Dating, Dining, and Desperation

Dating, Dining, and Desperation

4.3 7
by Melody Carlson

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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


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.

Product Details

B&H Publishing Group
Publication date:
A Dear Daphne Novel Series , #2
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Melody Carlson has written around 100 books for teens, women and children. Her books range from serious issues like schizophrenia (Finding Alice) to lighter topics like house-flipping (A Mile in My Flip-Flops) but most of the inspiration behind her fiction comes right out of real life. Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, TrueColors, etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She's won a number of awards (including the Rita and Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog. To find out more about Melody Carlson, visit her website at

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Dating, Dining, and Desperation 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
Daphne Ballinger doesn't have to worry about her biological clock ticking away to find the right man to marry, she has the contingency of her late Aunt Dee's will doing that for her. Daphne has just ten months left to find a man and marry him before the contents of her Aunt Dee's Victorian home, the remaining money in the bank, car and home will be sold. With all her hopeful prospects running out, Daphne isn't quite sure what the point to all of this rush to find a husband was if she loses everything her Aunt Dee ever owned. While maintaining and writing Dear Daphne, her late Aunt's advice column in the paper, she spends her day looking for love in quite literally all the wrong places. Even the men she has a slight interest in, suddenly seem to be giving off mixed signals from her Aussie landscaper Mick, to the shy and quiet Ricardo, owner and chef of Midge's Dinner. Even her Aunt Dee's attorney Jake seems to have found interest in someone else and thus Daphne doesn't know quite where to begin looking for love any longer. That is, until her new neighbor moves in, outgoing and gorgeous Southern Belle, Sabrina Fontaine, who takes it upon herself to find Daphne the perfect husband. Now if she can only get Daphne to take a hard look at herself in the mirror and see that she hasn't been exactly laying out the welcome mat to eligible suitors in the way she's been maintaining her own personal appearance. But soon Daphne finds more than just the motivation she needs in her friendship with Sabrina, she finds someone that needs her as much as she needs to be needed. Along with her obnoxious wiener dog she has faithfully named Tootsie Roll, soon Daphne is introducing her new neighbor to everyone in the neighborhood. What she doesn't understand is why she is suddenly jealous when all heads turn when Sabrina smiles, especially at her landscaper Mick! In her latest novel in the Dear Daphne series, Dating, Dining and Desperation, from best selling author Melody Carlson seem to wrap up just what the reader will find in the second novel in this charming and humorous series. I couldn't help but find myself picturing Kristin Chenowith as the delightful Sabrina Fontaine. Now on the mend from her own divorce, Sabrina uncovers just why Daphne needs to find a husband and she takes it upon herself to boldly go where Daphne won't finding her dates with all the local single men in town. Even manages a surprise speed dating session where it seems like Daphne has met her match. You truly gain a sense for how wonderful it would be to be a part of the town of Appleton, to stop for a bite to eat at Midge's where Ricardo's culinary creations are literally out of this world. I received Dating, Dining and Desperation by Melody Carlson compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and B and H Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own. I can't wait to read the next novel in this series, because Melody breathes such life into her characters that you truly believe your there with them in the town of Appleton. Crossing my fingers with whom she might end up with but most of all, it's seeing how much Daphne has grown since coming to the town of Appleton and how she truly has a genuine love for every single person she meets, not just the eligible men! I easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars!
davisbarker 10 months ago
Fun & a bit quirky.
ReadingwithErin More than 1 year ago
