The Stars That Tremble
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Giovanni Boca was destined to go down in history as an opera legend until a vocal chord injury abruptly ended his career. Now he teaches voice lessons at a prestigious New York City music school. During auditions for his summer opera workshop, he finds his protégé in fourteen-year-old Emma McPhee. Just as intriguing to Gio is Emma's father Mike, a blue-collar guy who runs a business renovating the kitchens and bathrooms of New York's elite to finance his daughter's dream.
Mike’s partner was killed when Emma was a toddler, and Gio mourns the beautiful voice he will never have again, so coping with loss is something they have in common. Their initial physical attraction quickly grows to something more as each hopes to fill the gap that loss and grief has left in his life. Although Mike wonders if he can truly fit into Gio's upperclass world, their bond grows stronger. Then, trouble strikes from outside when the machinations of an unscrupulous stage mother threaten to tear Gio and Mike apart―and ruin Emma's bright future.
him can’t influence anything. And you are two consenting adults. I don’t see the problem.” Mike was surprised. He stared at Sandy. “That was shockingly logical. Are you sure you’re not the one who got abducted?” “You want to go out. You want to get to know this guy. Kill two birds with one stone. Or don’t, but stop whining to me about the situation.” Sandy pointed to the coffee shop on the corner. “Buy me a cuppa joe.” “It’s not enough that I pay your salary?” “Nope.” Sandy grinned. “I want a
usually have to work with the existing wiring and piping too, especially in those old buildings, because the Landmarks Preservation people get their panties in a wad if you try to change anything. But I like the design work. I find it really challenging.” Gio reached over and smoothed Mike’s hair back. “You’re an artist.” “Hardly. I help clients choose which shade of granite to use for their countertops.” “You are far too modest.” Gio smiled. “You dance like you have music in your blood and
in his body, he’d resigned himself to his fate. “Really, it’s nothing. You know more about loss than I ever will.” Until meeting Mike, Gio had thought the loss of his voice was the greatest tragedy to ever descend on his universe, but Mike’s losses had been far more traumatic. “You humble me, you know that?” “How so?” “I was an arrogant fool for a long time. I thought my voice was my ticket to everything I wanted in life. Money. Fame. Even sex. And then suddenly, I felt like I had nothing. But
It was a terrifying step forward. It was exciting, too. Mike followed Gio back to his place after dinner. He still felt a little shaky and uncertain as Gio paced around his living room, putting things away and keeping his hands busy. “Gio,” Mike said. It was soft, just a breath of the man’s name in an attempt to get his attention, but Gio moved quickly and soon Mike found himself face-to-face with the object of his desire and affection. Something fluttered in his chest as he gazed at Gio, and
the toddler, the girl. He was enormously proud of her. Laughton smiled. “There are cookies and juice back in the classroom where you were waiting. Help yourself.” He patted Mike on the shoulder and then went into the audition studio. Mike escorted Emma back down the hall. “So how does it feel to be the singer everyone is talking about?” he asked. “It’s not like that.” Mike chuckled. Then his phone buzzed in his pocket, so he checked it. It was a text from Gio: Tell the little songbird she is