Wow, what a story. This is why I love Nora Roberts' books...romance, both past and present, and a ghost!!! Loved it. Read it in two days because I was home from work sick. Couldn't put it down and hated to see it end.
This book was a very good read. I enjoyed the scenic backdrops of the Bayou and Roberts knows just how to attract you to the main character. He shows true determination in the face of ghostly haunts and he's able to look beyond his lady love's past and go after what he wants in life (now that's spunk!).
Triple-platinum romance doyenne Roberts spins a tale of bayou passions old and new in her latest romantic suspense novel, set on the grounds of a dilapidated postbellum mansion outside New Orleans. Declan Fitzgerald, a Harvard-educated Boston lawyer, has longed to possess Manet Hall ever since he and his friend, Remy Payne, broke into the old place as drunken students on a lark. Now, on the eve of his wedding, Declan leaves Boston, the law and his fiance, buys the decrepit hall and embarks on a mission to restore it with his own sweat, blood and money. But Manet Hall comes with a dark history, and restoring it means uncovering its past, which includes rape, murder and betrayal. Declan encounters an additional challenge in the person of Cajun beauty and bar owner Lena Simone, who has her own dark history and a surprising connection to Manet Hall. As Declan digs deeper at the Hall, he often hears a baby crying. The cries are followed by voices, particularly that of Abigail Manet, the baby's mother. Abigail's story, which unfolds in 1900, is woven so tightly with Declan's that he finds it difficult to escape her grasp. In the end, only Lena can bring him back from the tragic past that threatens to engulf him. Roberts's role reversal here it is the male character who hears voices and even swoons gives her faithful readers a little extra thrill, and the lush setting and the satisfying if predictable romance round out the package. --Review by Publisher's Weekly
Haunted by ghostly visions from a century past, Declan Fitzgerald is drawn to his beautiful neighbor, Angelina. But as the passion between them grows, their future together depends on uncovering a secret from the past as dark and deep as the bayou.
There are ghosts in Manet Hall. The aging plantation mansion long ago lost its luster and has been sold and resold as owners flee the souls that still inhabit its rooms, playing out a long-ago tragedy. But former Boston lawyer Declan Fitzgerald is drawn to the house after seeing it on a visit to the city. He ditches his big-time law career and fancy fiancée, packs his bags, and relocates to Louisiana, where he plans to restore the mansion's former glory.
Upon his arrival, he meets the lovely Angelina Simone, a barkeep raised on the bayou, who like him has her own set of emotional baggage. And slowly it becomes clear that Angelina has a strange and mysterious connection to the past events replaying themselves in Declan's new home. Not even thumps in the day and night, his unsettling visions and episodes of sleepwalking, or Angelina's rebuffs make Declan give up his mission of uncovering that connection. He single-mindedly pursues his goal amid the slamming doors and flying cups and saucers, and -- through an amusing role reversal -- his relationship with Angelina blossoms.
Although you have to suspend all sense of reality to accept the supernatural happenings as everyday fact at Manet Hall, Midnight Bayou is a fast and entertaining read. Nora Roberts's legions of fans will eat it up. (G. M. Dixon)
A combination of historical romantic suspense and contemporary ghost story.
Tastefully choreographed, highly erotic scenes are seamlessly woven into a novel that exemplifies storytelling at its finest.
I read this as an unabridged audiobook which is usually an advantage for me but I may have been better off reading the paperback version because I wasnt thrilled with the male narrator who reads the bulk of the book. His voice kept putting me off and kept me at a distance from the story or maybe I should face the fact that the romance just wasnt that great. I guess the combination of the two didn't help.
The prologue details some nasty business featuring rape, murder and madness that went down in the 1800s. Just when it had my full attention it leaps forward to 2002 and loses me a bit.
Declan Fitzgerald is 31 and a successful attorney but his heart isnt in it and he decides to trek across country and purchase a Louisiana mansion with the intent of fixing it up even though hes no carpenter. Yes folks, this is the mansion where the nasty stuff happened. It is soon revealed that Declan had basically left a fiancee at the altar a few months earlier and the thought occurs to me that hes running away from life which doesnt exactly win me over. Almost immediately he starts seeing visions and hearing a baby crying and this intrigues instead of frightens him because, as we're told over and over again, he feels like he is finally exactly where he belongs.
