November 07, 2010 08:00 AM

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

With dreams of giving her three daughters a normal life away from the glitter of Hollywood, Angie Harmon’s move to Charlotte, N.C. three months ago has been a huge success.

“My oldest daughter Finley [Faith, 7] was shy and reserved when we lived in the Los Angeles area,” the Rizzoli & Isles star, 38, tells PEOPLE at the opening of the JW Marriott Marquis in Miami on Thursday.

“Now in a new town with new friends, she has become quite outgoing — a little fireball.”

Harmon and her husband, former NFL star Jason Sehorn, are also parents to Avery Grace, 5, and Emery Hope, 22 months, and it seems everyone is adapting well to the Southern charm of their new city.

“We all love living in Charlotte because it exudes a small town mentality and we feel like we are part of a nice stable community,” Harmon explains. “Everything is close. Our friends live near, shopping and schools are a short drive away. And there is a lot of pride in the neighborhood.”

Harmon and Sehorn, 39, now a football commentator, wanted to leave Los Angeles to give their daughters a slower-paced, more stable and balanced family life. The actress — who plays a salty police detective on Rizzoli & Isles — begins shooting the new season in March, and is thrilled about having the next few months to devote to her girls.

“Charlotte is all about family and we are having a blast getting to know everyone around us. I am in the place I want to be.”

— Linda Marx

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