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Does he really love her or did he propose out of pity?
Arabella recently lost her parents in an accident. Now she lives in a London basement and works in a hospital as a custodian. At first her employer, Dr. Titus Tavener, ridicules her; however, as Arabella excels at her work and brightens up the hospital with her charm, Titus can’t help but look at her differently. Upon learning of her tragic past and former nobility, he decides to come to her aid by proposing to her. But Arabella resists—she won’t have anything to do with his pity…or a loveless marriage!
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©BETTY NEELS / NATSU MOMOSE
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- 3.5 not my dearest 4
- JAB 04/02/2019 1 people found the following review helpful
When it comes to Betty Neels books, I rather like how she gives us that slower paced romance than some with characters who don't have to be overtop. This is one of those books but it did have its bad points. In the beginning, the heroine is a rich heiress turned rags girl applying for a custodial job at the hero's clinic. Her character impresses the hero so much that he hires on the spot. She's given a basement to live in relative to Cinderella's attic but with her positive attitude towards hard work and elbow grease has her make the place look pristine. She even makes a positive atmosphere in the hero's clinic where everyone has complimented her conduct. Both she and the hero slowly develop a relationship that goes well. Next, we have the OW, who's a former acquaintance of the heroine and a real snob. She brags about the heroine's situation as if she were in a pitiful position and thinks she can get the hero to agree with her. What I liked about this book is it's one of the few Betty Neels's heroes who don't avert from telling the antagonist off. The best part is that he did it a professional, polite, and condescending manner: she had come for migraine medication and he told her to develop better habits and he wouldn't care if she uninvited him to her parties. When the OW makes a tantrum exit, the secretary brings up marriage for the hero and ponders. Then on that very same night, he proposes a marriage of convenience to the heroine. I honestly felt disappointed but not anymore than reading the heroine agree to it after the hero tells her that he doesn't love her. He brings up the whole getting back to the lifestyle and she agrees to the silly thing. They get married and have separate bedrooms. They slowly go back to developing a relationship but they are interrupted by a new OW who's much more devious than the last. She has all the qualifications the heroine sees herself lacking in order to be the hero's real wife: PhD for a medicine, beauty, and social status. The woman can smell the heroine's vulnerable mind and starts her plan in making the hero hers by pulling him away from the heroine for "related chit-chat". Although, I don't understand why the heroine is letting the woman stay at their place when the hero didn't make the offer but she herself did it. Now, the next morning, the two have the confrontation where the heroine voices her thoughts in thinking the hero loves the OW. I don't know how the hero didn't hear the, "I thought you were in love with her," because he goes on about how she's a friend. Does the man have wax in his ears or something. The heroine goes off about how the OW makes a better choice but before the hero can make a big speech, he gets a call from the hospital. Now, this is his moment to say the right thing and reassure her, his words are, "It seems like there's a misunderstanding, let's talk when I get back,". ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? Your wife who you have come to love is crying and talking about how the OW is a better match and all and that's the best you got!!! You know, I actually timed this to see how much it would take and I discovered there's a much shorter and better approach, "I only want you." There and that's done! Yet, he doesn't and the heroine is left worrying with the eavesdropping OW planning her next move. She corners the heroine with talk about she's a better match and it's better for the hero if the heroine divorces him. The heroine runs off in tears and the OW goes after the hero to throw herself at him. When she proclaims the heroine gave her blessing for the two of them to be together; imagine her shock and horror when the hero tells her straight off he wants only the heroine and has never wanted her. So, he goes off to find the heroine who twisted her ankle and fell into a ditch. She's found by the hero who finally confesses he's in love with her. We fast forward a year later to where the hero and heroine are cooing over their newborn baby and the heroine tells the hero she loves him: the end. As I stated earlier, it was an alright story with some bad points.
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