Rating: 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?
You know how there are books that as soon as you’ve finished them, you want to start them all over again? Well, it turns out there are audio books you feel about that way too. Family Camp (Daddy Dearest #1) by Eli Easton and Matthew Shaw (Narrator) is most definitely one of them. It imparts those warm, fuzzy, wrapped up in your favorite blankie sort of feelings, boosted in part by the fabulous narration by Matthew Shaw.
It all starts when new foster dad (who wants to be their forever dad) Geo signs his small new family up for some bonding time at Family Camp in hopes he and they can start to start to move through erected barriers and begin the process of learning about each other and becoming a family.
The journey is not going well. The car is barely holding together as is Geo’s nerves, the kids well, are being who they are, removed and or brash/outspoken, depending upon the kid. And everything about it speaks of an authenticity of desperation, the reality of a new dad trying to make things work and oh yeah, the heat of a summer’s day. Great writing, great characters, and a great scene that also came alive with the right narration. Yep, totally hooked.
When Travis enters the picture along with his dog Max, if my heart wasn’t totally engaged before, it was now. Because the sparks flew and I just knew this was going to be a great couple and yes family affair. And I couldn’t wait to see how Easton would bring them all together at Camp.
Turns out it’s quite the journey as Travis isn’t out to his team or family. Geo has foster children in need of himself and the idea they have found their forever home. And more, so much more as Travis is the product of the foster system and the Family Camp is run by his parents who raised him and a huge number of children, much of whom came out of the system. Trust is a big element here and not just for Jayden and Lucy but also for Travis and Geo.
Easton carefully weaves the bonds of family and love between the men and the children, making them feel real and heartbound. That it takes only two weeks doesn’t feel unlikely because of the established backgrounds.
The pace of the story and the resolution to the angst filled moments all felt right. As I said I would be listening to this story again soon, when I need a hug and a story to warm me.
The narration by Matthew Shaw is everything. His tones have a wide range, equal to a father like Travis’ and then down to Lucy beginning to come out of her shell. I believed them all.
Cover art just made me grin. That’s perfect for the story and character. Doesn’t it make you want to come to Family Camp too?
Audio Book Details:
Audible Audio, 7 pages
Published August 14th 2019 by Pinkerton Road LLC (first published March 28th 2019)
SeriesDaddy Dearest #1