Looking after her invalid mother, Serena had accepted long ago that the bright city lights were not for her. Not that she minded. Hardworking and quiet, she was perfectly happy with her life—until the Dutch consultant Marc ter Feulen turned it upside down. As her new boss, he was arrogant and demanding. But as a man, he was altogether too attractive for Serena's peace of mind!
Katrina has known Lucius Massey all her life, and her childish hero worship has grown into a comfortable, warm friendship.
They're so at ease in their friendship that a pretend engagement to each other to teach Katrina's selfish sister Virginia a lesson strikes both as a worthwhile but harmless idea.
Yet as more and more people congratulate Katrina on her match, a mysterious sadness begins to creep into her heart….
"I shall not insult your intelligence by saying that I love you!"
When Rauwerd van Kempler proposed to Tilly, he made it clear that their marriage was to be a union of convenience, nothing more. It would bring him a wife to run his home and partner him on social occasions. And Tilly would get the security of a roof over her head and a man who could be depended upon for all things practical. But suddenly Tilly finds herself wanting more from her new husband—something that wasn't part of their sensible agreement….
It amazed Lucy how regularly Mr. der Linssen, the handsome Dutch doctor who taught one of her nursing classes, kept turning up in her life. She would bump into him at the hospital, at her home and even in Holland when she went on vacation. If only he knew she existed! But that wasn't likely, Lucy thought, since far prettier girls were obviously his for the asking….
Amelia and Tom had been engaged a long time—too long! She was beginning to worry about why he was so reluctant to set a date. So when her father first suggested that the three of them should have a holiday in Norway, Amelia thought that in such relaxed surroundings she and Tom would finally be able to settle their future. Instead, Amelia found Gideon van der Tolck often at her side, and his company became increasingly appealing….
All problems had an answer—but marriage?
Francesca was naturally optimistic—and she needed to be. She'd cut her nursing instruction short in order to look after the elderly aunt who had so kindly opened her home to Franny and her brother. Financial difficulties led Franny to apply for a job as Lady Trumper's assistant, but Franny's outspoken manner clearly didn't please her. It was only through her godson, Marc, that Franny was able to get the job. Marc always seemed to be on hand after that.…
Matilda had every quality that turned a man's head, but she had remained heart-whole and fancy-free despite a number of offers. Then she met eminent surgeon James Scott-Thurlow and fell in love at first sight. But James clearly did not feel the same way. How could he when he was already engaged to the glamorous Rhoda?
Katherine Marsh was practically a slave to her brother's family in the small English country village where she lived. Then she met Dr. Jason Fitzroy—and fell instantly in love. Dr. Fitzroy found her a job at the hospital and gave her a new sense of self-respect. He also gave Katherine her first taste of the freedom missing from her earlier years. But Katherine knew she could never be truly free—not while her heart was a prisoner of love.
When the time came for Roele to return to Amsterdam permanently, he knew he couldn't leave Emma behind. So he offered her a job at his surgery. Emma was in love and simply couldn't refuse. But did Roele want Emma to be his secretary or his wife?
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?
Claudia first met Thomas when he was asked to discuss the health of her great-uncle, Colonel Ramsay. After the colonel's death, Thomas always seemed to be around—and then, astonishingly, he proposed. It took a wonderfully delightful Christmas with his family for Claudia to realize that she truly loved her new husband. Now all she had to do was find a way to persuade Thomas to love her….
Professor Gideon Beaufort tried Deborah's good nature severely. He scorned her future as a trained nanny, spending her life caring for other people's children. But was his proposal any more enticing? All he wanted was a substitute mother for his young daughter and nothing more—apparently he'd forgotten how to love!
Perhaps the exotic skies of Portugal's Algarve and a nanny with stars in her eyes could help the cynical widower remember….
Sarah had been happy working at the hospital—until Radolf Nauta interfered and left her jobless. Forced to find other means to support herself, she was totally unprepared when she ran into the domineering Radolf again—and he hadn't changed one bit! The only problem Sarah had? She soon realized that her heart now belonged to him, and there was nothing she could do to fight it.
"You should marry again."
Beatrice sympathized with Gijs van der Eekerk. A widower with a small child and a busy medical career needed someone to make sure his domestic life ran smoothly. What she hadn't counted on was his decision to offer her the position. As his wife, she would have a comfortable lifestyle and everything that money could buy. But what was that, if Gijs couldn't offer her what she truly wanted—love?
