Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Promise of Happiness, by Betty Neels

THE PROMISE OF HAPPINESS (Harlequin Romance #2301)
Betty Neels
ISBN: 0-373-02301-4
Book # 06-154

When Becky learns that her nasty stepbrother plans to kill her beloved pets, Becky runs away from home. Stranded in the rain, she encounters Baron Raukema van den Eck, who offers her a job looking after his mother. Naturally, the job involves travel to Holland and a glimpse into a life Becky could only have imagined. Becky finds herself enjoying her new life, although worried that her stepbrother or stepmother will track her down. Worse, though, is the realization that she has fallen hopelessly in love with her new employer, who will never notice a timid mouse of a girl.

There are rarely surprises in a Betty Neels novel, but that's not what her fans are looking for from her books. All the typical Neels characteristics are fully in place in this book: older hero who is kind to children and animals, proud and sweetly stubborn heroine, a beautiful potential rival, fabulous menus with amazing desserts, and snippets of travelogue woven into the course of the story. Neels never disappoints, and in THE PROMISE OF HAPPINESS, she ties up loose plot ends with a satisfyingly terse finality along the route to the happy ending.

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