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Southern Charmer

(Charleston Heat #1)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  2,053 ratings  ·  313 reviews
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 break up with my boyfriend, hop in my car, and head
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published October 3rd 2018 by Peterson Paperbacks
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  2,053 ratings  ·  313 reviews

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Carol [Goodreads Addict]
Southern Charmer is book one in the Charleston Heat series by Jessica Peterson. This can be read as a stand alone. As is my usual, I read the third book in this series first, and fell so in love with it that I had to go back and start at the beginning. This book…books like this is why I read! This book was everything. My heart is so full right now that I hope I can settle enough to find the right words to tell you about it.

southern charmer jessica peterson

Elijah Jackson is a tatted up, sexy as sin chef in Charleston, South
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jessica Peterson definitely whipped up one heck of a delicious and sexy story with Southern Charmer!! Once I started, I could not put the story down. I absolutely fell in love with the hot and sexy, tattooed chef who does yoga and reads romance novels. Elijah Jackson is just one heck of a dreamy man. And Olivia.....I adore her. Finally doing something for herself, taking the time to find out who she is again without all the pressures that have been placed upon her. Seriously, going to Charleston ...more
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh my holy stars!!! Elijah Jackson!!!! What can I say about Eli......I staked my claim to him because he is just perfect!!!

Okay, okay, I’ll say a bit more....Southern Charmer was just that, a true Southern Gentleman. Eli is the charmer and Olivia the Northern Yank. “Watching” these two form a relationship and then that inevitable bond was pure perfection.

Ms. Peterson has worked her magic yet again with a story of two perfect strangers who meet and it seems like kismet....throw in self-doubt,
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Southern Charmer, I would love to say it’s totally charming but it’s not. It is so much more. The author didn’t just take me on a journey of two people who find each other, develop a relationship and find there are issues that need to be resolved. She took me on a life experience as well as a Southern tour. Let me tell you Charleston, S.C, is a place I now want to visit, with it’s beautiful scenery, delicious food, great drinks, hospitable people and delectable men. However, this is so much more ...more
Vanessa (nessreads)
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
*I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book*

5 "Let Me" Stars

I need to book a flight to Charleston, South Carolina ASAP! Being transported to this quaint and vibrant city with just words alone has me itching to experience it in real life. Jessica does an outstanding job making the reader feel like they're walking through this picturesque city and feeling everything the heroine of this story is experiencing through her eyes. And oh, the food, my gosh the food. The descriptions alone have
Patricia Rohrs (words we love by blog)
Mrs. Peterson has done it again! She has written a book full of humor, sassiness, wit, angst (oh the agonizing angst) and strength!

Our lovely heroine Olivia is striving for something she’s not even sure is possible! Her whole life she’s done what should be or what others thought was necessary but what about her hopes, dreams and desires? When she can’t see her future clearly she decides she needs change! Enter BILF! A man whose life seems a little on the wild side for Olivia’s liking but also a
Nicole Chu
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Omg what can I say. I love Jessica’s writing and this book is one of my favs.
This book is the perfect slow burn. We meet Olivia who has escaped her stuffy life in hopes of finding her passion.
She meets the sexy Eli who at first seems like the perfect man.
We discover that their lust and passion are on fire!
When they combust it is beautiful.
The closer they get to the end of the month the more their insecurities come out.
I loved that because it gave both characters such depth.
I loved how they
Dilek VT
The premise of this book was good: “A woman who seems to have it all realizes that this is not the life she really wants, refuses the proposal of her boyfriend, breaks up with him and leaves the comfort of her home and perfect life in order to find herself and what makes her happy.”

Despite the potentially good plot, the book loses points in its execution.


Our heroine is a teacher of literature in a university in New York. Now, with a sudden decision,
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved, loved this!

Elijah & Olivia's romance is a slow-burning romance. (I was excited when they finally got it on! Dayum!) It's about two individuals who are struggling to find their identities separate from the careers and lives they've chosen.

For Olivia, the struggle is more acute, as she's always followed a script, never having fully known who she is or what she really wants. When she travels to Charleston, she feels free enough to finally be herself, as she interacts with the townsfolk,
Reading Addict
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Goodness gracious did I love reading Southern Charmer! It's the story about a college professor and her decision to take a one month break from her life to write a romance book and reflect on some choices that she needs to make about her future. From the outside Olivia Wilson has it all, the perfect boyfriend with the perfect career, a tenured teaching position at the university, an expensive car, house and all the trappings of a perfect life. What if everything isn't really that perfect? What ...more
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Eli, Eli, Eli,.. The sexy Chef that has stolen my heart.
What is it about Southern hospitality that makes you feel so good inside, this is an Amazing story that I relished.
I devoured it like one of Eli's yummy dishes of food.

