Title: Family Camp (Daddy Dearest #1)
Author: Eli Easton
Publisher: Pinkerton Road LLC
Release Date: March 28, 2019
Page Count: ~200
Reviewed by: Kristin F.
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
When Geo signs up for Family Camp, he envisions nature hikes, s’mores, and a chance to win over his recalcitrant new foster kids, Jayden and Lucy. He’s tried to become a dad for so long, and he hopes the three of them can be the family he’s always wanted. What he doesn’t anticipate is the prickly and gorgeous camp counselor who constantly comes to his rescue.
Travis spends a week every year at Camp Evermore, the camp his adoptive parents own. As a pro baseball player, his presence guarantees a full campground and excited campers. He has one rule: never, ever mess around with anyone at camp. His profession demands he stay in the closet. But one sweet and funny new dad is about to test all his resolve.
Sparks fly for Geo and Travis, and not because of the nightly campfire. Having been a foster kid himself, Travis is drawn to Geo’s sincerity and big heart and to his kids. The four of them just fit. But will this be a summer romance? Or can they find a way to be a family long after Family Camp is over?
I will admit to some apprehensions about this book: it has kids and I’m not wild about books with kids. The series title “Daddy Dearest” threw me because, well…I’m not wild about the whole “Daddy” genre. But the book blurb didn’t seem to focus on the kids and the “Daddy” seemed to have actually meant “Dad”, and I really enjoy Eli Easton’s books…so here I am writing a review.
This book was delightful. It was for me, nearly perfect. Heck, this is probably the book that has best captured Dad’s and kids that I’ve read yet.
Strong points that made the book in my humble opinion:
The reader is given a glimpse of a single, gay man trying to adopt through the foster system. Geo is a seventh grade teacher who wants kids of his own and is now trying to connect with a 12 year old and a 5 year old who come with their own emotional and physical issues.
Closeted gay sports star/former foster child. If there is one person who could relate to Geo and his fledging family, it would be Travis. Except Travis has a few trust issues of his own stemming from his foster days and the whole closeted thing he has going on.
Family Camp setting. Everyone will get to experience some kind of realistic growing experience. Everyone. Positivity all around!
Minimal angst. There is just enough to keep the characters realistic and the plot moving forward. One could go down a rabbit hole here and say this or that about the climatic Big Reveal scene, but in the context of the book it worked and worked well.
Gosh darn it, I really enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down. Recommended!