Geo is a new foster dad to two troubled children, twelve-year-old Jayden, and five-year-old Lucy. It hasn’t been easy, so he decides to try a little “family bonding” by heading to Camp Evermore, a summer camp for families. He figures a little swimming, canoeing, smores, and campfires will help the children and him to become closer. However, getting there has been a trial. It’s a five-hour drive from Freson to Big Bear Lake. He lost Lucy, and Lucy lost one of her beloved dolls. Jayden is being…well…a bored twelve-year-old boy. Topping that off, Geo’s run out of gas just a few miles from camp.
Travis is a pitcher for the San Diego Padres. His career is on the downslide, and he’s depressed they only offered him an additional one-year contract, rather than a longer one. He’s also a counselor at Camp Evermore. His family owns it, so he volunteers one week every summer. On his way, Travis encounters a car on the side of the road with two upset children and a harried looking father. Stopping to help, he enlists his dog, Max, to calm Lucy, and he is able to get some gas for Geo. It seemed they were making a real connection, but a misunderstanding has Travis angry, and he takes off quickly, leaving a confused Geo behind.
Imagine their surprise when they run into each other at Camp Evermore. Travis is aloof and Geo decides to concentrate on the kids, but as a day passes and Travis discovers his anger was unjustified, the men begin to develop a friendship that quickly becomes more. There’s only one problem. Travis isn’t out…at all. He’s afraid to disappoint his family, and he doesn’t want to be the only out player in professional baseball. Sooner rather than later, Travis is going to have to decide whether he can acknowledge his relationship, and love for Geo.
You guys. I not only loved this book, I LOVED THIS BOOK! It’s a little early in the year, but I’m going to guarantee this will still be one of my favorites come December. It was a fun, sweet, hilarious, and sexy story that was so nice, I’ve read it twice. I thought the summer camp setting was unique, and Eli Easton did a perfect job describing it and making it all come alive. I felt the sunshine on my back, the lake, the campfires. I even felt the drive to camp because I’ve personally been up that particular road to Big Bear Lake.
I fell in love with Geo and Travis right away. I didn’t need time to let them grow on me. It was instant. Geo’s dedication to Lucy and Jayden is more than admirable. He desperately wants them to be a family, and even though it’s difficult, he’s willing to do whatever it takes. I love how he interacts with them. He’s patient and loving, and he’s utterly devoted to those children. Travis is equally dedicated to his family. I don’t think I’m giving too much away by telling you he is a former foster kid, so he understands the children…especially Jayden. He feels fortunate to have been able to have his life and family. When he begins falling for Geo, Travis’ need to continue to be closeted leaves him conflicted. That is very powerful, and I could feel that.
When Geo and Travis finally fall together, their sexual chemistry explodes. Along with being smoking hot, they share hilarious banter. Geo is especially funny, and there are some serious LOL moments. The sense of the forbidden, of having to keep a secret, adds to the chemistry. It’s a perfect combination.
There are some important background characters in the story. Of course, there’s Lucy and Jayden, but there’s also Travis’ family…his sister, brother, and father all make appearances. Two others, Bridget and Van, become friends with Geo, and even though their roles are more comic relief, they fit nicely. Geo can use some friends to support him, and these ladies are exactly what he needs.
The ending is as expected…not predictable, but it’s what this book needed, and the author does an excellent job, giving it the life it should have. Every sentence is brilliant. There is a sense of anticipation, followed by relief, and finally, warm happiness. That happiness is what made me read it a second time within three days.
I cannot recommend Family Camp enough. It’s a real comfort book, and it’s one of the most fun, charming, and funny books I’ve ever read.