Olivia is a college professor trying to flee from her life, needing to escape from everything, finding herself in Charleston to pursue her dream of writing a novel. So meeting gorgeous, sweet Elijah Jackson wasn't in the plan. Full of southern charm, beautiful and swoon
Stephanie Osborne
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Eli & Olivia are simply delicious!

Right from the start I adored Olivia and her strength - even when she didn't give herself credit for it. She was brave enough NOT to say yes to a situation that would seal her forever fate. And then she took time to CHANGE that situation.

Eli.... geez, even as a non-foodie he made me want to taste his savory creations! Jessica Peterson did a phenomenal job with descriptions so delectable I could smell it all. And Eli himself? Well, that's just a whole other
Jessica Peterson
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Hey y'all! SOUTHERN CHARMER IS NOW LIVE and FREE in Kindle Unlimited! Grab your copy here!

This is the first book in my all new Charleston Heat series. It's hot, it's fun, and in many ways it's the book of my heart. I poured so much of my own story into Eli and Olivia. I STILL have a hangover from all their deliciousness months after completing the book. Here are some important facts about CHARMER:

-It's a slow burn friends-to-lovers romance.
-It features an egregious amount of food porn. Also an
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gosh, but I loved this book!

We can always count on Jessica Peterson to provide a sexy, swoon-worthy hero with an accent to die for—this time, it’s Chef Eli from South Carolina bringing that heat. Our heroine Olivia is a yankee college professor with the “perfect” life. They’re combustible from the start. Their chemistry is crazy-hot, but even more engaging is the way in which their lives mirror each other: both at turning points, both reassessing what it is they really want, and both
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’ve been hooked since my first Jessica Peterson read, and by this point will gladly read anything she releases. In fact, she’s one of those authors where I find myself obsessing over each upcoming release. It started with my addiction to the Study Abroad series, then we had my obsession with the Flings With Kings series, and now I feel a repeat experience occurring with the Charleston Heat series.

As excited as I was for Southern Charmer, a part of me was a bit disappointed before diving in.
Quinn's Quippy Quotes
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, arc, paperback, signed
This all started out as innocent curiosity about the beautiful stranger who showed up in my kitchen, hungry and tired and holding something in.

I love it when a book can transport me to a different time or place. This is a knack that Jessica Peterson possesses because this is not the first time that she has made me see and feel the settings to her novels. If there are two main things that have come out of reading Southern Charmer, it's
#1: I love food and want to eat all of the food.
#2: I will
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
" I've never met a guy like him. A man who cooks for a living, who's tatted up to within an inch of his life, who loves to read and do yoga and talk passionately about big ideas like romance and freedom and purpose. He;s one of a kind." -- I don't think I can seriously tell you how much I enjoyed this book. It made its way on to my top list of best books out there, no joke. I Devoured it.. read and re-read it. Kind of had me thinking about life a lot! I absolutely loved it. The words, the ...more
Jolene St Germain Triggs
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
LOVE THIS BOOK! So I admit, Jessica is pretty much a one-click author, her writing style and sense of humor just gel so well with my own, but I'd have totally gotten this book based on the blurb alone. Once again she transported me, this time to Charleston. I've never been there, and its been years since I have been even close to there, but through her writing I was transported. Sights and sounds (and smells) really bring this location alive in my mind. I loved Olivia's journey, I knew just ...more
Marie  Brown (Marie's Tempting Reads)
Marie's Tempting Reads ARC Review:


Jessica Peterson might very well have gone up and beyond with this book. Everything felt so alive and the descriptions were phenomenal and I felt like I was right there in the thick of Charleston, South Carolina, seeing everything and feeling the heat and hearing the accents that made me fan myself. The moment I
Stephanie S
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Olivia needed a break which I think most of us can relate to at time and she had the perfect getaway far away from her life to recharge. She was wanting to follow her dreams and write book but away from everyone who tried to deter her from this was the best thing she could have done.

