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The Phantom Lover

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  242 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Fiery young "Nell" Belden went to Thorndene Castle to escape a lover, not to find one. She was bound by the strict conventions of England's Regency to a man she could never love, then bound by the ties of passion to a man she could never marry! For at Thorndene, she discovered a new and startling love, a love that was as intense as it was doomed...

"You must leave Thorndene
...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 1st 1986 by Jove (first published March 1st 1979)
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Lord Carew's Bride by Mary BaloghReforming Lord Ragsdale by Carla KellyThe Temporary Wife by Mary BaloghMrs. Drew Plays Her Hand by Carla KellyThe Rake by Mary Jo Putney
Traditional Regency
156th out of 491 books — 235 voters
The Shadow Palace by Jane SteenEternal Deception by Jane SteenThe House of Closed Doors by Jane SteenThe Virgin Queen's Daughter by Ella March ChaseThe Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
"Nell"
23rd out of 37 books — 3 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Leona
Feb 14, 2016 Leona rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, regency
This was absolutely delightful.

A young man severely injured in the Napoleonic War comes home bitterly depressed hiding away in a small Cornish town hoping that the world thinks him dead. Unfortunately, the heroine and an elderly friend show up at his home (unannounced) and threaten to blow his cover. To get her to leave, he acts as a ghost to scare her away.

The antics between the heroine and ghost were quite funny and I loved their feisty attitude.

Great regency romance. I highly recommend.
BUR 2012
Jan 12, 2016 BUR 2012 rated it really liked it
It would have been 5 stars if I haven't felt that Nell behaved rather outrageously immature in the second half of the book and the resolution was a bit too "last minute" for my tastes. Still, the first half of the book was delightful and the banter between the leads as mister ghost and his-intended-scare-victim is quite fun.
Ilze
Elizabeth Mansfield's "Phantom Lover"
Good one from Elizabeth Mansfield, almost didn't put it down to do the things I was supposed to do today. Also love the cool 1970's-style cover on the 1979 edition (which I am lucky enough to have).
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Tishke
Sep 20, 2015 Tishke rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars
Original storyline, checked. Remaining authentic to the era, checked. Humor, checked. Character build up, checked. I deducted 1/2 point for the pace of the last 1/3rd of the book. It took exactly 5 pages for Harry to untangle the mess and be back in Cornwall.
Adrianna
May 17, 2015 Adrianna rated it really liked it
I really loved this one. Of course the "ghost" who visits Nell's bedchamber at night is flesh-and-blood, but it's such an enjoyable event for her that she's loathe to figure out how the trick is done and spoil the fun.

The friendship that develops between Nell and her visitor is exactly what one would expect to come before one falls in love. So many of these novels focus solely on the physical attractions, or love at first sight, but the novels that develop a real, lasting relationship between t
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Jacqueline
Harry who was wounded in the Napoleonic wars pretends to be a ghost to try to scare Nell away from the house where she has been banished.

A very cute story and a long time favorite,
Ellen Sara
Dec 13, 2009 Ellen Sara rated it really liked it
When Nell jilts her fourth betrothed and with it tosses aside her guardians hopes of getting out debt her family sends her away to teach her a lesson. Nell is banished far to the her families estate that is furthest from London. Her kind honorary Aunt agrees to accompany her on the long journey. When they arrive at the state they find the caretakers to be unwelcoming and are told the house is haunted. Nell doesn't believe in ghosts but when she receives a ghostly visitation she is intrigued. She ...more
Susan in NC
Oct 16, 2016 Susan in NC rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun and charming Regency love story - thanks to my Heyer-loving GR friends for recommending this author. Charming characters, witty dialogue, satisfying love story with just enough angst about whether (and how!) Harry and Nell will get their happily ever after - what more could a reader ask for?! I look forward to enjoying more of Mansfield's delightful Regency romances.
Mary
Oct 13, 2016 Mary rated it really liked it
4.5 Clean read despite what the title/cover might suggest.
Barb in Maryland
Sep 26, 2016 Barb in Maryland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all Heyer fans
Technically this is a (multiple times) re-read. I first read it in 1979; indeed, somewhere, is my original paperback copy, but I hadn't re-read it in who knows how long. Maybe I was afraid that the 'suck fairy' would have gotten to it. i am happy to report that it is just as charming as it ever was.