Suzannah Lightfoot was alone in the world, without a job or the means to support herself. So when Guy Bowers-Bentinck came to the rescue, she had to accept his help.
Guy was hardly a knight in shining armor. He was arrogant, infuriating and bad tempered! He was also difficult to avoid. Even worse, he seemed to have assumed that Suzannah was about to join the ranks of all those females wanting to marry him. What was a girl to do? Make a run for it?
Megan thought she had it all—a good job, a caring family and a fiancé who would make a wonderful husband. But then her perfect world fell apart, and she found that her one hope was Professor Jake van Belfeld.
He seemed determined to rebuild her life—but why was he taking such a personal interest in her? Did he think that her heart needed his attention, too?
Dutch surgeon Sebastian van Tecqx had offered Emily's father the chance to have a life-changing operation. But favors don't come cheap, and the doctor expected something in return. It wasn't hard for Emily to exchange her drab nurse's lodgings for Sebastian's luxurious home, but how could Emily stop herself from falling in love with her charismatic employer? Especially once Sebastian made it clear that marriage was not part of the bargain.
When Beatrice's world turned upside down, Oliver Latimer was on hand to pick up the pieces. There was something solid and reassuring about Oliver. Beatrice felt safe with him. But he wasn't an easy person to get to know.
Accompanying him on a lecture tour to Europe convinced Beatrice that there was more to Dr. Latimer than she'd imagined. In fact, she came to believe he was the only man she could truly love. But Oliver kept his feelings hidden. What did he really think of her?
Nothing exciting ever happened to Charity. Her job as a hospital secretary was hectic but routine. Even the man everyone expected her to marry was safe, reliable and dull. There surely had to be more to life.
So, when professor Jake Wyllie-Lyon offered her the chance to work for him, Charity didn't hesitate to accept.The job was everything she had dreamed of—and so was Jake! But there Charity's problems really began….
Doctor Charles Trescombe's opinion of his niece's governess was far from complimentary. Cordelia knew she was plain. She also knew what good manners were, and the high-and-mighty doctor didn't have any!
But there was magic in Vienna that could transform even the most unlikely people. Much to her dismay, Cordelia fell in love with him anyway. And Charles soon discovered that quiet and unassuming ways had a knack for stealing a man's heart—without him even realizing it.
Eleanor not only remembered the domineering Fulk van Hensum from her childhood, she recalled how much she had disliked him. Now Eleanor was grown-up and a qualified nurse, and suddenly Fulk, a renowned consultant, was back in her life. He hadn't changed a bit—he was still dictatorial and overbearing, which was a problem, since under the circumstances she couldn't avoid him! It shouldn't have mattered that Fulk was engaged to the lovely Imogen…but somehow it did.
Georgina Rodman had been given a special nursing assignment—she was to look after the Van den Berg Eyffert children, who were recovering from an accident. Having worked in a casualty ward, Georgina felt she could cope with just about anything life threw at her.
But that was before she met the children's guardian, Julius. Afterward, she realized that even common sense and a practical nature couldn't stop her from falling in love…with a man who didn't even know she existed!
Julie enjoyed her work as a medical secretary at St. Bravo's Hospital, so it came as a shock when her boss announced his retirement. His replacement, Simon van der Driesma, was younger, more energetic and worked her much harder— which she could have accepted if only he would call her Julie, and not "Miss Beckworth" in that cool voice! From the start, both of them had the wrong impression of the other. What would it take for the truth to be revealed?
FROM THE MASTER OF THE HOUSE
Meg was an old-fashioned girl. She'd been happy to quietly stay at home, looking after her invalid mother. But with the family home now sold, Meg's future was uncertain. Things looked bleak until the new owner of the house, Ralph Culver, offered an ideal solution: Meg could be his housekeeper. Meg found her employer to be a difficult man to understand, but he was an easy man to love…even if there was no hope of being loved in return.
Clotilde Collins has worked with Dr. James Thackery at busy St. Alma's Hospital in London for three years, but she's never considered their relationship as anything more than solidly professional.
Then tragedy strikes and James steps in to take charge of Clotilde's shattered world, offering her his unhesitating comfort and support.
How easy it would be to fall in love with him. Except he's already committed to another woman….
But did he mean the wedding arrangements or their future life together? Eustacia didn't know. After all, it was a marriage of convenience, definitely not a love match. Colin made it very clear that he wanted a down-to-earth partner who would help him care for his brother's orphaned children, not a dreamy girl whose head was full of romance. But Eustacia couldn't help hoping that one day he might grow to love her as much as she loved him.
