Authors: Deborah Brown
Tags: #Mystery: Cozy - Humor - Florida
|Deborah Brown - Madison Westin 07 - Kidnapped in Paradise|
|Number VII of|
|Paradise Books LLC (2015)|
|Tags:||Mystery: Cozy - Humor - Florida|
|Mystery: Cozy - Humor - Floridattt|
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or to actual events or locales is entirely coincidental.
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KIDNAPPED IN PARADISE
Copyright @ 2015 by Deborah Brown
Paradise Books April 2015
Cover: Natasha Brown
PARADISE SERIES NOVELS
Crazy in Paradise
Deception in Paradise
Trouble in Paradise
Murder in Paradise
Greed in Paradise
Revenge in Paradise
Kidnapped in Paradise
Table of Contents
We took a sharp turn, tires
ing around the corner of the quiet residential street. Had we been in a smaller vehicle, the tires would have left the road. Or worse, caused a roll-over; then we would have skidded through someone
s living room window. The demon in the driver’s seat turned the wheel hard, blew past the wrought-iron gate into the courtyard, and managed to leave the paint job on her black convertible Mercedes intact.
The two-story white Key West-style house was located on the outskirts of Tarpon Cove, the first exit going south off the Overseas Highway in the Florida Keys. An inviting veranda wrapped around the upper level, with tropical flowers of all varieties in brightly colored pots lining the courtyard.
I inherited the house from my aunt Elizabeth. It had taken me a long time to put my personal stamp on the interior. For a long time I felt like a guest, much like when my brother Brad and I would come and spend summers with my aunt. After applying a fresh coat of paint, moving in my own furniture, and recovering a piece or two of Aunt Elizabeth’s furniture, it now felt like my home. I made the patio an extension of the house. It was a large entertainment area with comfortable furniture and an outdoor kitchen, a place that Aunt Elizabeth would
to find regularly filled with family and friends.
“Give me my keys,” I demanded, holding my hand out to my best friend and roommate, Fabiana Merceau.
Her blue eyes held a hint of humor.
“No.” She flung her long brown hair over her shoulder. “Who does all the driving? I do!” She poked her chest with her finger. “I need to keep the keys to make sure you don’t trick me and get behind the wheel.”
Fab and I met when she broke into my house and made herself at home, spoiling my cat.
We hopped out of the convertible black Hummer that I scored in a deal from our on-again, off-again employer, Brick Famosa. Brick owned a variety of businesses, including a car dealership in South Miami. Where I’d paid for my ride, Fab negotiated a trade in exchange for her high-end sports car. Neither of them discussed the details, but it left Fab far more obligated to Brick’s sleazy ways than I would ever have allowed for myself.
“I bet I have a better driving record — one ticket, ever. And you?” I snickered as I took the lead down the so-called ‘secret path’, a bare strip leading around the side of the house that had once been overgrown with
. The path ran along the side of the house to the back patio and pool. I had it cleaned out and paver bricks put down. How it retained the ‘secret path’ name I wasn’t sure, since everyone who’d ever been to the house knew about it.
the slowest driver ever. Was your ticket for driving too slow?” Fab yanked on one of my red curls.
.” I shot her a smirk before stopping at the back of the house, puzzled. The French doors that led into the living room, which always stood open in a welcoming gesture, were closed. This was especially strange since both of our boyfriends’ cars were parked out front.
“I can’t believe that one of the guys closed these doors in the middle of the day, even though I worry that the neighbors will walk in.”
“Trust me, word has gotten around that we shoot people.” Fab walked over to the pool and ran her hand through the water, testing the temperature. She passed by me, flicking water at my face. I ignored her and stared off in the distance, listening for the sounds of the ocean. I never got tired of life at the beach.
Fab slid her lock pick from the back pocket of her jeans. In seconds, she’d handily opened the door.
as I watched Fab. As usual, I felt unprepared. I only wore skirts, and the only ones with pockets were denim, which I reserved for jobs where running for our lives was involved.
Standing in the doorway, Fab burst out laughing. I followed, curiosity pulling me across the threshold into the living room.
The last thing I expected to see was Jax
, tied to a straight back chair next to the coffee table, his long tan legs extended out in front of him.
… Hi, Honey.” Jax made the word sound like
. “Can you explain to these two assholes who I am and get me untied?”
It had been a while since I
d seen Jackson Devereaux, aka Jax. He looked like he’d just rolled off the beach in his white shorts and tropical shirt. The last time I
d laid eyes on him, he had one foot out of town, feeding me a vague promise to never return.
“He says he
s your husband?” snapped Creole. Creole
’s blue eyes
were frigid, his expression forbidding.
Creole, born Luc Baptiste, went by the street name that he used as an undercover detective with Miami
s finest. I never tired of looking at his caramel-colored skin, strong bone structure, and dark shoulder-length hair. His defined jaw, covered in day-
, always made me want to rub my cheek along his.
Fab laughed and dropped onto the couch, draping herself on her boyfriend
s lap. Didier, no last name, was a male model who graced billboards and was as sought after as any Hollywood star. Both of them were French
, sizzling sexy,
and they liked to fight in their native language, effectively cutting off eavesdropping.
“He left off the
I smiled at Creole.
Creole and Didier glared at Jax, so I knew he
d been a pain in the ass. “Why is he tied to the chair?”
re both dicks,”
snapped, tossing his head in their direction.