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Family Camp

Daddy Dearest, Book 1
Narrated by: Matthew Shaw
Series: Daddy Dearest, Book 1
Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
Categories: Romance, LGBT
4.5 out of 5 stars (61 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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?

About the Daddy Dearest series

The Daddy Dearest series will consist of stand-alone contemporary novels focusing on single gay dads who find hot romance. Expect laughs, sweet and sexy slow-burn romance, and lots of family feels!

©2019 Jane Holmes (P)2019 Jane Holmes

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Family is not of blood but of your choosing

Awwwww ... and awwwwwwwwwwwwww .. and awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww 😍😍😍 Damn, all the good feels in the world. 🥰 Eli Easton has been one of my favorite authors since my very first book of hers and there’s definitely a legit reason for that. She writes one of the best feel- good, heart-warming, all the tingly feels stories. 👏 And “Family Camp” definitely isn’t an exception, it was sweet, warm, romantic and invokes all the right feels in you. 😊 You can’t help but falling in love with both MCs and their misfit of a little adoptive family while reading this very lovely story. 💜


Geo is a very fresh dad with two very uncooperative and mistrustful foster kids. So he decided going to a family camp over their summer holiday is the cure to all his parental problems. 😁 He thought he had given up his sex life for at least another decade when he got these two kids in his life. 😏 That is until a knight in shining armor riding ... I mean driving a car came rescuing to his predicament of being stranded in the middle of the road with no gas in his tank on the road to said family camp. 😂 Talk about chemistry on the first sight, it was sizzling. 🔥 And the knight kept coming to his rescue over his stay at the family camp. Perhaps, the kids needed an another daddy to complete their perfect equation. 😁 And if Geo is honest with himself, he wants kind and loving Travis so desperately for himself and his kids. If only being together after a summer fling would be so easy when said fling happens to be a celebrity Major League Baseball player who’s not out at all. 😉


Although this is kind of an insta-lust/love thing that spanned over a week long vacation at a family camp, it didn’t feel rushed or unauthentic at all. 😌 Travis is tired of not being himself and under public scrutiny all time and Geo is a kind, loving, understanding man who has a heart big enough for his foster kids and Travis. It was the right romance and right chemistry at a very right time. ❤️ I loved the slow-burn, sexy romance between Travis and Geo, all the stolen glances and bashful flirting. 🥰 And when they finally gave into their attraction? It was glorious! 🔥 And I loved those two kids, they are just so vulnerable and scared, my heart aches for them. 😭 And it was so good to see them becoming a real family in the end. 👏 The chemistry and the sex was hot and erotic but not overly done. And their love story is just so adorable. 😍 And bonus point for a perfect epilogue. 👍 Matthew Shaw did a terrific job narrating this story too. It was really lovely listening to his voice. ❤️ I’m really looking forward to more books in this series. 😌




4.5 family is not of blood but of your choosing stars
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Sweet Love and Lots of fun

4 Blue Roses
3.5 Blue Flames

Narrator Matthew Shaw gave an easy enjoyable performance. His voice is beautiful, and his dialogues are easy to follow and differentiate.

The audiobook is a treat to listen to with sweet love, camping fun and a beautiful HEA
Geo wants to be a dad, and he is on a mission. Adopt a couple of children, be the best dad ever and no sex for the next ten years. Nothing worked out as planned, because a future he never imagined happened, a fantastic even better future. Travis is a baseball player, but his family owns a summer camp and he helps out at the camp once a year during the summer. He meets Geo and the two kids, they have lots of traditional camp experiences, self discovery and forge a strong bond as a family.
The plot is light, funny and heartwarming.
I recommend this audiobook if you like romantic comedies.

Happy Listening

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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I loved the book and the audio made it even better

I loved this story when I first read it back in March 2019 and now I love it even more after listening to the great narration by Matthew Shaw. I don't normally re-read books but I do enjoy listening to the audio of books that I've already read really enjoyed.

When I listen to a story that I've already read, I always think that I won't need to pay that close of attention to it and can get other things done while listening; that was not the case with Family Camp. The narration was so good that it held my attention right from the get-go. Great job on the story by Ms. Easton and great job on the narration by Matthew Shaw.

Below is what I wrote about the story when I first read and reviewed it:

I'm a relatively late-comer to Eli Easton's writing so I'm just now beginning to realize how versatile of a writer she is. I've read one of her books with dog shifters, one with a mail order bride that isn't at all what you might think, one that was heartbreakingly realistic and a fantastic historical Christmas novella. I consider each of these to be wonderful books but oh so very different types of stories.

Now we have Family Camp and what a great story it is! I'm a sucker for gay romances that include kids. The fact that Geo is fostering two of them, and wants nothing more than to give them a stable home-life and environment, really got me in the heart.

The two MCs (main characters) don't exactly get off on the right foot with each other when Travis, a hunky pro baseball pitcher, misinterprets something that Geo says. Once that misunderstanding is straightened out the sparks really begin to fly.

