Review: Coming Home by Mariah Stewart

21 Sep

Coming Home (Chesapeake Diaries Series #1)My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My previous experience with Mariah Stewart has been with her romantic suspense novels. The (absolutely beautiful) pastel cover on this led me to expect something much more sedate. The cover copy left me unsure: “sister’s wedding”, “peaceful town” both go with the quieter story, “FBI”, “victim again”, “fight her demons” all led me to think there might be more of an excitement factor.

Publisher’s summary:

In the wake of his wife’s murder, agent Grady Shields turned his back on the FBI—and everything else—to retreat into the vast solitude of Montana, grieve for his lost love, and forget the world. But after years in seclusion, his sister’s wedding draws him to St. Dennis, a peaceful town on the Chesapeake Bay. Though he swears he isn’t interested in finding love again, Grady can’t ignore the mutual sparks that fly when he meets Vanessa Keaton.

Although her past was marked by bad choices, Vanessa has found that coming to St. Dennis is the best decision she’s ever made. Bling, her trendy boutique, is a success with tourists as well as with the townspeople. She’s made friends, has a home she loves, and has established a life for herself far from the nightmare she’s left behind. The last thing she’s looking for is romance, but she’s finding the hot new man in town is hard to resist.

And when her past catches up with her, Grady finds that he’s unwilling to let her become a victim again. As together they fight her demons, Grady and Vanessa discover that life still holds some surprises and that love doesn’t always have to hurt.

The book was both, and they worked together very nicely for me.

At its heart, Coming Home is a book about people in a small town. I started out writing that it was the characters that made the book work for me, but that isn’t quite true. I liked Vanessa, and I found her story interesting, but she’s not really going to stick with me. Same with Grady. He had interesting demons to fight, but he was in many ways a stock romance character leading man (although I did like his sense of humor with his sister).

It was the town– the collection of secondary characters– that really pulled me in. Some of them will probably be getting their own books down the line, although Grace (the woman who retired from the local hotel to run the local paper) seems likely to keep to her observer role. There were just enough characters to be interesting without being overwhelming.

And yes, there was suspense. There was a bad guy doing bad things, and several ex-FBI characters to go after the culprit. It’s not a mystery, since there’s not much time spent wondering who it is, but rather how to stop the danger.

All in all, I enjoyed reading this book, and am looking forward to continuing with the series.

Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours, I’m giving away one copy of the next book in the series, Home Again!  Go to the giveaway post for more information.

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for inviting me on this tour, and arranging for my copies of Coming Home and Home Again.  Check back on Thursday for my Home Again review!

Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour:


Posted by on September 21, 2010 in books, reviews, tour


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3 responses to “Review: Coming Home by Mariah Stewart

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