Reviewed by Amanda S.
Dining with Joy is the third book in the Lowcountry Novel series (Sweet Caroline and Love Starts with Elle were the two previous books). Set in Beaufort, South Carolina, we enter the life of Joy Ballard, host of “Dining with Joy”…a cooking show host who cannot cook!
The producer and the show workers all know, but the public does not. Joy only took over the cooking show when her father died unexpectedly and asked her, on his death bed, to begin hosting. He knew she couldn’t cook but told her the producer would take care of her and make everything turn out alright.
The only person who suspects anything is Wenda Divine, and Joy avoids Wenda at all costs. But Joy doesn’t count on her producer selling the show out from underneath her. Allison, the new producer, plans to make the show a national hit and really make Joy Ballard a household name. Joy has her doubts about that working out and toys with the idea of just telling Allison the truth about her cooking abilities. However, every time Joy starts to blurt out the truth, something always stops her.
Luke Redmond is living and working in Beaufort after his New York restaurant, Ami’s, went bankrupt. When Joy Ballard comes into the Frogmore Cafe, Luke is lost on her beauty and does what he can to impress her. He never counted on Joy needing his help during a cook-off with Wenda or on her kissing him senseless in the process!
When Allison sees “the kiss” she realizes that Luke is key to the success of “Dining With Joy” and offers him the job of co-host. Luke takes the job reluctantly, hoping it will allow him a foot back into the cooking world and will lead him back to owning his own restaurant. When Luke suspects that Joy cannot cook, he makes it his mission to teach her and falls in love in the process!
[amazonify]1595543392[/amazonify]What will happen when Allison sets Joy up to have a real cook-off with Wenda on national television? Can Joy live up to her name and her reputation? Or will she finally get to own the truth and come out from the façade that is her life?
Hauck writes Dining with Joy in the same light-hearted way that she has written all of her Lowcountry Novels…a bit of fun, a bit of drama, and a lot of romance. I really like the way Hauck is able to deal with the true physical reactions between a man and a woman, but shows how they can be handled in a Christian way. There were some issues within the book with regards to grammar, continuity of detail, and punctuation, but I don’t believe that is completely the fault of Rachel Hauck. The storyline itself was fabulous, and as always, I would recommend her books to all my friends.
Amanda lives in Missouri with her engineering husband, two sons, and one daughter. In between homeschooling and keeping up with church activities she loves to read Christian Fiction, Women’s Fiction, and any Chick-Lit. She never goes anywhere without a book to read!
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Review and giveaway copies were provided free of any obligation by Thomas Nelson. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.