Book Review: Coming Home by Shelley Shepard Gray

Posted November 28, 2022 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 45 Comments

Coming Home
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: Woodland Firefighters #1
by Shelley Shepard Gray
Publication Date November 29, 2022
Published by Penguin
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Genres: Fiction / Romance / Clean & Wholesome, Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Small Town & Rural
Pages: 352
Format: ARC

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

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...

Coming Home by Shelley Shepard Gray is the first book in her new Woodland Firefighters series.  This book is an emotional, second-chance romance about forgiveness, and moving forward.  

Story Recap: 

Chelsea Davis has a good life working at the senior center as an activities director and raising her nine-year-old son.  She grew up in Woodland Park, a small town at the base of Colorado’s Pike’s Peak.  But, when her old high school boyfriend comes to town, she manages to avoid him, until they have to work together on the fire inspection at the senior center. 

Anderson Kelly has returned to Woodland Park after many tours in Afghanistan in the Army.  He’s now a firefighter with the local fire department.  His time in the Army left him with many scars, both emotional and physical.  But, he’s determined to make a difference back in his hometown.  But when he runs into his old girlfriend, he knows she’ll never be able to look past his scars or forgive him for leaving her and chasing her into the arms of another man.  

My Thoughts: 

I really enjoyed this second chance romance very much.  I loved the setting in the Colorado Rockies and the fictional small town of Woodland Park.  The characters are very realistic and both enjoy serving their community.  Their reason for breaking up all those years ago seemed realistic to me, and they were very young at the time.  Both characters have to learn to forgive each other and decide to move on with their lives.

There was a fair amount of action in the book, which kept me engaged and moved the story along at a good pace.  The side characters in the book were all realistic and added to the story.  


I highly recommend Coming Home to anyone who enjoys romance. I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Shelley Shepard Gray

grew up in Houston, Texas, went to Colorado for college, and after living in Arizona, Dallas, and Denver, we moved to southern Ohio about ten years ago.

I’ve always thought of myself as a very hard worker, but not ‘great’ at anything. I’ve obtained a bachelor’s and master’s degree…but I never was a gifted student. I took years of ballet and dance, but I never was anywhere near the star of any recital. I love to cook, but I’m certainly not close to being gourmet…and finally I love to write books, but I’ve certainly read far better authors.

Maybe you are a little bit like me. I’ve been married for almost twenty years and have raised two kids. I try to exercise but really should put on my tennis shoes a whole lot more. I’m not a great housekeeper, I hate to drive in the snow, and I don’t think I’ve ever won a Monopoly game. However, I am the best wife and mother I know how to be.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that in God’s eyes that is okay? That from His point of view, we are all exceptional? I treasure that knowledge and am always so thankful for my faith. His faith in me makes me stand a little straighter, smile a little bit more, and be so very grateful for every gift He’s given me.

I started writing about the Amish because their way of life appealed to me. I wanted to write stories about regular. likeable people in extraordinary situations-and who just happened to be Amish.

Getting the opportunity to write Inspirational novels is truly gratifying. With every book, I feel my faith grows stronger. And that makes me feel very special indeed.

45 responses to “Book Review: Coming Home by Shelley Shepard Gray

  1. Great review, Wendy. I just put in a request for this book, but I doubt if it will be accepted–Berkley and last day, doesn’t sound likely. I hesitate to start another series, but it sounds so good. While on NetGalley I also requested that author’s next book in The Rumors in Ross County Series.

    • Oh, I didn’t know she has a second book out, now I’ll have to go and request it. I get about 50% of my requests from Berkley, but a year ago, it was 0%!

  2. I’ll either pick this one up or Flirting With the Beast next. I have both books and need to read them. Glad to see you loved it, Wendy! I’m a sucker for a second chance romance.

  3. Joanna @ TheGeekishBrunette

    Second chance romance can be a hot or miss for me but this one looks sweet!

  4. I love that this story feels so genuine. It definitely sounds heartwarming and that cover is gorgeous. Excellent review!