Review: Grumpy Bear by Slade James

I LOVED Grumpy Bear.  I have to admit, the thought of a gay men’s naked camping resort sort of tickled my funny bone.  I’m clearly totally uninformed, because I really didn’t know men-only, clothing optional resorts existed – especially in a place as conservative as north Georgia.  Consider me educated!

Austin is kind of flying by the seat of his pants when he lands at the camp, hoping for at least a few days of work so he can delay sleeping on the streets a little longer.  He’s come out of a bad relationship –  a series of bad relationships, actually and he’s sworn to never give himself completely to another man at the expense of himself again. 

Sawyer has been at the camp for years, and when his late partner left it to him in his will, he took over running it.  He’s generally happy enough there, but he too wonders what his life might have been if he hadn’t stayed at the camp with a man he cared about,  but who wasn’t his everything.

They really are such a sweet couple.  Sawyer is one of those grumpy guys you really want to get to know, like you can sense right off the bat that there’s more to them than what they are showing you.  And Austin is just sunshine and light.  He has the ability to really live in the moment.  He learns that loving someone doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up everything important to you, that if it’s real love, what’s important to you will be important to that other person.  And Sawyer is able to figure out that being in love with someone isn’t as scary as it first seemed, when it’s with the right person.

I seriously can’t wait for more books in this series.  I love the idea of a bunch of misfits coming together and making a family, and that seems to be what the camp is, especially for the summer staff.  Grumpy Bear is a fantastic, fun and heartwarming escape – and for me that is something MUCH needed these days!