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Coming Home (Chesapeake Diaries #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  2,083 Ratings  ·  157 Reviews
New York Times bestselling author Mariah Stewart presents a captivating contemporary romance novel in the tradition of Robyn Carr, Susan Mallery, and Barbara Freethy.

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 year
ebook, 320 pages
Published March 23rd 2010 by Ballantine Books (first published March 8th 2010)
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Mar 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Mariah Stewart’s writing style and her flexibility with it. Will this be a suspenseful book with romance, or romance with a twist of suspense to keep things energized? Well, it doesn’t matter to me which way it comes, because I loved Coming Home. I thoroughly enjoyed the romance and that it flowed naturally. It helped whenever back story was mentioned, in case you missed her earlier “Last” series. I do love when an author finds characters that can be brought back!!! It was a wonderful boo ...more
Feb 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lazy Sunday Romance, beach read
Shelves: romance
I wish I had known before I started reading this series that there was a trilogy that preceded it (The "Last" trilogy). There are so many references to characters in these other books that I spent the first hundred pages wondering if I'd picked up the wrong book in the series after carefully checking that it was the start of The Chesapeake Diaries.

My main comment about this novel is that it reads like a soap opera: The plot focuses on a group of core couples, with a bunch of supporting characte
Trisha W.
Aug 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. This is the first book I have read by Mariah Stewart and it will not be my last. This is the first book in the Chesapeake Diaries series.

This was one of those romance novels that you did not want to put down. I could have read 400 more pages of this book and not been sick of the characters. The character of Grady sounds like my dream man. A rough and rugged cowboy who has a soft and caring heart, especially when it comes to Vanessa. A woman who has made bad choices growing up
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Author: Mariah Stewart
First published: 2010
Length: 4968 kindle locations
Setting: Contemporary. St Dennis, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.
Sex: Explicit. Infrequent.
Hero: Former FBI now wilderness guide.
Heroine: Owns clothes store, Bling.
Trigger: Domestic abuse and spousal abuse.
Includes: excerpt from Home Again

It wasn’t the best written book - internal monologues and some other parts of the narrative were stilted - but it was an enjoyable story.

Strong links to other series but still stands well enough
Nov 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Vanessa Keaton's escapes an abusive marriage, she returns to the only place she has ever really called home. Whilst Hal is not really her stepfather any more, he and her half brother Beck have never treated Vanessa as anything other than family after she was dumped on their doorstep by her neglectful mother Maggie. Now, she has rebuilt her life. She has a successful dress boutique in the small town of St Dennis called Bling, she has friends and she is happy being single.

With Beck getting ma
Andrea Guy
Anyone that likes Debbie Macomber, Sherryl Woods or Robyn Carr, will love this book. Coming Home is the first book in The Chesapeake Diaries series by Mariah Stewart. It is part romance and part suspense, but really it is a story about relationships and families.

The story takes place in St Dennis, a small town on the Chesapeake Bay. This book helps to set up the next two books in the trilogy. In this book you are introduced to all the key players. The focus of this book is Vanessa and Grady. Bot
Mar 23, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book I won on the Goodreads FirstReads giveaway. I received it yesterday, and then, when I started it last night, I couldn't put it down.
It's a good story by Mariah Stewart.

This is a predictable romance story. I could have predicted what would happen and why. What I liked about it was one of the main characters, who had bad things happen in his life, didn't have the "WOE IS ME!" attitude. His philosophy of "I did what I could, and I couldn't change certain things. Let's move on" is som
3.5 stars for the novel. 5 stars for Xe Sands' performance. She did an excellent job voicing Mariah Stewart's characters. I particularly enjoyed the subplot of Maggie and Hal. I'll look for the second book in the series.
Michaela Osiecki
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: guilty-pleasures
I'm not really a big fan of the summer beach read types of books that the Chesapeake Diaries series falls under, often because they play into tired old heteronormative tropes and enforce toxic gender roles, but I digress.

