Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nurse Romance Stories: Dream Book of Romance 6 - "Torn by Temptation"

Magazine Enterprises published a total of 7 romance comics, and this is one of them. Dream Book of Romance 6 (April-June 1954) boasts a Marlon Brando photo cover and interior artwork by Bob Powell, Fred Guardineer, and this nurse romance story by Frank Bolle. The tale starts with engaged couple, Nurse Ann Barton (possibly a distant relative of Clara Barton, but we're left to speculate here) and Dr. Ted Stevens, who must make do with the occasional passionate clinch in the doctor's office during a very busy work schedule that doesn't permit them time to go out together. Ted is steadfast in his dedication to both his job and his future marriage to Ann, and just needs to finish his residency so that they are in a position to wed. Ann, however, is wavering. She pines for excitement and partying, and loses patience with Ted, failing to keep hold of the bigger picture and see how the sacrifice in the short term will reap rewards in their relationship in the future. In her weakened state, she falls prey to the suggestions of handsome outpatient Fred Daniels.
Ann succumbs and goes out with Fred, and their date ends with a dreamy kiss that spells danger for her relationship with Ted.
Ted's no fool, and has observed what's going on with Ann, yet he's unable to talk sense into her. Instead she gets into party mode with Fred. When Ted tells her he wants her to stop seeing Fred, she returns Ted's ring and the engagement is off. But by now the veneer over Fred's real character is wearing thin, and some of the truth is emerging. He likes having Ann around as eye candy for his business clients. Plus there's no proposal in sight. Meanwhile her constant partying is making Ann slip up at work, something that won't be tolerated in the hospital where lives are at stake.
Then reality hits home. On their way to a meeting with one of Fred's important clients, Ann sees a road accident in which people are badly hurt. Her instincts as a nurse kick in and she provides crucial care for the crash victims while they wait for the ambulance. Fred, however, thought his meeting was more important, and when Ann refuses to accompany him, because she wants to tend to the injured, he dumps her, but as far as Ann is concerned, it's good riddance! The injured people eventually end up at the hospital, where Ted treats them, but they wouldn't have made it without Ann's intervention. Ted is full of admiration for Ann's willingness to stay and care for the injured, and she's had her eyes opened after Fred so selfishly drove off - a Good Samaritan he ain't. Ted never let go of his love for Ann, and now a wiser woman, she's immediately accepted back by him. Lucky girl! Hopefully she won't be so dumb in the future. A good partner is worth waiting for. Lesson learned.
Some nice panels in this story. The image of nurses and nursing in this one includes the idea that nursing is boring work, that nurses are forced to work long, irregular hours, and that nurses get romantically involved with doctors and patients. Ann's self-sacrificing angel identity was brought out when she was faced with injured people from the car crash who needed help. Ann did say she loved her work, which is another positive.

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