Eli is a HOT as hell chef in the south that can conjure us some pretty tasty meals and the way to anyone’s heart is through the stomach, well that is what he thought and lived by. The descriptions had me smelling
Jo-Ann Forrest
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is like a visit in the south. Slow, sexy, warm and exciting. Olivia is escaping her life to take
a breather and decide what she really wants in her future. A perfect life with Ted, a perfect job a perfect house. She moves to Charleston to figure out what she wants . There she finds, old world charm, nice people, a community that comes together and finally Elijah. He is the epitome of the bad boy, chef, restaurant owner and sexiness all in one package. Their first encounter will set the
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much! Jessica Peterson's writing just gets better and better. I can't recommend this book enough. Eli and Olivia are both so real and relatable. Eli is a sexy chef and Olivia is a smart professor looking to change her career. They both are transitioning and their friendship helps them through it all. I love the slow burn between Eli and Olivia and when they finally get together, it was everything I had hoped for. This book makes me want to visit Charleston and try all the ...more
Kim Perry
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, review-crew
Olivia has always been a people pleaser. She loves teaching, but she's feeling suffocated when her on-paper-perfect boyfriends proposed. She's smart, sexy, passionate, and trying to find herself while taking a much-needed breather in picturesque Charleston. Eli is a well-known chef who stays true to his passion and palate regardless of the critics. He's stubborn, sexy, charming, and struggling to make his new restaurant work.

Eli and Olivia are both facing potential changes and hard decisions.
Leisa Ann
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
All the feels reading this one! Olivia and Eli feel like friends of mine from the beginning. Olivia takes a time out from her life to try to find herself and lands in a charming southern town. Eli is every girls, can cook, passionate and had a southern drawl that is swoon-worthy. I loved their story and hated for it to end. It was just exactly the book I was looking for! Can’t wait to read Luke and Gracie’s story!
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ll be completely honest, I just fell in MORE love with Jessica Peterson’s words I mean, I love the Royals, but she completely found her stride in their voices, characters and their city. This book is her best yet.

This book is character driven - I feel like I know Eli and Olivia like friends. Elijah is this hot shot chef in Charleston. He has it made. Olivia needed to escape a life she didn’t want anymore. Eli and Olivia navigate through friendship, inner monologues and the dynamics of other
Carolyn Spence
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It was a very enjoyable book to read. Eli and Olivia are made for each other, but they just did not realize it at the time. Olivia is coming off of a bad proposal and she's "thinking about it" down in Charleston, SC, which is way far away from Ithaca, NY. The food, the drinks and the atmosphere are wonderful for Olivia to figure things out. Eli is a successful chef with two restaurants but he is having issues with his second restaurant. There's only a short time frame for Olivia to make up her ...more
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Writing a good book is no small feature. A book within a book? Not for the weak ones either. The book is a breath of fresh air, a feel-good through and through. Sweet, savory , sassy and sexy. A book that is character-driven, that makes you embrace the romance reader in you in an unabashed way.
Olivia is you and me and each and every modern woman who “had it all” and realized that “all of that” wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, and one day decided that being herself in a world full of the idea
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book....ahhhhh! I love how diverse Jessica is as we move from books about royals to the south in Charleston. The vivid details were point on. I don’t even like grits but I want some of Eli’s grits!

Eli and Olivia are both at transitions in their life when they meet each other and quickly discover passion that neither knew was missing. Their love blossoms in such a great setting in Charleston, SC. I can just imagine Eli’s house and restaurant and Rainbow Row books.

I can’t wait for more in
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 03, 2019 marked it as no-way-jose
EWWWW.. thank you AGAIN Dilek.
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Goodreads Librari...: My book is under the wrong author! 5 221 Oct 05, 2018 10:02AM  

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Jessica Peterson writes smokin’ hot romance set in her favorite cities around the world. She grew up on a steady diet of Mr. Darcy, Edward Cullen, and Jamie Frasier, and it wasn’t long before she started writing swoon-worthy heroes of her own. She loves strong coffee, stronger heroines, and heroes with hot accents.

She lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband Ben and her smelly Goldendoodle, Martha

Other books in the series

Charleston Heat (4 books)
  • Southern Player (Charleston Heat, #2)
  • Southern Gentleman (Charleston Heat, #3)
  • Southern Heartbreaker (Charleston Heat, #4)
“Do you ever get the feeling that you’re hiding who you really are to fit in? Do you ever want more? Not more stuff, but a life that’s more you, you know?” 0 likes
“He’s been playing ‘I Fall Apart’ on repeat for a week now,” she stage whispers. “I can’t stand it anymore! For the love of God, help us, before I start dreaming about pasty white men with face tattoos.” 0 likes
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