He taught her how to walk outside the line. She taught him how to leave the past behind. In the end, fate brought them both together.
Six months ago, Erin Angelo was hired by Alek Dostov, the charismatic Maestro who hired her design firm, the same man who healed the wounds of her tragic past.
In the highly anticipated, reader requested sequel to THE PRELUDE, Alek and Erin are preparing to embrace their new life and love for music while nurturing Erin’s blossoming singing career. But when a mysterious figure from Erin’s past walks back into her life, Alek and Erin’s belief that their love will conquer everything is put to the test. As Alek continues to struggle with the ghosts of his past and recent family troubles, Erin finds a way to reconnect with her fiancée. The couple set out on a tour of Italy, taking Alek’s music group to the next level.
But Alek’s mother, Katerina, has other plans in mind. She orders the tour manager to go along with them. Now, they will face new challenges while dealing with the pressures of their careers.
Passion, excitement, adventure, danger, and a Maestro that has more swagger than a rock star. THE CRESCENDO lifts you up to a high you won’t soon forget.
Excerpt #1 - Erin
As my Maestro steps toward me standing in the midst of his symphony, I find myself totally agreeing with Luca’s observation more. Alek strolls to my side, his black hair slicked back and his strange, hypnotic, brown-blue eyes directed straight into my dark brown ones.
He takes my right hand as he faces his symphony and I face the crowd, the front of our bodies turned in opposite directions but our faces less than a few inches apart, and then kisses my knuckles just before he leans over and brushes his lips across mine. It’s the slightest touch, yet there’s enough feeling inside it to waken every cell inside my body, making me fearless. The applause and shouting almost deafens me.
“You are a stunning little Jaybird,” he whispers in my ear where only the two of us can hear.
At once, the audience and the symphony behind me, along with the dancers hiding in the shadows over the lower stage, all disappear. My heart speeds up; not because I’m nervous, but because that’s how much love I feel inside my soul for this man—my heart, my lifeline. He is the anchor who weighs me down—not at the bottom of a sea, but the one who keeps me from floating away to be forever lost in a world of the mind that oftentimes snatches me away inside its clutches of sadness and heartache.
He moves back and brushes his lips across mine, the simple touch jolting awake every single nerve in my body; the same way he has done since the first time we made love seven months ago. Alek worked for my kiss, something I no longer wanted to do; and to this day, I can’t believe I made him wait so long before giving in to something so heavenly and divine. What would life have been like for me without experiencing something like this every day?
Boring. Well, yeah, that’s a given.
Numb. So many women fall into that trap.
Celibate. Uh... Don’t think so.
The crowd roars and it’s hard to believe this is supposed to be a cultured group. There’s something mystical about a man who can command the notes inside of a song this way, a magician of melody and harmonies and voices. Nikolai’s dancers dance along to the tune, caught up in a web of musical sex and wrapping the audience up in the clutches of the god all this centers around.
I love everything about him: his head of deliciously dark hair that won’t stay in place when he awakens each morning, his broad shoulders, his tapered waist, his smile and dangerously sexy brown eyes that have just the slightest bit of blue inside the irises. It’s official. I’m completely hooked, a woman who has promised herself she’d never allow herself to feel the sweet temptation of another man’s lips on hers let alone fall in love with him. Standing here with the Maestro, I cannot describe the way my heart flutters each time I glance at his handsome face and strong hands!
Oh, God, those holy hands of creation.
Could anything in this world be any more perfect than the way Alek Dostov can blast through choreographing a song, and then later on use those same hands to drive my body wild with desire, temptations and experiences of the mind I’ve never even dreamed possible?
Excerpt#2 - Alek
I stalk toward her, bend down and pull her body toward the edge of the bed so that I’m situated between her legs. Long, dark hair trails along the bed behind her, and together with her little black tank top dress, I can’t stop the hard on raging through me. Vanilla drifts into my nostrils, a scent she prefers and sometimes chooses to couple with an apple-scented perfume—a combination that drives me wild with lust and need for her; things that are hard to describe. Even though tension surrounds our marital plans, there’s not a damn thing strained about our sex life.
