Mission Make-OverPenny JordanCHAPTER ONE'No LUCIANNA...? Where is she
trying to breathe life into some hopeless wreck of acar?'Janey Stewart smiled at her husband's best friend as the three of them shared the informal supper Janey had prepared.'No, not this evening, Jake,' she informed him in response to his wry question about her sister-in-law and the youngest member of the family, the only girl.Lucianna had arrived after her mother had already produced four sons, and, as aconsequence of that and, more tragically, of the fact that Susan Stewart had died after contracting a rare and particularly virulent form of viral pneumonia when Lucianna was only eighteen months old, had grown up treated by her brothers and father almost as if she were another boy.'She's out,' she added in further explanation as he raised a questioning eyebrow. 'Saying goodbye to John.''Saying goodbye... The big romance is over, then, is it?''Not exactly. John's going to work in Canada for three months. I suspect Lucianna was rather hoping that he might suggest putting their relationship on a bit ofa permanent footing before he left.''She hasn't a hope in hell,' said David, her husband and Lucianna's eldest brother, who now ran the farm where he and Lucianna and the rest of the Stewart brothers had been brought up and where in fact Lucianna still lived.'She's never going to get herself a man whilst she goes around dressed in a pairof baggy old dungarees and
''It isn't all her fault, David,' Janey interrupted him gently. 'You and the others have hardly encouraged her to be feminine, have you? And you've certainly done your share of helping to frighten away potential menfriends,' she pointed outmildly.'If you mean I've made it clear that if a man wants Lucianna to share his roof and his bed with him then it has to be with the benefit of a wedding ring, then what's wrong with that?''Nothing,' Janey allowed, adding dryly, 'But I seem to remember you worked pretty hard to convince me that we ought to move in together before we were married...''That was different,' David told her firmly.'I hope this relationship with John does work out for Lucianna,' Janey continuedworriedly. 'After all, she's twenty-two now, not a teenager any more.''No relationship is going to work for her until she stops acting like a tomboy...' David told her decisively, adding, 'Perhaps you could give her one or two hints, Janey, point her in the right direction.''I've tried, but...' Janey gave a small shrug. 'I think she needs someone to show her, not to tell her, someone to build up her confidence in herself as a desirable woman and not
' She broke off and smiled teasingly at her husband's best friend. 'Someone like you, Jake,' she told him.'Jake?' David hooted with laughter. 'Jake would never look at anyone like Lucianna, not after the women he's had running after him. Remember that Italian modelyou went out with, Jake, and that New York banker, and what happened
?''Er...you're married to me, thank you very much,' Janey reminded her husband firmly. 'Perhaps you aren't the right person, Jake, but she does need help of somekind from someone, otherwise I'm very much afraid she's going to lose John and she'll take it very hard.'