Bella De La Rosa is met by the famous ghost of the St. Charles Opera House the moment she steps on stage...and he sets her heart to racing. After her audition, the director asks her how she got into the opera house before they arrived. She told them Mr. Usher let her in and they all start laughing. The director tells her Mr. Usher has been dead for many years. Bella is shocked, two ghosts in the same day, but only one had any effect on her, the ghost of Jacques LeFerve.
Bella has a beautiful voice, but stage fright keeps her from showcasing her talent. Therefore, she always gets the part of a chorus girl. As she was entering the stage for a scene one night, the motion of the kaleidoscope makes her dizzy and all of the sudden, she's standing on the same stage, a hundred years in the past, staring at an audience of people in Victorian clothing! Just when she catches a glimpse of Jacques LeFerve in the flesh, she is transported back to her own time.
Bella tells her ailing grandma about her experience the night before. to her surprise, Gran believes her and tells her to follow her destiny. The following night, while Bella was heading to the stage dressed in a Valkyrie costume, she is struck by the dizziness again. When she opens her eyes, she is standing on the other stage, in 1896. Jacques LeFerve is performing, but when he sees Bella, he stops singing for a moment, mesmerized by her appearance. This time, Bella doesn't know when she'll return to the present. She deals with the sadness of missing Gran, but at the same time, she seems to be falling for Jacques. As she tries to solve the mystery of who killed Jacques on August 4, 1896, she realizes she needs to save his life, not just for him, but for also for herself.
I liked the fact that this story took place in New Orleans. The setting is in the city in the year 1996 and, also, 1896. The author did a wonderful job of describing the differences in the two time periods, including the furniture that would have been antiques in 1996 and even more so now.
One thing that irked me, though, was the fact that practically everyone from 1996 spoke as if they were from the century before. It would have been better if Bella was the only one to do that, then maybe we could assume that she really did belong in a different time.
Of course, Jacques LeFerve could be a bit chauvinistic, at times, but considering how things were back then, it's nothing unusual. Although, Bella does put him in his place a couple of times. Recommended for fans of historical fiction.
Phantom in Time was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.