Olivia had everything she thought she ever wanted – a dream job, a great house, and even a proposal from Teddy, the “perfect man.” He’d popped the question in, of course, the completely perfect way: over a lavish dinner, with flowers, and four-carat diamond ring. Yet somehow Olivia couldn’t squeak out a ‘yes.’
She’s fled New York for a month in Charleston, where she’s hoping to finally write a romance novel — and take a much-needed break from Teddy to clear her head. But when a gorgeous, bearded, tatted guy with a delicious Southern accent turns out to be her temporary next-door neighbor – well, where else would you go to borrow a bit of bacon?
Food is what first connects them. And soon, it isn’t just the bacon that sizzles. Eli (unlike Teddy) encourages Olivia to pursue her writing dreams. And Olivia discovers that, just like the heroine she’s creating, it’s “fun being someone else, being something other than a proper lady, for a change.”
Peterson captures a genuine Southern vibe without look-down-your-nose pretense. There’s grits. There’s succotash. There’s ceiling fans and days so hot they practically melt you. Three cheers for honest touches like a screened-in sleeping porch with sky-blue beadboard ceiling, and for lines line this:
“My faith in a nutshell: all good things start with bacon fat, butter, or bourbon. Bonus points for all three.”
But can Olivia give up her safe, predictable New York life – and everything she’s worked so hard for, to seize a different kind of dream? Can Eli convince her to stay – and solve his own financial mess?
The first in a four-volume Charleston Heat series, “Southern Charmer” debuted in 2018. It packs all the sizzle of a South Carolina summer, balanced with just enough angst to keep you rooting for the characters as they fight their way to a satisfying happily-ever-after.
And find “Southern Charmer” right here! (Amazon Associates link)