The Phantom as you’ve never seen him before.
She saved him from death, but can he open her heart to love?
Dante Lucerne’s scars, and the mask he wears to hide them, have always kept him apart from others. When he’s suddenly transported from 1880s London to modern-day Florida, he finds himself surrounded by amazing technology and supportive friends—and living with a beautiful woman guarding a miraculous secret.
Rescuing Dante was the most daring thing Elsa Sinclair has ever done. But ever since she discovered that he was the man behind the legend of The Phantom of the Opera, she’s been obsessed with bringing him to her time and giving him a chance at a better life. Trouble is, she desperately wants that life to be with her.
Fighting her desire blinds her to a danger lurking in their midst—a danger Dante is determined to protect her from. When the threat causes Elsa’s powers to manifest in a new and unexpected way, she has to make a choice—will she protect her secrets or use her powers to save one of her dearest friends?
Main Content: Approximately 79,860 words, 361 (5.5 x 8.5) pages
“You are the second person to speak of this apparition. However, I am at a loss.” Dante had not questioned Garrett on the matter, hoping to avoid a topic that seemed quite uncomfortable for him.
“You’ve never heard of the Phantom of the Opera?” Rachel smiled and lifted one slender shoulder toward her head, inclining it as she gazed at him. “I get it. You’re a method actor. Since you’re supposed to be the Phantom, you wouldn’t know about the character.”
“I am afraid I do not follow your meaning.”
“Sure.” Rachel nodded in an exaggerated manner. “Is Dante your real name or a stage name?”
“It is the name my mother gave me.”
The way the woman gawked at him and her coquettish gestures reminded Dante of the actresses in Heinrich’s theatre. He would not serve himself up for her amusement.
“It’s a great name.” Rachel turned to Elsa. “You should totally use that in your book.”
“You are a writer, then?” Dante angled his face so that only his mask was toward Elsa, hoping to hide his expression until he had gained better mastery over his emotions. Rachel was Elsa’s friend, and Dante did not want Elsa to think him impolite.
“I was going to tell you,” she said.
Rachel interjected once more. “I can’t wait to read that book! Especially with you going all out and hiring someone to play the part of the Phantom in your house!”
Playing a part. Was this why Elsa had chosen him to be her companion? Was she truly writing a book about him? His life did not seem interesting enough to warrant such attention. Dread mingled with curiosity within him.
“Perhaps you could assist me with my role.”
“Sure!” Rachel said.
He sat next to Elsa. “Tell me of this Phantom, as if I knew nothing at all.”
“Oh how fun!” Rachel clapped her hands together. “Well, the original story was written like over a hundred years ago, but a ton of other versions have come out since then. Basically, the Phantom is this mad genius who runs around in catacombs or something under an opera house in Paris. He only surfaces to create his music, but he mostly winds up killing people.”
“I beg your pardon?” Dante was uncertain if he had heard her correctly. Aside from his living in the basement of Heinrich’s theatre, there was nothing in what she said that bore the slightest resemblance to Dante’s life, for which he was extremely grateful.
“He’s really good at inventions,” she said. “He makes all kinds of traps and stuff and uses them to kill anyone who gets in his way.”
Dante’s heart sank as Rachel’s story took on a familiar note. Giselle had seemed to delight in spinning tales about him. She painted him as a deformed monster that lurked in the basement of the theatre, coveting her and using the mechanisms he designed for the theatre’s productions to ill effect.
“So,” Dante said. “He is a villain.”
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Notice a different look for the covers on some of these pages? That’s because Wandering Soul was originally released through my dear first traditional publisher, Samhain Publishing, Ltd. I believe you can still find print versions of the Samhain editions in the wild. The story itself is the same in both versions <3
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