Publication Date: FEBRUARY 15, 2021


Phantom of the Opera meets Beauty and the Beast in this gothic-inspired dark fantasy romance.

A haunted tower, a mysterious instructor, and the lure of the music of the night…

After the death of her father, Aria is left penniless and destitute. To avoid working the streets, she becomes the ward of a Count and moves to a remote town called High Tower.

High Tower is a gloomy place with one vivid attraction: the theater. Lords and ladies come from afar to be seduced by a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Many are warned to stay away from High Tower’s dangerous enchantments, but it’s a warning Aria is forced to ignore. Determined to take her life back into her hands, she and the Count make a deal. She can avoid an arranged marriage if she learns to sing for him.

When Aria stumbles across a mysterious man in a dark tower, she begs to learn the power of song from him. Although reluctant, the man agrees to teach her the music of the night. Between midnight meetings and emotional singing lessons, Aria falls in love with her alluring instructor despite his shadowy past.

But something deadly stirs, awoken by the desire of its master.

Evening reveries become haunted with terror, blood, and murder. Rumors claim the man in the tower is behind the madness that haunts High Tower, a truth Aria is loath to believe. For she just gained the desire of her heart.

What she doesn’t know is that her haunted instructor intends to use her for his own purposes…


Rating: 5/5

I don’t think my review can do this book justice because this book was phenomenal. From the beginning until the end, it kept me intrigued. My attention never stray from whatever is happening in this book. This is a very quick read since the length of the book isn’t too long. It was quite short and simple but it extremely captured my attention.

This is an adult steamy fantasy romance story in a gothic setting featuring a bigger mystery that has yet to be solved which include ancient curses. Also, this is a dark retelling of the Phantom of the Opera. Honestly, I never read a single retelling of this well-known classic tale before so this book is the first. Surprisingly, I enjoyed it way too much because it was really good. And, bonus point given to the steamy scenes. Give me all the steam!

This is a story of a young woman named Aria who wanted to learn how to sing in order to free herself from a highly respected Count of High Tower. Her strong passion for singing brought her to the mysterious man who’d been playing music with a haunting melody every evening. The more time she practiced with the man, the more their feelings for each other started to grow and the more the threat becomes bigger.

The whole situation was nerve-wracking. I knew what was going to happen since it was really obvious how the story will go. I’ve seen it too many times in other books before so I was prepared. Still, I was nervous and also scared for Aria and the man’s safety. The whole time I was like, “please don’t get caught” but deep down I knew the Count would find out about Aria and the man’s secret practice eventually.

There was a darker mystery going on in the story and I was really invested in uncovering it and diving deeper into the investigation of an old murder case. For a second there, I liked being a detective and just trying to figure out what was going on in High Tower. The place was eerie enough to scare me. The whole setting was really gloomy, it set a dark tone for the story. This book is basically horror without ghosts and spirits. The murder that has been going on put me on edge the whole time. Add to that, a mysterious man living all alone in a dark tower and hiding in the shadows…This could be a perfect horror story but it wasn’t.

Also, the story had a big surprise actually shocked me. I didn’t see it coming at all. Who would’ve thought that twist about the monster. I was shocked about finding out what type of monster it was and its origin. I got goosebumps after finding out the truth. That was the best jaw-dropping moment for me. I sort of predicted it but halfway through I thought to myself, “nah, I don’t think so.” Nonetheless, it was still a great surprise.

There are some beautiful magical scenes in the book and so does an intense fight scene in the end. Both of it showed the true power of music and that music is another form of magic. I can’t really explain why but somehow when Aria and the man did a duet while battling the monster, the song that came to my mind was O Fortuna. Overall, the magic and action scenes are both written so well. It was really epic, and the aftermath of the battle still felt so surreal. I couldn’t believe the two of them had the power to annihilate not only the monster but also the whole building of the theater.

I liked how smooth the storyline is written and how well-plotted the whole thing was. And the pacing wasn’t slow either so that made the story really interesting to me. Everything was solid and on point. It still amazed me how phenomenal this book is. I never read a single book written by Angela before and after reading this, I checked out her other works and already planning to read some of it. She is a really good and talented author.

Now let’s talk about the characters…

Aria is the female lead/protagonist and well…she’s a woman of many talents. She can dance and also sing even though she’d struggled a lot when it comes to singing. She felt discouraged in the beginning but her determination pushed her to try harder until she got it right which she did by practicing a lot. Thanks to the mysterious man in the dark tower for teaching her.

