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At Odds with Love
Cover of At Odds with Love
At Odds with Love
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When Jane needed help, she was amazed that it was the charismatic surgeon Nikolaas van der Vollenhove who tore himself away from his busy schedule to come to her rescue. A renowned workaholic, it was obvious that he had no time for anything--or anyone--in his life. Which was why his marriage proposal came as such a shock. Just why exactly did he want Jane for his wife, if it wasn't for love?


When Jane needed help, she was amazed that it was the charismatic surgeon Nikolaas van der Vollenhove who tore himself away from his busy schedule to come to her rescue. A renowned workaholic, it was obvious that he had no time for anything--or anyone--in his life. Which was why his marriage proposal came as such a shock. Just why exactly did he want Jane for his wife, if it wasn't for love?
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    The October afternoon was drawing to a misty close and the last rays of the sun, shining through the latticed window, highlighted the russet hair of the young woman sitting by it. It shone upon her lovely face too and gave her green eyes an added sparkle as she stared out at the garden beyond, the knitting in her lap forgotten for the moment.

    It was quiet in the room save for the faint ticking of the clock on the mantelpiece and the sighing breaths of the old lady in the bed as she dozed. It was a pleasant room, low-ceilinged, its walls papered in an old-fashioned pattern of flowers, the furniture for the most part ponderous Victorian; the small person in the bed was dwarfed by her surroundings, perched up against her pillows. She stirred presently and the girl got up and went to the bedside.

    'You've had a nice nap, Granny. If you're quite comfortable I'll go and get the tea-tray.' She had a charming voice and she spoke cheerfully. 'I'll light a lamp, shall I?' And when the old lady nodded, she added, 'It's a beautiful evening--I do love this time of year.'

    The old lady smiled and nodded again and the girl went away, down to the kitchen of the rambling old house where Bessy the housekeeper was making the tea. She looked up as the girl went in.

    ''Ad a nap, 'as she? The dear soul--wore out, she must be.' She put a plate of wafer-thin bread and butter on the tray. 'And time you 'as a bit of fresh air, Miss Jane. I'll sit with 'er while you take a turn round the garden when you've had your tea.'

    Jane leaned across the table and cut a slice of bread, buttered it lavishly and said thickly through a mouthful, 'Thank you, Bessy. I'll take Bruno and Percy and Simpkin with me--just for ten minutes or so.'

    She gobbled up the rest of her bread and butter and picked up the tray. She was a tall girl with a splendid shape, dressed rather carelessly in a cotton blouse, a well-worn cardigan and a long wide skirt.

    The housekeeper eyed her as she went to the door. 'You didn't ought ter look so shabby.' She spoke with the freedom of an old and faithful servant. 'Suppose some nice young man should call?'

    Jane gave a gurgle of laughter and Bessy said severely, 'Well, you may laugh, Miss Jane, but there's Dr Willoughby coming regular to see your granny.'

    'He is an engaged man, Bessy, and several inches shorter than I am.'

    She went back upstairs to heave the old lady gently up against her pillows and give her her tea. She would eat nothing, though, and Jane thought that she looked paler than usual.

    'feel all right, Granny?' she asked casually.

    'A little tired, dear. Have you seen to Bruno and the cats?'

    'I'm going to take them into the garden presently and give them their supper. They're all splendid.' She added in what she hoped sounded like an afterthought, 'Dr Willoughby might be coming this evening instead of tomorrow...'

    'A nice young man. A pity he's going to marry. He would have done very well for you, Jane. You're twenty-seven and you've given up a good nursing career to look after me here, buried in the country.'

    'I like being here,' protested her granddaughter. 'I like the country and I haven't met a man I want to marry yet.'

    'Though you've had your chances...?'

    'Well, yes, I dare say I'm fussy.' She rearranged the pillows as Bessy came into the room. 'There now--I'm off to see to the animals.'

    Only when she got downstairs she went to the phone first and dialled Dr Willoughby and asked him to come and see her grandmother. 'I don't think she's any worse, but I'm uneasy...'

    She saw to the cats and Bruno next. Bruno was a corgi and the cats were both...

About the Author-
  • Romance readers around the world were sad to note the passing of Betty Neels in June 2001.Her career spanned thirty years, and she continued to write into her ninetieth year.To her millions of fans, Betty epitomized the romance writer.Betty's first book, Sister Peters in Amsterdam,was published in 1969, and she eventually completed 134 books.Her novels offer a reassuring warmth that was very much a part of her own personality.Her spirit and genuine talent live on in all her stories.

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At Odds with Love
At Odds with Love
Betty Neels
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