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Doing No Harm

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  713 ratings  ·  129 reviews
After a celebrated career in the war against Napoleon, Captain Douglas Bowden moves to a small fishing village to escape military life and put his medical skills to good use. Little does he know, it's his heart that needs the most loving care.
Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 10th 2015 by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media
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4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  713 ratings  ·  129 reviews

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This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vicki Parsons
Dec 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 star

At a time when I can barely bring myself to pick up a historical romance because I know exactly what I will get, along comes the wonderful Carla Kelly to remind me why I continue to read this genre. Her stories of very common, yet incredibly decent, characters never fail to restore my faith in both the power of love, and the strength of the human heart. All of the elements of a Kelly treasure are found in this book. A world weary hero, looking to find just a bit of peace. A lovely, stro
My overwhelming feeling on finishing this was one of emotional exhaustion. This is a difficult book. I don't mean it is complex or particularly challenging from an intellectual point of view; it's simply dealing with bloody difficult issues.

I've been here before with CK. There's an awful lot of tragedy hanging over many of her books, but it's usually deftly dealt with, balanced with the romance and a lightness of touch in the story and the language. I think this book, however, goes too far the
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Beautifully but quietly written. This isn't a book filled with edge of your seat suspense or nail-biting sexual tension. It is merely a sweet, exquisitely told story of a retired Navy Dr. looking for a quiet place to practice but finding a down-on-your-luck Scottish fishing village that needs him more than he needs peace. It is also a warm story of love that grows from friendship and mutual admiration. A story that leaves one happily sighing and delightfully uplifted.
Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)
I love the way Carla Kelly tells stories with characters that are real and believable. I learned a new aspect of the history of Scotland and the impact on the people who lived there. I couldn't help but feel for Doug and Olive who had their hands full but still did everything they could to serve their community and neighbors, solve problems, and put out fires. One of my favorites by this author!
Rachel McMillan
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
fascinating look at a time period in Scottish history not often explored in romance fiction
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Carla Kelly is an auto-buy author for me. She reminds me a little bit of a modern day Jane Austen but with a tad more bite; sweet but with a dose of pepper. I am not sure there is even a mediocre book among her backlist much less a poor one. Her latest novel is another winner and I am sure Kelly fans will not be disappointed. This fan certainly was not.

Captain Douglas Bowden is selling out of the British Royal Navy at the end of the war against Napoleon. He is thirty-seven years old and has know
A.L. Sowards
I enjoyed this sweet novel about two people trying to help a small town in Scotland that started poor and became more poor when Highland refugees were driven there after they were forced to leave their homes during the Highland Clearances. My interest may have been higher than average because some of my own ancestors left Scotland during the Clearances, but overall I think it’s a story most readers will enjoy.

The main characters are likeable and slightly quirky. Douglas Bowden is a surgeon rece
Nov 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook, historical
4.5 stars. Reviewed at Dear Author:
Oct 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: historic-fiction
Like many in our times at least, Carla Kelly is appalled by the land clearances of the 19th century when landowners forcibly removed most of the Highlanders from their traditional lands in Scotland. In particular, she's upset by the actions of the incredibly wealthy Dutchess of Sutherland who knew that her agents conducted terrible, nearly genocidal, acts in her name.

