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 left behind. The last thing she’s looking for is romance, but the hot new man in town is hard to resist. And when Vanessa’s 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.
I am one of “those” readers. You know, the ones who are extremely reluctant to try a new author. While I’ve seen Mariah Stewart’s books for years, I just never picked one up. Why? I have no idea. A couple months ago, I saw Mariah’s book, Hometown Girl: The Chesapeake Diaries and I figured I’d check it out. Well….I didn’t realize it was the 4th book in a series. So, I’ve had Hometown Girl since its release date, but have had to chase down the previous books in the series (I HATE reading books out of order). I FINALLY located the first book, Coming Home at my local used bookstore and grabbed it.
In Coming Home, you find Vanessa Keaton who after two bad marriages, shows up in St. Dennis to meet the half brother, Beck she never knew about (because Maggie, her mother never told her about him), and his Dad, Hal. They immediately take her in, and she is essentially “adopted” by Hal and the small town of St. Dennis. She gets her life together and opens Bling, a trendy boutique.
Vanessa’s brother Beck is getting married to Mia, and Mia wants both of her brothers to walk her down the isle. She flies to Montana to talk her recluse, ex-FBI agent, “Mountain Man” brother Grady into agreeing to come to St. Dennis and walk her down the isle. Grady agrees, and comes to St. Dennis.
As you can probably already guess, Vanessa and Grady end up getting together. While it was fairly predictable, it wasn’t CHEESY-predictable, if you know what I mean. Yes, I could guess what was going to happen. No, it wasn’t written in a way that I got annoyed and had to skim through pages. You get Vanessa and Grady’s back-stories, and there is also a bit of suspense thrown into the book, when Vanessa is the victim of vandalism both at her home and boutique. Overall, a very good book, and I will definitely be reading the rest of the books in this series.