Short Take Reviews: Camden | Coming Home


by Sawyer Bennett
Series: Pittsburgh Titans #8
Pub: 8/1/2023
Format: Kindle
4.25 stars

Camden was one of the Lucky Three - the trio of Pittsburgh Titans players who was not on the plane with his teammates when it crashed, killing all on board. Telling himself that he has dealt with the trauma and put it aside, Camden is just hiding it well... until he isn't. Forced encouraged by his coach to attend a grief support meeting, he reconnects with Danica, the widow of his former friend/teammate. While  stepping in to help Danica, Camden must confront his grief and guilt, while also reconciling his growing feelings for Danica.

I've inhaled each book in this series and had been looking forward to Camden's story. I loved watching Camden reconnect with Danica and become an important part of her life and that of her son, Travis. Danica, while obviously still missing her husband almost a year after the crash, had worked through her grief and was able to be there for Camden, helping him navigate his own in a healthy way. At the same time, they had an ease to their relationship, having known each other for years, and I liked the way they were able to make such a natural feeling shift from friends to more. Their chemistry was off the charts, and their physical relationship provided plenty of steam. The support of Camden's teammates, and his relationship with Travis were true highlights. Another solid entry in a series that I don't want to end.

Tropes: friends to lovers, single parent

CW (highlight to view): grief, PTSD, death of a spouse

by Shelley Shepard Gray
Series: Woodland Park Firefighters #1
Pub: 11/29/2022
Format: Audio
3.5 stars

Anderson and Chelsea were high school sweethearts and had no doubt they would be together forever. But when Anderson joined the Army after graduation, and one reckless night at college changed everything for Chelsea... their lives took very different turns. Almost ten years later, Anderson is back in the small town of Woodland Park. Bearing the scars from his military service, both physical and emotional, he works as a paramedic. Seeing Chelsea again, and her son Jack, makes Anderson yearn for more - if only Chelsea will trust him enough to give them a second chance.

Shelley Shepard Gray is new to me but when I saw Rachel @ Waves of Fiction review the second book in this series recently, I was interested enough to grab the first book from my library. While this was far from my usual type of read, I enjoyed my time with Chelsea, Anderson, and the other residents in the small Colorado town. There was no drama or angst, the characters were genuine and kind, and it was easy to just sit back and let the story unfold. The secondary plotline featuring the burgeoning relationship of two older characters (in their 60's) was just as sweet and engaging as the central story. Coming Home was like a breath of fresh air and I won't hesitate to continue the series.

Tropes: small town, single parent, second chance

CW (highlight to view): PTSD, house fire

violence/death (mostly off page), physical abuse (off page)

Have you read these books?


  1. These both sound like such emotional reads! I can't even imagine the feelings that Camden and Danica must have been going through.

  2. Camden sounds good. I need to get back to that series. Great reviews!

  3. Camden's story sounds really good. I just finished reading Moving Forward, the second book in Shelley Shephard Gray's Woodland Park Firefighter's series; it was also a 3.5 star read.

  4. I have seen that sort of storyline from Camden in several books, and I tend to like it. I like seeing two people heal together and find love. I am looking forward to reading more Titians books

  5. I really need to read some of these recent Sawyer Bennett titles. Camden sounds amazing!

  6. Camden is on my list. And I liked Coming Home. I liked it a lot more than the next one, Moving Forward, I still have to write my review for that one. I'm a bit behind.

  7. Someday I'll get to the Titans series. Glad to see you enjoyed Coming Home overall. It was an easy going romance and I liked the relationship between the older couple as well!

  8. I love seeing your reviews of that Sawyer Bennett, I really want to get to those and soon. Love seeing how much you are loving those.

  9. I haven't either of these but that first one sounds so good!

  10. I am so behind on Bennett's books, but I'm hoping to make at least a little progress before the end of the year.