To Marry McKenzie

By: Carole Mortimer

Book 1 of the Bachelor Cousins series





Eligible, elusive...and engaged!



Logan McKenzie thought he'd seen enough of marriage to know it wasn't for

him. He liked his life exactly how it was -- with no surprises, and without a

wife.



Then Logan learned his mother was about to marry for the third time, and

that Darcy, his very pretty stepsister-to-be, was in danger of being hurt by

that marriage. So he found himself getting involved -- not only in trying to

prevent the forthcoming nuptials, but with Darcy herself...and his carefully

controlled existence was turned upside down!





CHAPTER ONE


CRASH!

'Damn!'

Logan looked up from the letters he was signing, his expression one of

puzzlement as he heard first the crash of what sounded like glass, quickly

followed by the expletive.

What—?

Crash!

'Double damn!'

Logan's expression turned to one of bemusement as he put down his pen to

stand up, moving in the direction from which the sound of breaking glass

was coming: the boardroom that adjoined his vast office.

He and a couple of business associates had lunched in there earlier,

discussing contracts while they ate; Logan had found this to be a good way

of doing business. The table was still partially set for the meal, he now

discovered, but the room itself was empty.

'Damn and blast it,' a disembodied voice muttered impatiently. 'That's two

glasses I'll have to replace now. I— ouch!' The last was obviously a cry of

pain.

Logan was even more intrigued now, walking slowly around the long

mahogany table, to find himself peering down at the top of a head of bright

red hair. Ah, the puzzle was solved: this was the girl—woman?—who had

served their lunch to them, an employee of Chef Simon. Logan hadn't taken

too much notice of her during the meal, having been intent on his business

discussions, but he did remember the occasional glimpse of that gleaming

red hair as she'd moved quietly round the table.



The girl straightened, frowning down at her left hand, where a considerable

amount of blood had appeared at the end of one of her fingers.

'Did you cut yourself?'

Whatever reaction Logan had expected to his sympathetic query, it was not

to have the girl jump almost six inches in the air in her nervousness,

knocking over one of the water glasses as she did so!

Logan managed to reach out and catch the glass before it rolled off the

table—to join the two he could see now were already shattered on the shiny

wood-tiled floor.

'No point in your having to buy three replacements instead of two,' he

murmured dryly as he righted the glass on the table. 'Is it a bad cut?' He

reached out with the intention of looking at the girl's hand.

Only to have that hand snatched out of his grasp as it was hidden behind her

back. The girl looked up at him with stricken grey eyes. 'I'm so sorry if I've

disturbed you, Mr McKenzie,' she gasped. 'I was just clearing away,

and—and—I broke the glasses.' She looked down at the shattered pieces.

'And—and—' Whatever she had been about to say was lost as she suddenly

dissolved into floods of tears.

Logan recoiled from this display of emotion, frowning darkly. 'Hey, it's

only a couple of glasses. I'm sure Chef Simon isn't that much of an ogre that

you have to cry about it.'

The outside catering company of Chef Simon had been taking care of the

occasional business lunches Logan had in his boardroom for over a year

now, and Logan had always found the other man reasonable to deal with.

Although he hadn't seen this young girl before, so perhaps she was new, and

feared losing her job because of those breakages...?

'You could always tell Chef Simon that I broke them,' he attempted to

cajole; weeping women were not his forte!



Well... not when they were weeping because they were worried or upset, he

acknowledged ruefully as he remembered that last meeting with Gloria a

couple of weeks ago. The frown deepened on his brow as he recalled the

tears she had cried, tears of anger and frustration because he had told her

their year-long relationship was over. She had even thrown a vase of

flowers at him when he'd refused to change his mind, Logan remembered

with distaste.

'Oh, I couldn't do that,' the girl instantly refused. 'Then he would put it on

your bill, and that wouldn't be fair at all.' She shook her head.

Fair... It wasn't a word Logan heard too often, either in business or his

personal life. Besides, the cost of a couple of glasses would hardly bankrupt

his multimillion- pound, multifaceted company...

The girl reached up to wipe away the tears staining her face, inadvertently

smearing blood over her cheeks instead. 'Oh, damn,' she muttered

frustratedly as she realised what she had done, searching unsuccessfully in

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