A Kiss for Julieby Betty Neels
Julie enjoyed her work as a medical secretary at St. Bravo's Hospital, so it came as a shock when her boss announced his retirement. His replacement, Professor Simon, was younger, more energetic and worked her much harder - but if only he would call her Julie, and not "Miss Beckworth" in that cool voice! Both of them had the wrong impression of the other from the start. What would it take for the truth to be revealed?
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By Betty Neels
Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.Copyright © 2004 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.
Chapter OnePROFESSOR SMYTHE sat behind his cluttered desk, peering over his spectacles at the girl sitting on the other side of it. A very pretty girl, indeed he considered her beautiful, with bronze hair piled on top of her head, a charming nose, a gentle mouth and large green eyes fringed with bronze lashes.
She looked up from her notebook and smiled at him.
He took off his spectacles, polished them and put them back on again, ran his hand through the fringe of white hair encircling his bald patch and tugged his goatee beard. "I've a surprise for you, Julie," And at her sudden sharp glance he added, "No, no, you're not being made redundant - I'm retiring at the end of the week. There, I meant to lead up to it gently -"
She said at once, "You're ill - that must be the reason. No one would ever let you retire, sir."
"Yes, I'm ill - not prostrate in bed, by any means, but I have to lead a quiet life, it seems, without delay," He sighed. "I shall miss this place and I shall miss you, Julie. How long is it since you started working for me?"
"Three years. I shall miss you too, Professor."
"Do you want to know what is to happen to you?" he asked.
"Yes - yes, please, I do."
"I am handing over to a Professor van der Driesma - a Dutchman widely acclaimedin our particular field of medicine. He works mostly at Leiden but he's been over here for some time, working at Birmingham and Edinburgh. What he doesn't know about haematology would barely cover a pin's head," He smiled. "I should know; he was my registrar at Edinburgh," He went on, "I'm handing you over to him, Julie; you'll be able to help him find his feet and make sure that he knows where to go and keep his appointments and so on. You've no objection?"
"No, sir. I'm truly sorry that you are retiring but I'll do my best to please Professor whatever-his-name-is."
Professor Smythe sighed. "Well, that's that. Now, what about Mrs Collins? Did you manage to get her old notes for me?"
Julie pushed a folder a little nearer to him. "They go back a long way ..."
"Yes, a most interesting case. I'll read them and then I shall want you to make a summary for me," He tossed the papers on his desk around in front of him. "Wasn't there a report I had to deal with?"
Julie got up, tall, splendidly built and unfussed. "It's here, under your elbow, sir," She fished the paper out for him and put it down under his nose.
He went away presently to see his patients and she settled down to her day's work. Secretary to someone as important as Professor Smythe was a job which didn't allow for slacking; her private worries about his leaving and the prospect of working for a stranger who might not approve of her had to be put aside until the evening.
Professor Smythe didn't refer to his departure again that day. She took the letters he dictated and went to her slip of a room adjoining his office, dealt with mislaid notes, answered the telephone and kept at bay anyone threatening to waste his precious time. A usual day, she reflected, wishing him goodnight at last and going out into the busy streets.
It was late September and the evening dusk cast a kindly veil over the dinginess of the rows of small houses and shabby shops encircling the hospital. Julie took a breath of unfresh air and went to queue for her bus.
St Bravo's was in Shoreditch, a large, ugly building with a long history and a splendid reputation, and since her home was close to Victoria Park the bus ride was fairly short.
She walked along the little street bordered by red-brick terraced houses, rounded the corner at its end, turned into a short drive leading to a solid Victorian house and went in through the back door. The kitchen was large and old-fashioned and there was an elderly man standing at the table, cutting bread and butter.
Julie took off her jacket. "Hello, Luscombe. Lovely to be home; it seems to have been a long day."
"Mondays always is, Miss Julie. Your ma's in the sitting room; I'll be along with the tea in two ticks."
She took a slice of bread and butter as she went past him and crammed it into her pretty mouth. "I'll come and help you with supper presently. Is it something nice? It was corned beef and those ready-made potatoes for lunch."
"As nice a macaroni cheese as you'll find anywhere. I'll leave you to see to the pudding."
She went out of the room, crossed the hall and opened the door of a room on the other side of the house. Mrs Beckworth was sitting at the table writing, but she pushed the papers away as Julie went in.
"Hello, love. You're early; how nice. I'm dying for a cup of tea ..."
"Luscombe's bringing it," Julie sat down near her mother. "I can't imagine life without him, can you, Mother?"
"No, dear. I've been checking the bills. Do you suppose we could afford to get Esme that hockey stick she says she simply must have? Yours is a bit old, I suppose."
Julie thought. "I had it for my fifteenth birthday; that's almost twelve years ago. Let's afford it."
Her mother said unexpectedly, "You ought to be enjoying yourself, Julie - finding a husband ..."
"I'll wait until he finds me, Mother, dear. I'm very happy at St Bravo's. Professor Smythe's a dear," She hesitated. "He's leaving at the end of the week - he's not well. I'm to be handed over to his successor - a Dutchman with the kind of name you never remember!"
Excerpted from Marrying Mary by Betty Neels Copyright © 2004 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Meet the Author
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.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.Her spirit and genuine talent live on in all her stories.
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I enjoyed reading this novel. Julie in spite of the difficulties she faced. She perserved and always kept busy. Best of all, she was able to stay in the home that she and grams shared. I enjoy reading Betty Neels novels.
Wals in with my music blairing and l ou could hear is the instraments "uh.... im new here my name is jacob" i yelled then took out my ear buds "im wondering is the hades cabin?"
Look it up idiot. Learn our grammar and spelling. -_- t
Daughter Of Hades....