Being the story – as the subtitle goes – of the trials and triumphs of Ilyse Charpentier, this first novel is a slight and charming romantic trifle, a crisp little macaroon of a story set in turn of the century Paris. Turn of the last century, that is – and in a Paris not unlike that which was the setting for ‘Phantom of the Opera’. There is the lovely and talented ingénue, a dashing young suitor, the possessive and dangerous benefactor… dash of struggle from impoverishment and a sprinkling of music.

But the setting is nothing so high-toned as an opera house; Ilyse Charpentier is the star of the cabaret stage, and the toast of all Paris. But all is not as sit seems, for the glamorous diva; she has a tragic past, an estranged brother and a new love that must be kept secret from the murderously controlling nobleman who is her patron. And with pluck and luck, she manages all that and a happy ending all the way around. The charm is in the doing, of course. The writer has a flair for the style and vocabulary of that period, and a sense of the Parisian milieu, both back of stage and in front of it. Definitely a book for those who like a good romantic read, and loved ‘Phantom’.

City of Lights is available from the publisher, iUniverse, and from

Sgt. Mom is a free-lance writer and member of the Independent Authors Guild who lives in San Antonio and blogs at The Daily Brief. Her current book “To Truckee’s Trail” is available here. More about her books is at her website

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