When her South Carolina-based cooking show, Dining With Joy, is picked up by a major network, Joy Ballard's world heats up like a lowcountry boil.
Joy needs help. Then she meets chef Luke Davis who moved to Beaufort after losing his Manhattan restaurant. A cook at the Frogmore Cafe, he's paying debts and longing to regain his reputation in the elite foodie world.
Luke and Joy mix like oil and water…until Joy is exposed on national television. With her career and his reputation both under fire, they'll have to work together to fix the mess. Is it possible that they can learn to feast on God's love and dine with joy?
Ok if you know me at all, you know I love food in books. I love when characters enjoy cooking or eating in stories. It's comforting to read and it makes any food I happen to be eating while I'm reading taste 100x better, no matter how disgusting it really is. Therefore a book that includes a plot about a cooking show which features lots of food is a win for me.
I really liked the chemistry between Luke and Joy. Right from the beginning it is quite obvious that there is something going on with the two of them and the national spotlight immediately hones onto it as well. The two both banter and gel very well together. Luke is one of those rare male leads that both does what he wants and caters to his lady without coming off looking like a selfish pig or arrogant. Joy, for the most part, is a very likable character who you do feel sorry for when you find the reason why she can't or doesn't like cooking.
I was a bit surprised that Joy lasted so long faking her show. I mean I watch a lot of cooking shows on TV and it seems like you can always tell whether or not they can cook or not. I guess a lot of camera angle shots must have helped with the trickery. I can understand her wanting to keep up the charade to help those around her but she shouldn't have kept going on and on if she was feeling guilty. Still, I enjoyed learning about the background details of what it makes to have a cooking show. Stuff like that always intrigues me and I love the recipes that are included in the story.
While the story is engrossing, I was a bit surprised at a major typo on the back of the book. I can mostly ignore small typos inside the story (I rarely notice them) but when it's on the back cover, that's a big difference. I was just surprised that it happened not once, but twice and also because it's a major character's name plus it's even used as a play on words in the summary. Editing gone wrong?
Besides this small quibble, I really enjoyed the book. As a foodie book, it's filled with all sorts of yummy deliciousness. As a romance story, there's plenty of passion and chemistry. As a faith based story, this book shows the importance of what you choose to place your beliefs in. Rachel Hauck has written another wonderful story that blend elements of everything I enjoy into a wonderful creation that is sure to please almost anyone who picks it up.
Dining With Joy by Rachel Hauck is published by Thomas Nelson (2010)
This review copy was provided for a tour with TLC Book Tours
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