All alone in the world, Cressida had little choice but to accept Aldrik van der Linus's help. He certainly seemed happy to fix her up with a job, and even to assist with her other day-to-day predicaments. Yet she couldn't help but wonder what he would do if she presented him with the most serious problem of all: unrequited love!
Daisy Gillard leads a quiet life working in her father's antiques shop, until the handsome pediatrician Mr. Jules der Huizma sweeps her away to Holland! It is a secret joy for Daisy that Jules seems to want to spend time with her. But Daisy knows her feelings can't lead anywhere, since Jules is promised to another woman. Still, he is so attentive and charming that Daisy is starting to hope she could become Jules's bride.
Too good to be true?
When Eulalia first met Fenno, she found him thoroughly irritating! So she was alarmed when her attraction to him escalated to uncomfortable levels. And it certainly didn't help that he was engaged to another woman.
Eulalia had more important things to take care of—like finding a home for herself and her young cousin. But her mysterious inheritance of a country cottage made her suspicious. Was fate—or Fenno—giving her a helping hand?
Sister Tabitha was an effi cient nurse, but when it came to matters of the heart she was less sure of herself. So when she fell in love, she had no idea how to deal with her feelings.
Was that why the Dutch surgeon Marius van Beek called her Cinderella? If only Marius would ride up on a white horse and ask for her hand in marriage. But people lived happily ever after only in fairy tales, didn't they?
When Dr. George Pritchard asked Phoebe to marry him, she hadn't needed much persuading. The recent death of her aunt had left her penniless and without a job. Besides, she did like him. So what if he'd made it plain that he wasn't in love with her—at least she knew where she stood. It wasn't until after the wedding that she began to wonder if liking was going to be enough….
"I'm not aware that I am restricted in my actions by anyone or anything." Arrogant, rich and devastatingly attractive, Marius van Houben was the sort of man who was used to getting his own way.
He certainly wasn't prepared for Caroline's plainspoken, commonsense approach. After all, as a student nurse, both qualities were an asset…if only Marius thought the same!
He needed her as a nurse, not a woman
Benedict van Manfeld was one of the surliest, most unfriendly men Cassandra had ever met. But when she learned he was a brilliant Dutch surgeon who had severely damaged his sight in an accident, her attitude changed. Benedict asked Cassandra to go to Holland with him as his nurse. She agreed…and soon began to feel something deeper than sympathy for him. But with his close friend Paula nearby, why should he even notice Cassandra?
Laura had always been used to taking second place to her pretty younger sister, Joyce. If Joyce wanted something, she got it! It was, therefore, no surprise to Laura that when she fell in love with the attractive Dutch doctor Reilof van Meerum, he chose Joyce instead. But when Joyce walked out on him to marry another, richer man, Reilof asked her to marry him. He needed a wife, and Laura, it seemed, would do as well as anyone. So she accepted—but could she really expect to be happy with a man who did not love her?
A practical marriage?
Araminta Smith first met Professor Jason Lister when she was hired to look after his niece and nephew. Knowing that her plain but honest looks weren't about to catch her a husband, Araminta believed she'd never marry. That's why she was intrigued by the distinguished surgeon's interest in her. Since he was also a confirmed bachelor, the professor's proposal came as an even greater surprise. A marriage between them, he argued, would be infinitely practical—and Araminta was nothing if not practical. But then…what about love?
Dr. Sarre van Diederijk did a lot to restore Alethea's damaged pride when Nick Penrose badly hurt and humiliated her. So a short time later, when he asked her to marry him and go to Holland to live, she accepted. After all, Sarre was a very nice, kind man, and Alethea might actually be happier with him than she would have been with Nick, even though love wasn't part of the deal. But once in Holland, Alethea discovered that happiness and love could blossom when you least expected it.
Everybody said that Loveday was good in a crisis. So when her old friend asked for help, Loveday was only too willing to lend a hand.
Rimada was desperately in love and wanted to get married, but her guardian, the overbearing Baron Adam de Wolff van Ozinga, didn't approve of her choice. Loveday agreed to take charge of Rimada's illicit wedding plans. Adam was going to discover he wasn't a match for Loveday Pearce…or for true love!
