Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Phantom Pleasures-Julie Leto

Phantom Pleasures
Julie Leto
Signet, Apr 2008, $6.99
ISBN: 9780451223654

In 1747 in Valoren just outside Germany, the Forsyth brothers rush to a Gypsy encampment to save their sister Sarina from ruin. Instead of rescuing her, they are turned into statues by some magical curse.

Over two and half centuries later, affluent businesswoman Alexa Chandler learns that her late father left her Isla de Fantasmas, an island off Florida, that includes a partially reconstructed German castle in which the stones were transported from Europe. She thinks she can convert the place into an exclusive hotel. However, Alexa soon learns of a phantom that haunts her castle. Alexa asks her best friend, paranormal researcher Catalina Reyes to help the ghost who becomes physical at night. Damon Forsythe is fascinated by the independent Alexa, He feels with her and Cat helping him, he might escape the curse, but assumes the cost is no longer interacting with his beloved Alexa.

This is a terrific opening paranormal romance that for the most part occurs in 2008, but also details what happened in 1747. The story line is fast-paced from the onset, but accelerates once the female developer realizes that when the castle was moved from Germany to the Florida isle a ghost was brought with it. A secondary plot involving Cat and a Romany scholar Ben augment this pleasurable tale starring the phantom of the castle and the woman whose love gives him hope.

Harriet Klausner

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