A Man of Honor: First Responders Book #3
by Loree Lough
- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Abingdon Press (August 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1426714629
- ISBN-13: 978-1426714627
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0
Publication Date: August 2012 | Series: First Responders (Book 3)
On a steamy spring morning, Dusty Parker—part-time pastor, part-time search-and-rescue team member, and full-time administrator of a school for troubled boys—joins the search for a missing teenage girl. He partners with volunteer and inner-city school teacher Grace Sinclair, and what they find bonds them in ways neither could have expected.
As they begin to build their lives together, a visitor from the past causes Dusty and Grace to further open their hearts and home. But a threat is looming on their seemingly perfect lives and in one terrifying night, everything changes.
Oh, wow -- I had to finish the final 70 pages last night and there was much joy and sorrow packed into those last pages.
Dusty Parker is a strong, wonderful character. His looks may be deceiving as one might not be prepared for a pastor, teen guardian when they look at a pony-tailed, tattooed, Harley riding ex-marine. Dusty had hard losses and hard times in his past but he turned his life around when he turned control over to God. He still faces demons of self doubt and blame when he thinks that he has failed any of the young boys he houses. But after he meets Grace she tries to make him see that he is honorable because he gives all and does all he can for these young lives.
Grace is a beautiful and rather fearless school teacher. She and Dusty meet on a search and rescue (SAR) when one of Grace’s young students goes missing after prom night. Neither is looking for a mate but God has other plans when he brings them together.
Dusty runs 'Last Chance,' a home for troubled boys. With the help of assistant Pastor, Mitch, they are raising eleven young boys between twelve and sixteen. The Last Chance is facing a threat from a nearby gang who wants to incorporate the young boys into it’s ranks.
Grace manages her 10 acre family ‘ranch’, Angel’s Acres by herself. Perhaps she can house the boys for the summer which will teach the boys new skills while keeping them away from the gang lures and threats. Quickly a family develops and soon surprises are added.
The two primary characters are wonderfully strong and giving. Grace has a heart of pure gold and she is able to see through Dusty’s rough edges to the honorable man beneath. The additional characters of boys and friends add conflict as well as a lot of humor and joy. The story is character driven with warmth and strength. Although this is the third book in a series it works fine as a stand alone.
The writing in the story flows very smoothly. I was pulled in with the first pages and never lost interest. The final fifth of the book has anticipated conflict and totally unexpected consequences. Not everything ends as you might expect or desire. The story was never preachy yet I enjoyed the strong faith that flowed through the characters. I recommend this for a fine reading experience and I look forward to reading more stories by Ms. Lough.
Caution: Have tissues handy.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~Grace's view of Dusty:
He’d taught her the meaning of real kindness and compassion–rare and beautiful gifts possessed by only a handful of humans. She was fortunate to have them, and blessed to have learned them through Dusty’s unwavering example. Page 225.
Thank you to the author for providing this fine book through Pump up Your Book Blog Tour.This story is set in Baltimore, MD for my Where Are You Reading Challenge. I will also add it to my New Author list.
Learn more about the book and the author, including stops with Giveaways by visiting the Blog Tour Page.
You can visit Loree online at www.LoreeLough.com.
Book Excerpt:Dusty stifled a yawn and deployed the Harley’s kickstand. Grumbling under his breath, he stowed his helmet, and, after squeezing rain from his ponytail, pulled up the rain-soaked hood of his sweatshirt.
A fat raindrop oozed from a leaf and landed on the tip of his nose, then slid to the blacktopped footpath, where it gleamed like a new dime. Up ahead, the red and blue strobes of emergency vehicles sliced through the gray mist, and the whoop of sirens silenced the usual chirp of tree frogs and crickets. If that didn’t lend gritty balance to the postcard-pretty scene, Dusty didn’t know what did.
Melissa Logan, age sixteen, hadn’t been home since the night of her prom. Last seen a few miles west of the her high school, her disappearance had sparked an intensive dusk-to-dawn manhunt that left everyone scratching their heads. And this morning, when a jogger’s German shepherd started acting spooky, the dominos began to fall…starting with its owner’s 9-1-1 call and ending with another search, here at Gunpowder State Park.
“It’s been nearly a week since she went missing,” Jones warned, “so prepare yourselves.”
Meaning, dead or alive, Melissa Logan wouldn’t look very pretty, even in her fancy prom gown.
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