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SONG OF MY HEART
Vanderbilt Book 3
BY JUDY KENTRUS
Peter Llewelyn’s fans saw him as a world-famous concert pianist, director and composer. No one saw the emptiness in his heart at the loss of his wife and little boy, Martin. Retreating from the public eye, he pours everything into his award winning musicals.
He agrees to be a guest conductor at a concert that will benefit children and judge a contest for novice song writers. The high-end condo units at the Vanderbilt Beach Resort are perfect for a mini-vacation and getting some work done. When a food delivery service mixes up his order with his attractive neighbor’s, he wonders if she purposely arranged to have their orders switched so she could meet a famous celebrity or was she really innocent?
Eudora Hendricks never thought she’d become the owner of a very successful real estate brokerage and have a home in the Port Royal section of Naples, Florida. Life hasn’t always been sunshine and roses. Losing her infant son after two weeks of life has left a deep hole in her heart. She loves to sing and wrote an original song, dedicated to her son.
A major plumbing problem forces her to move out of her home. The Vanderbilt is her favorite resort and the only accommodation they have is a deluxe condo. When the food delivery service brings the wrong order, she confronts her neighbor and gets the shock of her life.
When he introduces himself as Morgan, she goes along with him wanting to keep his anonymity, but wonders how long she’ll be able to keep his secret.
A man from her past and misunderstandings will test their growing love for each other, but it will be music that heals their broken hearts.
NOTE FROM JUDY: I had so much fun writing the third book in my Vanderbilt Series. My inspiration to write Song of My Heart was my mother, who was an amateur songwriter, so music has always been a part of my life. Thank you, Mom.
Writers don’t always sit behind their computers so doing on-site research for a story is lots of fun. I visited the places you’ll read about – The Vanderbilt Beach Resort, had lunch at the Turtle Club and the Artes – Philharmonic in Naples. Visit their websites if you’d like to know more about them.
I also went shelling for the first time and learned so much about the different kinds of shells. I look forward to doing it again the next time I visit the west coast of Florida.
I hope you enjoy Eudora and Peter’s story that had to be told. The other two books in the Vanderbilt Series are: Love Never Dies and Billionaire For Sale (slightly used). Go to my website and sign up for my newsletter to find out all about my new releases. You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter.
Peter Llewelyn turned away from looking out the glass sliding door that offered a late evening view of the Vanderbilt Lagoon. Outside, the February evening was seventy-eight degrees, and people up North were freezing their asses off. He listened with half an ear to his mother rambling on the other end of his cell phone call.
“I said I’d do it and don’t need a lecture,” he said. “I’m tired of people telling me what I should do. I’m thirty-nine years old and don’t need you to tell me when to get my hair cut, when to eat, or how to dress.” As was his mother’s habit, she listened only to the words coming out of her own mouth and not his. She was a veritable nag, but deep down he knew she meant well.
He turned away and picked up the letter he’d set on the accent table near the couch. The welcome packet he’d received from the Artis–Naples Philharmonic included a detailed list of times and dates of rehearsals. There was also another item his mother had failed to mention.
“What’s this about judging an original song that I’m to arrange and direct?”
“There’s a five-thousand-dollar submission fee that will, of course, be put toward the Seeds of Love Foundation, for children.”
“I’m supposed to do this in one month? I’m in the middle of writing a score for a play that will debut in New York next year.” He ran his fingers through his long hair in frustration. “Mother, I promise to eat and will talk to you in a couple of days.”
He turned off his phone and tossed his cell on the couch. Tomorrow, there’d be messages from his mother and sister asking why he was ignoring them.
“I don’t need a keeper,” he muttered and walked into the kitchen and pulled open the cabinet door next to the sink and took out a bottle of Jack Daniel’s. He hadn’t eaten since breakfast yesterday, and that had been a stale bagel.
He poured a generous helping, held up the golden liquid and repeated what his grandmother had always said about alcohol. “The spawn of the devil.” She’d claimed it had eaten away his grandfather’s liver and delivered him to hell. Peter drank half of it down and shuddered. “Grandma, I’m already there.”
He walked into the bathroom and was taken aback by the slovenly looking face staring back at him in the mirror over the sink. A hazy film covered bloodshot eyes that were normally light brown. A scruffy, five-day-old beard covered much of his face, and his mangy black hair brushed the collar of his black T-shirt. “Shit, man, derelicts don’t look this bad.”
When had he sunk this low, not seeing what was happening to him physically? Mentally, he was a mess, and his heart was empty. He chose to live alone and keep people out. The past five years, he’d sought his saving grace, music.
He walked into the living room and set the glass on the table in front of the couch before turning on the keyboard that had been delivered this morning. Losing himself in his world of music was the only thing that was saving him.
“What a day.” Eudora hurried into the condo, needing some time to relax before she was to head out again this evening to meet a potential client. She was just about to head into the shower when there was a knock at the door. It had to be the food order she’d placed this morning. Tonight’s dinner would be a chef salad.
She hurried to the door and brought the four bags into the kitchen, but unpacked the insulated bag first. The moment she opened the bag, she knew something wasn’t right. She hadn’t ordered a frozen pizza, egg rolls, frozen fried chicken and frozen Swedish meatballs. The bag also held containers of commercially prepared mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese. A separate bag held an assortment of junk food.
When she’d opened her door, she’d noticed her eccentric neighbor had also received a food order. The room number on the bag—404. The delivery person had obviously messed up. When she checked in, the attendant at the desk mentioned they had an eccentric musician on her floor. Whether her neighbor was peculiar or not, she wanted her own food. She was just about to leave when her cell phone rang. Her client had to cancel for this evening and would like to reschedule for tomorrow night. She agreed.
All was quiet at his end of the building. She knocked and waited. When the door opened, she took a step back. If the devil was human, she was looking at him in the flesh. Black brows crested bloodshot eyes. The dark-of-night color continued with his beard and straight black hair that brushed the collar of his black T-shirt. In case he planned to shut the door in her face for disturbing him, she hurried to explain why she was there.
“I believe you got my food order by mistake.”
“I just found that out. I’ve got bags of fresh vegetables, meat, cottage cheese, yogurt and three kinds of hummus. Don’t know how you can eat something that looks like brown mush.”
“I can say the same for your taste in food. At least mine is a lot healthier than premade with all those preservatives.”
He shrugged a shoulder. “As they say, to each his own. Let’s get this done. I need to take a shower.”
“You’ve definitely been using your deodorant sparingly.” The words came out before she could stop them, and she put a hand over her mouth. “Sorry, that was rude of me.”
“I get involved and forget about everything, including taking a shower and eating. According to my mother, I need a keeper. Come on, let’s exchange groceries. Do you need help with my bags?”
At least he isn’t too obnoxious. “No, thanks, I can manage.”
He’d left the door open for her, and she carried the bags into the condo that mirrored her own. It wasn’t that she thought he was helpless, but she started putting the bags of cookies, chips and salsa into his empty cabinet. She noticed the almost empty bottle of Jack Daniels Hence the bloodshot eyes. Walking into the apartment, she’d also picked up on the Box O’ Joe and donuts on his coffee table. He was a danger to himself.
“Despite my mother telling me I need a keeper, you don’t have to put my groceries away,” he said, putting frozen items in the freezer.
He was about to put the container of store-bought macaroni and cheese in the refrigerator, and she cringed. “Are you really going to eat that?”
Black brows furrowed over hazy red eyes. “What’s wrong with macaroni and cheese? I just have to heat it up.”
“It’s full of preservatives and imitation cheese.” Her next words tumbled out before she could stop herself. “If you don’t plan to work this evening, would you like to join me for dinner? I can guarantee my macaroni and cheese will taste a heck of a lot better than that.” It wasn’t what she’d planned to make, but she’d add a salad and grilled chicken.
His back stiffened. “How do you know what I’m doing?”
He was suspicious as well as being an eccentric. “That came out wrong. I’m not in my condo much, because I have a full-time job. In the evening, I’ve heard you play and you’re very talented.” Eudora folded the empty bag and set it on the counter. “Sorry if I imposed, but you should definitely think about getting a keeper.”
I was born and raised in NJ and moved to PA ten years ago. I’m a romantic at heart, having married my high school sweetheart and we raised a wonderful son and daughter. My books are fun, romantic suspense that will make you laugh, cry and sigh from their HEA’s.
Links to Judy’s website, blog, books, etc.
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2Q3E8Ua
**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY**: Judy will give away all three signed copies of the books in the Vanderbilt Series: Love Never Dies; Billionaire For Sale; Song of My Heart (US Only) to one lucky reader who comments on her Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog.
Thanks, Judy, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!