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Cassandra By Chance

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  236 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Benedict van Manfeld was one of the surliest, most unfriendly men Cassandra had ever met! But when she learned he was a brilliant Dutch surgeon who had severely damaged his sight in an accident, her attitude changed. Benedict asked Cassandra to go to Holland with him as his nurse. She agreed…and soon began to feel something deeper than sympathy for him. But with his close ...more
Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Published April 16th 2012 by Harlequin Special Releases (April 16, 2012) (first published January 1st 1973)
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The heroine meets the “ogre” while she’s staying for a month with her niece and nephew during their parents' vacation. Pollyanna-ish, she feels sorry for the grouchy man, rendered temporarily blind, that she ingratiates herself by bringing cakes and reading to him. He asks her to accompany him back to Holland for a corrective surgery as his nurse and she agrees.

What I liked about the heroine is that she’s not mealy-mouthed and not given to baby him for his injury.

What is unusual about this her
As several other reviewers have pointed out--this is really two books. The first half, set on the island of Mull, Scotland is just marvelous. Cassandra Darling, a nurse between jobs, is babysitting her sister's children while sister and hubby go on vacation. The kids tell her all about the ogre who lives nearby. Well, Cassandra, tender heart that she is, goes visiting, bearing cake and discovers a very cranky doctor who is temporarily blind. And they proceed to strike sparks off each other--just ...more
Feb 12, 2013 willaful rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: romance fans who love British novels
Recommended to willaful by: Liz Mc2
For some reason, I've always thought of Betty Neels in the same "a bridge too far" category as Barbara Cartland. But since two of my favorite book buddies really like her, I decided to give her a try.

Like them, I was charmed by the old-fashioned "Englishness" of the book… it was like reading one of the British favorites of my childhood with added romance, what could be nicer? Quiet, dry wit, teatime and puddings, a plain, sensible heroine who speaks her mind. The central relationship is between
4 Stars ~ Cassandra's on a break in her nurses training; having recently achieved her qualifications, she's chosen to train further as a midwife. She travels to Scotland where she is going to look after her niece and nephew while her sister and brother-in-law take an extended holiday in Greece. It's a small Scottish island where all the towns people know each other very well and gossip is very active. Cassandra learns from the children that there is an ogre living in a cottage in the hills, he i ...more
Possibly my favorite Neels. Cassandra and Benedict have a great chemistry and relationship, and that is why I forgive a lot of sins in this book, there are quite a few plot threads that are silly and don't go anywhere (and in the case of Jan, may actually contradict themselves). I am very forgiving of a book that makes many mistakes provided that you are so invested or enthralled in the story that you don't notice the mistakes until long afterward.

The only thing that does bother me is that Cass
This was another one that I couldn't put down. (There ought to be a law against that!) The story involves Cassandra, a girl who is ready to take the test to get her nursing degree, and a renowned surgeon who has gone blind, named Benedict van Manfeld.
Cassandra agrees to watch her niece and nephew while her sister and her husband, a prolific author, take a six week holiday. She's happy to leave crowded London and come to their small town and stay with her beloved sister's children on the small i
Fiona Marsden
I really enjoyed this story and if we hadn't dropped into Other Woman mode which seems to involve the heroine becoming TSTL and falling apart I might have given this a fiver.

Cassandra is a practical, average looking girl having just finished her nursing training. While babysitting her sister's children she meets the ogre who is living in a cottage in Scotland while his eye injury heals. It was rather cute that the children called the cottage Ogres Relish because they overheard someone saying he
I guess I’m just going to have to accept that I will never understand what Betty Neels’ fans see in her writing. I’ve read two or three of her books now, and I have yet to enjoy one. They all seem to have the same formula: large, irascible, rich, Dutch hero—usually a doctor—meets small, unattractive, poor, English heroine—usually a nurse—and tepid, mismatched romance ensues. There’s little characterization, little basis for the romance, and not much plot beyond medical details.

In this book, the
A very nice read. Since it was written in 1973, WW2 sheds a darker shadow over the culture and time period than it does today, and she touched on that lightly, but not in too dark a way. (view spoiler) Good ending.
I indeed love the first half of this book too. The needy Doc was a little way away from other Ms Neels hero, even though he's a doctor. But as opposed to the general rule of the damsel in distress heroine of BN novels, I love that Benedict Van Manfield (the Ogre)was the one in distress and our dear Cassandra was as feisty as can be, especially on the Island. The other half wasn't as compelling, it went back to the typical BN prose, but having said that, I'm still a sucker for anything BN
I enjoyed the Scotland half, but I couldn't get into the Holland half and wound up skimming the last 25% of the book. Cassandra was likable but a bit bland. Benedict was unnecessarily rude.

I plan to read a few more of her novels before making a concrete judgment on her writing skills, but alas, I was not impressed with my first Betty Neels.
Tonya Warner
Cassandra journeys to Ogre's Relish to face the ogre head on. Benedict had been blinded in an accident putting his work as a surgeon in to jeopardy. Bad-tempered and ornery, he met his match in the loving care Cassandra provides.

An excellent story.
Cup a tea
Just what I expected--- comfy and cozy.
Sweet simple romance. Fast evening read. First half of book was particularly good. 2nd half your standard Betty Neels.
Very nice. Classic Betty Neels.
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Betty Neels was born on September 15, 1910 in Devon to a family with firm roots in the civil service. She said she had a blissfully happy childhood and teenage years, which stood her in good stead for the tribulations to come with the Second World War. She was sent away to boarding school, and then went on to train as a nurse, gaining her SRN and SCM, that is, State Registered Nurse and State Cert ...more
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