Beth Webb Hart’s latest novel came to life Thursday evening at a stately home South of Broad. The book launch party for Love, Charleston took place in the Meeting Street house where the book was partially set — for those who haven’t read the book, the event provided a rare chance to visualize the setting just as the author intended.

Besides the impeccably decorated home, many of the guests donned their bow-tied and bejeweled Charleston finest, helping to complete the picture. It was easy to imagine we were rubbing elbows with the characters in the book, especially when we overheard a small group discussing ringing the bells at St. Michael’s Church. We even spotted a man in clerical garb — could it have been the Rev. Roy Summerall?

Beth Webb Hart sat in a corner of the living room, greeting fans and writing personal notes in the the front of their books. Others gathered on the breezy piazza with a glass of wine (we spotted Hart’s fellow Southern author Bret Lott) or posted up beside the cheese table packed with gouda, Dubliner, and some of the best brie we’ve ever had. Even after reading Hart’s book, we’re a little shaky on S.O.B. etiquette. Is it poor form to take some cheese to go?

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