Aria had a great life before she lost everything and everyone she loved. Her past may be tragic but at least her present is good and she gets to control her own destiny. One thing I liked about her is how fast her mind captured the informations she received from others, and it was what drive her to investigate the murder case in the first place. She was quick not only at thinking but also at putting the pieces together in order to get the answer she seeks. She wasn’t afraid but instead she was being brave even though the terrifying situations are frightening.

Aria may not be as extraordinary as those female characters in other books who have many powerful magical abilities and also happens to be skilled fighters, but at least she have a great voice that is powerful enough to destroy her enemies. She’s both unique and powerful in her own way, and I find her to be so likable. There wasn’t a single bad trait about her at all so it was easy liking her character.

On the other hand, we have Uriah, the man surrounded by mystery. He gave very a strong mysterious and intimidating aura. He mostly hide in the shadows of his own tower and has been living all alone by himself. It was kind of creepy if you really think about it but not really. Don’t let his mysterious aura fool you, deep down he is a soft man with a kind heart who pushed people away to protect his heart. The more I get to know about his character, the more I see a genuinely kind man in him. It was sad that he was all alone by himself, and how he was wary to teach lucky women who came to him for singing lessons. He knew the price he had to pay for teaching them, and how bad the outcome was, yet he never stop.

There’s more to him than just a lonely man who mastered the music and the genius behind the beautiful musical pieces. The history of his past proved that he wasn’t the villain like most people in the story claimed. I was really suspicious of him at first, like I couldn’t bring myself to trust him but then his past showed how much he’d suffered and how he ended up in High Tower and was trapped there until he can find a way to break the curse that bound him to that place. I liked learning more about him and getting those bits about his past. He really intrigued me and I was really happy to know he wasn’t a bad guy or the villain at all.

Lastly, Count Zorik. I hated this character ever since he appeared. He came off as really creepy and the way he was addressing Aria made me uncomfortable. He was trying to claim her which sets off the huge warning bell in my head. His aggressiveness when he was angry at her after finding out who taught her to sing, that was really scary and it just confirmed that he wasn’t a good man at all which brought me to the whole terrifying situations that occurred in the theater because there must be someone behind the sudden attacks, and he has been suspicious ever since the first one. It was a really good and shocking surprise finding out the truth about him, what he has been hiding the whole time, and how his past is connected to Uriah’s past. I should’ve put two and two together but the story didn’t make it that obvious when it comes to these two. That was really brilliant.

As for the romance between Uriah and Aria. Well well well…it was really romantic and really steamy. Strangers-to-lovers? Check. Student-teacher romance? Check. Slow burn? Check. Fated lovers? Check. To see my favorite tropes are present in this book made me feel giddy. There was a heavy sexual tension whenever both of them are standing in the same room together. No wonder the steamy scenes are so good and also why I wasn’t surprise they will eventually get all romantic with each other. I’ve seen it coming from miles away but I have to wait for the moment to happen since the slow burn was too extreme, and when it happens you know it’ll be epic.

I liked how both of them didn’t jump straight into a relationship. It took them time since they are still new to each other and they are slowly getting to know one another better, but the wait was worth it. Their romance was epic, beautiful, and really sweet. The way Aria cares about Uriah and didn’t want to leave him behind all alone by himself, and the way he cares about her and always play a tune to protect her from the monster since his music is the only thing that keep the monster away…that was truly an “aww, my heart” moments. Their chemistry are off the charts, it was one of the best and they both shared a powerful connection. I loved their relationship so much. Two well-written characters get together romantically and bring balance to their relationship? So much yes for this!

Overall, it was a well-crafted and fascinating story. Uriah and Aria’s journey began and ended in a good but huge way. I enjoyed reading their story and following them from the start until the end of the book. Seeing how it all started to seeing how good the ending was, I got a bit emotional. I will miss these two precious characters for sure but I also know that I’ll be revisiting their story in the near future. Thanks to Angela for creating this enchanting story and introducing these lovable characters to the book world, she really is a talented author who can easily captured a reader’s attention just by writing this simple and yet epic story. I highly recommend this standalone story to those who are looking for a quick dark steamy fantasy book to read. Yes it is part of a series but it can be read as a standalone.


Angela J. Ford is a bestselling epic fantasy author who has sold over 30,000 copies and has had over 10 million page reads in Kindle Unlimited. Her books have been ranked bestsellers in multiple categories. She enjoys traveling, hiking, and playing World of Warcraft with her husband. First and foremost, Angela is a reader and can often be found with her nose in a book.

Aside from writing she enjoys the challenge of working with marketing technology and builds websites for authors.

Angela is passionate about helping indie authors succeed and runs a community and podcast called Indie Author Lifestyle.

If you happen to be in Nashville, you’ll most likely find her at a local coffee shop, enjoying a white chocolate mocha and furiously working on her next book.




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