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Temptation's Song

Cover of Temptation's Song

Temptation's Song

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Elle Jones is living her dream. She's come to Italy on vacation, but when she learns legendary composer Dominic Corelli is holding open auditions for his next opera, she jumps at the chance to perform for him. Not only does the driven musician cast her as the lead in his latest opus, he arouses desire like nothing Elle has ever known. Elle knows she's playing with fire, but how can she resist Dominic's haunting melody of seduction?

Elle doesn't act like any diva Dominic's ever known. Music may be his mistress, but he's sinfully tempted by the voluptuous beauty with the voice of an angel. Will each of them end up singing a solo of unfulfilled yearning? Or, together, can they make the sweet, soul-stirring music that comes straight from the heart?



Elle Jones is living her dream. She's come to Italy on vacation, but when she learns legendary composer Dominic Corelli is holding open auditions for his next opera, she jumps at the chance to perform for him. Not only does the driven musician cast her as the lead in his latest opus, he arouses desire like nothing Elle has ever known. Elle knows she's playing with fire, but how can she resist Dominic's haunting melody of seduction?

Elle doesn't act like any diva Dominic's ever known. Music may be his mistress, but he's sinfully tempted by the voluptuous beauty with the voice of an angel. Will each of them end up singing a solo of unfulfilled yearning? Or, together, can they make the sweet, soul-stirring music that comes straight from the heart?

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    Dominic Corelli sat in a balcony box at Teatro alla Scala, brooding. The room was dark, as he had requested. No one in the theater could see him, but he could hear and, when he stood, see everything going on below.

    The opera house in Milan, Italy, had undergone several renovations since its opening in 1778 and today was one of the world's most famous theaters. Maybe, Dominic thought, his mind roaming because the singer auditioning for him was performing badly, the architects were too good. Thanks to the wonderful acoustics in the auditorium he could hear every off-key note she was warbling.

    "Grazie!" he exclaimed, denoting he'd heard enough.

    The mezzo-soprano onstage, a petite Italian woman in her midthirties, realizing her time was up, abruptly stopped singing and smiled in the direction of his voice. "Grazie, Maestro," she said before exiting the stage.

    Because her voice had not been up to par, Dominic didn't rise from his seat to get a glimpse of her. When auditioning singers, he preferred them to sing a cappella, and to be hidden from his view. To him the voice was everything. Lately the opera world was becoming as shallow as other forms of theater by showing favoritism to physically attractive performers. He remained true to the art form by hiring gifted singers rather than those who were easy on the eyes but possessed mediocre talent.

    True, the role these singers were auditioning for was that of Adama, a woman who was so desirable that she could tempt Satan himself to give up his throne in hell for her. But in the story the devil had first been drawn to her singing, so Dominic was looking for a singer with a truly remarkable voice.

    Yet, after three days of auditioning every mezzo-soprano in Europe, it seemed, Dominic hadn't heard that voice.

    His cell phone rang. Seeing that the caller was Roberto Ribisi, a La Scala employee who was assisting him during the auditions, he answered, "Roberto?"

    "It's nearly lunchtime. Do you want to break now, and continue at one-thirty?"

    "How many more have we to go?" Dominic asked.

    "Seven," Roberto replied with a tired sigh.

    Dominic smiled. He did not envy Roberto the job of keeping a bevy of sopranos happy. Opera singers weren't called divas for nothing. They could be very demanding. Plus, poor Roberto was easily smitten by a pretty face. He imagined the women were trying to twist him around their fingers, hoping for a choice spot in the lineup to go onstage. In actuality, there was no choice spot. Dominic treated them all equally.

    He was casting roles for his third opera, Temptation. He had worked with several of the women auditioning for the role of Adama. Still, he had no favorites. The moment the woman who deserved the role began to sing for him, he would recognize her.

    He didn't care if she was an established singer or a newcomer. All that mattered was that the purity of his composition be maintained. And for that to happen, he needed someone who was fresh, passionate and had the voice of an angel.

    "Let's just get this over with," Dominic decided, not believing they would find whom they were looking for today. "Then I can go home and drown my sorrows in a good bottle of Chianti."

    "Very well," said Roberto resignedly.

    They rang off, and Dominic heard Roberto ask the next singer to take the stage.

    Dominic settled back in his chair in the dark to listen. He closed his eyes and said a silent prayer that this would soon be over.

    Three singers later, his prayers were answered. He leaned forward, rapt, his heart beating excitedly. Her voice was pure...

About the Author-
  • Janice Sims once wanted to become a nurse until she witnessed the results of an autopsy while participating in a student career day program at her high school. Totally grossed out, from that point on she knew nursing was not the field for her! Luckily, from the age of seven, she had been hooked on writing. She decided to major in journalism instead. She's glad she did because, today, she's the author of thirteen novels and has contributed to six anthologies.

    She's known for writing stories that are humorous, touching and that explore the dynamics of close familial ties. Putting African-American characters in unusual settings is her forte. In her novel, A Bittersweet Love, the hero and heroine met in Ireland of all places! And in For Keeps, the setting was Montana. Even more than unusual settings, Janice enjoys exploring occupations that appeal to her. In Out of the Blue, her heroine, Gaea Maxwell, was a marine biologist who happened to be half-alien. Out of the Blue was the first African-American sci-fi romance. Years later, she wrote a second African-American sci-fi romance, Desert Heat. It went on to win the prestigious Emma Award for Best Heroine in 2004.

    If asked to describe her characters, she would say that they are all too human. They are flawed and make mistakes that they regret, and they try to make up for them the best way that they can. Sometimes they succeed, and sometimes they fail. But, no matter what, they don't give up. Perseverance is a quality she admires. If not for hanging in there and continuing to send her stories to publishers, she would not be a published author.

    She lives in Central Florida with her husband of twenty-five years, Curtis. Love and laughter is a part of their everyday life, because what is life without love and laughter?

    You can contact Janice by writing to her at Jani569432@aol.com or by visiting her web site at http://www.janicesims.com and leaving a message for her. She promises to personally reply to every message.

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