Readers' Favorite

April 17, 2018

The Secret to Southern Charm by Kristy Woodson Harvey ~ A Review

by Susan Roberts

I can tell that it's finally Spring in NC. The trees and flowers are in bloom and there's a new Kristy Woodsen Harvey book to enjoy sitting outside in the perfect spring weather.

Here's the first paragraph of the first chapter. Would you keep reading?
Time had lost its meaning. I only realized it was night because the water outside my bedroom window at my monther's home in Peachtree Bluff, Georgia, wasn't blue anymore. It was black and shining like fresh-paved asphalt. Bust inside, in my room, on my TC, it wasn't night. It was Saturday morning, the third precious birthday of my son Adam, Jr., or AJ, as we called him. My strong, national hero of a husband, in his off-duty khaki shorts and collared shirt, was holding our other son, six-month-old Taylor, in one arm. I was behind the camera cooing, "Smile for Daddy one more time. Can you smile for Daddy?" Taylor smiled. Who wouldn't smile for the handsome man holding him?

Note - The Secret to Southern Charm is Book 2 in Kristy Woodson Harvey's Peachtree Bluff series. You need to read these books in order to get the most enjoyment out of them.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

The Secret to Southern Charm
April 2018; Gallery Books; 978-1501195242
audio, ebook, print (400 pages); women's fiction
"This putting on a brave face, carrying on, helping others, being kind and humble and giving, believing with all your heart that the world could be a better place and that maybe you could make it that way...that was Southern charm."

The second book in the Peachtree Bluff trilogy takes us back to Georgia and the family that we loved from book 1 - Ansley, the mom, and her three daughters - Caroline, Sloane, and Emerson. Book 1 centered on Caroline's life and book 2 centers on Sloane but both books are about the issues facing a family and the love and unbreakable bond between the family members. In this book, Sloane's world falls to pieces when she finds out that her husband is missing in action. It's up to her sisters to help her and her children get through this crisis.  There is also an addition to the household when Ansley's Mom comes to visit her daughter and granddaughters.

This is a fantastic book by a wonderful author who always writes believable characters. I live in the South and I know these people in my day to day life and I was so happy to have them back for book 2 and can't wait to read about them again in book 3. Once you get to know the family, you'll laugh with them and cry a few tears and think about them long after you read the last page.  Southern Fiction is my favorite genre and this series is one of the best that I've read.

Buy The Secret to Southern Charm at Amazon

Slightly South of Simple
April 2018; Gallery Books; 978-1501158056
audio, ebook, print (400 pages); women's fiction
I reviewed the first book in the series last April in my post about upcoming beach reads. Here's what I thought of Slightly South of Simple.

Kristy Woodson Harvey has done it again!! She has written a book that has fantastic characters, wonderful setting and an engaging plot. This is book one of a new trilogy and I can't wait to read the rest of the story.

Three very different type of sisters end up living with their mom at her home in Peachtree Bluff, Georgia for various reasons: Caroline lives in NYC and her husband is having a very public affair, Emerson, an actress, has a new role that is shooting in Georgia and Sloane's husband has been deployed to the Middle East. Ansley, their mom, has spent a lot of years living on her own and having all of her daughters plus three grandchildren (with one on the way) at her home, wrecks havoc with her quiet life. I really don't want to tell you much about the story, I just want to say that this book is Caroline's story and focuses most on her life. What I do want to write about are the best parts of this book:

SETTING - as with Kristy's other books, this one is at the ocean. You can smell the salt air and feel the ocean breezes as you read the book. The setting is practically one of the characters.

PLOT - there is a lot going on in this book but it is well told and so much fun to read. Yes, I will admit that there were several laugh out loud moments as well as a few tears.

CHARACTERS - to me this is the strongest part of this novel. I loved these characters. I feel like they are people that I know and that I could sit down at the table and have a cup of coffee with them. The sisters are so different from each other but the bond between them is unbreakable.

SUMMARY - READ THIS BOOK! It's a wonderful story about growing up and overcoming adversity. It's a story about love and family - the sisters are wonderful and that bond between them and their mother, though tenuous at times, continues to grow. It's a wonderful book about love and family and isn't that what life is all about?

Buy Slightly South of Simple at Amazon

Dear Carolina
Lies and Other Acts of Love

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling. She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads,  or Twitter.

Hosted by I'd Rather Be At The Beach

Did you love ArmchairBEA and sad there won't be one this year? Then, join us for the Book Blog Expo, a virtual networking event, on May 30 - June 2.

Get even more book news in your inbox, sign up today! Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.


  1. This does sound like a good series. This week I have Shattered Mirror by Iris Johansen. Happy reading!

  2. I plan to read this one, as I loved Slightly South of Simple and those characters.

    Thanks for teasing me more...and here's mine: “THE FEMALE PERSUASION”

  3. I enjoyed Slightly South of Simple, so I'll definitely be reading the next books in the series. I love family stories.
    My Tuesday post features excerpts from Goodbye to the Blues.

  4. I've been seeing this book around and it looks so good. I'd definitely keep reading.

  5. That opening paragraph is sweet. I'd like to keep reading.

  6. Thank you so much for the wonderful review, my sweet friend! You're the best! xo