In Sadie Montgomery's The Phantom's Journey: Out of the Darkness, (book 2 in The Phoenix of the Opera series) we return to Erik and his new bride, Meg Giry, making their way over the French border into Italy, where they hope to reside and live a normal, quiet life. Meg hopes for this more than Erik does, because he still does not trust people in general, believing they are the same everywhere, as most prove to be in this book.
Before they arrive at their new home (a beautiful villa), which Raoul helped them to get, Meg suffers an accident when she finally loses her marbles due to Erik's coldness towards her. After giving her husband a well deserved beating, she runs off into the woods and takes a fall. Erik, genuinely worried for his wife's health, spends most of his days and nights at her side, praying she will be alright so he can start fresh with her and their relationship. (There's nothing like a health-rattle to a loved one to make you see how much you really care!) When Meg awakens, delusional from a fever and severe head injury, upon seeing Erik without his mask, she begins screaming uncontrollably, causing Erik to flee the villa, and her life for around three to four years.
He returns to his *roots* and comes across a few old faces and memories he'd rather keep buried deep down inside. While there in the traveling fair, he sees a recent past face (Lucianna) and ends up going to her home to help her rid herself of her perverted cruel husband. Which he succeeds at, after experiencing a few (disgusting) deceptions and surprises from husband and wife alike. When he is through there, and manages to dodge the clutches of Lucianna, he returns to Meg with Lucianna's somewhat reluctant help. While he was trying to find the right time to make himself known, I couldn't help but wonder if Lucianna had something up her sleeve, I was glad to see she didn't, but she makes a return in the next book, and it looks like she gets her way with her same old deceitfulness. But I will pause that speculation for the review of the next book, whenever I get to it, and actually buy it!
Anywhoozer, to wrap this up quickly, Erik and Meg overcome even more turbulence in their relationship, even when he finds he must flee again, to Rome, and finds himself in a theater, again. Only in a better way this time, the fear of him as a mad ghost is not there (thankfully), and Meg (and their son!) have resolved to join him there. & That is where this part of the series ended.
Even though I loved and hated this book for the way the plot went (trouble just loves that awesome phantom - hell, I'd follow him everywhere he went too if I could!) and even though I felt the writing could have been better, I can't wait to get on to the next part.
This was the first book I've read for the Romance Reading Challenge. Finally starting one of my challenges feels good! :)