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- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
When May Follows is a sweet, gentle marriage-of-convenience romance. While very much like the others Betty Neels wrote, the characters make it stand apart. Katrina Bennett, in her mid-twenties, is the women's medical unit head nurse at London hospital and is one of Neel's better heroines. While her mother and sisters are dainty, she is, of course, a splendidly built girl with a healthy appetite. She is also smart and is not shy about expressing herself. She comes from a loving home, has many friends, and money is not tight. Indeed, Kate loves clothes and we are treated to many descriptions of her various outfits.
The story begins with her mother, a widow, giving one of her rare parties. A family friend, "Uncle Ben," brings one of his doctor colleagues to the party- our hero, Dr. Raf van Tellerinck. A tall and handsome man, he and Kate spend their entire conversation talking about the weather, quoting poetry. It's amusing and the dialog flows very smoothly. In fact, the dialog is excellent throughout the entire story.
Once back at the hospital, Kate discovers, of course, that Dr. Tellernick is assisting Uncle Ben and is great friends with him. Soon, he is whisking Kate away in his Bentley for a late dinner and coming by the ward to see her. While Kate is no doormat, she does tend to speak her mind without thinking at times, and this gets her into trouble. Trying to discourage an unwanted suitor, poor Kate blurts out that she is shortly headed for the Middle East to work. (This was written in 1980) Miserable because she knows the grapevine will have her announcement all over the hospital, she confides her problem to Raf. Raf is a quiet, gentle hero who looks at the heroine from sleepy eyes in amusement and takes charge without making a show. Fortunately, he has an idea about how to solve her problem...
We are treated to quite a number of cozy moments and very little heartache or angst. Because the characters are so well done, the story is interesting even when there is little in the way of problems, other than the fact, of course, that Kate loves Raf and thinks that he does not love her. There is an Other Woman, but she is very minor to the story and does not create much havoc, other than a few seeds of doubt in Kate's mind. While angst has its place and I enjoy it, sweet romances like this one are a pleasure to read, too.
As with many of Neels' earlier books, we get detailed descriptions of travel in Scotland and Holland, sights along the way, what they have for dinner, and what the heroine wears. The point of view is Kate's the entire book, but Neels gives the reader a good feel for what Raf is feeling or thinking. The story moves along and does not bog down. The ending is not abrupt and stretches for several pages with a satisfying ending that will make the reader smile.
There is no sex, no foul language, and nothing objectionable in any way. This is one of Neels' best, and if you like sweet, gentle romances you will enjoy When May Follows. I'm adding this one to my shelf of favorites. 5 stars.