Tag Archives: heroine nurse

tabitha in the moonlight

Category Romance Review: Tabitha in Moonlight by Betty Neels

Tabitha in the Moonlight, Betty Neels, Harlequin, 1972, Bern Smith cover art

Harlequin Romance #1905

VERY MILD SPOILERS šŸ˜‰

4 stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Heroine & the Hero

Reviewed by Introvert Reader

Tabitha in Moonlight is a Harlequin Romance about an efficient, capable nurse (aren’t they always in these books?) in an elderly men’s ward. She falls for the new temporary surgeon, the Dutch-born, Dr. Marius van Beek. Betty Neels wields the typical doctor-nurse romance into a Cinderella story, with Tabitha starring as the poor, down-trodden stepdaughter who gets no love from her wicked step-mother and step-sister.

Dr. van Beek plays the prince’s role, but fortunately, this Prince is far more astute than his fairy tale predecessor, not requiring a glass slipper to identify his true lady love.

When first we meet Tabitha, she is presiding over her ward, checking on patients in a pleasant, personal manner, going as far as taking care of one old gentleman’s cat. She’s no beauty, as Neels describes her, but with her lovely figure, wide smile, and fabulous hair that she keeps primly knotted up, the reader knows Tabitha is actually a swan in hiding.

The Plot

Tabitha lives in a little flat near work. She’s 25, practically on the shelf, and independent, but quite delf-deprecating. She doesn’t think much of her looks. It’s a shame a plain Jane like herself is the type the handsome new doctor would never be interested in. (sigh)

Years ago, Tabitha had lived with her father in their ancestral home, Chidlake. But upon his remarriage and her entrance into nursing school, she left home. Her father died, and by all rights, the family home should be hers. However, her father left it to his second wife, believing she would pass it on to his daughter. At a weekend visit to Chidlake, Tabitha is shocked to see Dr. van Beek in attendance, with her stepsister draped all over him.

Tabitha’s stepmother is a cruel woman, insulting Tabitha’s looks at every turn. Is it a wonder she feels so insecure when compared to her elegant step-sister?

But make no mistake, Marius is not a cad who chases woman after woman. If they’re drawn to him, it’s because he’s one of those confident, handsome men who excels at his profession. Women highly prize that type of man.

There are a few surprises in store for Tabby. Tabitha finds herself accompanying Marius and a patient on a trip on Marius’ boat and then to Holland. There are quite a few charming side characters in this vintage romance that add to the overall enjoyment.

Final Analysis of The Book

This is a sweet romance about a fairy tale coming to fruition in real life. Dr. van Beek was a great hero. Reserved, cool, but you knew what was going on in his mind, that he adored Tabitha. He’s actually a very nice hero, always praising Tabitha, and trying his best to instore confidence in her.

I could have done without Tabitha’s silly insecurities about her looks. She carried on as if she were a troll. I don’t know if it’s limited solely to books, but it seems so many young women are either woefully insecure about themselves or have too much-misplaced arrogance. Can’t there be a middle ground for self-adjusted women who value their true worth?

That’s a minor quibble, as seeing Tabitha grow into her own and flourish under Marius’ kindness made this romance a delightful treasure.

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whisper to the waves

Category Romance Review: Whisper to the Waves by Helen Beaumont

category romance
Whisper to the Waves by Helen Beaumont
Rating: four-stars
Published: 1981
Illustrator: Unknown
Imprint or Line: Sapphire Romance
Published by: Hamlyn Paperbacks, RCA Marketing
Genres: Category Romance, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 181
Format: Paperback
Buy on: Amazon,Ā AbeBooks
Reviewed by: arkansasannie


Category Romance Review: Whisper to the Waves by Helen Beaumont

Spoiler Free Review šŸ˜Š

Welcome Aboard!

Whisper to the Waves by Helen Beaumont is a good contemporary romance that, with a little tweaking, could’ve been an excellent one.

It was published by RCA Marketing in 1982 in its Sapphire Romance series. These were American reprints of British originals. This one was first published by Hamlyn Paperbacks in 1981.Ā 

All I know about the author is that “Helen Beaumont” might be a pseudonym. She wrote romances under at least three other names. And there’s more than one author with this name.

