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Angel Hands Kindle Edition
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The main criticism I have for it is the forward and the epilogue. The forward is written as a letter from Erik himself, and although I loved this writing strategy and found it to be an extremely effective hook on the part of the author, it doesn't make sense in that the novel takes place around 1869 and Erik is writing the forward sometime after the Andrew Lloyd Webber version of his story was produced- which would make Erik at least 140
years old. I also feel the epilogue could be improved upon. In my opinion this was the weakest part of the novel and I think it would have been much stronger to use the same writing strategy and have it written by Erik himself.
I would like to stress, however, that these criticisms didn't stop me in the least from enjoying this novel. The author did a lot of nice things in giving a new voice to an often told tale and I heartily recommend this book to other Phans.
So what is it about? Angel Hands is a fan fiction romance story based on Le Fantôme de l'Opéra. The author, Cait Reynolds, started the story where French writer Gaston Leroux's story ended. Life is dull and not challenging for him until Mireille Dubienne, daughter of the new owner of the opera, enters the picture. She's a spinster and a very demanding manager. She also faces gender discrimination and sexual harrasment from men around her who despise the fact that her father gave her accounting and managing responsibilities of the Opéra of Paris. Something Mr. Dubienne (her father)'s reputation could take a hit for. Mireille pretty much overlooks everything about the opera when Erik, le fantôme starts meddling with her production but quickly realizes that he's met his match. The two have mixed anticlimactic encounters before ... well that's where you buy the book to read and find out the rest *laughs* .
I loved the sprinkles of French Expressions throughout the book I haven't heard in a long time. I would have loved to see "Vas te fair foutre" for instance instead of "Go f***k yourself" but hey these are details. The story was still great.
I enjoy reading fan fiction because when we read some stories stay with us and we would like an alternative ending. Especially if the villain doesn't get his happy ending. For me, everyone deserves a chance and thank God for fantasy writing.
Cait Reynolds is a brilliant fantasy romance writer. The only thing that bugged me in my Kindle version was the asterisks that weren't centered. Not sure it was done intentionally. Otherwise, the story was flawless in my opinion and was very realistic. I'm looking forward to see what she does with her character Pierre Buprès. He was a very interesting personage!
Okay, maybe I need to use more than one word, but I think for integrity sake, I should first mention that I do not typically volunteer to read romance novels. Nothing against them, they are truly a literary art form, but just not my personal preference. With that said, I have read and enjoyed this author’s work in the past, and so I was open to the experience. However, Angel Hands by Cait Reynolds destroyed, -smashed, stomped on my ‘I never read romance’ and turned it into ‘I just read a fabulous, steamy romance novel that I would highly recommend!’
From page one I was hooked. The author opens with A Note from the Opera Ghost, a POV I enjoyed immensely, providing the reader a delicious glimpse into the mindset, personality, and diabolical workings of one of the main characters. With a delightful historical twist, dialog that entices and entertains, along with characters that your mind can envision easily, the stage was set. The curtains were drawn, and the Ballet de Amor commenced.
The story takes place in the Opera de Paris. Mireille Dubienne, a “pushy, sour-faced, and unfortunately educated spinster of twenty-seven” no longer wants a man in her life. Not after she had been so deeply hurt, discarded and replaced. Her heart became reduced to a block of ice while she steadfastly battled to stand firm against the world that casually devalues women who make it know they can and will think for themselves.
Left for spinsterhood, the overly competent Mireille repeatedly finds herself in the position of defending her rare –interdependence, granted by a generous father. Nevertheless, even he wishes his daughter would eventually acquiesce. Agree to be married off and although her bidders do little to entice the heart, they did offer a roof and a secure future. As appalling as that thought was, reality quickly set in when Mireille’s life took a sharp heart-wrenching turn. Forcing her to come to an unwelcomed decision, -and to secure a future from a pool of undesirable proposals, until…
Angel Hands, in my humble opinion, is more than just about romance, but an actual love story. Wedged powerfully between the hearts of two broken people a love and friendship bloomed. Initially, Mireille and her Ghost were sadly willing to settle for mere companionship, believing that neither was deserving of true commitment and a love that goes beyond the physical and nurtures the emotional ties, which endure.
But here’s why I think this book drew me in. Reynolds selected a period, the early 1900s when women were legally tethered to their husbands. Culturally objectified, bartered in and out of marriages, and considered mere appendages to be used as tools to satisfy male dominance. This author didn’t shy away from exposing this feature, but at the same time, made a clear distinction between callous misogynistic objectification and cruel male-dominated manipulation against sexual-romantic foreplay, and there is a distinction.
I’m glad the author also didn’t shy away from showing how her strong female character was still emotionally vulnerable. Nursing a hurt that almost allowed her to define all future choices based on societies uncompromising attitudes towards women’s roles. Even when Mireille made her final choice, the kindness, and generosity bestowed by her selected suitor was granted as a gift, -as opposed to her right as a human being. This too is a distinction and one that is unfortunately played out until today.
Grab a hot beverage of your choice, nestle yourself under the covers, and allow yourself to be momentarily transported back in time, to the richness and sophistication of the Opera House de Paris, where the Phantom lurks, waiting to steal many a reader’s hearts.