SERIAL RECAP AND INTERVIEW
I have been looking forward to this blog tour since I had the pleasure of tweeting with Jeffe not long after I read the first installment of this marvellous retelling of Gaston Leroux’s 1909 classic The Phantom of the Opera, Master of the Opera. I read and loved her erotic interpretation of Beauty and the Beast, Petals and Thorns and was intrigued by what she would do with another well known tale, let me assure you her six-part serialized novel Master of the Opera did not disappoint.
Master of the Opera, Act 1: Passionate Overture – In the first tantalizing installment of Jeffe Kennedy’s ravishing serial novel Master of the Opera, an innocent young woman is initiated into a sensual world of music, mystery, passion–and one man’s private obsession. . .
Master of the Opera, Act 2: Ghost Aria – With each passing day of her internship at the Santé Fe Opera House, Christine Davis discovers something new, something exciting—and something frightening. Hidden in the twisting labyrinths beneath the theater is a mysterious man in a mask who, Christy’s convinced, is as real as the rose he left on her desk—and as passionate as the kiss that burns on her lips. He tells her to call him “Master,” and Christy can’t deny him. But when her predecessor—a missing intern—is found dead, Christy wonders if she’s playing with fire…
Master of the Opera, Act 3: Phantom Serenade – After a harrowing night trapped in the tunnels beneath the Santé Fe Opera House, intern Christy Davis finds comfort in the arms of Roman Sanclaro, the opera’s wealthy and gorgeous benefactor. But even as Roman tries to impress her with his lavish lifestyle—and seduce her with his charms—Christy cannot stop obsessing over her other, clandestine lover.
Master of the Opera, Act 4: Dark Interlude – Could her masterful lover be capable of murder, and worse? Perhaps it was the thrill of danger that drew Christy to him in the first place—like a moth to the flame—instead of a more conventional romance with the opera house’s handsome benefactor, Roman. For the sake of her sanity, she must at least give Roman a chance. But for the love of her master, she must give in to every wild fantasy, every wicked game, and every whim he commands…
Master of the Opera, Act 5: A Haunting Debut – He has pushed the boundaries of her sensuality and tested the limits of her passion. But now the Master wants more. If Christy accepts his challenge, she must be willing to go further than she’s ever gone. She must surrender to his every desire. She must submit to his every command.
Master of the Opera, Act 6: Crescendo – Two men hold her fate in their hands: Roman, the opera house’s wealthy benefactor who uses his money and power to control her. And the masked maestro known as the Master who demands her surrender and commands her pleasure with each stroke. Both want her; only one can have her. . .
In a rising crescendo of madness, obsession, and lust, Christy must take a chance and follow her heart—to a breathtaking climax as powerful as love itself.
We all know the story, the young ingénue and the scarred man who lives under the theatre and the passionate love that ensues between them. However this titillating retelling is deliciously dark, mysterious and sexy much like the Phantom himself.
In Master of the Opera, the previous intern has mysteriously disappeared and Christine, Christy for short is hired to replace her. Desperate to escape her controlling father she is glad to relocate close to family friends and work at the world famous opera house. At first, nothing seems out of the ordinary then almost as if she is being wooed from afar Christy begins to hear a beautiful tenor singing but when she tries to determine the source of the music, she comes to an area that has been walled off. A rose appears and then later the masked man man himself, terrified yet intrigued both the reader and Christy are left with the of quandary whether or not to trust this stranger.
With each installment of this serial the reader is drawn even further into Christy’s new world and begins to question the true motivations of the other players. She is torn between the childhood crush, the suddenly interested and controlling Roman and the Ghost to whom she is undeniably drawn.
Prior to the third act the sensuality between Christine and the Ghost is just hinted at, with a glancing touch here and the odd suggestive thought there and even when the Ghost finally begins to court and finally seduces Christy the interludes between them always remain tasteful.
Whenever I read one of Jeffe Kennedy‘s stories I feel like one of the birds who gobbled up the bread crumbs that Hansel and Gretel dropped to mark their way home, it is over too soon and I am left looking for more.
PD: What have you written?
JK: I have twelve novels and novellas out right now, along with some other works of poetry and non-fiction. My most recent work is Master of the Opera, a serial novel that is a modern retelling of The Phantom of the Opera.
PD: Is there a message in your novel/s that you want readers to grasp?
JK: I think messages get in the way of the story, so I try to avoid having some sort of agenda. But all of my books have themes that the stories explore. In Master of the Opera, the heroine is faced with a situation where she’s not sure what to believe is real. She has to learn to trust herself and not listen to what other people tell her.
PD: What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
JK: I wanted to capture the magic of the traditional tale, but make it my own. I also wanted to set it at the Santa Fe Opera House and – though I live in Santa Fe – I couldn’t get a tour because the opera house was closed for the season. I had to turn in the book to my editor before the regular season, and tours began. So I worked every contact I could rustle up before I managed to talk someone into giving me a private, off-season backstage tour. It was so cool!
PD: What genre are your books?
JK: I write fantasy, fantasy romance and erotic romance.
PD: What draws you to this genre?
JK: I’m sure there’s some deep, dark psychological compulsion. I’ve always loved fantasy and sci fi – all varieties of speculative fiction. And sex is a given for me, because it’s such an intense, powerful and intimate way for humans to interact.
PD: What are you working on at the minute?
JK: I am working on line edits for my upcoming erotic romance novel, Going Under.
PD: Is it a departure from your past work?
JK: No – it’s much like my Facets of Passion novellas, only as a full-length novel.
PD: Why have you chosen to write retellings of classics or fairy tales?
JK: Obsession? LOL! I have these stories that have stuck in my head since I started reading. So far I’ve retold The Phantom of the Opera and Beauty and the Beast (Petals and Thorns) – both because I never found a version that was sexy enough for me.
PD: To what do you attribute the recent popularity of erotic literature to?
JK: E-readers! Anyone can buy the sexiest stories without going to some grungy adult bookstore or wondering what the mail-carrier thinks and without keeping nosy folks from peeking at the cover.
PD: Critics have stated erotica is tantamount to porn therefore plot is unnecessary, how important is plot to you?
JK: Without a plot, there is no story. I suspect the critics want to criticize sexual freedom more than anything else.
PD: Which authors have influenced you the most?
JK: There are so many! I’m an avid reader. But seminal authors for me in erotica are Anne Rice, Pauline Réage, and Anaïs Nin.
PD: How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author with a writing career that spans decades. Her fantasy BDSM romance, Petals and Thorns, originally published under the pen name Jennifer Paris, has won several reader awards. Sapphire, the first book in the Facets of Passion series, has placed first in multiple romance contests and the follow-up, Platinum, is climbing the charts. Her most recent works include three fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns, the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, and the post-apocalyptic vampire erotica of the Blood Currency.
She is currently working on Master of the Opera and The Twelve Kingdoms, a fantasy trilogy.
Jeffe lives in Santa Fe, with two Maine coon cats, a border collie, plentiful free-range lizards and a Doctor of Oriental Medicine. Jeffe can be found online at her website: JeffeKennedy.com or every Sunday at the popular Word Whores blog.
Disclaimer: ARC was kindly provided by the publisher for an honest review.