Once this got rolling, I really enjoyed it!
Erika is not your conventional romance main character- in fact, she’s pretty unlikable at first! I love how Jen does this in a way that feels natural, instead of a weird “I’m not like other girls” thing.
Christof is such a hilarious cinnamon roll of a love interest. He’s the lead singer in a German hair metal band who is wound just a little too tight.
This did take a few chapters for me to get hooked, I was worried at first that this one just wasn’t going to work for me. I’m not a theater nerd, not a big fan of hair metal- German or otherwise. ;) But once we started to get to actually know Erika beyond the surface I was hooked. It’s a pretty quick read and well paced.
Thanks Jen Comfort and NetGalley for the ARC.
A gender swap retelling of The Phantom of the Opera!! I repeat, a gender swap retelling of The Phantom of the Opera 😍😍
Erika Greene was a beautiful Broadway star who is extremely talented but an egotistical diva who continually looked down on those around her. One night, after an on-stage accident left her face scarred, she abandoned fame and Broadway to run her family's run down opera house that came with a defunct, ostensibly haunted old brothel (the brothel is out of business)
Christof Daae is the lead singer of Nachtmusik, a popular German hair metal band that is hoping to make it big in the United States. They need a place to develop their first English-language album, so they end up renting Erika's opera house for two months.
Erika and Christof were just hilarious. Several times throughout the novel, I laughed out loud. There is so much going on in this book you have Erika plotting to seduce Cristof, secret singing lessons, a basement room that used to be a sex dungeon, an attempted spirit summoning, secret tunnels, a contest, and a deep love story.
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ / 5
Midnight Duet is a wild and melodramatic ride that I enjoyed from beginning to it. The two main characters are from two completely different worlds. One is a former Broadway starlet and the other is the lead singer in a German hair metal band. Both are sarcastic and filled with fire. When they meet, their chemistry explodes off the page.
Erika was a Broadway diva. She worked hard for her roles and never got less than she deserved. She wasn't necessarily nice about it either. In fact, she slept with her understudies boyfriend! The morning after a tragic accident occurred when a light fell from the rafters and directly onto her face. She wound up with half a face filled with scars and was so embarrassed she fled from the Broadway community.
These days Erika is trying to run her great-grandmothers theatre which she inherited from her grandmother. The only problem is that the theatre is completely run down and there may be no chance of saving it. The debt is piling up and the money is just not coming in. When Erika gets a phone call from a German rock band looking for a place to stay to create their first American album, she quickly agrees figuring that she would have a little bit of time to get the venue ready. Except the band shows up the very next day led by their lead singer Christoff Dee.
Christoff simply oozes charisma from all of his pores. On stage he's a rock star but off stage he's a big of a control freak and micromanager. He's the one who makes all the decisions for the band with no input from the other members. He's wound a little tightly to say the least. When he and Erika meet there is an instant attraction but it takes a bit for either one to act on it.
Erika and Christoff are so good together. She understands his need for control and helps him put it in a more productive manner. He wants nothing more than to wrap his arms around her and make her feel safe. There are complications though like the band and Christoff's relationship with their keyboardist. Yet the more time they spend together they harder it is to resist their chemistry and need to find a little bit of a release together.
Midnight Duet is a touch of a gender bended Phantom of the Opera mixed with the glittery power of glam rock. As someone who loves both Broadway and glam rock it was easy for me to get lost in this story. I enjoyed watching Erika and Christoff's relationship develop and grow from attraction to connection to potentially even more. It was quite the ride from beginning to end.
I enjoyed this book. I thought the characters were well done and the premise was good . This is a new to me author and I would read this author again.
Quick Summary: A rock musical romance with a hint of mystery
My Review: Midnight Duet by Jen Comfort was an unusual romance. It brought together a German rock artist extraordinaire and a Tony Award nominated stage performer.
