Such a proposal from the incredibly handsome and wealthy Reagan was enough to flatter any girl—and Brooke Martin was no exception. But there were other things to consider despite the whirlwind emotions.
For instance, marriage was a sometime thing to Reagan, but Brooke was a “’til death do us part” kind of girl. Dr. Clark Reid’s suit makes more sense, but was love something settled, or a wild, passionate affair?
by Peggy Gaddis
Sensuality Level: Behind Closed Doors
Eroline Pearl Gaddis Dern (1895 – 1966) began her literary career editing trade journals and fan magazines. For thirty years she wrote traditional romances for a single publisher, Arcadia House. For the last ten of those years she wrote principally nurse novels. She also wrote “love novels,” a romance genre invented by lending-library publishers that was considered a bit racier for the times.
An excerpt from Flight from Love:
It was a good party, Brooke told herself happily as she surveyed the room; crowded, although there were no more than ten or twelve people there. But then it was a small room. The living-room of Dr. and Mrs. Herschell’s apartment, to which had been invited the closest friends of Dr. Clark Reid who, tomorrow, would leave Mercy Hospital to take up his duties as a member of the staff of a county seat hospital in the mountains.
Brooke studied them all; her own and Clark’s closest friends. Doctors and nurses who an hour or two ago had been going busily and competently about their work in the wards and corridors of the big charity hospital, with its one wing dedicated to patients who could afford to pay for the finest of medical attention. The same attention, Brooke reminded herself with a small grin, as was given free to the city’s indigent citizens!
Clark, tall and rugged-looking, pleasantly homely and with something oddly attractive about his big-boned, perfectly co-ordinated body and his lean brown face beneath its thatch of sandy hair, looked across the room and met Brooke’s eyes. His own that were darkly brown, lit up. He spoke to Dr. Herschell and came across to sit beside her on the low couch.
“It’s indecent,” he told her softly, his brown eyes meeting hers that were so blue. “And it’s also very unkind.”
Her dark brows went up airily and she smiled, a dimple tugging at the corner of her mouth.
“I’ll play ‘straight’ for you and ask, ‘What’s indecent, also unkind?’” She laughed.
“For you to look so dog-goned happy when this is my farewell party,” he accused her.
“You could at least look as if you were sorry to see me go, and pretend you’re going to miss me, even if you’re not.”
“I am going to miss you,” she told him quietly, a depth of sincerity in her voice that brought warmth to his eyes. “But I’m not sorry to see you go. This is what you’ve been working for since the day you entered pre-med: to become a doctor and to go back to the mountains and help your people.”
Clark nodded. “There’s that, of course,” he admitted. “It is—if I may say it without sounding corny—the fulfillment of a dream. To have a nice new hospital, even if it is only a forty-bed place, there in the mountains where it has been so desperately needed for so many years, and to be allowed to be a member of the staff. But I’m going to miss you.”
Color crept into Brooke’s face but she met his eyes straightly.
“I’ll miss you, too, Clark. It’s been grand working with you here,” she told him swiftly.
Clark’s hand touched hers, closed tightly over it. His eyes were warm and earnest and his voice sank to a husky whisper.
“There is so much I want to say to you, Brooke, but I have no right. Not now. And it may be years before I can say what I want to say. That’s why it hurts to go away.”