This is one of the best Low Country tales in this series. I wish there was and hopefully will be a "return to Bulls Island" book. Very funny, also clever and a little mysterious...very well written. The characters came to life for me.
First, let me state quite firmly that I LOVE this author's books!! With that said, I was a tad disappointed with this one. I thought the love story between the two main characters felt forced and the ending was just a bit too pat. But the setting descriptions, as usual, are wonderful and make me want to visit the low country someday. I still think her best book was the first one I read by her - Plantation, followed by Sullivan's Island.
Bull's Island actually exists as an undeveloped barrier island within the Cape Romaine National Wildlife Refuge off the coast of South Carolina near Charleston. The premise of this book is that a wealthy Charleston family surrepticiously obtains the island and forms a consortium with a New York investment company to develop it. The representative of the investors is a woman who grew up in Charleston and 20 years earlier was engaged to the son (now married to a whack-job), who is representing the family who bought the island. Yeah...I know...I really don't have to write any more about this. Did I mention the woman hooks up with a guy in NYC who is probably mobbed up? Whose name is....get this...Vinnie Braggadocio. Yes...this is the truth.
Well, I endured this non-page-turner...just barely. 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Blah... I kept reading just to see if it got any better but it didn't. It was a predictable boring read. I read about half the book and then skippped and read the last page. Not a surprise ending. So, I put the book down. I couldn't pull myself to read the other half.
That being said... Someone request it from me!!!! Haha.
The story of two old Southern families set in the Low Country of South Carolina. Most of the real action is in the last 30 pages. The ending is somewhat predictable but it still made the book a good beach read. Not great literature, but a fun book for a summer day.
Dorothea Benton Frank weaves a fantastic tale of an endearing character. The story revolves around Elizabeth "Betts" McGee. Betts left South Carolina after a horrific tragedy and a broken engagement. Leaving behind her family and friends, she moves to New York City and becomes a top investment bank executive. Betts leads a successful life with her career and as a mother.
All seems well, until her company decides to accept an investment in the development of an untouched island (Bulls Island). Betts is forced to return to what she left behind. She is faced with reconnecting to those she left behind. She is also confronted with the task of working side by side with JD (her "ex" fiance) in order to make the project successful. In a short period of time, Betts' whole life changes. A secret that she has kept for twenty years will be revealed and threatens all she holds dear.
The characters in the story are true to life. Each with their distinct personalities cause the reader to either love or hate them. The breathtaking descriptions of the scenery, from the "southern" heat to the ocean waves, will transport you to the area.
Although romance is not my favorite genre, this book did not disappoint me. It is a great read and the storyline kept me interested. Ms. Frank was able to make me feel as if I knew each person in the story. It had me laughing, frustrated, and intrigued.
Bulls Island by Dorothea Benton Frank
1st Ed. Phillip Morrow, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
"A satisfying tale of honor, chance, and star-crossed love, infused with Southern wit, grace, and charm, from the New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank.
This is the story of two southern families. The Langley Family has more money that Morgan Stanley Bank. And they think they have more class. The McGee family made their nineteenth century fortunes in a less distinguished manner - corner groceries and liquor stores.
It's no surprise that when JD Langley and Elizabeth "Betts" McGee fall in love and decide to marry, their parents are none too pleased. And when the night of their engagement ends with a tragic accident, everyone is ready to place blame and the love affair comes to an end.
Twenty years later, Betts, who has not had contact with her own family or JD in years, must return home to fight some local developers on Bulls Island. But she has a big secret.
When sparks fly as she and JD are reunited
Not my favorite Benton Frank book, but still worth a read. It just depends on your point of view. I LOVED "Porch Lights" and have read almost everything she has written. Just not a personal favorite, but still a good read.