Alexa Chandler is a successful hotel developer who has inherited an abandoned castle off the coast of Florida. The castle sits on an island that is believed to be haunted but that doesn’t stop Alexa from wanting to turn it into a fancy resort. Alexa decides to visit the castle despite the rumors of ghosts haunting the place.
After arriving at the castle, Alexa is drawn to the only object in the entire castle, an old oil panting hanging above the grand staircase. In the portrait is a man who is very attractive to Alexa. The painting seems to be calling to her and asking to be touched.
But when Alexa touches the portrait, the man inside of it, Damon Forsyth, is released from the painting. Damon is a Gypsy who was cursed and put into the painting by his enemy, Rogan, several centuries ago. Damon was on the verge of saving his sister from Rogan when he ended up inside of the painting. Damon doesn’t know how long he’s been trapped in the painting or what’s happened to his family. This strange woman, Alexa, may be the answer to all of his problems if she can help him completely free himself from the castle that he is trapped in.
Alexa has always dreamed of meeting a man who she could have endless hours of pleasure from with no strings attached. Instantly, there is chemistry between Alexa and Damon and they waste no time putting that to good use. But is Damon real or is he just a figment of Alexa’s imagination?
In the mean time, Alexa’s best friend Cat is trying to find out information on the castle. There is a long mysterious history behind it and she is determined to help Alexa find out the truth before she puts herself in a dangerous situation. But Cat and Alexa’s brother Jacob have no idea that Alexa has released the phantom Damon from his portrait and that she is alone in the castle with him. Will Damon turn out to be evil and put Alexa’s life in danger? What is the story behind this haunted castle?
Phantom Pleasures reads like a wonderful ghost story with lots of suspense, romance and twists to keep readers entertained. The writing was beautifully vivid as I could picture the haunted castle and all the little details inside of it. Phantom Pleasures exceeded my expectations and I was very pleasantly surprised on what a wonderful novel this turned out to be. It is classified as a paranormal but that is due to ghosts as there aren’t any vampires or werewolves in this novel.
This story is very well written and I think Julie Leto fans are going to be blown away with Phantom Pleasures. The next book Phantom’s Touch is due out in December 2008 and I can’t wait to read it! Great book, great author, great fun!
Hotshot hotel developer Alexa Chandler lusts after the property she’s found off the coast of St. Augustine, Florida--a haunted island complete with an abandoned castle she intends to convert into her premiere luxury resort. Inside, the only furnishing--a captivating portrait of a man--calls to her. With a single touch, she unleashes a phantom who has been trapped within the painting for over two hundred years.
Centuries ago, Damon Forsyth charged into a mysterious gypsy enclave on a desperate mission, but found himself trapped inside a cursed painting by his mortal enemy. Over time, he has contemplated little but revenge and retribution--until undeniable need draws Alexa to his lair. Though she releases him from the painting, Damon remains bound to the castle where the portrait hangs. Damon needs Alexa to break the final barrier. Using the dark magic that enslaves him, he initiates a game of seduction--with his freedom as the ultimate prize.
Unable to resist Damon’s fierce sexuality, Alexa surrenders to his ghostly touch, but soon, she must choose between thwarting the magic that holds Damon in thrall...or her own mortality.