Eight years ago, composer Arie De Voss claimed his late mentor’s final symphony as his own and became an icon. But fame has a price: fear of discovery now poisons his attempts to compose a redemptive masterpiece. Until a new muse appears, intoxicating and inspiring him…
Mathilda Heidel renounced her own musical gift to marry, seeking a quiet life to escape the shame surrounding her birth. Sudden widowhood finds her tempted by song once more. An unexpected introduction to her idol, Arie De Voss, renews Mathilda’s passion for the violin–and ignites a passion for the man himself.
But when lust and lies reach a crescendo, Arie will be forced to choose: love or truth?
Excerpt from Song of Seduction:
Mathilda fled Arie’s studio after their first sexual encounter. She’s terrified of becoming entangled in a scandal, while he’s only just learned why the fates of her parents and husband keep her emotionally distant.
Hours after waking, she stared at a book without comprehension. Ingrid sat beside her, casually gazing at a magazine Christoph had brought from his recent travels in the north. For weeks, Mathilda had behaved like the worst sort of confidant, denying a lifetime of friendship by keeping her secrets close. She refused to provide Ingrid an explanation as to her sudden decision not to attend additional music lessons, and she recognized her friend’s quiet hurt. Wednesdays came and went, yet Mathilda did not leave the manor. The unspoken argument rested heavily between them.
A footman knocked and presented Mathilda with an envelope. She accepted the letter, immediately recognizing the hand that had scrawled her name.
“From Herr De Voss?”
Ingrid’s happy enthusiasm broke her heart. She wanted to scream and rail, to make her understand that her optimism had no place.
“Oh do, Tilda. I know you want to.” She flipped another page. With an insincere lightness she said, “I promise not to watch your face for clues.”
Despite her crippling curiosity, Mathilda resisted the temptation. He had said he loved her. She had left without a word. What possible topic would compel him to write after weeks of silence?
“No, I shall wait. The maestro has nothing of importance to say to me.”
She cringed at the bitter sound of her lie. Most likely, he had a great deal to say, none of which would be complimentary.
“He probably wanted to remind you that today is Wednesday.” When Mathilda said nothing, Ingrid muttered, “Spite yourself.”
“What was that?”
“Suit yourself, dearest. Now, come have a look at this gown.”
In the afternoon quiet of her room, Mathilda opened the letter at last. Her imagination authored no small number of themes, from passionate declarations of longing to bitter, resentful diatribes against her callousness. After hours of speculation, two lines surprised her with their stark simplicity.
Come to the orchestra balcony of the Dom after Mass next Sunday. Kapellmeister Haydn wishes to meet you.
A blot of ink trailed the last sentence–a thought he had penned before attempting to obscure it. She shifted the paper into an angle of sunlight to examine the scribble more carefully.
He had written “please” before thinking better of the word.
Across the span of their acquaintance, a measure of months that had seen them progress from strangers to lovers and back, she had come to understand many of his traits. He was impetuous, diffident, inspired, passionate and even amusing. Now she could add proud to her mental catalog.
He refused to beg for her.
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