My boss lent me the entire stack of books in the series, so naturally I began with the first one. The romance was predictable and a little too cliche for my taste, but I enjoyed the character of Grady - who just wanted a quiet life doing the nature thing after a painful and hard
Ada Iaboni
I thrilled that I actually started a series from the first book! This rarely happens to me, since I buy books on sale at libraries, flea markets and from anyone that has used book.
I've also been getting more and more of them from the audio books, so that I can listen to as I drive.

Anyway, this book was very nice. A nice story of support and friendliness and caring and finding love in a small town that is also coming back to life.
I'm listening to some of the next sections of the series.
Jessica Adams Austin
Enjoyed this sweet romance

This was a sweet romance that had a little mystery thrown in. I wish there had been an epilogue or a little more of the couple together, but overall it was an enjoyable read.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a fun, quick summer read. Love the main characters and the setting. (Didn't love all the talk about "figures" in the start....)- that didn't take away the enjoyment of the rest!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
CJ - It's only a Paper Moon
This is the perfect book to read on the beach or by the pool because there is little to no thought required with this book.

Everything is spelled out and ordered and there are very little surprises.

That doesn't mean this is a bad thing. Sometimes you just want a fluffy fiction book.

This book suffered from a few things, lack of a built up backstory, little tension between the leads, too many switches of POV to Hal, not enough Steffie and Beck, old-fashioned dialogue (what thirty something says "O
Apr 08, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vaness Keaton has been living in St. Dennis. a small town on the Chesapeake, for three years now since she escaped an abusive marriage. She owns her own home and boutique; two things she thought she would never have. Life is finally okay thanks to meeting her half brother Beck and his father Hal who takes Vanessa under his wing and helps her regain a self of self- respect. There is no one special in Vanessa's life and that's the way she plans to keep it. As she too well knows, there are no fairy ...more
Laura de Leon
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.

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

At its heart, Coming Home is a book about people in
Feb 24, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I downloaded this book for free from my library. Somehow, it got stuck in the section entitled "historical romance". First, it isn't historical. Second, while it reads like a romance, it is on the border of chic lit. It also involves a lot of big, heavy, themes such as domestic violence, grieving widowers, and two generations of people falling in love. The backdrop is a town in the midst of revitalization, a lot of people who get along really well for a small, gossipy community. One of the major ...more
Tia Bach
Feb 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love isn't always a bed of roses, and both Grady and Vanessa fully understand that. Neither is looking for love. In fact, they both avoid it. But there's nothing like a wedding, especially between two people who are a wonderful match, to bring out the possibilities.

Vanessa lives in a charming town, one that gave her a new lease on life. Years ago, she found a brother, Beck, there as well as a man who became like a father to her. Grady left town to leave behind his own demons, but he's back for h
When I first read The Long Way Home I loved the overall story, but hated the feeling of coming into the series in the middle. It wasn't that I was confused, but more that I wanted to know all the back stories of all the characters. Which is why I was really looking forward to this one, so I could start from the beginning.

Except, as I soon realized, while this is a first of a series, it's a spin off of Mariah Stewart's Last series. So I still felt like I was missing a back story, which was disapp
Nov 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mariah Stewart is a new-to-me author and I'm super glad I gave her a chance. The mixture of romance, family bonds, friendship and mystery was perfect in this book.

Ms. Stewart did a wonderful job of introducing the reader to key people in the small town of St. Dennis without it being overwhelming. And all of the residents of this small town are so charming. I'm really interested to see where the possible magic/herbalist storyline will go through the other books in the series.

I'm also thinking the
Julie Barrett
Feb 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Coming Home by Mariah Stewart
Like this series and catching up on the older books.
St. Dennis, MD on the shores of the Chesapeake. Vanesssa runs the Bling shop and her brother Beck is the local cop.
His wife to be is in Montana hoping to get her brother to walk her down the aisle to Beck.
The book also follows the life of Mia's brother, Grady. he's left the FBI after the death of his wife and he's settled in over the years.
He agreed to the family week long event before Mia's wedding. I loved hearin
Feb 28, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Cover blurb:
A man who's sworn off love,
a woman haunted by her past.
When fate offers them a
second chance, will they take it?
With all that fluffy pinkness, is there any reason for me to expect anything else?

