loree, takes us through the journey of those lives touched by 9/11. We see the scars left behind and the struggles these characters must overcome.
Book two is just as AWESOME as book one in this series! I love how Loree names her characters to fit the story. We meet, Honor, in this book and she comes across as being tough and hard. We soon understand why. Both, Honor and Matt, come with pasts that seem to hold them back from trusting and letting go. Honor is a huge theme in this story.
Again, Loree, brings these heroes to life right before our eyes. We see them at work and we see how their job isn't just a job, but a part of them. They almost define themselves by the service and sacrifice they give. Honor works with Search and Rescue and Matt is a reporter, with a background as a First Responder. When they meet you would think they were worlds apart, but they have much more in common than they realize.
Once again, Loree, takes us on a journey through the depths of pain and into the days of joy. We see these characters come to life before our eyes. Loree has the gift of allowing us to feel what the characters are experiencing. This story brought me to tears on more than one occasion.
If you haven't picked up a book written by Loree Lough yet, you are missing out, my friend. She is gifted with the pen and you will not soon forget the pages that bring faith alive.
Watch for book three,"A Man of Honor" out in fall of 2012.
This book was a gift from Abingdon Press for it's review.