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Betty Neels 1980's Vintage Harlelquin romances

Updated on March 15, 2011


Betty Neels is one of my favorite romance authors. Her romances are sweet, gentle stories with handsome heroes and satisfying endings. Betty Neels was a nurse who when she retired starting writing romance novels. She lived into her 90s and was publishing to the end. Her first books came out in the 1970's and the last was about the turn of the century. All her books were at least partly set in England, where she was from. Many were also set in Holland, where she lived with her husband for several years. He was Dutch, like many of her characters and was the model for some of them, even though he was not a doctor. Most of her romances, but not all, were between a doctor and usually a nurse or someone in the medical field.

I am slowly reading all the harlequins and as I do, I am adding details to the descriptions in bold.

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"You're just what the doctor ordered!" So the crew at Spitzbergen declared when nurse Annis Brown joined their isolated camp. Dr. Jake van Germert didn't seem to agree.

His aloof ways irritated Annis until Ola Julsen arrived and took Annis's mind off Jake. The affair ended, however, leaving Annis with the surprising discovery that, after all, she was in love with Jake. Jake's sudden proposal should have made her completely happy--but she knew it would be a marriage of convenience for him...and a heartbreak for her!


Emily was the envy of the nursing staff…she worked with the tall, handsome Professor Renier Jurres-Romeijn! Not that she considered her position enviable at all. She knew the great man’s opinion of her—and she’d trade with the others anytime! Anyway, Emily shrugged it off. She was in the hospital to be a good nurse, not to win a beauty pageant! The Professor’s views showed just what a loathsome type he was. But why did it hurt so when he found her vivacious sister, Louisa, so enchanting?


The job came along at the perfect time. Phyllida was overjoyed. Her job as nurse-companion was taking her and her patient to the Canary Islands...and away from her persistent ex-boyfriend Philip.But the trip was a disaster, and if not for the help of handsome Dr. Pieter can Siddardt, Phylly would have been in dire straits. She soon realized she could happily spend the rest of her life with Pieter...but all he could do was urge her to marry Philip!


There was more than one fish in the sea .Amelia was delighted when Tom, her fiance, agreed to accompany her and her father on a holiday fishing trip to Norway. Luckily, Amelia's father found Gideon van der Tolck, another fishing enthusiast, so she and Tom would have plenty of time to themselves. Amelia wouldn't admit to herself that the handsome Gideon was far more attractive than Tom. But what did that matter--it was far too late for second thoughts ....


"I don't want my life disturbed." Baron Radinck Thoe van Erckelens was very clear about his reasons for wanting to marry Caroline--and love was not one of them. Caro loved Radinck, though, so she agreed to his terms--that she was not to interfere in his life or try to change it. Inwardly she promised that she would make him love her. But she wondered whether the warm and loving man she saw beneath that cold exterior would ever surface. And if he did--would the warmth be for her?


His type liked only decorative women! Hannah Lang was neither beautiful nor glamorous, but she was a warm, sensitive woman end a darned good nurse! Her employers were delightful and Hannah loved baby Paul, her little patient. The position in Holland would have been perfect were it not for Dr. Valentijn van Bertes. The handsome pediatrician disapproved of Hannah, and that rankled more than it should have--especially as Valentijn was engaged to gorgeous Nerissa van der Post!


How could anything so right be so wrong? She had said yes gladly, but later Katrina wondered why she had agreed to marry Raf van Tellerinck. There was no love between them, certainly. But he needed a wife, and Katrina like and respected him. So it seemed...right. Then everything turned out wrong. Katrina fell deeply in love with her husband - only to find that Raf would have married his lovely ex-girlfriend had he known she was now divorced.


It was more than a family matter...Dr. Duert ter Brandt disapproved of Christina's relationship with his brother, Adam, and he made sure they both knew it. True, he didn't stop Chrissy from coming to Holland to work near Adam - but he made it clear that her infatuation was not in the best interest of his hospital. Or did he have other, hidden reasons for hoping that Chrissy would give up her notion of love at first sight?


Renting their house was the only way Euphemia could salvage her family’s muddled finances. If only the tenant had been someone she liked—anyone but Dr. Tane van Diederijk, that disturbingly abrupt man…Then Tane asked her to accompany his spoiled and demanding fiancée, who’d recently been ill, to Spain. Reluctantly Euphemia agreed and found everything seemed to change there. Especially the way she felt about the handsome doctor.


Perhaps her dream of love was only a dream. "Working nights in a London hospital is no life for a young girl!" Her mother hadn't actually said it, but Judith knew she was thinking it. In a way, Judith agreed, but what else could she do? Marry Nigel? No, she didn't love him. She had no great feeling for any man--except Charles Cresswell--and that was certainly not love. But could her feeling possibly have any bearing on her agreeing to nurse his mother in his home?


She shared his life but not his love...What would she do? Sadie was suddenly alone in the world, and her cottage home would have to be sold. But luck was with her, for Oliver Trentham, the television screenwriter who had bought the cottage, required a housekeeper-and the job was hers! Unfortunately her heart was soon his--hopelessly so. Such a handsome man, with two small daughters, needed to remarry, but he certainly wouldn't choose his housekeeper!