This one was cute. I wasn't really in the mood for this genre (romance with a dash of suspense), but once I started reading, I enjoyed it. I totally saw the bad guy coming from a mile away. I obviously didn't know his name, but I knew his relationship to his victim as soon as the prime suspec
Jan 09, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-but-unowned
Immediately I realized that there were previous books with the majority of the characters in the book (including the hero, Grady). That always frustrates me, especially since this book is the first in a new series. After digging a little, turns out that there are three to five books including the Mira, Grady, Andy, and then several with their cousins. Also, the author has decided to change from romantic suspense to more romance and light rather than dark due to a few deaths in her family. It def ...more
Aug 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance-novels
I might be overly critical of this book because St. Dennis actually exists.  It's a lovely little town on the Eastern Shore called St. Michaels.  The description of St. Michaels was spot-on, as was  the story about the town extinguishing all the candles to foil British troops during the war of 1812. Since I've been to St. Michaels more than a few times, I got really hung up on things that weren't right.  Things like calling the Bay Bridge "the bridge over the Bay." Nope. It's just "the Bay Bridg ...more
Oct 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
A very sweet story about love and relationships in general. If you're looking for a calm happy romantic story, you've come to the right place!

Stewart's writing style is remarkable. Although the pace is pretty slow, it doesn't drag and make the reader feel bored. Stewart has a way of writing that easily grabs the reader's attention and then sucking them into the story. You end up really caring about what happen to the characters.

The plot is pretty predictable and not all that original but Stewart
Katherine P
Nov 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance-read, 2013
This is the opening story of the Chesapeake Diaries. The primary characters are Vanessa and Grady Shields but there are a lot of secondary characters around. Luckily, Stewart did a good job giving them personality so I found them easy to keep track of. There's a lot going on in this book - Vanessa's brother getting married, dealing with her estranged mother, Vanessa and Grady getting to know each other and trying to figure out who seems to be following Vanessa. Stewart does a good job of creatin ...more
Feb 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This book reminded me of a Nora Roberts type romance novel. A little mystery, a little romance, a little "mysterious past". Add in a damsel in distress and the formula is complete. This "damsel in distress" didn't appear to need too much rescuing though, which I enjoyed. The author made Vanessa a strong, independent character and used Grady as support rather than relying on him to move the plot along. I felt like Vanessa was the central character who happened to fall in love, rather than focusin ...more
Good read. The heroine is the owner of a dress and accessories shop in this little Chesapeake Bay town. She grew up pretty rough and when her mom sent her to meet her half-brother, she was welcomed by him and his father, who helped her get set up. The hero is retired from the FBI and comes to the little town for his sister's wedding. She's marrying the heroine's brother, so the hero and heroine are thrown together a lot, and hit it off nicely. Most of the story is about the nicely, but they both ...more
Jay Jessmer
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A prime example of "Never judge a book by it's cover". As a huge fan of Mariah Stewart, I have brought this one home from the library 3 different times, but never read it as I would look at the fru-fru cover and think...."This isn't going to work for me". Finally I bit the bullet and shame on me!
That's what I get for doubting Ms. Stewart, her abilities and the always entertaining Shields family. Just like Andrew, Connor and Mia, Grady Shields is a terrific lead character and Vanessa Keaton is
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Mariah Stewart is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-six novels and three novellas and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal. She is a RITA finalist in romantic suspense and the recipient of the Award of Excellence for contemporary romance, a RIO Award for excellence in women's fiction, and a Reviewers Choice Award from Romantic Times Magazine. A three-time winner ...more
More about Mariah Stewart...

Other Books in the Series

Chesapeake Diaries (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Home Again (Chesapeake Diaries #2)
  • Almost Home (Chesapeake Diaries #3)
  • Hometown Girl (Chesapeake Diaries, #4)
  • Home for the Summer (Chesapeake Diaries, #5)
  • The Long Way Home (Chesapeake Diaries, #6)
  • At the River's Edge (Chesapeake Diaries, #7)
  • On Sunset Beach (Chesapeake Diaries, #8)
  • That Chesapeake Summer (Chesapeake Diaries, #9)
  • Driftwood Point (Chesapeake Diaries, #10)
  • The Chesapeake Bride (Chesapeake Diaries #11)

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