Betty Neels (b. September 15, 1910 in Devon, England - d. June 7, 2001 in England) was a prolific English author of romance novels. She wrote over 134 titles (first publication entirely for Mills & Boon in England and later reprinted in the United States by Harlequin), beginning in 1969 and continuing until her death. Her work is known for being particularly chaste.
Betty Neels was born on September 15, 1910 in Devon, England to a family with firm roots in the Civil Service. She spent her childhood and youth in Devonshire. She was sent away to boarding school, and then went on to train as a nurse, gaining her SRN and SCM, that is, State Registered Nurse and State Certificate of Midwifery.
In 1939 she was called up to the Territorial Army Nursing Service, which later became the Queen Alexandra Reserves, and was sent to France with the Casualty Clearing Station, until the invasion of France in 1940. Later she worked in Scotland and Northern Ireland, where she met a Dutchman. They married and had a daughter.
The married couple lived in London, and later they moved to Holland for thirteen years, where she resumed her nursing career. When the family return to England, she continued her nursing. When she eventually retired, she had reached the position of Night Superintendent.
Her hobbies were reading, animals, old buildings and, of course, writing. Her writing career began almost by accident. It began when she heard a woman in her local library bemoaning the lack of good romance novels. Though she had retired from nursing, her mind had no intention of vegetating. So she got a typewriter and developed what was to become a fantastic loving relationship with her millions of readers around the world.
Betty Neels died peacefully in hospital on June 7, 2001, aged 91.
Her first book, Sister Peters in Amsterdam, was published in 1969. Her novels have several recurring themes. Her career with Mills & Boon or Harlequin spanned 30 years, and she continued to write into her 90th year. She wrote 134 novels.
The main male and female characters (usually "vast" or "splendidly built") are often brought together by circumstances before love flourishes. The male protagonist is often a Dutch surgeon. A character will often have an expertise in antiques. Family pets are common.