Moving Forward is a clean romance set in a small town in Colorado with multiple storylines within the general arc. Getting to know many of the characters was fun, and I can't wait to see whose story is next.

4-STAR REVIEW: MOVING FORWARD by Shelley Shepard Gray

The Description

A Woodland Park Firefighters Romance: Book 2
Publication Date: August 22, 2023

Romance blossoms in the Colorado foothills in this sweet romance by New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray

Former Army captain Greg Tebo loves his new life in Woodland Park. In the two years since he joined the WPFD, he’s gained a reputation as a fearless firefighter, and after being stationed all around the country and overseas, he can’t wait to settle down with a wife and kids.

When a call comes in about a possible heart attack at the scene of a fire at the Garden Center, Greg assumes they’re going to be helping an elderly customer—not the beautiful, feisty proprietor in her late twenties. Kristen Werner has been determined to pretend everything is fine. She refuses to leave the company she’s carefully nurtured and move home to her loving but meddling family in Houston. Since her devastating diagnosis caused her fiancé to dump her, she’s given up on love and thrown herself into cultivating her blooming business instead—even if the hard work further weakens her heart.

Greg is drawn to Kristen’s vibrant, independent spirit and hopes romance will flower. But she’s had enough trouble with her heart to last a lifetime, and can’t trust Greg not to break it—especially if he finds out she can never give him the houseful of children he longs for….

The Review

Moving Forward is a nice continuation of The Woodland Park Firefighters series by author Shelley Shepard Gray, and I can’t wait for more. 

The story is a sweet romance between Greg, a firefighter, and Kristen, a garden center owner. Neither expects to find love, but when Kristen’s center catches fire, Greg’s one of the firefighters who respond and steps forward to keep her calm when she has a medical emergency, which leads to an instant attraction. 

Neither is originally from Colorado, but they have another connection. There are secrets and awkward conversations, and they both have many layers they tend to hide from others as we get to know them a little at a time. Unfortunately, they take one step forward and so many back before finally getting on the same page due to their poor communication skills.

Many stories are being told that are tied together nicely, and so many characters we get to know. The story has unexpected twists and turns, which adds more depth. There are sweet moments between Greg and Kristen but also between some of the secondary characters, especially newly graduated high schoolers Jen and Ryan. 

There is some closure but also loose ends, which I hope will get tied up in future books. The ending felt rushed since we jump to the epilogue with little knowledge of what transpired between Greg and Kristen making peace with each other and acknowledging their attraction. Still, there’s a better-than-expected portrayal of their happily ever after. 

Moving Forward is a clean romance set in a small town in Colorado with multiple storylines within the general arc. Getting to know many of the characters was fun, and I can’t wait to see whose story is next.Buy Links

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About The AuthorShelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers’ prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.



JoAnne Weiss, nee Montalbano, was born and raised in NYC until moving to CT with her family when she was 16 and she's never left. Married for 41 years with one grown son, she works in an elementary school office where she's been since it opened in 2003. Prior to that, she was an accountant in several corporations before becoming a stay at home mom for 12 years. JoAnne enjoys reading, traveling, spending time with her family, and extended family as well as with friends. She enjoys cooking and rarely uses a recipe the way it was intended but instead uses them and cooking shows to give her new ideas and suggestions. JoAnne has a huge bucket list of places she'd like to visit but has been lucky enough to travel to England, Italy, the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, and many states in the U.S. including Hawaii, California, Nevada, Arizona, and Maine among others. Some of JoAnne's favorite genres include contemporary romance, chick-lit, romantic suspense, and historical romances including regency and those set in the west. JoAnne is on several author's street teams and enjoys interacting with many of them on Facebook as well as reading their newsletters. She has been lucky enough to meet some of her favorite authors among them Susan Mallery, Debbie Macomber, Nora Roberts, Meg Tilly, Beatriz Williams, and Marie Bostwick. JoAnne took a road trip with her sister in the fall of 2019 and visited Nora Roberts' bookstore in Boonsboro, Maryland for an authors' signing. She hopes to do more of this in the future. JoAnne leaves reviews for all books she reads on Goodreads and her reviews can be found at JoAnne currently reviews for - and which is on hiatus. Previously she reviewed for which has since closed. Payment is in the form of receiving free books to read and review. Her mantra is too many books and not enough time!


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Moving Forward is a clean romance set in a small town in Colorado with multiple storylines within the general arc. Getting to know many of the characters was fun, and I can't wait to see whose story is next.4-STAR REVIEW: MOVING FORWARD by Shelley Shepard Gray