Phantom Lovers Book 1

I was intrigued by this book right from the author's introduction. Debra Glass is a southern belle and mentions growing up hearing stories about ghosts and the Civil War. I am a sucker for the old south (I married me a Southern boy), the Civil War, and of course ghosts. Then she proceeds to talk about her own psychic talents and encountering the spirit of Thomas Benton Smith at a battlefield. He inspired her and is one of the main characters in the Gatekeeper. Of course she took some fictional liberties but still the story has that historical bent to it. Which is another one of my weaknesses.

The author weaves paranormal fiction with a little bit of history and spins it into a modern day setting that is very interesting. The story centers in and around Nashville with criminal profiler Jillian Drew. She is a psychic that wanted to turn her back on the soul collectors that have haunted her since she was a child but now that her sister has been abducted she has to use her powers to communicate with a ghost, the only witness to her sister Amy's abduction.

Jillian seems a bit stiff and prissy, all Chanel and Manola Blahniks and manicured nails while she didn't seem to care much for her eccentric sister Amy who embraced her gifts and made a living from being a psychic, tarot card reader and such. I guess I got over Jillian being uptight but I still sided more with Amy. I think I would have liked to see her as the main character though where would the conflict have been, right? Romance novels always need conflict.

Anyway our hero, sexy Civil War soldier, Benton Smith is a strong, alpha male ghost that needs Jillian's help as much as she needs his. Uptight Jillian finds solace and passion within the arms of a ghost (the last thing she would have ever expected to happen seeing as how she has sworn off that part of her life). She battles with him as much as she battles against herself and her destiny but she has to cave eventually doesn't she?

The author does a great job at combining suspense, mystery and the paranormal into a complex tale of history; deceit, reincarnation and ghosts peppered with hot and steamy sex scenes... Amy's disappearance, people in Jillian's life (really how many psychics can there be in one town and what's up with all the reincarnated souls, unfinished business I guess), and a history that dates back to the Civil War is all tied together with the ghost of Thomas Benton Smith. Glass mixes a captivating plot with an attention getting romance. But how will it end? A psychic in love with a ghost? And will Jillian get her sister back alive? This can't have a happy ending can it?

Gatekeeper is an absorbing tale you won't want to stop reading until the book is finished.

Book Blurb for Gatekeeper

Evil shadow ghosts known as soul collectors haunted her childhood nightmares, so Nashville PD criminal profiler Jillian Drew did everything possible to turn her back on her psychic abilities. But now her eccentric sister has been abducted and nothing in her criminology background has prepared Jillian for that tragedy — or for Benton Smith, the powerful and devastatingly attractive ghost of a Civil War officer and the only witness to Amy's abduction.

Fearful of the brazen specter, Jillian nevertheless needs him. Benton is her Gatekeeper, a spirit sworn to protect her from the soul collectors, who attack each time she unleashes her long-dormant psychic senses in an attempt to find her sister.

Yet she must somehow keep the devilishly seductive spirit at arm's length, for Benton's soul is at stake — and succumbing to his desires could have dangerous consequences for them both.

Night Owl Reviews May, 2008 3.75