Family Camp really is all about family. Geo becomes friends with several moms and the kids during the course of the week. Travis's family runs the camp and his parents and several of his siblings are integral to the story. There are a lot of fun things in the story and Geo's sense of humor is really delicious.

The book is also a coming out story. As a pro baseball player Travis has hidden his sexuality from everyone but one of his sisters (she guessed his secret). He's denied himself any kind of romantic relationship but he is so drawn to Geo that he just can't resist.

I won't say any more about the coming out part of the story as it would be too spoiler-y, but it's one of the better ones that I've read lately.

If you like a great feel-good romance, with just the right amount of angst, I think you will love Family Camp. I'm looking forward to reading more books in this series.

A copy of this audiobook was provided to me but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author.

***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com***

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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I loved this story!

I read this book a few months ago and loved it.  When I had the opportunity to listen to it, I jumped at the chance.  The vocal performance only enhanced my enjoyment of this story!  Here is my review of the ebook from April 2019.  

So my experience with this author is 2 holiday stories and high school shooting book. Needless to say, I don’t have a lot to compare against this story, but I absolutely loved this book. I read it in about 5 hours…I just didn’t want to put it down once I started reading and I’m feeling a bit gushy about it.

At the beginning I was worried about the miscommunication getting in the way, but it was resolved relatively quickly so the characters were able to move past the issue. The setting is perfect…being at camp allows all the characters to be silly and over the top to entertain the kids without seeming too ridiculous.

The banter between Geo and Travis is entertaining as hell. Geo’s wackiness balances Travis’ solemn. Their mutual captivation is adorable…and obvious to everyone around them. Their sexual chemistry is off the charts.

The heartbreaking moments are on kept on the lighter side and keep the book from being too angsty. 

The entire Mayhew family is awesome!!

I’m interested to see where this series takes us as there aren’t any hints for the next characters but if the books stay as entertaining as this I’m in until the end!

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Emotion tempered with humor

Family Camp pulls at the heartstrings with a too sweet, somewhat hesitant romance and two adorable children. Most times in romance, kids are used for some cute dialogue and oh, how sweet moments, but Jayden and Lucy are just as much main characters as Geo and Travis, and the story revolves around them just as much as the romance.
Geo and Travis are so different but absolutely perfect for each other. Travis has had a successful career in professional baseball, but he also has plenty of insecurities from his childhood. A childhood that makes him the exact person young Jayden and Lucy need to understand their new situation. Geo has so much love to give and is determined to bond with the kids, which is what leads them to family camp.
There is a little bit of misunderstanding to slow the start of this romance, but it's quickly resolved and this pair of sexy guys can't keep their hands off each other. The real angst in the story comes from exactly where I expected given Travis' career and insecurities keeping him in the closet. It is done a little differently than the norm, and it's not over the top, keeping the story on the lighter side.
There are so many wonderful characters in Family Camp. From the other campers to Travis' family, they all add something to the story. I absolutely loved Travis' family and how they responded to the bit of turmoil between our romantic couple.
The narrator for this one did take some getting used to. In fact, I wasn't sold on him at first, but as the story progressed, I warmed up to Matthew Shaw's performance and enjoyed the story.
All in all, this one is emotional, especially with the kids' adjustments to their situation, plus the blooming romance between Travis and Geo, but it's all tempered with some wonderful wit and humor.

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Delivers what's promised

Eli definitely delivers what she's promised with this book full of 'family feels' set in a mildly cheesy family camp. The four main characters are drawn very authentically, including the kids (you can tell that the author is a mother herself). I really liked the relationship between Geo and Travis and, given the setting and situation of the characters, the way they attempt to navigate obstacles is handled well and realistically right up until the end.

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Great new series by Eli Easton!

I loved this!

I’m always reminded – after I read an Eli Easton book – just why she’s one of my favorites.

It doesn’t matter the subject matter or the MCs, she manages to make even the most recalcitrant part of my heart.

In this case it was easy. You have a very loveable – do gooder – teacher – with a dopey sense of humor – trying to do right by a couple of “less than easy” kids and he’s an instant favorite. Next you introduce an – in the closet – baseball player who only wants to be the best because he’s a foster kid at heart, too.

It was a no brainer. These guys are loveable. The kids are great – felt pretty real – and the situation was believable – mostly.

I’m not a baseball fan but I can imagine this is what they’d go through and hopefully – one day – we can have out players without all the media going crazy.

If you’re a fan of the author, sports romance, kids, dopey humor and sweet romance – this is for you!


5 stars

Audio

Matthew Shaw is so easy to listen to. He doesn’t do crazy, over the top accents, but he makes it clear which character is speaking.

He handles the moms and the kids and the MCs all very well and made this great story a great audiobook!

Highly Recommended!


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Family, home, being true, and falling in love...

Whenever I read or listen to an Eli Easton story, it's almost guaranteed to be yet another one that I won't be forgetting anytime soon. I read Family Camp, the first in her Daddy Dearest series when it was released in March, but even though I already knew the story, I was still looking forward to listening to the audiobook, and a lot of that had to do with the author's choice for narrator. Matthew Shaw became an immediate favorite after hearing his narration of Easton's Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride, which was on of my year-end favorite audiobooks for 2018.

