Year of the Category Challenge Review: Phantom Lover by Rebecca York

In the darkened bedroom of Ravencrest, Bree Brennan was seduced by an unseen lover. A lover whose scorching kiss was strangely familiar. Was her midnight caller Troy London, her onetime love, or was it the mythical ghost who haunted the cliffside, windswept estate on the California coast?

A P.I., Bree had come undercover to Ravencrest to find its owner, Troy, and ensure his well-being. But Bree knew she was out of her league the moment she saw its dark rock spires and its creepy inhabitants who claimed a crazy Troy was prisoner in his own chambers. But Bree heard his husky voice, felt his sizzling touch...Exactly who was weaving an undeniable, erotic spell around her?

Bree has been asked to act as a teacher to Troy London’s daughter, Dinah, by Troy’s sister Helen. Bree is anxious to get to Ravencrest because she’s been in love with Troy for 7 years but hasn’t seen him in as long. But when she gets to Ravenscroft she finds that she doesn’t understand anything that’s going on.

The “cousins” of Troy and Helen who are supposedly taking over the house because Troy has had a nervous breakdown are just strange. Bree’s not sure what to make of them. The lady of the pair, Nola, can’t stop talking about a ghost from 100 years ago and its supposed sexual exploits. Then there’s her belligerent husband, the super nice housekeeper and the scarier than hell groundskeeper. If that’s not weird enough she’s kissed in the middle of the night. Is it a dream or reality, she can’t tell.

When Bree starts looking for Troy because he’s just never around, she finds him, but he sounds confused and he never wants her to look at him. He comes up to her from the back and holds her so she can’t look at him. Then there are these weird special powers that Troy has that are freaking Bree out and she’s not sure what to make of them.

This was a strange bizarre book. About 18 months ago I bought about 15 Harlequin intrigues from a garage sale for $1.00. I hadn’t read any of them. Yikes. So when it was time to pick a category for this month’s challenge I started reading the backs of the books to try to decide which one to pick. This is the one I chose, obviously, but I’m not sure I chose wisely. The book wasn’t bad per say, but it just wasn’t my thing. I guess I was expecting more of a straight contemporary suspense story but this definitely had paranormal elements.

I do have to say that the book did keep me guessing until the last 1/3 of the book. I didn’t know who the mastermind behind the scheming was and why they were scheming. That was done very well. I was never quite sure what was going on with Troy because his character was so vague. As Bree was thinking – did he get hit on the head and now he has these weird psychic powers? Was he a ghost? What? It truly wasn’t ever answered but it ended with a acceptable enough conclusion. And Bree – I just couldn’t connect with her – determined one minute, flighty the next…it just didn’t’ work for me.

That being said…if you like odd, bizarre tales of suspense this might work for you. Written well, just not my type of book.

Rating: 3 out 5


Barbara said...

Ooh, this actually sounds good. I haven't read many suspence romances but the ones I have read I really enjoyed.

Thanks for the review.

Christine said...

I've read a few of Rebecca York's wolf stories and really liked them... especially Killing Moon. But I think I'll pass on this one. Thanks for the review, though!

Tracy said...

Barb - I'll send it to you! :)

Christine - I have one of York's in that series too that Magic sent me and I haven't read it. This one I should have passed on too. Just not my thing.

kmont said...

Hmmm, from the blurb, I'd have been really interested in this book, too.

Like Christine, I've read some of her full length stuff so maybe I might be in for the stranger paranormal elements. The only thing I wonder about tho is how well those will be carried out in this shorter format.

Tracy said...

Kmont - The blurb really grabbed me so I was more than disappointed to be so unhappy with the outcome.