Kelly is also passionate about medical men of the 19th century, particularly those attached to the military, in this case the Bri
Seema Khan
May 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Though the story is good, based on a real life Navy surgeon's life, it does tend to get a bit slow through the middle. I was intending to put it away without completing but then my inquisitiveness took over. And one thing I'm really curious about, why does Carla Kelly put in some very misplaced actions through the scenes? I wouldn't give in spoilers but then I found some things quite absurd like the instant crying by the characters, especially the hero and the heroine. I can understand it being ...more
Jamie Hatch
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book is pretty typical of its genre, I shouldn't have been surprised. But people keep recommending them, so every once in a while I decide to give it another try. The good: a nice little story, not too sappy, great uplifting theme. The bad: it's true to form, and the reason I dislike this type of books: flat characters, highly predictable, lack of originality, depth and conflict in the plot. But mostly I miss the escapism. I read novels for the most part, to escape, and books like this don' ...more
Penny Black
Jun 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In the wake of the Napoleonic Wars, the residents of Edgar, a poor Scottish fishing village, were left with few means for survival. For them, hope came in the shape of a surgeon, recently retired from the Royal Navy, in search for the ideal place to open a quiet country practice. He hadn't set out to save anyone - he'd had his fill of it at sea - but true to his calling, he couldn't leave a child with a compound fracture untended. Before long, encouraged by the heroine's example, he wasn't only ...more
Susan K
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Romance, clean, historical.
This novel was a wonderful read. The setting in the small Scottish town of Edgar with it's great need for kindness, and more than charity, was so lovely.
There was healing of bodies, 2 hearts finding each other, and healing for the whole town. Doug and Olive are seeking to help the hurt and hungry in the little dying Town on the coast of Scotland.
This is a heartfelt, wonderful story. Myriad bodies need to be healed, but there are so many traumas of the mind that are i
Jul 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
The hero spends too much time insisting that he is only staying temporarily and not enough time falling in love. There is also a little to much free and easy contact between the hero and heroine without societal consequences which did not seem in keeping with the time period. It is also doubtful that one person could cause so much to happen in such a short period of time. However, this book explores an ugly, sad part of Scottish history something I knew little about before reading the book, in t ...more
Alleyne Dickens
Once again Carla Kelly tells a moving, funny, heartbreaking and redemptive tale of common people during the Regency era. Why aren't there more stories like this? Ms. kelly excels at tales of broken people -- usually suffering the after effects of service to their country in war -- who find love and redemption with the right person, a person who understands them. I shed tears and laughed and cheered for Douglas and Olive, not just to come together in the end, but the build a live of their village ...more
Teya Peck
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was extremely unexpected. This a heart felt, deeply rooted, intelligent, giving in sacrifice book. This book took such an unexpected turn it had me hook line and sinker from the beginning to the end. Tearful moments and gut wrenching moments. It not only depicted real historical emotionally deep circumstances, it reached down deep into unspoken challenges in history, and life. I swear it even touched on P.T.S.D. Misunderstanding and yes love, but in a unique way. I understand why this was n ...more
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: loved-it
Sweet and angsty, with a wonderful pace to fit the setting and proprieties of the day. The H was a doctor, suffering PTSD, ashamed of his 'weakness' although h's most compassionate to those he recognised with the same affliction. The h was a lovely mix of fire and kindness without being cloyingly sweet. I liked that she was not perfectly suited to be being a doctor's wife. I enjoyed the story, and brushed up my history too.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the story of how, in 1816, two almost saintly paragons of virtue, Douglas Bowden and Olive Grant, took the little Scottish town of Edgar from despair, misery, resentment and abject poverty to a place of hope, a sense of community and humanity and relative prosperity. It is at times dreary yet hopeful at the same time, definitely tear-provoking, emotionally manipulative and instructive of what it means to be a good and caring person. It is an admirable, worthy, affecting story. If Carla K ...more
Dec 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Doing No Harm is the third book by Carla Kelly I read, and it features her usual stock of H&h: two fundamentally good people, altruistic, not perfect, and very much in love with one another without much fuss or useless angst.

Why four and not five stars, then?
- It is more an historical novel than a romance, focussing more on the choral inhabitants of the fictional town of Edgar than on the protagonists themselves;
- too much crying, really; every five minutes the characters seemed to be move
I am a big fan of clean historical romance and Carla Kelly is one of my favorite authors. In Doing No Harm, Kelly demonstrates once again her mastery of the genre. I loved pretty much everything about this novel. The setting (Scotland), the characters (Doug and Olive as well as Flora, Tommy and all the others), and the plot (helping Scottish Highlanders who've been driver from their homes). I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Douglas Bowden, a retired Naval surgeon in search of a 'quiet, peaceful count ...more
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: young and old and in between
A reread and still an all-time favorite

Beautiful but haunting story about a small town in Scotland that is struggling to survive even before it is forced to take in desperate refugees from the infamous Highland clearances. A retired marine doctor who is just passing through stops to help a badly injured child. He takes him to the local tea room when he is assured by the natives that it is the cleanest place in town. There he meets the local spinster lady who operates a tea room /soup kitchen wit
Dec 31, 2015 rated it liked it
As always, I love any book by Carla Kelly. I love how the focus is on ordinary people and I learn something about the history of that time blended seamlessly into the story.

The romance was sweet and unfolded slowly. Our MCs developed a beautiful friendship. But the romance took a backseat to the main plot. I loved the many townspeople and side characters. Everything was tied up neatly but I didn't mind. It's nice to take a break from manwhores and commitment-phobes. This was a lovely story.
Jul 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deeper than I was expecting. I loved all of the history and learned a lot from reading this book - even though it was a very painful history. I'm planning a trip to the Highlands in May, and I won't look at it the same way I would have before reading this book. I love books that teach while entertaining. Thanks, Carla Kelly!
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Overall, this is a good story but once again I'm surprised by the contemporary feel of a historical novel by this writer. Carla Kelly is admittedly more interested in history than romance, but I find much of her writing very modern in feeling and tone.
Mary Hart
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story set within a strong historical context.

My only niggle is the use of the word Stoop, which I think as an American word....We may have some of these architectural features here in the UK but I doubt many people refer to them using that word.
Dec 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
This is great romantic fluff, though I admittedly teared up at one point, so it wasn't all fluffy. I didn't know much about the Highland Clearances and was grateful for the Scottish history lesson. This is Carla Kelly at her best.
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
2.5. Kind of boring....(heavy sigh).
This a was fun “Fluff” book. I had read some serious books and it was a good change for me right now. I read it for my local book group- for discussion. **stop here for spoilers*** - Our doctor, Douglas is a retired navy doctor who is looking for a quiet town to settle down in and be a doctor. He rides the stage coach and stops to help a young boy with a broken leg, and that is the town where he finally ends up. He falls in love with a lady there. This woman is kind and generous and feeds the po ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Although Carla Kelly is well known among her readers as a writer of Regency romance, her main interest (and first writing success) is Western American fiction—more specifically, writing about America's Indian Wars. Although she had sold some of her work before, it was not until Carla began work in the National P
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