Whoever she was, she displays here a keen sense of just what makes a story romantic. And emotional; this one is full of drama. All centered on a heroine I can readily admire and identify with, a woman of deep feelings and a truly romantic disposition. Her story is a moving and memorable read. I would’ve given it five stars if not for–well, more about that later.

Are shipboard romances real?

Sadie Wyman works as a nurse aboard the ocean liner Konkordia under the ship’s physician Dr. Kelvin Moore. They’re having an affair, which is against company policy. The rule they break isn’t enforced, but they prudently keep their relationship under wraps. Sadie is deeply in love with Kelvin. But what does he feel about her? She’s the only viewpoint character, and his heart and mind are hard for her to read. But she sure can tell when his eye roves!

As the ship sails from England en route to a month-long Mediterranean cruise, Sadie encounters, for the first of many times, passengers Grant and Lois Halliday. They’re a grown-up brother and sister but products of a dysfunctional family, and it shows. He’s a brawny Australian who bullies his nervous, frightened sibling. Grant is as exuberant and outgoing as Lois is depressed and withdrawn.

Sadie feels instant sympathy for the pathetic young woman. And just as quickly, animosity towards her overbearing brother.

Meanwhile, Sadie lands on the blacklist of Kelvin’s senior nurse, Teresa Gray. Why? Sadie doesn’t know. She can’t figure out her resentful colleague, though not for lack of trying.Ā 

Then there’s passenger Bill “Jeff” Jefferson, an affluent American restaurateur. He’s looking for love; his search quickly focuses on Sadie. When Grant isn’t berating Lois or needling Sadie, he enjoys himself with a fellow passenger, the gorgeous and glamorous Paula Cummings.

Love on the rocks

Then stuff happens. A lot of stuff! Which I won’t divulge; I hate spoilers. Suffice it to say there’s plenty of plot. Some of it transpires at the ship’s ports of call. The author gives us a vivid sense of these exotic places and working aboard a cruise ship. A real page-turner, this story keeps a reader wondering, “What happens next?”

And herein lies the first of two problems I have with “Whisper to the Waves”. The middle and latter sections rely heavily on a series of surprises. Each of the three major male characters is hiding something. Actually, Kelvin hides two things; I’ve mentioned one, but there’s something he won’t reveal even to Sadie. In the course of an eventful cruise, these secrets come to light. And boy, do they make life complicated for our heroine! 

There’s a right way for an author to handle surprises and a wrong way. The former is to work into the storyline in advance with clues, hints, and foreshadowing. These bits at first seem minor, irrelevant, or contradictory. But they prepare the reader for when the author drops a bombshell. Once that happens, the reader gets a pleasurable sense of: “What a surprise! But it all makes sense now.”

Here the author properly sets us up for only one major surprise. The rest come out of left field. There’s either too little preparation or none at all. A reader might justly react by thinking, “What a contrivance!” Well, this one did.

Loved her, Hated him!

But that’s merely a matter of plot mechanics. A far more serious problem with this romance is the hero. It’s easy to tell early on who fills this role, namely Grant. And he’s perfectly dreadful. An arrogant, self-centered, cynical control freak. No redeeming characteristics. Not my idea of a hero.

What does Sadie see in him? Why would Grant want a woman like her, who can’t be bossed around? And who won’t settle for less than real love, something she can experience and give but Grant can’t?

Big mystery. Well, actually, no mystery at all. Many readers and writers think it’s romantic when two incompatible people become a couple.

Obviously, I’m not one of them. So in this respect, Whisper to the Waves flounders. But otherwise, it’s smooth sailing!

[RATING-REPORT]


Synopsis

‘Shipboard romances are for fun, not for real.’

So she said, but Sadie Wyman, nursing sister on board Konkordia, found it difficult to practice what she preached when the ship’s surgeon was so devastatingly attractive. She was falling seriously it love with Dr Kelvin Moore. But then Kelvin himself went down with a perforated appendix, and Sadie was in for some big surprises ā€” not least of which was the identity of the big man with the Australian accent who had antagonized her on sight …

Whisper to the Waves by Helen Beaumont
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