Book Review: Dating, Dining and Desperation

28 Aug

679310Daphne 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.



bio_photo5Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books, several of them Christmas novellas from Revell, including her much-loved and bestselling book, The Christmas Bus. She also writes many teen books, including Just Another Girl, the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the True Colors series and the Carter House Girls series. Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books, including the Notes from a Spinning Planet series and Finding Alice, which is in production as a Lifetime Television movie. She and her husband serve on the Young Life adult committee in central Oregon. Visit Melody’s website at


My Impressions:

Dating, Dining and Desperation is the second book in Melody Carlson’s Dear Daphne series. (You can read my review of book 1, Lock, Stock and Over A Barrel, HERE.) It is just a few month after Daphne’s Aunt Dee has died and named her as her heir, with a catch. Daphne has one year to meet and marry or she will forfeit all claim to the estate. While Daphne feels the pressure from the will, her family and her friends to find Mr. Right, she is sure that the desperation she feels is just not what God wants.

New friends and old characters arrive in Daphne’s life. The perky, Southern divorcee, Sabrina Fontaine, offers comedic touches to the story, while young neighbor, Mabel, touches Daphne and the reader’s heart. I like that Daphne decides to step  away from her own life, problems and the parade of somewhat eligible men and gives her time, money and love to this child in need.

Dating, Dining and Desperation has a small town setting that provides a relief to busy and stress-filled lives. The charming town and its lovable residents will make you want more. I am looking forward to more adventures with Daphne as she discovers what is important and what God wants for her life.

Note: The first two books were published by B&H Publishers. Due to changes at B&H, Carlson will be publishing books 3 and 4 in an ebook form. I am hoping they will be available soon!


Audience: YA to Adults.

(Thanks to B&H for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this novel, click on the image below.

%d bloggers like this: