Witty, captivating, and with a sound ring of Truth, Dining with Joy is an absorbing page-turner. Joy Ballard, daughter of a renowned cooking show host who left his offspring to run the show at his untimely death, is hiding the awful secret that she can't cook. Luke Redmond, a talented chef who failed as a restauranteur, seems to be Joy's way out. The chemistry between Joy and Luke as they each work through their own baggage, and the sinister rivalry of television cook Wenda Devine, make the plot especially delicious. The characters are intense and genuine, and the narrative of two individuals who are truly seeking the will of God is inspiring.
I grew up devouring Grace Livingston Hill's novels, but it's been a number of years since I've picked up a Christian romance. Not since living out my own, real-life love story have I sought out a fictitious one--mostly because I'm too busy for it. When this book came up for review, though, I was intrigued to dive into it. I quickly noted one thing about Hauck's writing that reminded me why I was such a fan of Hill: her story and characters model those things which are true and right while still being real and relatable. The way Luke and Joy try to keep their passions in check while seeking God's will first is uplifting. Instead of igniting wrong passions and unrealistic expectations, this novel has made me thankful for the relationships I do have (with God and with my husband), and it has made me appreciate once again the many qualities about my husband that first attracted me to him. Dining with Joy is an excellent work of fiction--I can't wait to get my hands on the rest of the series!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.