Wednesday, November 17, 2010

book review: "dining with joy" by rachel hauck

Joy Ballard is the host of the popular cooking show “Dining with Joy.” She took over hosting the show after her father passed away three years ago. When the show is sold to a new production company, the new producer wants to add a co-host. Luke Redmond is immediately attracted to Joy and agrees to join the show as the new chef. Overcoming a failed restaurant, he jumps at a chance to get back on his feet. They seem to be the perfect combination. Joy is funny and charming while Luke is a very talented chef. But Joy has a secret and if Luke finds out, she fears he’ll quit. If the new producer finds out, it could be the end of Joy’s career. The closer Joy and Luke become, the harder it is for her to keep the truth buried. Can she trust him with her secret? Can she trust him with her heart?

I really, really enjoyed the book. I’ve read “Sweet Caroline” and was excited to read another of Hauck’s books. I also liked how those characters made a few appearances in this story. I loved Joy and Luke’s banter. It just seemed so real to me, making the story that much more enjoyable. Reading this makes me want to try the recipes that are mentioned in the story and conveniently located at the back of the book (especially Charles Ballard’s Banana Bread). Joy also goes through a time of wondering what it is she’s supposed to do with her life – a feeling I can identify with. At one point she tells Luke, “Haven’t made any decisions about what’s next for me. Kind of enjoying not knowing, leaping out, aiming for the hand of God…” I like the idea of that. I think the ultimate theme of this story is finding that thing that you’re passionate about – that thing God has called you to do – and chasing it with everything you have.

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson and was not required to write a positive review.

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