Joy Ballard is a celebrity. Her show, the wildly popular “Dining with Joy,” has made her a household name, her recipes are heralded far and wide, and she makes her living showing others how to transform everyday ingredients into delicious meals.
The only problem? She doesn’t know how to cook. Through creative production and camera work, she and her crew have managed to keep the secret, but when the show’s ownership changes hands and a new chef, Luke Redmond, is hired to cohost, cracks start appearing in Joy’s disguise. What a mess!
This was the third book in Rachel Hauck’s Lowcountry Romance Series. I’ve read the first two — Sweet Caroline and Love Starts with Elle — and loved both of them. Hauck returns to the same small southern town of Beaufort in this installment and reintroduces the characters from her earlier books while telling Joy’s story. Unlike many books that can be defined as Christian romance, this one didn’t cross the line into cheesiness (until the very end!) and had enough other plot elements to keep from making the romance angle the most important part of the story. While Joy is falling in love with Luke, she’s also struggling to raise her nieces, keeping up appearances for her show, and dealing with the emotional havoc wreaked by having an always there but never really present father. The romance element was nice, but it wasn’t all that this book offered.
All in all, Dining with Joy was a fun, quick read. I would definitely read any other novel that Rachel Hauck writes.
Many thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishing for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book to review. All opinions expressed are mine entirely.