It deeply irritated Leonora that she was always being caught in awkward situations with the village's new doctor, James Galbraith—especially since she was engaged to Tony. But James proved a sturdy support as she did her best to keep her parents' decrepit but much loved manor house running smoothly.There was little point in admitting her growing feelings for James, since he showed so little sign of caring for her….
A perfect wife?
Everyone in Mary's family agreed that she would make some man a perfect wife one day. Mary's problem was that the only man she had ever even thought about marrying was eminent heart specialist Roel van Rakesma. But it had been clear from the start that any attention Professor van Rakesma paid her was purely professional. His only interest was in curing frail hearts, not mending broken ones!
When things don't go smoothly in Madeira, however, Phyllida finds herself stranded. Fortunately, the dashing Pieter van Sittardt is on hand to rescue her. Pieter, Phyllida discovers, is a man she could definitely love. In fact, she'd be happy to marry him. All he has to do is ask....
Renowned consultant Alexander Fitzgibbon had made it clear from the start that their relationship was to remain strictly professional. Yet Florence couldn't help but wonder what lay behind his cool, efficient exterior. If only she could break down the barrier and reach the man behind it.…
Letitia Marsden had decided that men were not to be trusted. Then she met Dr. Jason Mourik van Nie, and he changed her mind.
Learning to trust again wasn't easy for either of them. This time, Letitia vowed, there would be a happy ending. But then Jason got the wrong idea about one of her male friends….
Could a chance meeting set it right? Surely fate wasn't going to let a simple misapprehension stand in the way of true love?
Lucas van de Weijnen didn't ask Octavia to marry him—he told her. Octavia's father had just died and she wasn't in any state of mind to make a rational decision. Besides, Lucas wasn't a man to take no for an answer.
But after the wedding, Octavia found herself falling under the spell of a man—her husband! And though they had both promised to love each other for the rest of their lives, she had no idea how Lucas felt about her.
Tempting advice—dare Eugenie take it? A country upbringing has taught her to be practical, not to cherish romantic dreams about tall, handsome strangers!
But a chance encounter one misty day in spring changes all that. Eminent surgeon Aderik Rijnma ter Salis is a very special man. He makes Eugenie's life seem brighter and full of exciting possibilities! But with the gorgeous Saphira at his side, could Aderik's feelings for Eugenie ever be more than strictly professional?
Sappha Devenish jumped at the chance of a job in Scotland after her romance with Andrew went wrong.
The change in scenery took Sappha's mind off her heartbreak, and the presence of the often infuriating but very attractive Dr. van Duyren was also a nice distraction….
But with Andrew's unexpected return, Sappha found herself entangled in the past once more!
Plain, innocent Sarah Beckwith is stuck living with her parents, keeping house for them. She has no expectation of ever escaping and finding love…until, in a surprising turn of events, she encounters a gorgeous consultant!
Though Dr Litrik ter Breukel is struck by Sarah’s charm at once, he vows to take things slowly. But he’s unable to resist helping the lonely Cinderella, and soon he longs to rescue her in another way…with a diamond ring!
Originally published in 1998.
Rachel led a life that many people would envy—she had an interesting and challenging job and an attractive boyfriend who showered her with attention. Admittedly, there were times when job and boyfriend clashed. Melville came from the glamorous world of television and sometimes found it hard to accept Rachel's devotion to the busy London hospital where she worked. Thank goodness for the one man around who did seem to understand—eminent surgeon Radmer van Teule!
At twenty-one, Mary Jane Pettigrew was perfectly capable of looking after herself, but it came as quite a surprise to discover she had inherited a large house and an income to go with it. There was, of course, a catch, and his name was Fabian van der Blocq.
Mr. van der Blocq had been appointed her guardian. She couldn't even marry without his consent! Mary Jane was determined not to let Fabian have it all his own way—but that was easier said than done!
Patience knew she couldn't be more different from the sort of women Dutch surgeon Julius van der Beek seemed to attract. After all, she was a quiet country girl with a somewhat unique taste in clothes—and an assertive personality to match! Yet she was attracted to him. Not that she had any hope of him noticing her, particularly with the glamorous Sylvia van Teule already at his side.…
Ward Sister Josephine Dowling was heartbroken over the end of her engagement, but how could she marry a man she didn't really love? What she didn't expect, though, was to have to cope with her tears and the arrogant attitude of the brilliant Dr. Julius van Tacx.
He seemed to make a habit of finding her just when she was feeling—and looking—her worst. And when he was at his most handsome….