Title: In the Eye of the Beholder :
A Novel of the Phantom of the Opera
Author: Sharon E Cathcart
Series: Phantom Series, #1
Format: PDF e-book, 121 pages
List Price: $5.00US
Reviewed: July 24, 2009
Rating: 4 stars (4.3)
Warnings: Explicit sexual content
Synopsis: Erik, the physically deformed hero finds a home, a place to belong and be accepted, in the heroine, Claire. She has a fondness for animals, for seeming lost causes. In Erik, she finds the love she thought she'd lost. Together, they escape the personal hells in which they'd been mired.
My two cents: This is a very well-written book. It is also fast-paced. I felt a little swept away and once I started reading, it was hard to stop. (Life, however, would insist otherwise.)
Claire is different than your average romance heroine. She is over thirty, never married, and under the control of a man who does not have her best interests at heart. She rebels against the “proper” behavior expected of her.
Erik is a man who has few friends and lives most of his life in solitude. His fascination with Claire helps heal the wounds caused by the fickle Christine. He is not the nicest man, however, and at times downright nasty.
These two characters could not be any more right for each other and while their coming together felt a little rushed to me, it still seemed right.
I liked Ms Cathcart's take on the classic Phantom story. It was a little more graphic (read: erotic) than I personally care for, but there was story and emotion enough that I enjoyed it even while skipping those scenes. The historical detail is excellent without being “textbook-y” and allows the reader to feel a part of the time period. Do not expect this to be your typical run-of-the-mill romance, however. The end is not expected but somehow, it's still acceptable.
Overall: 4.3 stars. Quick and deep with believable characters who have believable issues.