Annis disliked him on sight. Jake was too good-looking, too rich and too self-assured. Then a sudden shared grief broke down Annis's defenses against his attractiveness. Jake's sudden marriage proposal made no pretense of love. "You're a sensible girl," he said. "Your head isn't cluttered with romantic ideas." Sensible? Hardly, but Annis had no choice, for any hope of future happiness depended on his falling in love with her.


No one could envy her position. As Lady Manderly's companion, Jemima responded cheerfully to her eccentric whims and demands. But then Jemima Mason was capable of coping with almost anything. The exception was her employer's nephew, Professor Alexander Cator, who went out of his way to provoke Jemima. "You'll never set the world on fire," he said, mocking her plainness. And though his words stung her. Alexander occupied her thoughts more and more.


Facing bankruptcy, Celine’s family was forcedto turn their home into a guest house to make ends meet. Celine found her new life hard work but great fun. She met a young man, Nicky, who seemed very taken with her. If only Nicky’s masterful cousin, Oliver, wouldn’t keep interfering. But when she discovered that Nicky wasmarried, Celine was only too gratelful for Oliver’s comforting presence. Gratitude wasn’t exactly what Oliver had in mind, but it was a start.


Would he ever see how she truly felt? Katrina had known Lucius Massey all her life, and her childish hero worship had grown into a comfortable, warm friendship. She and Lucius had become engaged just to teach her selfish sister Virginia a lesson, nothing more. She knew Lucius would never think of her as more than a friend. But as more and more people congratulated Katrina on her match, a mysterious sadness began to creep into her heart..


Katrina illustrates children’s books. Her parents are dead, but she and her sister still live in the family home. Lucius is a neighbor who has spent a lot of time with spoiled sister. Katrina had asked him to, because she doesn’t like Virginia’s friends. Virginia had expected a proposal and didn’t get one. So she is mad at Lucius and wants Katrina to snub him. The sister has told everyone that Lucius had dumped her for Katrina. She said it purely for spite. Lucius says they should pretend to be engaged, later they can marry. Virginia immediately gets engaged to rich man and wants a quick wedding, which of course, Katrina must organize.


She thought she'd finished with romance. After the breakup of her engagement, Prudence eagerly accepted Dr. Benedict van Vinke's offer of a job in Holland. It seemed the perfect opportunity to begin an entire new life. What she wasn't prepared for was the effect Benedict and his young daughter, Sibella, would have on her emotions.When was she going to stop acting like a fool, she asked herself angrily, and remember she was just his employee?

2656 POLLY

Working for Professor Sam Gervis was difficult enough, even if you hadn't fallen in love with him. But Polly had. Luckily she was realistic. Sam was engaged to the lovely Deirdre, and besides, he would never look twice at anyone as quiet and mousy as her. So Polly sensibly decided to get away and take up a new career nursing children. But she soon discovered that Sam wasn't a man to be escaped from easily.


When tragedy strikes a London nurse, support comes—not from her fiancé-but from her supervising doctor. But she finds little comfort, knowing he’s already involved with another woman.


She wanted him for herself. Eugenia knew what surgeon Gerard Grenfell needed: a woman who would never feel threatened by his devotion to his work at London's St. Clare's Hospital; a woman who would love him to distraction. And she was that woman. But he was engaged to Miriam instead, and Eugenia would be forced to marry Humphrey. That done, four people would be miserable for the rest of their lives. It didn't bear thinking about!


Could she settle for less than love? Professor Gideon Beaufort tried Deborah's good nature severely. He reviled her future as a trained nanny, destined to settle for a permanent post caring for other people's children. But was his proposal any more enticing, when all he wanted was a substitute for his young daughter and nothing more? "I won't pretend," he told her candidly. "You see, I think I've forgotten how to love."

Deborah found herself wishing the sultry skies of Portugal's exotic Algarve weren't wasted on such a cynical widower and a dedicated nanny with stars in her eyes.


Phoebe accepted Dr. George Pritchard’s proposal because it was the sensible thing to do. He hadn’t offered her love, only understanding friendship , and that seemed enough. She didn’t love him either, she told herself. So she couldn’t quite cope with her fierce jealousy when the beautiful Dutch girl, Corina, came back into George’s live, showing every sign of wanting to resume what had obviously been a very close friendship!


Why was he talking about love? Julia was puzzled by the austere Professor van der Wagema’s remark that there should be more to life than working at St. Anne’s Hospital in London. “At the end of the day, you know what that is” he’d said. “To love and be loved. Simply that.” Was he hinting that he was going to marry again? And why bother to tell her, anyway? Why should he suppose that she was interested in his private life?


To an English governess, Vienna would be more appealing if her host would stop burying his head in medical studies and show her the true magic to be found in Vienna.


He was a bad-tempered annoying, arrogant man! And later encounters with Julius van Tacx only confirmed Josephine's first impression. Nothing about Julius fitted her image of an ideal husband. He greatly disturbed Josephine's usually serene life--both at home and in the hospital. Then he went off, back to Holland, with a blithe "Tot Ziens!" Josephine had to admit she missed him--tiresome ways and all. She felt slightly better when she learned that Tot Ziens meant "so long--be seeing you." But the question was--when?


