This month’s book recommendation: The Promise of Happiness by Betty Neels. A perfect read for the month of Valentine’s Day, and a perfect read outright.
I’ve said many times, and will gladly say many times more, how much I admire Betty Neels. She’s one of my life heroes and writing idols! I love her comfort-food novels, and I love that she found her authorial voice at 64 and wrote 134 books thereafter. Neels banged out several iterations on limited themes, and Happiness is one such at its best. A Cinderella story of ever-optimistic Becky Saunders, down on her luck and running away from home (and an evil stepmother and stepbrother!) who is rescued by a not quite charming prince, Tiele. Baron Tiele Raukema van den Eck, to be exact.
Becky is dismissed by Tiele as mousy and gauche. Becky finds Tiele remote and ungrateful. But as their lives continue to intersect, and Tiele provides the reluctant rudder to Becky’s at last opening sails, they are provoked into noticing one another and rethinking those initial impressions. The whole book is a charm and without a clang, and provides a replete and well earned happy sigh at the end.
Happiness was the first Betty book I read. Through dozens more, it has remained one of my favorites of hers, and of all romances. I fell in love with Betty while reading Happiness, and have held her close to my heart ever since. She shares her own passions and wish-fulfillment in her heroines’ tales, her writing straightforward and stout of spirit. I hope you find this book and fall in love with it–and wonderful Becky and her hot, hot Baron Tiele as they fall for each other–as well.
Brew a pot of tea and enjoy!