About the Book: This funky, contemporary love story was about two people daring to take a chance on each other, despite the odds. It combined a dark and colorful rock band, a haunted establishment, two rats, a mobster-like business mogul, and more.
About the Characters:
Christof was a rocker who had been in a monogamous relationship for a decade. When he met Erika, he noticed her right away, and it wasn't because of her scar.
Erika once seemed to have it all. After a tragic accident, her life became one of isolation. When Christof and his band ventured her way, her life was never the same again.
About the Conflict: There were little fires everywhere in this story. The main areas of conflict related to trust, self-worth, overcoming fear and anxiety, and relationships. The underlying mystery that was mentioned related to a historical figure in Erika's family line and a property dispute over a family establishment.
My Final Say: Midnight Duet was an entertaining story. I thought it was an okay read. I would recommend it.
Appreciation is extended to the author, to the publisher (Montlake), and to NetGalley. Thanks for providing access to this work in exchange for an honest review.
quick and silly, crazy phantom of the opera reworking. i'm always team raoul when it comes to the book and musical but this was just too melodramatic for me to even get mad. hope the right audience finds it
Midnight Duet is a lively and crazy book that is filled with excitement, love, and passion. If you love musicals and theater, this will make you feel nostalgic and give you a behind-the-scenes experience. Erika and Christof are unique people with their own way of speaking. They are also intelligent, sarcastic, sincere, and very funny. Despite a negative beginning, I grew to enjoy Erika's character. And I really liked Christof's attractive German rocker style, even though he had some perfectionist tendencies. This book was a fast and enjoyable read that kept me fully engaged.
Erika Greene is a Juilliard-trained broadway star about to begin her run as the lead in Les Miserables in new york. She knows her talent is unmatched and has the Tony nomination to prove it. Because of this, she also feels entitled to anything she wants – including her understudy's boyfriend. When the wronged-woman confronts Erika about the one night stand, she brushes it off and continues to the stage to rehearse. But when Erika is about to begin her number, a stage light comes down and sends Erika to the hospital, ruining her Broadway career indefinitely. Convinced that her ambitions are fruitless, she heads to Paris, Nevada to manage the dilapidated Opera House/former brothel that she inherited from her family. Midnight Duet by Jen Comfort is a gender-swapped Phantom of the Opera retelling in which Erika must pick up the pieces of her life and the Paris Opera House – but soon finds that she is in over her head.
Erika's accident leaves her permanently scarred. And in the shallow world of Broadway, it is likely that she will never step foot on a production stage again. Her pride drives her to take on the next best thing – the Paris Opera House and attached “residence”. Inexperienced in business and finance, the stubborn diva spends her savings on the building in hopes to bring in new business and revive it to its previous glory. However, a casino developer sets his sights and bank account on the facility. Hence, a determined Erika works to hold onto her family's inheritance in Midnight Duet – no matter what it takes.
Predictably, Erika is unsuccessful in her initial endeavors. So she decides to lease the facility to German hair metal band Nachtmusik, headed by lead singer and pseudo-manager Christof. At first, Erika is thrilled for the incoming flow of cash to turn the Opera House around. But when they arrive, she finds herself instantly and overwhelmingly attracted to Christof. Plus, his bandmates think that he is still with his long-term girlfriend and keyboardist. In reality, she dumped him, but has not revealed the truth to the rest of the group. Expectedly, this makes things a bit more complicated than she anticipated.
Tempted by money, redemption, and lust, Erika must find a way to stave off the greedy developer while somehow turning the Opera House into a profitable venture. This, and sort out her affair with Christof. Afterall, he and the rest of the band are returning to Berlin to record their album at the end of their stay. And time is running out for both of them to be truthful about how they feel.
Midnight Duet is a different kind of love story – but I'd say lust-story is more accurate (at least for the first half of the book). The sexual tension between Erika and Christof is so strong and detailed that readers will surely blush during some of the steamy scenes. At times it was a bit much, in my opinion. But eventually the heat dies down and our lead couple focuses on the business, the band, and their undeniable growing feelings for each other. The characters help each other grow and face their shortcomings – and come out for the better.
