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Authors: Lisa DeVore

Tags: #Suspense, #Action-Suspense

Beautiful Music

BOOK: Beautiful Music
13.92Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
Table of Contents

Title Page




Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-One

Chapter Thirty-Two

Chapter Thirty-Three

Chapter Thirty-Four

Chapter Thirty-Five

Chapter Thirty-Six

Chapter Thirty-Seven

Chapter Thirty-Eight

Chapter Thirty-Nine

Chapter Forty

Chapter Forty-One


A word about the author...

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Thank you for purchasing this publication of The Wild Rose Press, Inc.

Beautiful Music


Lisa DeVore

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.

Beautiful Music

COPYRIGHT © 2014 by Lisa DeVore

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author or The Wild Rose Press, Inc. except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

Contact Information: [email protected]

Cover Art by
Tina Lynn Stout

The Wild Rose Press, Inc.

PO Box 708

Adams Basin, NY 14410-0708

Visit us at

Publishing History

First Crimson Rose Edition, 2014

Print ISBN 978-1-62830-256-1

Digital ISBN 978-1-62830-257-8

Published in the United States of America

Praise for

“Lisa DeVore is a great new voice in romantic suspense!”

~Jules Bennett,


With love to my mom, my husband, and my kids

for believing in me

when I didn't always believe in myself.

To my cheerleaders, Jules Bennett and Sarah Anderson

for all the advice, handholding and encouragement.

A huge thank you to my editor, Ally Robertson.

You are amazing!

And always in my heart, my Dad, my first hero.

I wish you were here....

Chapter One

“Jena, a package just arrived for you.”

Jena Shea looked up from the case file she was studying to see her assistant, Lauren, walking toward her with a small package wrapped in brown paper.

“Thanks.” Jena accepted the box and turned it from side to side. “There’s no return address. I wonder who it’s from.”

“You could open it,” Lauren suggested with a laugh.

“I could, couldn’t I?” Jena quickly ripped the paper off the box. She attempted to lift the lid, but found it taped shut. She grabbed her letter opener, sliced the tape, and removed the tissue paper.

She pulled a beautiful silver frame from the box. Tears filled her eyes as she saw the faces of her sister and niece staring back at her.

“That’s your sister?” Lauren had moved behind her and spoke from over her shoulder.

“Yes, and my niece,” Jena expressed with pride. Her sister had been a surrogate mother to her after their parents died in a car accident when Jena was ten.

“There’s a card in the box.”

Jena opened the envelope and pulled out the card. The front read, “Congratulations!” Loneliness washed over her. Jasmine and Andrea were her only family. She had lost so much time with them; especially Andrea. She could barely focus on the writing through her tears.

My Dearest Jena,

Andrea and I are so proud of you! Becoming junior partner at such a young age is quite an accomplishment. I have sent the picture to remind you what we look like. All work and no play makes for a dull sister. Looking forward to our visit next week.

Love, Jasmine

“Jasmine’s congratulating me on my promotion,” Jena explained as a smile mingled with the tears. She situated the picture front and center on her desk. She stared at it for a moment and used her palm to wipe a tear from her cheek.

“You’ll see them both next week,” Lauren reminded her.

“I wish they were coming here instead.” Jena dreaded the trip. Her mind flitted back to a relationship gone wrong, and the all-too-familiar nausea seized her stomach.

“I believe you’re the only person who would complain about a vacation to sunny Florida from the Ohio Snow Belt,” Lauren laughed.

Jena wrinkled her nose and shrugged. “Too many memories and not all pleasant.”

“You want to talk about it?”

Lauren had become her friend in addition to her employee. They shared their joys and their sorrows; however,
was off limits. “I’ve tried that. Doesn’t help.”

“On that note, do you need anything else done before I take off?”

Thank God she knew when to let a subject drop. “No. Go on home. I’m just going to finish this up before I leave.”

“You spend too much time alone. Why don’t you ask Todd to dinner? He has a thing for you.”

“Don’t start playing matchmaker. I don’t have time for relationships.” Jena’s muscles tensed with the mention of the subject. She rolled her neck from side to side.

“Blah, blah, blah. All right, I’m going home.”

Jena leaned back in her leather chair as Lauren shut the door behind her with a thud. Her gaze rested on her sister and niece in the picture. Their matching blonde manes shimmered in the Florida sunlight. Something had made them laugh, and Jena caught herself smiling back at them. Her smile faded as a thought occurred. Had he taken the photo? Was it him that made them laugh?

“No!” she exhaled sharply. “I won’t go there. He’s in their lives and I can’t change that.” She rubbed her temples, released the breath she was holding, and opened the file. Work was the best distraction.

Seconds passed before her office door swinging open interrupted her.

“Knock, knock,” Todd Richards, a colleague in the law firm, announced with a huge grin. He moved toward her desk with a large, overflowing vase of roses.

“What do you have there? I know. You’ve come to show off your loot from another secret admirer.” Jena smiled broadly.

“They are for you, my gorgeous colleague.” He executed an exaggerated eighteenth century bow.

