Bulls Island

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Bulls Island

An executive in a private equity firm in New York, Elizabeth (Betts) McGee, has come a long way from the Low Country of South Carolina.  Anger over the loss of her beloved mother, frustrated with the family of the man she once loved and furious with her contrary sister, Joanie, Betts left home 20 years ago and never bothered to look back.

At the top of her game at ARC, but thinking something has gone terribly wrong in her life, Betts is summoned to the president’s office for an unexpected meeting.  Ben Bruton is handsome, confident and a known genius, so what in the world could possibly be wrong?  When Ben gives Betts accolades on companies that she’s managed to turn around, she begins to feel a little more comfortable.  Then he drops a bombshell.  The company is about to invest a huge sum of money at a gated community on Bull’s Island and he needs her to work with Langley Development to close the deal.  Uh oh - now she’s not feeling quite so relaxed; in fact, she’s downright shocked.  Well, okay, so maybe this is the deal of a lifetime, but now her boss looks nervous as Betts’ doesn’t appear to be as thrilled as he’d like.  Taking on this project means going back home to run into everyone she’s avoided for the past twenty years.  She’ll have to talk to her father and sister, work with her old lover, JD Langley and deal with his absolutely rude and snobby mother.  What’s a girl to do?

Once Betts arrives, her father, of course, is thrilled to see her; greeting and working with the now married JD brings back memories of the great love they shared so long ago and their plans to marry.  Too bad JD’s mother is just as offensive and impolite as always; but Betts is pleased that her sister’s armor is cracking a little, as they spend time together.  JD has changed, and things aren’t exactly wonderful for him with his wife. He’s never really gotten over Betts and the more they talk, the more they realize those old feelings are still there.  But Betts has a secret to tell of why she really ran away all those years ago, and she’s not sure how everyone will react once they all hear the truth.

The narrative of Bulls Island is refreshingly told in the first person, giving it a more personalized and interesting perspective.  The characters display quirky, opinionated and witty behavior designed to grab and keep your attention throughout the book, and you’ll experience a myriad of emotions.  Against her better judgment, Betts realizes that it’s important to return to important relationships and not sweep heartache under the rug.  She’s become successful, but as the author vividly displays with her description of Bulls Island and other parts of the low country, she misses the beauty of the area and being with her family.  Perhaps JD didn’t fight hard enough to get her to stay, but here is his chance to make amends for a big mistake that has once cost him the love of his life.  Vibrant and full of life, this is the place she belongs if she’s only willing to take that step.  Delightfully told with a heady mix of romance, this one’s a keeper.


Book Blurb for Bulls Island

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

After twenty years, Elizabeth "Betts" McGee has finally managed to put her past behind her. She hasn't been home to beautiful South Carolina and untouched Bulls Island since the tragic night that ended her engagement to Charleston's golden boy, J. D. Langley.

And why is that? Really, this is the story of two old Southern families. The Langley family has more money than the Morgan Stanley Bank. And they think they have more class. The Barrett family made their nineteenth-century fortune in a less distinguished manner—corner grocery stores and liquor stores. It's no surprise that when J.D. and Betts fall in love and decide to marry their parents are none too pleased. And when the love affair comes to an end, everyone is ready to place blame.

Now twenty years have gone by and Betts, a top investment bank executive, must leave her comfortable life in New York City to return to the home she thought she'd left behind forever. But spearheading the most important project of her career puts her back in contact with everything she's tried so hard to forget: her estranged sister, her father, J.D., and her past.

Once she's home, can Betts keep the secret that threatens all she holds dear? Or will her fear of the past wreck her future happiness? And what about that crazy gator? All will be revealed on Bulls Island.

Night Owl Reviews Jul, 2009 5.00