Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: The Secret to Southern Charm, by Kristy Woodson Harvey {ends 3/27}

Ansley

The last person on the planet who loved me unconditionally was gone. Forever. I would never see her again. At first, it terrified me to my core. But then I realized that was my job now. My job was to love the other people in my life unconditionally. I could give that so fully because I had received it so well.

If anyone had asked, I would have told them that was the thing my mother taught me best of all.

This is the first book of Kristy Woodson Harvey's that I've read, and I didn't realize until about halfway through that it's a sequel. Although I'd now like to read the first book in the series, Slightly South of Simple (only $1.99 for Kindle, currently!), this book seems to function fine as a standalone novel, and overall I enjoyed it.

Official synopsis:
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: The Secret to Southern Charm, by Kristy Woodson Harvey
Leaving fans “practically [begging] for a sequel" (Bookpage), critically acclaimed author Kristy Woodson Harvey returns with the second novel in her beloved Peachtree Bluff series, featuring a trio of sisters and their mother who discover a truth that will change not only the way they see themselves, but also how they fit together as a family.

After finding out her military husband is missing in action, middle sister Sloane’s world crumbles as her worst nightmare comes true. She can barely climb out of bed, much less summon the strength to be the parent her children deserve.

Her mother, Ansley, provides a much-needed respite as she puts her personal life on hold to help Sloane and her grandchildren wade through their new grief-stricken lives. But between caring for her own aging mother, her daughters, and her grandchildren, Ansley’s private worry is that secrets from her past will come to light.

But when Sloane’s sisters, Caroline and Emerson, remind Sloane that no matter what, she promised her husband she would carry on for their young sons, Sloane finds the support and courage she needs to chase her biggest dreams—and face her deepest fears. Taking a cue from her middle daughter, Ansley takes her own leap of faith and realizes that, after all this time, she might finally be able to have it all.

Harvey’s signature warmth and wit make this a charming and poignant story of first loves, missed opportunities, and second chances and proves that she is "the next major voice in Southern fiction” (Elin Hilderbrand, New York Times bestselling author).
I enjoyed how this story was told from a few POVs - one was Ansley, the mother of Sloane, Caroline, and Emerson (and grandmother to their children), and the other was Sloane's, whose army husband was currently MIA in Iraq. Ansley was thinking of reuniting with Jack, a man whom she dated as a teenager, but she and Jack have a big secret, which she doesn't want her children to find out.

We learn about Sloane and Adam's love story, too, and see how their lives unfolded; originally, Sloane didn't want children, but later she changed her mind.

Peachtree Bluff, GA (isn't that a perfect Southern city name??), was as much of a character as the main four ladies, as well, and I'm excited to visit Savannah in May; this city reminded me a little bit of it.

Overall, despite some heavy themes throughout, this was a light read, and would be perfect for the beach or for a nice spring or summer day.

The Secret to Southern Charm will be available in stores and online on April 3, 2018.

3.5 stars out of 5.
{click here to pre-order}

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

GIVEAWAY:

One of my lucky readers will win a copy of The Secret to Southern Charm!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Tuesday, March 27th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be notified the next day via email and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. and Canadian residents only, please.

Good luck!

The Secret to Southern Charm

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