Their first meeting was accidental. Rose and her holiday companion, Sadie , lost in Amsterdam, knocked on the nearest door for directions. It belonged to Mynheer Sybren Werdmer ter Sane. They were impressed, but did not expect ot see him again. Their second meeting in London was a surprise, Mynheer ter Sane was asking for nursing help for a case in Holland. Though it was Rose who went, she knew from overhearing him that it was pretty Sadie he’d wanted. So where could their relationsip go—except straight downhill.


Charity’s job as a typist at St. Augustine’s Hospital certainly kept her busy, but she longed for something more---something exciting in her life. So when the renowned Professor Wyllie-Lyon offered her a job at his private clinic, Charity accepted. She was thrilled to work for the brilliant and handsome doctor and to accompany him on a business trip to Norway. She was less than thrilled to find herself dreaming of a future with the professor—a future she’d heard was reserved for someone else.


She needed time - away from him! Likable, sensible Francesca seldom met anyone she didn't get along well with. In fact, as ward nurse of a Costwold village hospital, she was considered perfect. Except, it seemed, in the eyes of Dr. van Rijgen, an arrogant specialist, whose manner often sparked feelings in Fran she couldn't always fathom or control. But now, on vacation in Holland, Fran felt free from those unsettling encounters. That is, until the eminent doctor tracked her down...


"He needs a wife -- someone like me!" Meg Collins was an old-fashioned country girl facing an uncertain future. Now that the family house was being sold, Meg had to find a job. But where? Her skills were in cooking and gardening -- not shorthand and typing.

Professor Ralph Culver offered a solution. The eminent doctor needed a "sensible, domestic person" to work in his London office. Someone like Meg. But it wasn't very sensible to fall in love with the professor. Or to hope that he would fall in love with her, too...


Rachel Downing thoroughly enjoyed her work as an operating theatre nurse. Professor Radmer van Teule, a brilliant surgeon, relied on her cheerful efficiency. Only her boyfriend, a TV producer, cast an uneasy shadow on Rachel’s life. Living up to his glamorous expectations wasn’t easy for a sensible country girl. But somehow, whenever Rachel had been hurt, the Professor was there quietly offering comfort, watching and waiting for Rachel to notice how easily their lives fit together….


He was the answer to all her prayers. Matilda worked as a nurse in her uncle's busy small-town medical practice. Though she found caring for her patients satisfying, Tilly was well aware of her need for something greater. Little did she suspect that her chance meeting with Dr. Rauwerd van Kempler would change her life. She had sensibly agreed to his proposal, only to find herself becoming far from sensibly involved.

Reality intruded just when she needed Rauwerd's great strength, and she was forced to discover her own. The doctor might be out saving lives--but Tilly was fast losing her patience!


She'd never known anyone quite so wonderful. Florina welcomed her move to Wheel House. Five years of pandering to the selfish whims of her father had made her long for domestic tranquility and the chance to show off her culinary talents in an appreciative household. Yet peace eluded the ginger-haired cook. The handsome and kind Sir William Sedley stirred unexpected longings in Florina--longings she just had to keep secret.

After all, Sir William was engaged to another woman, and Florina felt certain that famous pediatricians just didn't fall in love with their cooks!


Were Dutch doctors always so arrogant? First of all, Marc van Borsale insisted on driving Claribel home in his Rolls as she waited for the bus one day - then promptly delivered a lecture on how young women should not accept lifts from strangers.

When she met him at her London hospital - he was a visiting Dutch surgeon - he completely ignored her. A few days later she answered an insistent knock on the door of her flat, only to be met by a Marc furious at her for answering the door without checking first who was there. What was going on?


Katherine had every reason to be grateful to Jason Fitzroy. After all, he had rescued her from the drudgery she endured at her brother’s house and had found her a new lifestyle. He was very kind, but it was beyond the bounds of possibility that he could ever love her. Who would look twice at Katherine when the glamorous Dodie was on the scene?


Katherine lives with her brother, his lazy wife and 2 nasty kids. She is treated like a servant. She meets Jason when he comes to the front door early in the morning. He had an abandoned newborn he found on the side of the road. Katherine immediately falls in love with him and helps him get the infant to the hospital. Katherine was training to be a nurse when her mom became ill and she had to leave home to nurse her. Jason gets get a job as companion to Dodie’s grandparents. Dodie soon gets rid of her, but Jason then gets her a job at his hospital.


Prudence doesn’t regret giving up her own plans to accompany her godmother to Holland. She finds her surroundings and her hostess charming. However, she can’t understand why the arrogant Dr. hoso ter Brons Huizinga dislikes her—and tells herself she doesn’t care!


Sebastian van Tecqx provides the solution to Emily’s most pressing problem—in return for her temporary help with his convalescent sister in Delft. Emily knows it’s hopeless, but with Sebastian’s constant presence, she can’t stop herself falling in love.

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    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      I would think some of these are available on Amazon. Browsers probably would appreciate an Amazon link with each title.


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