Megan thought she had it all - a good job, a caring family and a fiancé whom everyone agreed would make her a wonderful husband. But then her perfectly constructed world fell apart, and she found that her one hope was Professor Jake van Belfeld. He seemed determined to rebuild her life - but why was he taking such a personal interest in her? He couldn't think that her heart needed his attention, too, could he?
"Hope after heartache"
Everyone in her family had agreed that Mary Pagett would one day make some man a perfect wife. The problem was that the only man Mary had even thought about marrying was eminent heart specialist Roel van Rakesma. But it had been clear from the start that his only interest was in curing frail hearts, not broken ones!
It deeply irritated Leonora that she was always being caught in awkward situations with the village's new doctor, James Galbraith - especially since she was engaged to Tony. But James proved a sturdy support as she did her best to keep her parents' decrepit but much loved manor house running smoothly. There was little point in admitting her growing feelings for James, since he showed so little sign of caring for her....
When Doctor George Pritchard asked her to marry him, Phoebe hadn’t needed much persuading. After the death of her aunt, she was penniless and without a job. Besides which, she liked him. And she liked his home, and his life as a GP. And if he had made it plain that he wasn’t in love with her - well, at least she knew where she stood. It wasn’t until after the wedding that she began to wonder if liking was going to be enough….
Was love out of the question? Charity thought she had it all - marriage to respected consultant Tyco van der Brons and being a mother to his two children. So why did her heart yearn for his love, too? She had known from the start that theirs was a marriage of convenience - so it would be foolish to wish for anything more...wouldn’t it?
Sister Maggy MacFergus was tall and she discovered most men found this offputting. When Dr Paul Doelsma offered Maggy a nursing job in Holland, she took it. There was something special about Dr Doelsma and it wasn’t just that he was taller than her. She was sensible enough to realise that he would never love her back, after all, Paul said he had already chosen himself a wonderful wife. But who was the lucky girl?
When Matilda's father retires through ill health, the family's new life in Much Winterlow is forced into reduced circumstances. To make ends meet, Matilda applies to be Dr. Henry Lovell's receptionist. She does her best to ignore the strong attraction she feels for him - dreaming of white weddings and a happy marriage is not for her, and, after all, Henry is engaged to Lucilla.
Rebecca Saunders isn't Baron Tiele Raukema van den Eck's type - she's already heard him describe her as a thin mouse! But he's been very kind, rescuing her from an intolerable home life and giving her a job nursing his mother. As Tiele's got a gorgeous girlfriend, Becky knows it's useless to love him - but it's already too late....
Titus Taverner was a busy and successful medical man who lacked a wife. Arabella had applied for the job of caretaker at his consulting rooms but was happy to accept this new position Titus was offering -until she complicated matters by falling in love with him....
Esmeralda Jones was a very nice girl. It seemed to Esmeralda that she was also invisible to the opposite sex. Perhaps the real reason for this was the impaired foot she had struggled with since childhood. When the brilliant surgeon Thimo Bamstra offered to cure her, Esmeralda was over the moon. Thimo also managed to mend her broken heart. Esmeralda had never imagined marriage as part of her future, but now she could dream of little else.
What a maddening, impossible man Constantijn van Lindemann was! Wherever Augusta went there he was: inviting her out, paying her compliments, sending her enormous bouquets of tulips, even kissing her on occasion. Augusta had to admit she enjoyed it, especially the kisses. But until she could discover how important a part the glamorous Susan played in his life, how could she possibly take Constantijn seriously?
How could she fall asleep during his lecture? It wasn't the best way for Nurse Lucy Prendergast to attract the attention of distinguished consultant Fraam der Linssen, especially when the attractive Dutch doctor kept appearing in her life - at the hospital, at her home and in Holland when she went on holiday. If only he were equally aware of her! But it wasn't likely, for far prettier girls were obviously his for the asking
She swore she would never marry a rich man! As a private nurse to wealthy spoiled people, Constantia had seen the misery too much money could bring. Jeroen van der Giessen, though, was only a poor overworked GP, so when she found herself stranded without money or passport, and Jeroen offered marriage, Constantia accepted.
Georgina Rodman had been given a special nursing assignement; she was to look after the Van den Berg Eyffert children who were recovering from an accident. Having worked in a casualty ward, Georgina felt she could cope with just about anything life threw at her. That was until she met the children’s guardian, Julius! She realised that even common sense and a practical nature couldn’t stop you from falling in love…with a man who didn’t even know you existed.
"Love Betty Neels"
Sarah Dunn had worked with Hugo van Elven for a long time, and she was astounded when he suddenly proposed to her. Both of them were still smarting from previous unhappy love affairs, which was why Sarah decided to accept; surely neither of them would wish to get emotionally involved again for a very long time. But she had not considered what would happen if her feelings for Hugo underwent a change while his remained the same....
Tiny Paul van Eysink was a very special case to Nurse Hannah Lang, and she had become very fond of his young parents, Corinna and Paul. When they invited her to go back with them to Holland until the baby was completely recovered, Hannah was only too happy to oblige. The problem was Corinna's unbending uncle, Doctor Valentijn van Bertes! He could find no fault with Hannah's nursing skills - but she was only too aware that she meant little to him as a person. Why should she? He had a very lovely fiancée in Nerissa…
Serena gave up all hope of getting married when her fiancé jilted her. She was determined to be sensible about the whole thing, that was, until Gijs suggested that she marry him instead. She liked Gjis very much, and knew he was fond of her – that seemed as good a basis as any for a marriage. But it turned out that Gjis was in love, and Serena couldn’t work out who the lucky woman was.
Amelia and Tom had been engaged a long time. Too long - and she had begun to worry about why he should be so reluctant to set a date. So when her father first suggested that the three of them should have a holiday in Norway, Amelia thought that in such relaxed surroundings, she would be able to discuss things once and for all with Tom. Instead, Amelia found Gideon van der Tolck often at her side, and his company became increasingly appealing.…
Staff nurse Samantha Fielding had one golden rule: never get involved. The attractive Giles ter Ossel made it difficult to keep. Samantha was determined not to let her feelings for Giles affect the way she treated the girl she thought was his fiancée. So, she agreed to return to Holland to nurse Antonia through her recovery. Samantha’s calm and professional exterior hid a breaking heart. Meanwhile, Giles was determined to be happily married - to the right girl.
She was not going to exchange one dull life for another! Far from being brokenhearted when her long-standing and rather dull engagement to Tony came to an end, Prudence welcomed it as an opportunity to break out of her comfortable shell, to make a new and exciting life for herself. So the job that Benedict van Vinke offered - acting as his secretary and looking after his little daughter - had come just at the right time. It would also give Prudence a chance to visit Holland. But would she have such an exciting life, after all, if she accepted Benedict’s cold-blooded proposal?