Facade: A Modern Romance Inspired by The Phantom of The OperaFacade: A Modern Romance Inspired by The Phantom of The Opera by Kim Carmichael
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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This novel was so much more than the blurb lead me to believe!
This is the story of a homeless girl Christine and a severely scarred reclusive Rock God, Erik.
Christine is street savy and determined to pay her way. Odd jobs and friends are what she relies on. She doesn’t want charity and she is wary of offers of something for nothing. When the band that she is singing back up for breaks into a theater to rehearse it changes her future. Although the band leaves the theater scared of a voice, she returns later looking for a warm place to stay the night. She snoops around and realizes that the theater is being remodeled and that there is someone there, not a ghost. She goes up on the stage and sings for a place to sleep. Which is utterly endearing and speaks to Erik who wishes to remain unaffected and safe in his exemption from the real world, but he doesn’t kick her out of his theater and enjoys her returns and her songs.
When the little cricket returns to his theater and sings and keeps returning Erik decides that he wants to help her win the competition he heard her and her bandmates discuss, the catch is just her, not the whole band. When she agrees to the deal he gives her ground rules.
Rule number 4 “you will not talk about this.” he motioned to his mask.” You will not ask me about it, nor will you try to remove it. Ever.”
While they go through the motions of coaching Christine for the show and also being in the competition, they become friends and start to care for one another.
All the while someone tries to sabotage Christine chances at winning, first by messing with her music then by drugging her, and Erik still hasn’t revealed himself or his past to her. Can she love the man under the mask? Will he be able to trust her with the real man, and not live in fear that she will run once he is revealed or when she no longer needs him?
A great twist of the classic Phantom of the Opera. Well written intelligent and intriguing. I definitely recommend this read!

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