Never Say Goodbye. Betty Neels

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Never Say Goodbye - Betty Neels

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      Her family had to come first

      To keep her small family together, Isobel Barrington managed to make ends meet—just!—by doing private nursing jobs. Her mother had only a small pension and her younger brother had to be educated somehow.

      Isobel really shouldn’t have had time to fall in love with Dr. Thomas Winters—but she did anyway. Unfortunately, he wasn’t likely to be interested in her when the lovely Ella Stokes was around, so Isobel ought to try to forget him. Easier said than done!

      “Oh, the poor dear, is she bad? And just as she was doing so nicely, too…”

      Dr. Thomas Winters looked stern and angry and his eyes were like granite. Isobel thought it very likely that he had come against his will because Nanny had insisted. She said kindly, in her gentle voice, “I’m indeed sorry to hear about Nanny, but I can’t come with you.You know I go where the agency sends me and I just came back from a case. I’m sure if you phone them they’ll have a nurse free.”

      He gave her a thin smile.“My dear Isobel, you underestimate me. I have already arranged with the agency that you’ll return with me this evening.”

      Her eyes grew round. “The arrogance of it!” she declared. “I may refuse a case, you know, Dr. Winters, and I’m doing just that.”

      “You won’t do that.” His voice was quiet.“You’re a kind and gentle girl. I’m sorry if I’ve made you angry, but Nanny is ill, and I did not bring her all this way to see her slip through my fingers.”

      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, and yet she began writing almost by accident. She had retired from nursing, but her inquiring mind still sought stimulation. Her new career was born when she heard a lady in her local library bemoaning the lack of good romance novels. 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, and her spirit and genuine talent live on in all her stories.

      Never Say Goodbye

      Betty Neels

      MILLS & BOON

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       Chapter One

       Chapter Two

       Chapter Three

       Chapter Four

       Chapter Five

       Chapter Six

       Chapter Seven

       Chapter Eight

       Chapter Nine


      THE HOUSE, one of a row of similar Regency houses in an exclusive area of London, gave no hint from its sober exterior as to the magnificence of its entrance hall, with its imposing ceiling and rich carpet, nor even more to the equally imposing room, the door to which an impassive manservant was holding open. Isobel Barrington walked past him and, obedient to his request that she should take a seat, took one, waiting until he had closed the door soundlessly behind him before getting up again and beginning a slow prowl round the room. It was a very elegant room, with watered silk panelled walls, a marble fireplace and some intimidating armchairs of the French school, covered in tapestry. The rest of the furniture was Chippendale with nothing cosy about it, although she had to admit that it was charming. Not her kind of room, she decided with her usual good sense; it would do very well for people as elegant as itself; the kind who thought of Fortnum and Mason as their local grocer and understood every word of an Italian opera when they went to one.

      She began to circle the room, looking at the profusion of portraits on its walls; gentlemen with unyielding faces in wigs and a variety of uniforms, all sharing the same handsome features; ladies, surprisingly enough, with scarcely a pretty face between them, although they were all sweet as to expression. Isobel, studying a young woman in an elaborate Edwardian dress, concluded that the men of the family had good looks enough and could afford to marry plain wives. ‘Probably they were heiresses,’ she told herself, and sat down again.

      She might not match the room for elegance, but she shared a lack of good looks with the various ladies hanging on its walls. She was on the small side, with a neat figure and nice legs and a face which missed prettiness by reason of too wide a mouth and too thin a nose, although her skin was as clear as a child’s and her blue eyes held a delightful twinkle upon occasion. She was dressed in a plain blue dress and looked as fresh and neat as anyone could wish. She put her purse on the small table beside her and relaxed against the chair’s high back. When the door opened she sat up and then got to her feet with a calm air of assurance.

      ‘Miss Barrington?’ The man who spoke could have been any one of the gentlemen hanging on the walls; he had exactly the same good looks and forbidding expression, although his greying hair was cropped short and his clothes, exquisitely tailored, were very much in the modern fashion.

      Isobel met his dark, impersonal stare with a steady look. ‘Yes,’ she said. ‘And you are Dr Winter?’

      He crossed the room and stopped before her, a very tall, largely built man in his thirties. He didn’t answer her but observed coldly: ‘The Agency assured me that they were sending a sensible, experienced nurse with a placid disposition.’

      She eyed him with a gentle tolerance which made him frown. She said kindly: ‘I’m a sensible woman and I have eight years’ experience of nursing and I am of a placid disposition, if by that you mean that I don’t take exception to rudeness or get uptight if things go a little wrong…’ She added: ‘May I sit down?’

      The frown became thunderous. ‘I beg your pardon, Nurse, please do take a chair…’ He didn’t sit himself, but began to wander about the room. Presently he said: ‘You’re not at all the kind of nurse I intended to take with me. Have you travelled?’

      ‘No, but I’ve nursed in a variety of situations, some of them rather out of the ordinary way of things.’

      ‘You’re too young.’ He stopped marching around the room and looked at her.

      ‘I’m twenty-five—a sensible age, I should have thought.’

      ‘Women at any age are not always sensible,’

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