Monday, June 3, 2019

Book Review: The Southern Side of Paradise by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Pages: 400
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: May 7, 2019
Publisher: Gallery
Other Books By Author: Slightly South of Simple 
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "With the man of her dreams back in her life and all three of her daughters happy, Ansley Murphy should be content. But she can’t help but feel like it’s all a little too good to be true.  Meanwhile, youngest daughter and actress Emerson, who is recently engaged and has just landed the role of a lifetime, seemingly has the world by the tail. Only, something she can’t quite put her finger on is worrying her—and it has nothing to do with her recent health scare.  When two new women arrive in Peachtree Bluff—one who has the potential to wreck Ansley’s happiness and one who could tear Emerson’s world apart—everything is put in perspective. And after secrets that were never meant to be told come to light, the powerful bond between the Murphy sisters and their mother comes crumbling down, testing their devotion to each other and forcing them to evaluate the meaning of family.  With Kristy Woodson Harvey’s signature charm, wit, and heart, The Southern Side of Paradise is another masterful Peachtree Bluff novel that proves she is a “Southern writer with staying power.” 

Ansley has all of her daughters home and she's with her first love, but something just isn't right.  Her youngest daughter, Emerson, recently got engaged to her high school sweetheart, but things with that relationship aren't exactly what Ansley was hoping for.  Plus, Emerson's dealing with some health issues, which terrifies Ansley.  Plus, there's secrets from the previous books that are coming to the surface and will challenge the Murphy sisters and Ansley as well.  The third and final novel in the Peachtree Bluff series, The Southern Side of Paradise, is a heartwarming beach read that fans of the series will enjoy.

I loved revisiting the Murphy sisters. It was like being reunited with long-lost friends. The Southern Side of Paradise focuses on Emerson the most and I was happy about that as I really enjoy her.  I love that she is an actress and is dedicated to her craft.  However, in this novel, she is feeling pressure from her fiance to settle down in Peachtree Bluff. That obviously won't happen if she wants to be an actress; plus, she just landed her dream role! Thankfully, she has her sisters, Sloane and Caroline, to lean on, be a sounding board, take her out for drinks, and of course, help plan a gorgeous wedding.

Then there's Ansley whom I also adore in The Southern Side of Paradise. I love her relationship with Jack and I enjoyed their time together in this book.  I desperately wanted them to go riding off in the sunset; they are just so darn cute. Things are going so well for Ansley that she keeps waiting for the other shoe to drop and I have to say I don't blame her. The issue surrounding Jack's secret (don't want to give it away if you haven't read the series!) really comes to a head in this book, nonetheless, I am happy with how Harvey ended this delightful series.

For me, the setting of Peachtree Bluff is one of my favorite aspects of the entire series.  The big porches, the cocktails, the views, the water, the boats, and the small-town charm all were all so memorable. I seriously want to live there and I am sad that this will be the last time we will visit this adorable coastal town.

If you are looking for a feel-good beach read, try the Peachtree Bluff series, especially if you like novels that highlight complicated families, women's stories, old loves, and charming Southern beach towns. I can't wait to read what Harvey writes next; I just hope it's another Southern beach read for next summer. *fingers crossed*

Have you read the Peachtree Bluff series? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. 


  1. I LOVE this review so much- thank you!!!!!!!!!

    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Kristy! I can't wait to read what you write next!

  2. I read books through My Library. Checked but it's not listed yet as ordered, but they do have Lies and Other Acts of Love which I am planning on reading soon.

    1. You'll have to let me know what you think of that one! I haven't read it! I hope you can read this series soon, Vicki. Thanks for visiting!


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