Review: Family Camp (Daddy Dearest #1) by Eli Easton

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?

When Eli Easton is on she's tough to beat when it comes to feel good reads, I tell ya. SPOILER ALERTFamily Camp is packed to the rafters with good feels.

I normally shy away from reads with kids but the lure of a grumpy pro baseball player was too great to resist and I'm glad I didn't because Family Camp is FUN! Jay and Luce are integral to this story and enrich it in so many ways. They also read like kids who've had a rough go in the tender young lives, kids you root for and hope they find a loving parent(s) like Geo and finally catch a break.

I enjoyed Geo and Travis along with the cast of side characters so much that I retreated to the reading cave and only had a pauper's meal because I couldn't be parted from it for the length of time it would've taken to actually cook. 

Geo and Travis, once they overcome their little miscommunication hiccup, are charming AF. They have charisma and the whole camp sees it. They have fun together which in turn made this an engaging read and kept a smile on my face. They don't really angst about anything, their personalities compliment each other and I LOVED how Geo's dorkdom put the kibosh on Travis' grumperdom. It was truly touching to see him enjoying himself. They're also ON FIYAHHHHHHHHHH 🔥🔥(mostly) in the woods (no forest fires were started 🐻) and in the bedroom and on the couch. 🙌

I found all the camp stuff ridiculously cute. It's camp. Camp is supposed to be OTT and silly. You're supposed to make an ass out of yourself and like it. Those are the rules.

Naturally, it wouldn't be Eli Easton if there weren't feels and there were verklempty moments sprinkled here and there from Travis's dad's speech to Jay and Geo in the backseat of the car to the talk show audience to Luce reaching out to Geo for comfort. 

Geo's camp friends, Van and Bridge, were highlights but Travis's dad was my favorite secondary character. He's a BAMF. If he shows up again I will not be butthurt.

I've no idea where this series is going next but I'm here for it! 

My only quibbles are both baseball-y. Because sports nut. Sorry. Not sorry. 

1. This takes place in July 2019 and Travis is looking at potentially one more season. No way are the Padres making the post-season. Not even with Machado 🤮 so that's fourteen maybe fifteen months. Why he's so convinced that this thing with Geo will be confined to the camp puzzled me. Fourteen months isn't ideal but given that he was already planning on coming out after retiring it's certainly doable.

2. The Padres are an NL team. No way are they playing the A's (an AL team) twice late in the season. 

Honestly, 99.9% of the reading audience won't give two shits about my quibbles and clearly they didn't drastically hinder my enjoyment, so go forth, peoples! Family Camp will give you warm fuzzies and who doesn't need a little pick me up as only Eli Easton can deliver right about now? 

An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.

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