The Happy Camper – Melody Carlson

The Happy Camper Melody Carlson
The Happy Camper by Melody Carlson
Published by Revell on March 3, 2020
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Romance
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Home is the place to heal, right? At least, that's what Dillon Michaels is hoping as she leaves her disappointing career and nonstarter love life behind to help her grieving and aging grandfather on his small Oregon farm. The only problem? Her eccentric mother beat her there and has taken over Dillon's old room. After a few nights sleeping on a sagging sofa, Dillon is ready to give up, until she receives an unlikely gift--her grandfather's run-down vintage camp trailer, which she quickly resolves to restore with the help of Jordan Atwood, the handsome owner of the local hardware store.

But just when things are finally beginning to run smoothly, Dillon's noncommittal ex-boyfriend shows up with roses . . . and a ring.

Ah, wouldn’t it be great to just pick up and leave a drab, disappointing life and drive off to a new beginning complete with loving family and a potentially hot romance?

That’s what protagonist Dillon Michaels decides to do. Fed up with a self-consumed, jerk of a boyfriend and tired of an abusive boss, she packs her car and bids Colorado good bye and makes her way back to her home in Oregon.

At the end of her route is her grandfather’s farm complete with her warm and loving grandpa and her flaky mother, Margot.  Dillon finds her homecoming both comforting and conflicting. Her grandfather embraces her return with wit and wisdom, her mother with concern and kale smoothies.

After a few days sleeping on a lumpy couch, Dillon is desperate for a room of her own in the cozy farmhouse. The only other viable option is the upstairs craft room which was crammed with boxes and belongings of her grandmother who had recently passed away.  But along comes grandpa with an interesting option.  He gives Dillon an old, rundown vintage camper to live in. It needs a lot of work – but it has so much potential.

Dillon instantly falls in love with this little camper. She frequently visits the local hardware store to buy supplies to beautify her new home. It just so happens that handsome, confirmed bachelor, Jordan Atwood owns this small-town hot spot, and Dillon hopes that she might attract his attention.

Just when their relationship starts getting traction, her old boyfriend from Colorado shows up, claiming to be a changed man and confessing his undying love for her.  This, of course, puts the brake on the Jordan/Dillon kindling romance, causing much frustration all around.

The Happy Camper is a cute, fun story filled with family drama and romance. Carlson’s writing pulls readers in and keeps them invested in the drama, even though you know how it’ll all play out. It’s surely inevitable that Hallmark will buy the movie rights, which pretty much tells you right there whether this book is for you. A fun, clean romance with just a bit of comedy, The Happy Camper is a great read.