Thursday, December 15, 2022

Review: Coming Home by Shelley Shepard Gray


Coming Home (Woodland Park Firefighters #1) by Shelley Shepard Gray
Publication Date: November 29th 2022 by Berkley
Pages: 336
Source: Publisher 
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads

My Thoughts:
Anderson and Chelsea were high school sweethearts, but broke up, each going their separate ways with Anderson enlisting in the army and Chelsea going to college.  Brokenhearted, Chelsea has a one-night stand and ends up pregnant. Although Chelsea regrets the one-night stand, she doesn’t regret having her son, Jack, now nine-years-old. Chelsea loved Anderson, he was everything to her, sweet, attentive, and when they parted ways it broke her heart, but his reaction to finding out she was pregnant isn’t something she’ll forget.

Anderson is back in his hometown of Woodland Park after fighting in Afghanistan. Left with physical and emotional scars, he’s happy to be home, helping people as a paramedic/firefighter, a job he loves. The one big regret he has is how he handled things with Chelsea. He’s never forgotten her and kicks himself over ruining things. It’s been a while since he’s been back, and they have yet to properly cross paths but then he’s assigned for and in-person service for the senior living home Chelsea works at. Meeting again inspires him to try to mend things as he’s never loved anyone like Chelsea.

Oh, I do love a second chance romance and Coming Home was lovely! The regret and longing between these two were palpable so I was fully invested on seeing them get their HEA. I loved the bond that formed between Anderson and Chelsea’s son, Jack too. Jack was so eager for a father figure and Anderson felt privileged to be there for him.

There was another side story with Chelsea’s elderly neighbor, Camille. Her kids were exerting unwanted pressure to move from Woodland Park to Florida to a senior center close by them, but Camille wanted her independence and to stay in her hometown. A little romance there, too. I’m happy Camille had support and understanding from Chelsea and Frank, her fledging beau. I enjoyed it!

Coming Home was just the kind of low-drama, heartwarming second chance romance I love! The small-town setting sounded beautiful, and I enjoyed the supportive secondary characters, too. Lots of potential for future romances.

4 Stars

Book Description:

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...

About the Author
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.


  1. Wonderful review Rachel. I've been seeing this one and it looks like a good one. (for some reason the title is a Jane Porter book which doesn't match the cover / review?)

    Anne - Books of My Heart

    1. Thanks, Anne! That's so weird because it's coming up correctly on my end. I'll see how it loads on my phone. Thanks for letting me know.

  2. What a great review you have here Rachel! I have been seeing this author around and have been curious about this one. I just love those atmospheric reads, it sounds like the author handled the small town aspects so well for this one.

    1. Thank you, Renee! I loved the small town setting, but the characters really made the story special.

  3. Love the review. Regine

  4. Thank you so much for giving this book a try. I’m delighted you enjoyed it. 💗

  5. I'm glad you enjoyed this too! Nice review, Rachel.

  6. I just added this one to my TBR list. :D

  7. You definitely sold this for me. I got all emotional as I adore second chance romances too.

  8. What a wonderful second chance romance this is!

  9. Omg what a place to just sit and watch