Customer Reviews: Phantom Pleasures: Sexy Paranormal (Phantom Series Book 1)
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VINE VOICEon April 11, 2008
3.5 Stars

Business heiress and hotel developer, Alexa Chandler, inherits an island in Florida from her deceased father. On this Island is a castle that was moved there years before from Europe. The island and the castle conjure images from Alexa's youth where she used to fantasize about castles and prince charming. Ignoring the rumors about the haunted island and the castle that won't allow in visitors she sets off to see her new prize. She has her heart set on making this a luxurious getaway.

When she gets to the castle a portrait of a man calls to her, she can hear a whisper beckoning her and as she is captivated by the man in the portrait, she touches it and inadvertently releases the "phantom." Damon Forsyth has been trapped in that painting and in that castle for centuries, when he is released from the portrait he is taken in by the red haired beauty who released him.

OK, I have very mixed feelings about this story. The part that really lowered the rating for me was the main couple; they just didn't have any chemistry for me. A minute after meeting, after setting this Phantom free, Alexa has sex with him. I just couldn't buy it. I realize this is fantasy and believe me I have no problems imagining the impossible. But it seemed to me that even in the land of make-believe a woman would have to digest and accept the phantom factor for say maybe 5 or 10 minutes before jumping said phantoms' bones. It was like men pop out of paintings everyday around her, no big deal.

Then the Phantom/Damon was pretty much a big time jerk. He ran hot to cold in seconds and she just kept coming back for more. I would have left his sorry bum in the castle and found my self another oil based boyfriend! ;) It's hard to get involved in a story when you don't care about the two main characters. Luckily the secondary characters of Cat and Ben had plenty of sizzle, they really made this story. They had all the chemistry and likeability the main couple lacked.

The actual storyline itself is fanciful and well told. Julie Leto created a tale about Gypsies and magic, curses and love, lost brothers and missing civilizations. I loved the story, how Damon got in the painting, the conclusion and I am looking forward to the next book, Phantom's Touch, in December. All in all a good story that could have used a little more time developing the main love story.

Cherise Everhard, April 2008
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on November 5, 2008
Alexa Chandler has, since her father's death, dedicated a hundred percent of her energies and time to the running of the Crown Chandler Empire to the detriment of her love life, such as it is. So when Alexa discovers her father left her a secluded island, with its very own castle, she seizes the chance to make her girlish romantic fantasies come true, even if there is no Prince Charming waiting for her.

But as Alexa begins to explore the island and castle, her brother gives her a "protection" charm that sets off a chain of events that turn Alexa's life upside down. Suddenly, Alexa awakens the phantom that lived within the sole item in the seemingly abandoned castle - a painting, she is experiencing passion the likes of which she never imagined possible and her brother, Jacob, is upping his usual strange behavior. But when Alexa discovers there is much more at play than a single piece of real estate she discovers things she never thought possible - will she accept the unbelievable or will her stubbornness condemn a man to a magical prison for more years?

Phantom Pleasures is a paranormal treasure hunt that will keep surprising you at every turn. Alexa is a modern-day Cinderella, except that she is the one with the money, status, and a castle to boot. Alexa believes that the only thing lacking in her life is a passionate lover that only intrudes in her life at nightfall and conveniently disappears at sunrise. However, when she gets exactly that with Damon, the phantom that inhabits her castle, Alexa slowly learns that there is more to life than keeping her late father's empire alive. While the paranormal element within the book is strong, its importance in the plot is haphazard and not really explored or explained fully. Also, the abundance of secondary characters, which at times were more interesting that the main couple, left little room for the development of the main storyline and present a unifying thread in the action that brought all the different sub-plots together before the very end of the story. In the end, Phantom Pleasures is an interesting and entertaining read for lovers of paranormal romances.

reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed
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on April 12, 2008
I have to agree with the other reviewers, Cat and Ben were the much better couple and I would have loved to have seen the whole book revolve around the two of them. I never felt a connection or spark between the main hero and heroine, Alexa and Damon. They fell flat for me, I only started to enjoy the story when Cat, Ben, and Paschal came into the story. I even found myself skip the pages where Alexa and Damon were featured to read on about the secondary players. I'll read the next one just to catch up with Cat and Ben again!!!
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on February 21, 2013
Alexa Chandler, an heiress to wealthy chain of hotels, has spent more time doing busines than looking for love in her life especially since being in a car accident. Alexa's stepbrother Jacob is the only part of her family that is left. Alexa's best friend Catalina (Cat) Reyes is a paranormal researcher and investigator. Alexa appears to have inherited an island along with a castle that is Romani in origin. Alexa needs Cat to discover the history of the castle. Cat travels to Texas to search for famous Romani expert Dr. Paschal Rousseau only to learn that he's been kidnapped according to his son Dr. Ben Rousseau. Meanwhile Alexa is intrigued by a painting in the castle of a most handsome man. Alexa could never have dreamed what would happen next. Damon Forsyth was trapped inside a painting in 1747 by Lord Rogan and freed by Alexa. Damon takes form in front of Alexa and is stunned by her beauty and mind. When Alexa realizes how much of life she's been missing out on thanks to Damon. She wants to help Damon win his freedom from the castle. Jacob is caught up in serious trouble that want to control the magic apart of the castle. Will Dr. Paschal Rousseau be found? Can Cat and Ben work together? Can Alexa help Damon? Will Damon admit his feelings for Alexa? What trouble is Jacob in? Your answers await you in Phantom Pleasures.

I really love a good mystery that includes cursed objects and phantoms come to life! This book seemed to be packed full of mystery from first page to the last page. This book was full of lore and intrigue which fascinate me on many levels. I thought the author did an excellent job of crafting such a clever story chalked full of mystery, suspense, and hot men. I will definitely continue to read more of this series.
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on April 11, 2014
First of three,a castle transplanted stone by stone to a private island,a mysterious story of magic and of course a gypsy curse.What more can an hotelier want.

Plan to read the rest of the series and I hope Julie writes the rest o the Forsyth family saga.
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on November 2, 2014
This story is a great beginning to a series about brothers from centuries ago. The story begins in the 18th century as they try to protect people from a massacre only to find themselves trapped in enchanted objects. The individual stories pick up in present day with heroines who free them from the objects. The author draws you in and doesn't let go until the end. I had a hard time putting this down. I'm looking forward to reading the other stories of the brothers
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VINE VOICEon October 30, 2012
Don't let short and very vague blurb fool you. This is a great book. When hotel hieress inherits a supposedly haunted castle her eyes see big dollar signs. A new hotel, with potentially a ghostly twist. She would never expect the rumors to be true. When she inadvertently releases a phantom from a gypsy enclave that disappeared 200 plus years ago, she's not quite sure what to think....other than "damn, he's hot." But Alexa's surprises aren't over yet. Damon isn't quite free yet, and together they must find a way to break the curse. Throw in a jealous step-brother and fueding secret society and you have all sorts of excitement.

Alexa and Damon's romance was quick and to the point, they both had things to figure out but they never really let it get int he way of their feelings for each other. Lots of little twists and turns, with some comic relief curtesy of Dante the kitty, I had a hard time putting the book down to sleep at night.
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on September 8, 2014
This was an awesome twist on the ghostly romance. In Phantom Pleasures, we have magic, ghosts, an old creepy castle and love that can break curses. What more do you need? I will definitely read more from this author.
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on January 15, 2015
I am always willing to try new authors when they offer free books. I instantly became lost in the story and couldnt put it down!! The characters were all well written and the plot was intriguing!. After reading I immediately bought all the others in the series. I highly recommend these books!!
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on June 3, 2015
I enjoyed the story however... (I will try to not give away too much) Alexa the main heroine irked my nerves a little bit. She is a competent business woman but acted immature and naive at times. The main male Damon was tempramental at times and his attitude swung like a pendulum but you see a progression from lust to love. The supporting characters had major role in the framing of the story and makes you want to read the other books to see the outcome of what happened to other people mentioned. I will keep it and maybe read the others, we shall see...
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