The Phantom of the Opera - The Sexiest Romance Hero Of All Time

Passion trumps deformity or any other afflication. Beauty is an empty shell without it. The obsessive, possessive, desperate love The Phantom feels would not exist without the weight of his tremendous burden.  Erik in "The Phantom of the Opera"  by Gaston Leroux is the Beauty and the Beast contained in one gorgeous human being. His longing is both extruciatingly painful and glorious. He has never been kissed even by his own mother, so his longing is true physical torture. To taste his rugged kiss and be carried off into the gothic mist would be a dream come true for most women, although few would seek out such a scarred soul.

In The House on Black Lake,  it is said that Hero Ramey Sandeley has been cursed with perfection and so he has a price to pay. As his ultimate price becomes more eminent a dark river of cruel conflict begins to run through his veins and to show beneath his visage. And, as heroine Alexandra Brighton notes, "if beauty is nothing without a dark river running through it, now Ramey Sandeley claims more than God gave him, he now claims the greatest gift of all."

Alexandra also shares a common trait with The Phantom. Nine months to the day after her first meeting with Ramey she gives birth to a son and suffers Bells' Palsy. Her face is fully paralyzed on one side and there is little hope for her recovery. She visits St. Joseph's Shrine where the faithful are said to be healed and makes a deal at the alter: Truth for Beauty - a vow to seek her rightful destiny in return for an unmarked face. As she steps outside the oratory she sees her reflection in the stained glass. Her face has begun to thaw, and now she has a price to pay. Her vow leads to the dismantling of her "ideal life" and eventually to her uniting with Ramey at Black Lake, where her journey to self discovery truly begins. Her young French artist lover, Andre Labat, urges her to accept "the beautiful freak" - the soul, in all its dark glory, that seeks freedom at any cost. But coming face to face with her passionate soul is a terrifying prospect for Alexandra, as the social institutions that have instructed her development as a woman do not allow such freedom. And then there is dear Seth, the Butler to Ramey's uncle Roger. Nearly seven feet tall and raised in an orphanage he has never felt the touch of a woman - until Alexandra touches his arm and awakens his lonely soul. Most of us have felt the raging battle of the ugly and the beautiful at war within us, and often it only takes a tender caress to calm the dark waters and give a measure of peace. But it is also sometimes therapeutic to stoke the water to the boiling point.

A video composite from the movie of The Phantom of the Operafeatures Gerard Butler. He is dark, dangerous, utterly sexy and glorious. Both horribly ugly and breathtakingly beautiful. Passion is what gives beauty and meaning to life.  Take a look and decide for yourself: