COMING HOME by Shelley Shepard Gray
SERIES: Woodland Park Firefighters Romance #1
GENRE: Contemporary Romance (Clean & Wholesome)
RELEASE DATE: November 29, 2022
When an army vet becomes a firefighter in small-town Colorado, the flames of an old love reignite in this sweet romance by bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray
In Woodland Park, a small town nestled in the foothills of Pikes Peak, Anderson Kelly and Chelsea Davis were once the high school “it” couple—the star quarterback and the valedictorian. They broke up when Anderson joined the army and one poor decision at a fraternity party changed Chelsea’s life. Now, she works long shifts in a senior center to support her nine-year-old son, Jack.
After multiple tours in Afghanistan, Anderson has changed, too—physically scarred but mentally strong—and he decides to move back to Woodland Park. Anderson and Chelsea steer clear of each other to avoid reopening old wounds, until they are forced to reconnect through the senior center. They soon discover that the love they once shared never completely vanished. But it will take a fire, a dangerous collision, and the love of one little boy to help Anderson and Chelsea see that the future they’ve always yearned for is in sight…
A new Shelley Shepard Gray book? About a swoony army vet turned firefighter? Who’s come back home to the small town where running into his high school sweetheart is inevitable? And her little boy worms a place into said firefighter’s heart? Yes please!!!
This book hit me in all the feels. One minute I’m melting at something sweet or swoony… the next, my heart is in my throat as the characters battle for survival from one form of danger or another. Then I’m chuckling at something Chelsea’s son Jack says… or wanting to jerk a knot in Camille’s children… or grinning at Frank … and then I’m back to swooning again because – hello – firefighters! From the blossoming second-chance romance between Anderson & Chelsea to some edge-of-your-seat action scenes, a subplot involving adult parent-child relationships, a sweet secondary romance, FIREFIGHTERS (ahem), and a few thoughts on what truly makes a hero, there is plenty (in just the right amounts) to keep every reader entertained.
These characters are so well-layered and relatable (flaws and all!), and I’m actually hard-pressed to tell you my favorite from this particular cast. It might be Chelsea’s charming little boy, Jack. But honestly I can’t pick because I loved them all – and I saw a bit of myself in each of them. Life teaches us a lot of lessons, some of them learned the hard way, and Anderson & Chelsea’s story is a perfect example. They aren’t the same people they were just after graduating high school, and the scars (internal and external) they’ve earned along the way deserve a chance to rewrite their future and heal the deep heart wounds they caused each other so long ago. Also, Anderson and his rescue cat are all kinds of adorable together and kept me grinning in every scene they shared.
Bottom Line: Coming Home by Shelley Shepard Gray has a little bit of everything wrapped up in one engaging package, allowing it to appeal to a wide variety of readers. It’s a delightful blend of small-town contemporary romance with a dose of adventure and a taste of women’s fiction – and it’s full of fabulous characters that you’ll easily fall in love with. The setting is perfect for this series, and I can’t wait to spend more time in this community & catch up with the characters again.
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4.5 stars / loved it!!
KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion
Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.
Other Recently Featured Books by Shelley Shepard Gray
Shelley Shepard Gray is offering a print copy of Coming Home to THREE of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read Coming Home by Shelley Shepard Gray?