Saturday, March 21, 2020

Lake Resort Nurse

By Arlene Hale, ©1966

Lovely Reba Rollins, R.N.,  was the happiest girl in town that morning. The lakeside resort town where she lived and worked offered her an exciting job and the promise of a love-filled future with Skip Thornton. Yet by the end of that very day, her contentment came to an abrupt end. For her Uncle Charlie had returned, and with him was a handsome young stranger. The blond Lee Chandler had come to Wind Wood to forget his dark past … but the storm brewing in his eyes was to engulf Reba in a raging tempest.


“Go ahead, go! I’ll get some young thing to take your place, somebody I can flirt with on the sly and maybe even pinch when no one else is looking.”

“I’ve got enough troubles without having girl troubles!”

“Was it thundering or was it only her heart?”

Reba Rollins is so lucky! She’s not really engaged to Skip Thornton, who “didn’t want to jump into matrimony until he was financially sound,” which seems like it’s going to take a while; he’s been involved in multiple businesses and “hadn’t been exactly successful in any of them.” “Sometimes, I don’t think you want to marry me, Skip Thornton!” she says, displaying a penchant for the blatantly obvious. But that’s where her luck comes in: How great is it for her that the ass she wants to marry refuses to have her! “I can’t ask you to marry a guy in a sinking ship,” he tells her, and any gal with sense would be running for the personal flotation devices. So when Uncle Charlie breezes into town with alluring, mysterious stranger Lee Chandler in tow, it takes only a few days before “she did a foolish thing”! At his apartment during a thunderstorm, when the electricity goes out, she falls into his arms. “I’m a brazen woman!” says our scarlet hussy.

Lee immediately gets a job working for Skip and cleans up the sloppy business, which before long is making money for the first time. Lee is a secretive fellow who is always starting to say something and then clamming up, like, “I know what it’s like, sitting around in a hospital room—waiting for God knows what.” He’s the kind of guy about whom everyone is trying to guess his occupation: “What are you, a lawyer or something?” “You sound like a judge or something.” “You sound like a doctor.” “It was almost as if he should be wearing some kind of a uniform.” Hmmm. He soon tells Reba that he loves her, and the pair circle around each other for most of the book, kissing now and then, and now and then Reba has the decency to feel slightly guilt-stricken about it. Meanwhile, Skip has struck up a friendship with summer tourist Helen Wakefield, and Reba is naturally wild about it. “Helen had a crush on Skip. Perhaps it was more. Perhaps Skip returned the feeling!” shrieks the blazing hypocrite. But not to worry, she is quickly over the guy she’s been seeing for three years and “found herself wanting Lee!” Just as well, because now that Skip’s business is finally looking up, he wants to sell. “He was too much of a rolling stone, too uncertain, too improbable.” No kidding.

The end of this book is obvious and not quick enough in coming. Lee turns out to have been a highway patrolman who shot an armed burglar in self defense, and has been torn up about it ever since, but Reba is there to help him mend his broken psyche. The story reads more like a teen romance with a lot of blather of little consequence and almost nothing about Reba’s nursing job, making it not much of a nurse novel. The characters are flat and uninteresting, as is the writing. The best thing about it is the cover, so my advice is to stop there.

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