Fiction, Romance, Series & Collections

Dating, Dining, and Desperation, by Melody Carlson

1433679310In Melody Carlson’s second installment of her Dear Daphne series, “conditional heiress” Daphne Ballinger is making peace with her situation. Still living in her Aunt Dee’s house and using her vintage car–both left to her temporarily through her aunt’s estate–Daphne makes friends with neighbors of all ages and is set up on dates by those closest to her.

Like in the first book of the series, there is a lot of heart in an otherwise corny premise. But you know what? It works. It’s fast reading. It’s enjoyable. And it isn’t blush-worthy.

I’ve spent this busy week thoroughly enjoying the first two books of the series (either on the treadmill or before nodding off at night) and I’m eager to see what happens next. That level of expectation in a reader only happens through above-average writing with a decent plot and excellent character development.  There is warmth and comfort to the author’s style, making you want to revisit the small town life and its inhabitants again and again. Melody Carlson has a way of tapping into her readers’ emotions without exhausting them, making us care about the new friends we have discovered between the pages of her novels. It’s a rare gift. I for one, am hooked.

8.5 out of 10 stars

***At the end of this 2nd novel the author tells the reader that the next 2 books of the series will be out soon, but doesn’t give exact release dates. Both will be released as digital books first, as the publishing company is undergoing some changes.

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