“I’m impressed. You didn’t spill a drop.” She paused as his statement sank in. “Who would send me flowers?”

“Silly woman, me of course.”

“You?” Why would Todd bring her flowers? She was silently praying he wasn’t going to ask her out on another date.

He placed the vase on the corner of her desk. “What? You don’t like them?”

Jena didn’t want to hurt his feelings. “They’re beautiful, but what did I do to deserve such an ostentatious arrangement?” Jena immediately regretted the question. She bit down on her lower lip as she waited for the answer.

He sat on the leather chair in front of her desk and leaned back casually. “You know that case you’ve been helping me with?”

“I’ve helped you with a couple.” Her nervousness quickly changed to annoyance with the “make yourself at home” attitude. Jena blatantly looked at her watch. She really wanted to get out of here.

“The pharmaceutical company,” he answered, oblivious to her impatience.


“We won,” he said with a wide grin. “I couldn’t have done it without you, so I thought it warranted some flowers.”

“In lieu of my cut?” Relief washed over her. He was thanking her for her help. She could enjoy the moment since she knew he wasn’t expecting something in return.

“No, you will still get that, but I’d like to add dinner to the flower arrangement.”

She inwardly groaned. The gift of flowers without the strings attached was too good to be true. She tried not to let her irritation show. “Mmmm, can’t tonight.” She shook her head. “I have to finish this file, but thanks for the offer.” He was a nice guy, and she did have to work with him.

“You work too hard, although I love that about you. Forget that tonight.” He motioned toward the file on her desk. “Let’s celebrate.”

“Really, Todd, I appreciate the gesture, but I can’t. I have to get this done. Some other time, okay?” Why had she added “some other time?” That would only encourage him. She swallowed another groan.

Todd’s smile melted into a frown. Biting her tongue seemed like the only option at this point. If she didn’t she would be sitting at a table for two, complete with candlelight. She looked down and rearranged her file to fill the awkward silence.

“Okay, some other time then.”

Jena tried to ignore the disappointment in his voice and the drooping of his shoulders as he came around her side of the desk. What was he doing?

He leaned down and softly kissed her on the forehead. Stiffening with the contact, she pushed her chair away from her desk and stood.

“Don’t be here too late by yourself, Jena. You know I worry about you.”

She ignored the comment. “Thanks again for the flowers. They brighten the office.” She smiled at him, but silently wished he would just leave.

“Sure,” he said, “You earned them.” He lingered for a few seconds, “See you tomorrow, Jena.”

“See you tomorrow,” she repeated with an enthusiasm she wasn’t feeling. Jena wanted to race for the door and open it for him—anything to make his exit quicker. Instead, she stood behind her desk as Todd walked out closing the door behind him. She exhaled with relief and ran her hands over her face. He was becoming pushy and she didn’t like being backed into a corner.

Her feelings quickly turned to the uncomfortable; creepy skin-crawling uncomfortable. Why wouldn’t he let this go? She told him numerous times she wasn’t interested in a relationship. All she could offer him was friendship. Obviously, attending company functions with him would have to stop. He was getting the wrong idea.

How was she going to fix this? He could be the most perfect human on the planet and she would pass. She had her reasons. Besides, work relationships were taboo. Didn’t everyone know that?

With jumbled nerves, Jena walked over to the flowers and absently inhaled the calming aroma. They smelled so sweet. She closed her eyes and inhaled once more, breathing slowly. The phone rang and she jumped.
Geez, will you calm down?

“Hello, Jena Shea,” she answered in her professional voice.

“Ms. Shea, this is Sheriff’s Deputy Hernandez from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department. I’m sorry to inform you your sister, Jasmine Reiss, has been in an accident.”

“An accident? What-what kind of an accident? Is she okay?” Her heart thudded as she waited for his response.
Please be okay, please be okay, please…
Why wasn’t he saying anything?

“I’m afraid not, ma’am. There was an accident at sea…we’ve been unable to recover any remains. I’m sorry. She’s presumed dead.”

She dropped the vase and was only vaguely aware of glass shattering around her. She couldn’t breathe. Dear God, this couldn’t be happening. The phone slipped from her hand and landed with a thud on her desk. She could still hear the distant voice of the Sheriff as she leaned against the desk for support. Her body trembled. She covered her face with her hands and sobbed. “No! No! Please, God, not my sister. Please!”

Chapter Two

Why did it always rain on days like these? As if the heavens were crying, too.

Jena supposed the gloom of the day was fitting. The enormous clouds hung low and menacing to the ground. The winds coming off the ocean howled as they wrapped around the little church. Her eyes had opened early this morning to the sound of the rain pelting against her bedroom window. She hadn’t slept. She went through the motions. Her puffy eyes were the collateral damage.

Jena and Andrea had been standing at the entrance of the little ocean side church for what seemed like hours, while people filed by them offering words of sympathy as they left the service. They had shaken their last hand when Jena turned her attention to the front of the church and saw Andrea’s uncle, Chase Reiss. She watched as he lifted Jasmine’s picture from the table and held it in hands. After several moments, he replaced the picture and headed toward them.

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13.92Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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