This is Regency Romance in the Georgette Heyer mold. Delightful characters, clever dialog, heart-felt emotions. I laughed. I cried, I rejoiced in the well-deserved happy ending. Our heroine, Nell, is
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KC
What a fun, traditional Regency romance! I chuckled out loud many times especially in the first half. The banter and chemistry between Nell and Harry leapt off the pages, keeping me well-entertained. I enjoyed seeing them fall in love as well as establishing a solid friendship.

The author did a great job in showing how Nell fit Harry perfectly. Her sweet, yet fiery spirit (hehe) was exactly what he needed. Harry, too, possessed an easy-going, yet moody nature that kept Nell on her toes. He was no
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Nenya
Aug 26, 2015 Nenya rated it really liked it
The first half is a lot of fun. h is banished to an estate in Cornwall, by her adopted 'parents'. A tea-loving great aunt accompanies her. H is hiding from the world and is depressed about his amputated leg. He tries to scare them away by playing to be a ghost. H visits h nightly as ghost, and they play along for 2 weeks.

Around midway through the novel, everyone is in London, H is back with his fiancee (not the h!), whom he was betrothed to before leaving for war. And I don't really like this pa
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Alice
Apr 01, 2015 Alice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Treat For Regency Romance Lovers

Wounded having lost a leg, the new Earl hides on his remote Cornish Estate. At the same time, young Nell is banished to the same Estate by her guardian, who is anticipating becoming the Earl because nobody has heard from Harry since leaving him wounded on a battlefield in Spain. He has been presumed dead. And dead he appears, when he assumes the appearance of a ghost to scare away Nell and his Aunt Amelia from the estate.

The dialogue is witty and delightful betwee
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Antonia
overall, it was a good read. i wasn't convinced by the beginning but enjoyed the second part when the setting changed. the characters were as believable as befits a romance novel of the genre.
i am always in two minds about the dukes and earls etc. because they (and the girls obviously) always seem too nice, not, you know, powerful / leading enough as would befit their position. in romances they tend to be sympathetic to everyone without the sense of entitlement i would expect from the higher cl
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Elen
Jul 09, 2016 Elen rated it did not like it
Too bad I can't come over my initial dislike of Nell, because Nell and Harry's first encounter was everything delightful and hilarious. But Nell is refreshingly dislike-able. I thought I would really like her, a girl who admits to dampening her gowns a few times and showing off her figures. Way better than moralizing hypocrites who are supposedly tastefully revealing. meh. But her attitude toward the betrothal and the family situation was too stupid and, as much as I am against coercing someone ...more
Rose
... Well, I think you are a great Rudesby to haunt a girl in her nightdress!!
After this rather unexpected reaction to his portrayal of a bloody ghost, poor Captain Harry finds himself less and less interested in frightening away his unexpected guest and more interested in getting to know her. This is a very good Recency romance, if slightly obviously in the style of Georgette Heyer. It is funny, witty, sweet and very entertaining. In fact I enjoyed it so much I'm going to read everything else th
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Carrie
Love the hydrangea on the cover. Honestly though I loved the whole thing, this book was excellent all around. A Peninsular war veteran (Harry) damaged in body and mind wants to recuperate (aka brood) in peace at his manor in Cornwall. When the heroine (Nell) is banished to the same estate, he attempts to haunt her and his aunt out of his home and Nell laughs at his attempts. The chemistry and banter between the two is off the charts.
Sheri
Jun 11, 2014 Sheri rated it liked it
Written in 1979, this was a sweet, typical, short regency. It was rather delightful. What made it different was the heroine, who was "a bit of a baggage." She's a girl who likes to have fun, likes to flirt, enjoys herself (she is respectable and appropriate.) She's popular. She's cried off from three engagements. I enjoyed watching the humorous and fun interaction between her and the hero.
Caroline
Oct 11, 2015 Caroline rated it it was amazing
I adore this book beyond reason and I've re-read it more times than I can say. It's not a new book but happily it's been released in digital form for $1.99. If someone told me that they were willing to read just one historical romance in their life, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend The Phantom Lover as that one book. It's romance writing at it's very finest.
Etty
Sep 13, 2012 Etty rated it liked it
Ceritanya? Biasa aja... Ringan... Tokoh2nya bisa dibilang tidak ada yang menonjol termasuk kedua tokoh utama, singkat kata kurang digali lebih dalam tentang karakter mereka. Agak jarang untuk sebuah novel yang bebas dari sensualitas yang biasa ditonjolkan di berbagai novel yang ada unsur romantisme. Baca semalam suntuk habisin nih cerita tapi lumayanlah meski agak membosankan sedikit.
Arlene Allen
Mar 28, 2011 Arlene Allen rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
I really wasn't all that impressed by this one. Maybe it was just my mood, but I found the characters shallow and the plot only too predictable. Then again I'm in a reading slump and nothing seems to suit me lately...
Gaile
Mar 03, 2011 Gaile rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regency
In this one, the heroine falls in love with a ghost. There are no dark scenes or freezing such as are commonly associated with ghosts. Nell doesn't recognize him as a ghost at first. This book is great fun to read. The author really has quite an imagination!
Ramona Sprague
Jul 24, 2015 Ramona Sprague rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Phantom Lover By Elizabeth Mansfield

