I really enjoyed this romance by Sharon Cathcart. For all you Phantom of the Opera fans (or Gerard Butler fans-I heard his voice when I was reading Erik's lines), you'll have a blast with it. The story takes place at the turn of the century at the Paris opera house (yes that opera house).
The heroine is Claire, of age, but orphaned and living at the whim of her cousin (a very convincingly written jerk that you want to slap silly the first time he shows up on stage...he's that nasty) because of her gender. Her father and fiancé are dead, and thanks to the law, she can't own property or have money on her own. She makes her living as an an equestrienne (I particularly loved all of the descriptions of the horses she rides and cares for - and seriously want to ride the Percheron), performing on stage with her horses. Enter Erik, the Phantom, depressed after losing that other girl. Who better to manage that depression?
The relationship between Claire and Erik is everything you want in a romance novel, stormy, racy (not for teens, this one), and passionate, with all the right twists and turns. Definitely a good romp with the added depth of introducing romance with someone disfigured...not often you see that pulled off without it being sappy or gross. The fact that John Merrick made a cameo appearance was an added bonus. All in all a very good read and I totally recommend it to romance readers!
Many thanks to reader Penelope Dreadfulle for her kind words!