Saturday, July 23, 2011

Book Review: Unmasqued, An Erotic Novel Of The Phantom Of The Opera by Colette Gale

Source: Purchased
Format:  Paperback
Released:  August 7th 2007
Published by: NAL Trade
Page Count is 352 pages
 
One of the world's most beloved stories as it has never been told before, Unmasqued is a novel of breathtaking historical erotica.

His exquisite obsession...
Christine Daaé heard rumors of the hideous Phantom said to haunt the great Opera House in 19th-century Paris. But its youngest and brightest star knows something no one else does-the truth. For in the darkness she thrills to the deep velvet timbre of his arousing voice, and quivers to the soft strokes of his leather-gloved fingers. He is real. Her inspiration. Her Ange de Musique. Her liberator.

Her erotic awakening...
Condemned to the catacombs below, Erik has desired his obsession from the shadows, careful to keep his identity, and his secret, in the dark. Only he understands Christine's extraordinary talents and her beauty. Only he can pleasure her like no man has before. But his sensual power comes with a price-and a risk to everyone who stands between them. For Christine too is succumbing to her most forbidden and dangerous desires-and to the Phantom who's making them all come true.
  (Description from goodreads.com)


Unmasqued is an erotic novel re-telling the tale of the Phantom of the Opera with Erik, the opera house phantom, being the misunderstood and sometimes villainous hero.  The story follows Erik lurking in the shadows as Raoul, the Vicomte, attempts to court the beautiful Christine.  This worries and angers Erik, because Christine's talent not only attracts Raoul, but his elder brother Philippe, the Comte, as well.

I have never read a novel with a serious BDSM motif before.  The sexual control and dominating nature of the characters is very different from what I'm use to reading.  It was exciting at times and others it was a little terrifying.  Erik's character controlled Christine, it seems, out of self preservation more then anything.  He was to afraid to let Christine see the hideous half of his face, so controlling her sexually allowed him to be with her and remain in control.  Christine definitely shows that she was more then happy to oblige her strict tutor in more then singing lessons, because even though Erik tied her up, pleasured her, and essentially forced himself on her, he never really forced anything.  It's difficult to describe their relationship in the beginning.

Phillippe was a whole new character, no, monster I think is more accurate.  His twisted sexual desires went farther then I what I was comfortable reading the first time around.  There were moments where I was generally appalled at Phillippe's dark, twisted behavior to where I had to put the book down.  The last three quarters of the novel were like this.  Thank God there was a happy ending or I would have given Unmasqued a drastically lower grade.

I have never read the original Phantom of the Opera, or seen the musical film adaptation.  From other reviews I have read, this book is greatly similar to the musical version.  I've seen both good and bad critiques because of this.  Many people were irritated that this wasn't historically accurate, others were excited by the romantic change up.  For me, the whole point of a re-telling is to entertain and that is exactly what Unmasqued did for me.  I was entertained.  I was also shocked.  So much of this book was new territory for me and I think that is what I enjoyed most about it.  I'm curious to see about what other twisted re-tellings Ms. Gale has in the works.

8 comments:

  1. You're braver than I am Kelsa! Well, first off, my blog rating doesn't allow me to review these kinds of books. Whew! But, I think I'd have to work myself up to BDSM. Is there a way to do that instead of jumping right in? Actually, I'm not sure I know what all the letters stand for! LOL Can you tell how old and how married I am?

    I think you did a great job reviewing the book. If anyone could review a book like this it's you. You did an excellently job of covering the story and not going into too much detail! Not an easy book to review without getting graphic, I'm sure.

    My hat is off to you!

    Heather

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  2. Thank you Heather! *Preens self* You're stroking my ego a great deal. ^^

    Hmmm...I don't know if you can jump "slowly" into reading about BDSM. It's kinda there, and you either get into it or you don't I guess. :/

    I'm not a big reader of extreme sexually charged novels, (with the exception of the lovely black dagger brotherhood men *swoon*) so I guess I would say start with J.R. Ward's stuff and then dive head first? That's what I did and I wasn't scarred (much) Laughs!




    Side note: BDSM is a continuum of erotic practice and expression involving the consensual use of restraint, intense sensory stimulation, and fantasy power role-play. The compound acronym, BDSM, is derived from the terms bondage and discipline (B&D or B/D), dominance and submission (D&S or D/s), and sadism and masochism (S&M or S/M).

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  3. Wow. I didn't know what BDSM stood for either. Also, this is an awesome review!!! Where have you been all my life??

    I feel like I would be afraid to read this book but now I'm seriously curious! I haven't ventured into the Erotica realm but now would be a great time to start!!! ;)

    xo,
    Lah @ LazyGirl Reads

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  4. Lah,

    I freaking love you, girl! *tears of joy* I'm so glad you liked this review! I've been so scared to review Unmasqued for a while now. I've had this for the past, what, two years, I think? Haha! Thank you!

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  5. I'm a huge phantom of the opera fan - read it in the original french as well, and I must say that this is intriguing...

    It actually sounds... incredibly sexy! And, well, I do know what BDSM stands for. ;-) So definitely buying it now.

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  6. K. Syrah,

    It's very sexy! Trust me on that one. There's a reason I've read it over five times. ;) I have my favorite passages bookmarked even! Haha!

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  7. Exciting and terrifying is a perfect way to describe a good BDSM story. Too bad they are hard to come by, that is exactly why this review has sold me on buying the book. I only wish it was available on Kindle, though the cover isn't too racy. LOL

    Excellent, and really helpful review, Kelsa. I'm so eage to read this book!

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  8. Missie, When I first bought this book, I loved it so much that I didn't care about being embarrassed about the cover to much. Then again, even with the slightly racy cover, my fellow seniors in high school still didn't get it. -_-; Only my teachers would really want to know what I was reading everyday and they found it kind of impressive that I was reading something like that. Haha!

    I'm so glad this review has you sold! Because I loved this book so much I really want to get the other books that Ms. Gale has written. They're suppose to be, from what I've seen, BDSM and romance related, also.

    Enjoy it Missie! =D

    ReplyDelete

I love comments and enjoy reading them so don't be shy! You know you want to. ;) I do my best to respond to everyone's comments when I can. If your following me and I haven't returned the favor, let me know! Happy blogging!

~Kelsa

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