This story was truly delightful. It is a delightful read for your summer vacation or for a cold winter weekend. I enjoyed it and I hope you will also.
Beth K
Aug 25, 2015 Beth K rated it really liked it
Fast, enjoyable read. A friend recommended this author to me since I've read practically every Georgette Heyer in print. The character development didn't feel as rich, but I'm sure I'll be downloading more of her books.
Regina Scott
Jan 06, 2015 Regina Scott rated it it was amazing
This was the first traditional Regency romance I ever read, and I couldn't put it down. I love all of Elizabeth Mansfield's books, but this one is special.
Rachel
Mar 23, 2016 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
For the most part, this was quite good. There was a slow section in the back half, dropping this from 4 stars to 3, but overall I liked it.
Muriel
I couldn't sleep and gobbled this one up in one night. The premise sounded iffy to me but I was thoroughly charmed by the tale of Nell and Harry.
Bettye McKee
Bettye McKee rated it it was amazing
May 20, 2015
Cami
Cami rated it it was amazing
Sep 11, 2013
Emily
Emily rated it liked it
Aug 22, 2016
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Nov 09, 2015 07:44AM  
  • The Lady's Companion
  • The Fortune Hunter (Lord Rival, #2)
  • An Angel for the Earl
  • A London Season (Regency Duo, #1)
  • Some Brief Folly (Sanguinet Saga, #1)
  • The Rake and the Wallflower
  • Three Lords for Lady Anne
  • Quiet Meg (Regency Trilogy, #1)
  • Lady Elizabeth's Comet (Clanross, #1)
  • Deirdre and Don Juan (Lovers and Ladies, #6)
  • Poetic Justice
  • Lord St. Claire's Angel (Lords and Ladies, #1)
Elizabeth Mansfield is the author of numerous regency romances. She is an intelligent and thoughtful writer, a hidden gem whose novels deserve to be more widely read and enjoyed.

Elizabeth Mansfield is the pen name of the talented Paula Reibel Schwartz. Ms Schwartz also wrote different genres under the pen names Paula Reibel, Paula Reid, and Paula Jonas.
More about Elizabeth Mansfield...

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