“ Funny how a small town can show a guy’s true colors much more effectively than a big city. It’s like people can hide themselves in the busyness of New York. You think you know them… but you really don’t.” May Contain Spoilers This book starts right where the first one ended and just keep going on with the story. Daphne is still living in her Aunt’s house and writing the advice column, but she is also now writing a novel as well. This book really starts getting interesting when Daphne gets a new neighbor Sabrina who is a divorcee who is from Atlanta and is used to having money. Now I was expecting to dislike Sabrina and I did at first, but as we got to know her story I started liking her and thinking that she is exactly what Daphne needs in a friend right now. Not only does Sabrina end up helping Daphne redo her wardrobe, but she also gets her more into the dating game. Daphne doesn’t really want to date though, and after several don’t go so great she gets discouraged and decides to take a break for a while. Then she meets Mabel, who is a young girl who has had to go and live with her grandma Vera. The only problem with this is Vera isn’t doing so well herself, leaving Mabel to her own devices most of the time. As Daphne starts helping Mabel and Vera out she starts entertaining the idea of maybe adopting/fostering Mabel if anything were to happen to Vera, except before she can talk to Vera about this a death happens leaving things slightly up in the air. Overall I enjoyed this one just as much as the first one in this series. At times everyone trying to set up Daphne does get a bit annoying, I just remind myself that most of them are trying to help her with a goal Aunt Dee had put into her will for Daphne to complete. I really liked how not only did Daphne help Mabel and Vera, but she got others to as well to try and make things better for both of them all with the kindness of their hearts. I can’t wait to see what happens with the next one and what happens to Daphne and Mabel. Thank you to Netgalley and B&H Books for an E-Arc of the book in exchange for my honest review.
ksnapier475 More than 1 year ago
Melody Carlson has such a gift and I am so glad that she shares it with us. In this second book in a series she picks up where she left off in Lock, Stock and Over a Barrel. Daphne is living in her Aunt Dee's house, after her aunt passed. Unfortunately she must marry before her next birthday in order to keep her inheritance. She continues on with life and this includes writing her aunt's advice column. She soon acquires a new neighbor, Sabrina, who is just vibrant with energy and is always dressed to the 9's. These two make quite a pair to deal with. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, as I have with most of this authors books. She writes with such humor and she is able to make the reader feel like they are part of the characters' lives. I also like the way that love is not an automatic thing in her books. I loved this book and would recommend this and any other of Melody Carlson's books to anyone that is looking for a book to pick you up. I was given this book by B&H books and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
RandomAmb More than 1 year ago
Book 2 of the Dear Daphne series picks up right where Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel left off. In Dating, Dining, & Desperation, Daphne is continuing her search for a husband! A Southern belle new neighbor, Sabrina, certainly makes things more interesting. While Jake & Ricardo are still in the picture, Daphne meets several other bachelors in this story. Dating, Dining, & Desperation includes a wedding, big news from Olivia, and a few new characters in Daphne's life. I loved the second installment in the Dear Daphne series! Carlson's writing once again allowed me to become completely immersed in the story. Sabrina adds more fun to the book, and it's balanced out by the addition of some more serious characters. I find myself rooting for and against potential husbands for Daphne. The final 2 titles in this series are set to be released as ebooks in the near future. I can't wait to see what happens next with Daphne, Sabrina, Mabel, & the rest of Appleton!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in a series. I reviewed the first book and really liked it so I was eager to read this second one. I am happy to say I enjoyed this one just as much. Daphne’s a great character. She’s like so many of us when it comes to romance….confused. We get to visit the same men that were in her life in the first book and see what’s happening now. Not a whole lot has changed. At the end of the first book you are under the impression that Daphne might set her sights set on Jake, her grandmother’s attorney. At the beginning of this book, almost for the first half, Jake isn’t around, but definitely thought off. Apparently he went on a vacation with his ex-wife and obviously Daphne isn’t happy and thinks things are not going to go anywhere with him. So she tries to move on. I can’t imagine being in Daphne’s shoes. We are told to wait on God, which is a theme in this book, yet, how does she wait on Him when she has to be married in less then a year? This definitely keeps the book interesting and will have you reading to see what will happen next in her life and what man she should marry. Melody does a great job of even keeping the reader confused about the right man. This is a light, fast read, with fun characters I think you will enjoy. A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance in exchange for an honest review.