Southern Charmer- Fantastic New Release from Jessica Peterson
by Jessica Peterson
He's sexy. He's southern. And he won't stop showing up at my door half naked. Meet
Elijah Jackson, my hot new neighbor...
From the outside looking in? I’ve got it all. Prestigious job. Pretty house. And a perfect boyfriend who just proposed with the perfect ring.
I should feel ecstatic—but instead, I feel suffocated. So I put the brakes on the proposal, hop in my car, and head south.
Charleston, South Carolina: home to stunning architecture, sultry accents, and—oh yeah—my perpetually shirtless neighbor, Elijah Jackson.
As if his abs for days and inked up deliciousness aren’t enticing enough, he also encourages me to chase down my dreams. And the chemistry between us? Hotter than the kitchen at Eli’s restaurant.
But I still have a life a thousand miles away. One I’ve worked really hard to build. And I don’t know if I can just leave it all behind.
I have to choose. A choice Eli doesn't make any easier by inviting me out to his cabin for a long weekend. Just the two of us. And one bed. I swear to God this southerner is out to charm the panties right off me. Just this once, I might let him...
Not long ago I read a book set in Charleston, written by a well known author, and was disappointed that she never made the charm, quaintness and vitality of the city come alive. She might get some tips from this author, because Peterson is spot on with her vivid descriptions of sights, sounds, smells and the vibe of the city, which made the setting unfold in living color in my mind. Peterson has definitely taken her writing to the next level, and the authentic, life-like portrayal of this city and its culture is just one small way. I’ve read all of her Flings With Kings series and enjoyed them, but the early copy I read of this book blew me away!
Take a buttoned up, always proper, living her life for others Yankee girl and drop her in the path of a laid back, cigar smoking, shirtless, successful southern chef. Then throw in some guinea fowl, a dog named Billy, reality show references, and a couple of existential crises and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a terrific read. I loved everything about this book. The setting, the storyline, the secondary characters and, of course, Eli and Olivia. They each absconded with my heart in their own way.
Eli and Olivia both have a lot of soul searching to do as they seek to find their authentic selves while dealing with their growing feelings for each other. Their path to forever is rutted and strewn with rocks and brush, but I enjoyed every dip and bump and snap of twigs. Olivia's character as a budding romance novelist gives fascinating insight into the writing process, and Eli’s skill as a chef turns food preparation into an act of love and meals into an event of the heart that feeds the soul. Their story is poignant and heartfelt, and humorous and hot. Their chemistry was so intense I’m pretty sure I saw steam coming out of my Kindle at one point. But it’s the bravery of self-discovery, the characters' vulnerability, and the heartfelt emotion of their story that really makes this book. Don’t miss this fantastic, evocative, satisfying read, and your chance to fall in love with Eli and Olivia.