Comfort paces the story well, and the characters are very likable (Christof's younger sister, Sybille, is my favorite). Christof's inner monologues embracing his eccentric style and “badass” personality was entertaining, to say the least. Yet he is also a control freak and believes that disaster would ensue if he let anyone else take over. And being a sucker for character growth, I was happy to see Erika attempt to “be good” while still knowing her worth. Comfort's talent for writing witty yet authentic dialogue shines through. The book is a very fun read and perfect for lovers of hair metal and former theater geeks.
This was a wild ride and I loved every minute of it! Great premise, great banter and excellent chemistry between our leads. If you are a fan of musicals and love a little chaos and fun in your romance you need to read this.
This book is so unbelievably bonkers, I freaking loved it. This gender-swapped modern retelling of Phantom of the Opera, featuring a Nordic Hair Metal band was everything that I could have never begun to imagine I wanted to read. Jen has such a quirky way of writing that really draws you in. This book was just FUN to read. It's hot, funny and a wild ride. Cannot wait to read whatever Jen writes next!
In Midnight Duet, we meet Erika Greene, a beautiful and talented Broadway star who can’t seem to keep her hands to herself. After sleeping with her co-star’s boyfriend, and being very publicly called out about it, Erika suffers a tragic accident on stage and is left badly injured and traumatized. Feeling like the universe is punishing her for her sins, Erika moves to the Paris Opera House (in Nevada) that has been in her family for over one hundred years. Business is almost nonexistent, debts are piling up, repairs desperately need to be made and Erika now has to come up with $10K to cover a loan or she’ll lose the theater.
In a last ditch attempt to save the theater, and not leave herself homeless, Erika agrees to rent out the theater, slightly illegally, to the band Nachtmusik. Assuming that a German band would need several weeks to pack and plan their trip, Erika plans to use the down payment to make some repairs and prepare for their arrival. Except…the tall, handsome band leader Christof is also extremely organized and determined to get their record started and shows up the next day.
What follows is a delightfully chaotic story, full of quirky and lovely characters. Every character is interesting and I would a read a book about every single of one of them, especially Sibylle’s. The chemistry between Christof and Erika is off the charts. Because the band is only set to be in Nevada for two months, and Erika has even less time to save the theater, the timeline is quite compressed. Erika’s urgency to save the theater and Christof’s pressure on the band to write the next album mirror the intense feelings the two share for each other, and it’s just so well done. And intense is no exaggeration when it comes to these two. Erika and Christof are absolutely explosive together!
I found the story to be incredibly compelling and entertaining and the pacing felt perfect. I really, really enjoyed this one and if we could continue on with some more of these characters…that’d be great!
I was offered a free copy of Midnight Duet in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and mistakes are my own.
This was cute but not really my favorite. I wanted to love it but couldn’t get into it. Thank you for the advanced copy!
It’s perfect. It’s charming. It’s funny. It’s s3xy. It references a musical written by Elton John and based on the Vampire Lestat which my mom and I actually saw and I thought we were the last two people on earth who remembered its existence.
Midnight Duet is a wacky gender swapped Phantom of the Opera retelling set in a dilapidated theatre/brōthēl in the middle of the desert with a disgraced diva and the anxiety ridden lead singer of a glam hair metal band.
Legacies have to be saved, albums have to be recorded, Mary Shelley might be raised from the dead, the rats LOVE Andrew Lloyd Webber and Christof Daae is learning how to take control in the bed room and let it go everywhere else.
I love this book with my whole heart. Everyone should read it. It will make you happy and bring you joy and you deserve that.
Thanks to @jen.comfort.author and @netgalley for the ARC. Midnight Duet comes out on 10/Jan and I cannot recommend it enough.
