Friday, February 28, 2014

Dating, Dining and Desperation by Melody Carlson - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dating, Dining, and Desperation
B&H Books (March 1, 2014)
Melody Carlson


Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults--with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.


Daphne Ballinger has learned to accept her deceased, eccentric aunt’s strange request that she marry in order to inherit her estate, along with taking over her aunt’s hometown paper’s advice column. But knowing and accepting that God’s will be done becomes harder when a new neighbor, a divorced socialite, learns of Daphne’s predicament and takes on the task of finding her the perfect man, even if it includes speed dating. When God does open Daphne’s heart, it is instead to take in a young girl left parentless and in the care of her dying grandmother. It may be a temporary arrangement until the girl’s uncle returns from the Marines, but God uses Daphne to speak His heavenly love and protection into the life of the child -- whom Daphne soon discovers has a very handsome and single uncle.

My Thoughts:
“’Focus on each step of the journey and eventually you’ll reach you final destination.’”  (p. 192)

I don’t normally quote someone who is quoting another quote, but Sabrina said a mouthful when she shared this thought with Daphne!  Melody Carlson’s writing has always been full of surprises, and Dating, Dining, and Desperation is packed full of them!  What I perceived to be a light read (well, Daphne’s circumstances are quite unusual) contains some depth that caught me off guard.  Then I remember who the author is, and I realize I should have expected this.  I love Melody’s books!

Daphne and Sabrina have to be two of the most original characters I’ve encountered lately!  A more unlikely friendship you will never find!  Yet the complement each other splendidly – especially considering that Daphne need to find a husband ASAP!  In a very unintentional way, these two friends provide help and healing for each other throughout the book.  Daphne would probably still be holed up in her room writing advice columns without Sabrina!  And Sabrina would be hold up with Tootsie – driving her neighbors up the wall with the dog’s insistent barking!

Instead, both Daphne and Sabrina get to know the residents of their small town and make many positive life-changes for everyone around them.  I love it when that happens! Everyone from Mick, to Jake and Harrison, to Vera, Mable and Daniel, both Daphne and Sabrina make a positive difference! And Daphne is a good sport about meeting so many men is such quick succession!  Her answers were – well – right in front of her all of the time.  A common problem when we focus in the wrong direction.

I told you, this book contains a lot – a lot of fun, a lot of friendship, a lot of depth.  All of this combines to make Dating, Dining, and Desperation a fantastic read!  Thanks Melody!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Dating, Dining, and Desperation, go HERE.

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