I have to say, Michelle Rodriguez writes the swooniest Phantom and Christine stories! As you can see, the Recommender has been very busy doing other things than reading and reviewing, alas, (big garden/illustration jobs) but I had to get this review finished, for part 1 of this two novella collection, because I couldn't put it down! Rib-Caged Hearts revisits that moment when Erik gives up Christine to his rival for her affections, the worlds most famous Vicomte, Raoul de Chagny. This is staged in a way quite differently from most takes on this love triangle, and Ms. Rodriguez creates a heartbreaking moment and one you'll have to read to understand the emotional fall-out a selfless act can generate. Erik wanted to be loved for himself, and it looks like this is something that might actually happen. Christine is on the brink of becoming his, or so it seemed. Then, a shadow from his past appears. Someone who knows Erik's darker side and has watched, enviously, as the Opera Ghost ruled over the Paris Opera House. Someone who reminded Erik that he was a monster, unworthy of love. Damian, a gypsy magician who aided Erik's escape from his caged humiliation and has now tracked him to his lair with a proposal. One Erik seems ready to accept. Can it be the end of Erik and Christine's love story? You will have to get a copy of this collection and see for yourself. The Recommender will review the second story as time allows!
*A fun note: This past August I attended the fabulous PhantomCon in Richmond, VA. and got to spend time with the talented and lovely author, Michelle, and her talented and adorable cover photographer, Jessica Elizabeth. I also got to meet Elaina, the beautiful cover Christine on several of Michelle's books. It's not every day you meet a book cover girl and Jessica's covers capture the spirit of Michelle's words perfectly. See the image above.