'Midnight Duet' is a fun, quick read. Definitely more on the comedy side of a rom-com in my opinion. If you like the kind of romance novels that are a tad bit ridiculous, you'll probably like this one. As for me, I found it hard to really connect to the characters sometimes, since they felt a bit like caricatures of themselves. The plot was fun and resolved well, though I was really worried for a minute there. The spicy scenes were great. I was just expecting a bit more drama and angst from a Phantom of the Opera retelling.
I wasn't pulled in by the Midnight Duet. I went back to the novel twice before closing it finally. I struggled to write about it because I didn't finish it. I was super excited about the Phantom of the Opera flip, but I was hoping for more gravitas in the novel and the writing. Erika's profession as a walking tour-guide was interesting and a nice addition, but the music hall aspect -which should've been the most interesting- felt off-track with the band moving in. I found myself disappointed by Christof's characterization.
Chaotic in the best way possible. Reminded me a bit of Sarah Hogle's Just Like Magic in that it's a little unhinged, hilarious, and bighearted. I love Phantom retellings. This is the best I have come across.
This was an incredibly fun Phantom of the Opera retelling, filled with quirky characters and a whole lot of steam. Jen Comfort is absolutely an author to watch.
A funny, light-hearted and entertaining wee read! Even better than KU offers free audio of the book too! The narration gave this an extra layer, with the German accents and camaraderie of the narration, it painted the picture so well of the eccentric metal band. ( Picturing Rammstein here) With the combo of a classically trained vocalist and Broadway girl, it really did go in directions that had me smiling, sniggering and invested in the story.
Erika really is quite likeable, even if she feels she isn't, she gives herself shake and realises that she deserves happiness like everyone else.
Add a little spice with a hot German rock star and boom, you have yourself a very entertaining story! A ghost hunting bass player and built in new bestie is just the icing on the cake .
The wee book lady xx
The #BDTB crew has been reading MIDNIGHT DUET this week for the start of the Tale As Old as Time readalong series (see the last 3 photos) hosted by @b.andherbooks and @onthesamepa9e.
Midnight Duet is a contemporary retelling of one of the best stories/musicals of all time: The Phantom of the Opera. Erika is the Phantom, a disgraced Broadway diva trying to save the brothel/theater she inherited in nowhere Nevada. Christof is the head of a German metal band trying to get over his long-time girlfriend and record a Badass Record.
So far the Discord been full of gushing over the two MCs, a lot of appreciation of the level of horniness and the fact that the MCs both have truly massive professional egos. Christof is one part pan rock god, one part anxious spreadsheet nerd. Erika is one part cunning, hot as hell businesswoman, one part depressed mess. I LOVE THEM.
Jen Comfort does a lot of interesting work in this book, flipping some romance expectations on their head and playing with gender roles. (I could write an essay about it.) If you like Phantom, you'll like this. If you've never read/watched Phantom, you'll like this. It's sexy, emotional and very, very funny.
We've been fan-casting in Discord and early in my read, I latched onto the idea that the band is Måneskin. Damiano as Christof, of course. The casting isn't quite right, Damiano would need to be taller and have ice-blond hair, the guitarist should be a quiet Black man. But I think Christof has a very organized lipstick collection and as far as I'm concerned, a lead singer who plays with gender expectations and has a heart tattooed around his nipple is perfect casting for Christof.
Oh and yesterday I read the bonus story with the ummm disco ball statuette and I'm shocked my phone didn't catch fire.
(The audiobook is also good!)
Enthusiastic recommendation from me.
Oh my gosh, this book was so much fun! I was already expecting to love it because of the Phantom of the Opera aspect, but I was not expecting to love Erika and Christof so much. Erika was amazing and I loved seeing her growth over the course of the book, and I honestly can't put my feelings for Christoff into words. I'm definitely bumping Jen Comfort's debut up my TBR, and will eagerly be waiting for her next release. If you love prickly heroines, Phantom of the Opera, and musical theatre/Broadway, this book is absolutely for you.