Friday, May 22, 2009

Bulls Island ~ Dorothea Benton Frank

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Pub. Date: April 2008


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.

Sunblock... check. Bottled water... double check. Shades... got 'em! Cooler... 'course. Towels... Duh! Flip flops... on. Hand sanitizer... x's 2... u betcha! Disposable wipes... oh, yeah. Brimmed hat... reluctantly grumble yes 'cause it messes my 'do, but I refuse to look like a prune, so on it goes. Lifejackets for the yacht boat. Swimwear... Swimwear... Swimwear... shoot! Did I really need that 2nd 3rd sliver slice of key lime pie? Yes! It's not my fault Memorial Day weekend arrived so darn soon. Grrr.... : /

Let me remove the Doritos & pack healthy snacks... wait, I'll take a few individual packages for portion control. Yeah, that's it.

Now that we're ready to hit the shore... Yes, we're kicking off summer w/ Dorothea Benton Frank's Bulls Island.

So, grab your lemonade, iced tea, mint julep & let's relax as the South Carolina scents intoxicates, invades & seduces you.

Let the balmy breeze caress your sun kissed body as the sun's radiance penetrates your warm skin.

I'm not going to mince words. This book is fabulous. JD Langley is titillating. Southern ambrosia!

I think I need an iced drink... make it a double. Heck, just pass me the cubes! (Yes, I'm spoken for but this spicy tamale wants to know one thing... Does Dot actually know a "real" life JD??? Why! Why? You ask... uhhh... inquiring minds want to know. Geez!)

Bulls Island
is Southern charm @ its finest!

Betts McGee ~ love that stripper/poker ace name ~ is a force to be reckoned with. Dare I say a hybrid of a Koala bear, gator & pit bull. She is a splendid heroine. Betts has an admirable spirit & an incredible heart.

JD's mama, Louisa Langley is an intimidating bitch! This matriarch was born w/ talons & tries to reign over her son, daughter-in-law, hubby & Charleston society. Think about a Southern Queen mum. Cool visual, eh?

Frank's characters are so believable ~ the secondary have a voice that shines as bright as the main. No one in Frank's watercolor palette gets watered down. She knows how to formulate well fleshed characters ~ flaws & all.

This chick can write. Dorothea created a world of magic & I was a Southern Princess.

Opening up Bulls Island was pure bliss. I was whisked to the South Carolina Lowcountry. I envisioned beautiful American Oystercatchers, loggerheads, painted buntings, gorgeous endangered red wolves & running ~ screaming ~ from gators (not cool).

I smelled the briny salt air & walked along the palmetto grass. I dreamed of cycling along the wide, sandy roads that traverse the island. Frank's lush setting made me want to pack some toiletries, round up my pets & head down to South Carolina. After settling down, I'd hop a ferry to Bulls Island. I wanted my body to kick back in the sultry lowcountry because that was the only part of me that wasn't there. Frank's rhythmic writing had me enjoying the southern warmth & genial hospitality she imagined.

I was pulled into the captivating family dynamics. Frank wrote about the Langley & McGee drama effortlessly. She did not drop the ball once writing it from Betts & JD's viewpoint. It unfolded smoothly. No easy execution. Kudos to Dorothea for the mellifluous transition.

Betts deserves an award for taking so much drama from her future mother-in-law from the land of fire & brimstone... I would not have been as classy. Just think of those fantasy scenes Jennifer Lopez had in Monster-in- Law! Just sayin'...

Reading Bulls Island was a sweet vacation. It was escapism @ its best. This is one of the beach reads for the season. I mean, how could you not love juicy secrets & lies that aren't yours?

The Southern community does do secrets & lies w/ panache.

For me, the ending was a bit too easy. I wanted a bit more. I guess I didn't want to say goodbye to the characters. The epilogue tied it together magnificently, but I wanted more Betts & JD before the epilogue made me say my tearful goodbyes.

Hello... Ms. Frank? A sequel would do me a world of good.

C'mon show your Southern charm & toss me a crab cake.

So, grab a copy of Bulls Island.

Some book stores may have broken their street date of 5/26 & it may be out now;].

Well, I declare! Git it!!!

What a terrific way to kick off the long weekend of sun & fun, huh?

Check out the awesome lyrical poet @

PB available on May 26


  1. I've never been to South Carolina though I grew up in Georgia. Just love a story set in the south though! This reminds me of something Mary Kay Andrews would write so I have to pick up a copy for myself and my mom.

  2. Yes, it is like a MKA, but not the same comedic vein. Let me know when ya do read it.