There's something about listening to Matthew Shaw narrate an Eli Easton-penned romance that makes me want to do nothing else but lean back and fall in love with the story and its characters. I adored Geo, and while it did take me a bit longer, I ended up liking Travis as well. From the themes of family and home to being true to yourself and falling in love, there was a lot to love about this audiobook, enough that I didn't realize that more than seven hours had already passed. Time flies when you're listening to an audiobook as good as Family Camp. This gets five stars. ♥

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Summer fun

Family Camp is just as feel-good and fun as the title suggest. Eli Easton and Matthew Shaw really captured that camp spirit. They made you feel like you were at Camp Evermore, canoeing, hiking, playing baseball and swimming in the lake with the sun shining down on you.

Geo is a new foster dad to a twelve year old Jayden and little Lucy. In an attempt to bond with them he signs them up for summer camp. But when Lucy has a meltdown on the way there and the car runs out of gas in the middle of nowhere he questions if camp was such a good idea after all – especially since he seems to accidentally have pissed off one of the camp counselors before camp even started…

Travis is a pro-baseball player, but one week each year he is hosting a family camp together with his family. He loves spending time with the kids, playing with them and cheering them on. This year he bonds a little bit extra with Jayden, the boy who reminds him so much of himself at that age. But his feelings towards his foster dad are mixed to say the least.

Geo and Travis’ relationship starts out a bit slowly – especially considering Travis hostile feelings towards Geo in the beginning. Their paths keep crossing and soon a reluctant romance blossoms. But Travis is not out – in public or to his family so any kind of relationship has to be kept secret. Family Camp is filled with secret meetings, sneaking glances interwoven with family time and bonding over nature and camp songs. It’s sweet, uncomplicated and fun.

Matthew Shaw is a great performer. He brought everyone in this to life, from the surly twelve-year old Jayden and the overwhelmed Geo to the pricklier Travis. He brings you out in nature along the hikes and sneaking off into the woods. I love the sense of place he and Easton created. The friendships Geo formed with the single mums and the whole camp experience in general. It’s almost enough to make me want to go out in the woods for a walk in the pouring rain we currently have right now. The one thing that he really nailed was Geo and his feelings towards his kids. How much he loved them, the feeling of not being enough – the hurt when they reject him. How much he wished for them to be a family. Those feelings were constant throughout the book, because above all else this book was about family.

Family Camp was a great start to this new series, and I can’t wait to for more books to be published.

A copy of this book was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes.

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Absolutely wonderful!! ❤️

I love when Eli Easton has Matthew Shaw narrate her stories. For me, they go together like peanut butter and jelly. Sure, you can have one without the other and they're great separately, but together they're brilliantly matched.

Dual POV, very light on the angst, this sweet romance between a cute teacher working on adoption and a closeted major league baseball pitcher is sexy, funny, and touching with a very happy ending.

Matthew Shaw knocks it out of the park with fantastic character voices, impeccable timing, a terrific pace, and a smooth as silk delivery. Highly Recommended.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for KR Phoenix
  • KR Phoenix
  • 09-08-19

Heart, feelings and cute kids! I loved it!!

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 5 stars
🔥🔥🔥 Heat Level: 3.5
🎧🎧🎧🎧🎧 Narration: 4.5

Heart, feelings and cute kids! I loved it!!

All the feels!!! A wonderfully sweet story about coming out, finding your family and falling in love despite it all!!

I loved this book, even more, the second time around and found the narration fantastic. The narrator did a great job with the different characters and added another level of emotion and enjoyment. I loved it! I can't wait for more in this series!!

This is the first book of Eli’s that I’ve read and it was fantastic writing. I really enjoyed her style and how she was able to inject so much emotion into her writing without it being over the top or mushy.

I loved Geo and his desire to become a parent. I love his quirkiness, kindness and big heart. Jayden and Lucy are beautiful children and I can’t help but feel for them and every foster kid in the system. I love his patience, which I could use more of and his absolute care for Jayden and Lucy.

Travis was a sexy surprise and while appears as the ‘typical’ closeted athlete, I really enjoyed how Eli wrote him and how we slowly learned more about him, his past, his family and his desires for the future.

The chemistry between Geo and Travis is undeniable (once the initial miscommunication is resolved) and I found their insta-love totally believable. Sometimes I find falling in love in a week or 2 un-realistic (even though that is what happened with me and my partner 😉 ) but Eli’s writing, weaves an emotional tale that includes stolen kisses, lust, laughter and family. I loved Geo and Travis and while I feel strongly that no one should be made to come out until they’re ready I loved that this led to a better future for Travis and Geo and of course, the kids!!

A highly recommended read and can’t wait for more in this series and hopefully a little more of Geo and Travis!

Thanks for reading!

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Profile Image for Nicholas Hood
  • Nicholas Hood
  • 09-08-19

beautiful story!

jyst a wonderful story!! highly recomnend. so ronantic. thanjmks Eli Easton fir another wonderful story