The Secret to Southern Charm by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Genre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: Gallery Books
Author: Kristy Woodson Harvey
Release Date: April 24, 2018

This book is the second in the Peachtree Bluff Series. The first novel, Slightly South of Simple, is a book I missed. I can tell you that you don't need to have read it to thoroughly enjoy The Secret to Southern Charm. I do want to go back and see how it all started though.

Ansley has spent much of her life doing everything she can for her three daughters. After her husband died on 9/11, Ansley had to start over. She had no money. Today, she's a thriving businesswoman with secrets of her own.

Her oldest daughter is trying to restore a damaged marriage. Her youngest is an actress who never seems able to settle down. Ansley would love nothing more than to see Emerson find her true love. It's her middle daughter, Sloane, that has Ansley most concerned.

Since learning her military husband is MIA, Sloane has shut down. She won't leave her room or get out of bed. All she does is watch home videos of her husband over and over again. Sloane's ignoring her role as a mom to two young sons. Ansley is filling in, but she's worried.

After more than a month passes, the family decides Sloane needs to be pushed. She needs to be reminded that her husband would not want her to do this. He'd want their sons to be the top priority. With some nudging, Sloane starts to get her feet back under her and figure out how to carry on.

Watching her daughters in action also sparks something in Ansley. She realizes it may be time to tackle the secrets she has and decide what she needs to do with her life.

The gorgeous setting is only part of the appeal of this novel. It's the bonds between mothers and daughters, as well as sisters with sisters, that drew me in. Ansley's mother lives with them. She's a riot and so, so wise. I loved her interactions with her daughter and granddaughters.

Each woman has issues to deal with. They're handled with realism and it can lead some teary-eyed reading at times. Have tissues handy, especially in the latter half of The Secret to Southern Charm.

It's clear there is at least one more story coming up. It will be Emerson's turn. I'm eager to read it.


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