Review: Out of the Ashes by Lori Dillon

Out of the Ashes
By: Lori Dillon
Publisher: Amari Press
Published: March 17, 2012
Genre: Paranormal Romance

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Pompeii, AD 79

David and Sera are soul mates meant to be together, if only their bumbling guardian angels could do their job right…

First united in Pompeii as a privileged merchant’s daughter and a slave gladiator, their young love is cut short when Vesuvius unexpectedly erupts. After several botched attempts, their angels get one final chance to bring the couple together and personally escort them back to war-torn Italy, nearly two thousand years later.

WWII, 1943

Sera is now an archeologist excavating the ruins of Pompeii. David is an American soldier masquerading as an Italian, sent to spy on the Germans camped near the ruins. With the help of their earth-bound angels, they soon find each other again as they excavate the ruins.

The book starts off with a gladiator slave who is about to enter the arena where he will fight to the death. When he is about to be defeated and killed, there is a commotion in the stands of the arena. A young woman is pleading for his life to be spared and crazy enough the crowd seems to agree with her. His life is spared and he is able to live another day to fight in the arena. The young woman is fascinated with the gladiator and starts visiting him in his cell. They start to develop a friendship that is rapidly becoming something more but then Vesuvius erupts and their time together is cut short.

The story then changes to their guardian angels getting chewed out for allowing their charges to die before their time and are given a second chance by having their charges be reincarnated, and then again, and again. Until we get David and Sera. I was a little glad that the author didn’t make us read about all of the failures but rather the first time these two spirits meet and then the current time for the two characters which just so happens to be during WWII. Sera is an archaeologist digging up the remains of Pompeii and David is an American spy who happened to get a job as Sera’s assistant but is really there to spy on the German camp that is practically in Sera’s excavation site’s backyard.

I must say that it was instantaneous love for me when I started reading about the gladiators. I am not a huge history buff but somethings do interest me and that is one of them. I loved Sera and David. Their characters just worked so well together. And Lori Dillon’s writing was spot on for me. She didn’t get too heavy with the details weighing you down with too many words and distracting you from the story at hand. She gives you enough details to paint a picture in your head but leaves some of it to your imagination, which I love.

I really enjoyed the author’s note at the end that explained that she got the idea when she saw a National Geographic photograph of a plaster cast of a couple from Pompeii. The two died in each others arms and from that picture she imagined who the couple might have been and came up with Out of the Ashes. She did an amazing job with the story and I can’t believe that this is a debut novel for her. I cannot wait to read more of her work.

Sera and David’s guardian angels are discussing all of their failures over trying to bring their two souls together with their boss.

“Apparently there was a typo on the relocation application for Male 2028.”
“You see, he was supposed to return as a Hun on Horseback.”
“And he was sent back as…?”
Marsha and Hershel glanced nervously at each other.
“A monk with a hunchback,” Hershel mumbled as he sank lower in his chair.

2 Thoughts on “Review: Out of the Ashes by Lori Dillon

  1. It sounds like a great book, but that cover completely throws me off. The two are modern, and the book is set in the past.

  2. This does sound interesting! New to your blog, it’s great. Stop by and follow back at when you have the time! Feel free to join the blog hop while you’re there. I think people would really enjoy your reviews! 🙂

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