Dining with Joy...Review

About the book:
Joy Ballard has a secret: she's a cooking show host who can't really cook.
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?

The premise for Dining with Joy is cute and a little far-fetched.  Joy can't cook and, after her father's sudden death, took over his cooking show out of obligation.  Rather than learning to cook, she perpetuates the myth that she's a celebrity chef with help from her staff, family and friends.  When her show is sold to a new producer, her secret is threatened.   However, she doesn't voluntarily confess to anyone, yet she professes belief in God.

I'm sorry, anyone who seems to be as bright as Joy is, can learn kitchen basics.  I found myself frustrated with her and her self-centered attitude. Although, after her secret is exposed, she began to redeem herself and became more likeable.  Luke is the charming Mr. Perfect who falls in love with Joy and simply wants to help her succeed.  Side characters are quirky and fun.

Everyone manages to find themselves and get their just rewards.  The story starts out light and frothy like something Luke might whip up in his kitchen, but by the end, we see more substance and meat. Third in a series, it seems to stand alone just fine.  I haven't read the first two, but didn't feel like I'd missed anything crucial.

I have a hard time taking a book seriously when there are proofing errors on the back cover.  My enjoyment of the book goes downhill when I find multiple editing errors as I read, especially careless ones.  Being an editor myself, I know that no one is infallible and mistakes do happen.  But, computers have spell check for a reason.  However, spelling a character's name wrong on the back cover is simply unacceptable.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours and Thomas Nelson Publishers for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Rachel Hauck here and here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 11/10

* * *
3/5 Stars


  1. I got a Rachel Hauck book a couple of years ago in which I noticed several errors--and while I do have a strong command of grammar etc (though I'm not apt to spend a great deal of time proofreading my blog) I'm not an editor and don't spend my reading time looking for errors.


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