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Publisher's Summary

The fascinating stranger who visits a young lady in the dead of night is no ghostly spirit in this spellbinding Regency romance by award-winning author Elizabeth Mansfield.

After scandalizing London with her improper behavior and jilting two suitors, Nell Belden is about to do it again. This time she rejects the very wealthy, utterly insufferable nobleman her financially strapped guardians have been pressuring her to marry. Banished to their isolated Cornwall estate, Nell is awakened one night by an unusual apparition.

But her midnight visitor is no phantom. He is Captain Henry Thorne, sixth earl of Thornbury. The new lord of Thorndene has returned to his crumbling family seat to live in isolation, far from the horrors of war. Nell is intrigued by this wounded soldier who has no desire to take his rightful place in society. As the weeks pass, and fascination flames into dangerous desire, Nell realizes she must leave - or risk losing her heart to the one man who can never belong to her.

©1979 Paula Schwartz; This edition published in 2015 by Open Road Integrated Media, Inc. (P)2015 Audible Inc.

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  • Lady M
  • 11-04-2015

Sometimes You Have to Kiss a Lot of Frogs....

..until you find a prince. "The Phantom Lover" is a prince of a book. It's the story of Captain Henry Thorne, sixth earl of Thornbury, who has returned to his crumbling family seat to live in isolation after being wounded in the war against Napoleon. MIA Henry feels his life is over, all his dreams of marrying his beautiful fiancé and plans for the future are destroyed by cannon fire. He doesn't want anyone to know he is still alive other than the caretakers of his isolated Cornwall estate, who cared for him as a boy. Out of love, they will do anything for the Earl, even if it means hiding him from the world and turning away unwanted visitors.

Nell Belden rejects the very wealthy, utterly insufferable nobleman her financially strapped guardians (Henry Thorne's uncle, who gambles away his monthly allowance willed to him by his brother and Henry's grandfather; and his high society wife who lives to give lavish parties) have been pressuring her to marry. They love Nell, but need the money an advantages marriage would bring them, so they banish Nell to their isolated Cornwall estate after she scandalizes London with her improper behavior and jilting three suitors. They hope the isolation of Cornwall will bring Nell to here senses and compel her to do her 'duty' by them.

The caretakers of the Cornwall estate try to get rid of Nell and Henry's aunt, who has accompanied her to Cornwall. But Nell does not discourage easy, so the caretakers have no other option than to let them stay. Henry hatches a plan to send them back to London, but he doesn't count on Nell's tenacity.

Morag Sims gave a good performance.

Good clean entertainment!

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  • Teresa, avid reader
  • 30-12-2017

Elizabeth Mansfield is in a class by herself

Such a delightful novel! Witty, humorous, warm, charming. Just the way a sweet romance should be :-)

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  • Sarah
  • 24-11-2019

Fantastic!

I was initially put off by the title but this book is great fun! It reminds me of Cotillion by Georgette Heyer in spirit, which is one of my favourite Heyer books. It’s a romantic comedy with strong leads who spark off one another. Good narration.

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