To Woo A Wife

By: Carole Mortimer

"I kissed you. And you liked it!"

She took a sharp intake of breath, swallowing hard. He was right; she had liked it...

"I think your ego may be getting in the way again, Jarrett," Abbie told him. "You just can't seem to accept that every female you meet isn't going to fall willingly into your arms! I'll admit I was curious for a while, but—despite what you may have thought— my husband was a more-than-capable lover. He knew exactly how to please a woman." Her gaze was coolly steady on Jarrett's now angry face. "No other man could ever take his place in my life."

"I don't want to take his place!" Jarrett visibly recoiled. "You already know my views on marriage—"

"And you already know mine on affairs...."





Jarrett, Jonathan and Jordan are



BACHELOR BROTHERS



Some men are meant to marry!

Meet three brothers: Jarrett is the eldest—Hunter by name, hunter by nature. Jonathan's in the middle and a real charmer; there's never been a woman whom he wanted and couldn't have.

Jordan is the youngest and he's devilishly attractive. But he's determined never to succumb to emotional commitment.

These bachelor brothers appear to have it all—looks, wealth, power.... But what about love? That's where Abbie, Gaye and Stazy come in.

As Jarrett, Jonathan' and Jordan are about to discover—wanting a woman is one thing, winning her heart is quite another....



Look out for Jonathan's story next month!



CHAPTER ONE



'It isn't that I don't appreciate the suggestion that I join you all for dinner, Stephen,' the man drawled in a bored voice. 'It's just that making up a foursome isn't something I've made a habit of; I've inevitably found that any woman deliberately out on her own for the evening is either on the hunt for a rich man—or, even worse, she's a paper-bag job!'



The woman dismissed as either 'on the hunt for a rich man—or even worse...a paper-bag job' had entered the hotel lounge and bar seconds ago, and had been in the process of locating her hosts for the evening—her friend Alison and her new husband Stephen—when she had unwittingly overheard the man's insulting remark.



She had found Alison and Stephen—and they weren't alone. Not that Abbie could actually see them, or they her, hidden behind the huge plant that stood majestically in the plush room. And, in view of what the man had just said, perhaps it was as well!



'I think that's a bit strong, Jarrett,' Alison protested indignantly. "These days, women can go anywhere, and do anything they want to do. And we don't need a man to do it with!'



Well, at least Abbie knew his name now. Jarrett... It meant nothing to her.



'Do these "go-anywhere" women get married?' the man called Jarrett taunted pointedly.



"They have the right to choose that option if they wish to—as I did,' Alison returned heatedly. 'I'm just pointing out that we don't need a man for our very existence, as our grandmothers did, and possibly our mothers too. We have careers now, earn our own money, and therefore marriage isn't the necessity it once was—'



Stephen's husky laugh interrupted her. 'I have a feeling you're being deliberately wound up, my love.'



The other man laughed too. 'Guilty, I'm afraid. I'm sorry, Alison, it really isn't fair of me when you're still on your honeymoon. I think it's great that the two of you decided to get married. I'm only sorry I missed the wedding. I find it incredible that I've bumped into the two of you like this. I had no idea you were coming to Canada skiing.'



Abbie had missed the wedding too, which was why, after numerous protests that she hadn't wanted to interrupt their honeymoon, she had accepted the couple's invitation to join them this evening. But it was obvious from this man Jarrett's comments that his meeting with the newly-weds was purely coincidental.



If Abbie had thought it was anything else, that she was possibly being set up with this man by well-meaning friends, men she would have turned around and left the hotel without even making her presence here known, would simply have telephoned her apologies. But she didn't really think that was the case; Alison was well aware of her feelings towards relationships. They simply didn't exist as far as Abbie was concerned.



Although she had to admit Jarrett's initial remark had stung, making her look critically at herself in one of the mirrors that lined the bar walls. As tall as a model, her legs were long and shapely; she was wearing a black sheath of a dress that moulded her figure, its length a couple of inches short of her knees. But over the stylish dress she had put on a thin silk jacket the same violet-blue colour of her eyes, its loose style detracting from the clinging material of her dress. Her long dark hair was pulled back in a neat chignon, her make-up subtly delicate.