“This hotel makes the 300-year-old mansions back home in Louisiana look young and fresh,” Erin says, glancing around the room. She’s right. Venice reeks of history and ancient battles—things that my sister Adriana adores—but that is something that has always made life a little more challenging for me back in school; history. Nevertheless, I can still appreciate the Floating City’s eclectic beauty.
“The designer in me is going wild right now,” she continues, a dreamy expression on her face.
“So is the man who loves her,” I say, my gaze locked on Eric’s face. In return, I get a beaming smile, and then she bites down on the corner of her lower lip, her look mischievously wicked.
“I know that look, my horny Maestro.”
“Is that right? What is this look?” I ask while grinding my sex against the inside of her right thigh. Her pink lips part and just that tiny response from her sends me spiraling over the edge. I don’t think I can wait until we get back from our meeting with the Fenice’s owners tonight. I need Erin as much as I need a good bowl of Pelmeni, a popular pastry back home in Mother Russia that’s filled with meat.
“That is you misbehaving as usual,” she says, grinning.
I grasp her arms and pull her up against my chest. “Is that right? What do you intend to about my, er, behavior problem?”
“Hmm. Let me see. I’ll have to think of a really good punishment.” Lowering her mouth to my neck, she starts nibbling and kissing the exposed area on my chest, working her way up to the skin underneath my chin, teasing my lips with warm breath from in between hers. Then, finally, her lips land on that spot on the side of my neck, the skin over my jugular. The combined sensation of her hot breath and the way she sucks my skin shoots straight through my body.
“This is how we wind up not leaving the room,” I whisper against her ear, inhaling the scent of freshly washed hair.
“If we miss our appointment with Frederico,” she begins, easing her assault on my neck, moving back so she’s now perched on her knees at the edge of the bed and focusing on unfastening the belt on my trousers, “then more punishment will be necessary.”
“Don’t tempt me, Signorina Angelo,” I warn, slinking a hand through her dark hair and pulling it the slightest bit so she’s glancing up at me, her dark eyes contrasting with the pink of her lips. Images of that perfect mouth wrapped around my sex while those deliciously dark eyes glance into mine, reflecting all the love and loyalty I know she holds in her heart just for me, drive me wild with desire. “You might find I rather enjoy your punishment.”
“Noted, Sir Bad Boy Maestro.” She smiles, dips her head and takes all of me into her mouth, ripping all thoughts of negativity from within my head. Instead, I choose to lose myself—that deepest part of my soul I’ve never allowed anyone to own—inside the warm embrace of the woman I love.
Author of the Lost Immortals Saga and the Seraphine Trilogy, I'm also a mother, blogger, reader, gardener, home renovator, and a slayer of Egyptian mummies in Tomb Raider. I believe in karma, coffee, and seriously wish that the producers of Xena would bring my favorite show ever back.
I was born in the race-car city of Charlotte, NC, and now live in the City of Alchemy and Medicine, NC, when I'm not hanging out in Bardonia (Lost Immortals). Most of my characters are based on people that I've met throughout my travels and adventures. People tend to stop and start conversations with me as if I've known them my entire life. Does this freak me out? Not really. My mom says that one day I'll get kidnapped by one of them. I told her that if it weren't for these lovely people then I wouldn't be able to create the stories that I do.
I have many favorite authors but there are some who truly rock my socks: Octavia Butler, Anne Rice, Kami Garcia, J.K. Rowling, Dean Koontz (on his good-book days), Stephen King (same as DK) Ann Radcliffe, Mary Shelley, Elizabeth Kostova, and so many more...
Some other common tidbits...hmm. I've watched the movie Under the Tuscan Sun almost 200 times. Seriously, the way I see it is if I keep watching it enough, then suddenly the house that Diane Lane lives in will magically appear in my backyard. I know. I have a huge imagination!