His love interest is local bar owner Angelina (call me Lina because Im no Angel) whose grandmother lives near Declans property. Lina is independent but soon swoons when Declan is near and begins to help him unravel the secrets of the mansion. Shes gorgeous and a good business woman but she was just a bit too distant for me for a large portion of the book. The reasons why were revealed way too late because at that point I had nearly tuned her out.
I found the ghostly aspects of this story much more compelling than the modern day romance. It was all rather by the numbers and meh without much emotional connection and the love scenes were a snore. The flashbacks to the past were much more interesting to me and I found myself wishing on more than one occasion that the entire book was set in the past. As the story continues events are revealed to tie in the current day couple to past but it all seemed a little off to me. Not my favorite by Roberts but not the worst book Ive ever read either.
This book was set in the 1800's and a girl dies and her husband commits succide and their baby was raised by her maternal grandparents. The mother was raped and killed by her husbands twin brother. It was a very very good book.
This was my first book from Nora Roberts and she did not dissapoint. I liked that the main character was the male Declan. She did a wonderful description of the bayou and the house that Declan was restoring. I liked the characters including Lena. I thought she was a bit mean to Declan but things got better. It's a good mystery/romance novel. Enjoyed it.
Mysterious things happen at Manet Hall in Louisanna. Declan bought the big house unseen and was there to fix it up. Leaving his job as an attorney up north, he came south and took up repairing this old house. Excellent story.
This is not one of Nora's typical books. It's a mystery full of rich characters and a story that will take you on a journey. VERY GOOD. Amazon.com and Barnes and Nobles gives a great account of the story.
Declan Fitzgerald buys an old rundown plantation house as soon as it comes on the market. He has first seen Manet Hall years ago when visiting his friend, Remy, in New Orleans, and quickly feel in love with it. Now he is working night and day, restoring the old mansion to its former glory. But when he starts hearing a baby cry
and slamming doors, he begins thinking the stories about the house being haunted are true. Declan meets Angelina Simone and it's love at first sight for him. He soon realizes it's going to take Lena a little longer to fall for him. But they both have ties to the house and to the tragedy that took place there...a tragedy that could alter their destiny.
This isn't your usual Nora Roberts book. In this one we have ghosts and reincarnation. I enjoyed Declan and the way he let Lena know that he loved her and knew she would eventually love him too. I wasn't crazy about Lena. I thought she was cold and really couldn't see why she had such a problem committing to Declan. This book had several great supporting characters, including Miss Odette and Remy, who both brought humor to the story. My rating: 4 Stars.
This is the first Nora Roberts book I have ever read and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it.The story line moved along fairly quickly and was interesting and I liked the main two characters a lot although their mind games with each started to get old by the end of the book. I also liked how every few chapters or so there was a page or two about what happened at the house back in the 1800's. The ghost parts were not very scary though. The ending was a little anti climatic but there was one aspect that surprised me a little--which I won't mention cuz I don't want to give any part of the story away. I will rent this movie someday to see how good it is and I will also look for other Nora Roberts books similar to this one too.
Roberts lays the groundwork for this novel beginning with a scene from 1899. Abigail is awaiting the arrival of her husband, Lucien, in their home, Manet Hall. Abigail was a lowly servant who fell madly in love with one of the sons of the owner. Lucien reciprocates her love much to his mothers chagrin. Instead of this being a fairy tale romance, his evil twin, Julian, intercedes. He brutally rapes and kills Abigail. Since his mother never liked Abigail, she assists Julian in cleaning up the murder scene and helps him dump her body into the bayou so as not to be found. They concoct a story of her running off with a lover, which breaks Luciens heart.
Switch back to current times and we find Declan Fitzgerald buying Manet Hall, which has fallen into disrepair. He begins restoring the old mansion and encounters the bizarre. Things like a room on the third floor that he cannot enter because fear overwhelms him. Or his watch which always stops at midnight, while the chimes of a non-existent grandfather clock sound. Or a crying baby who sounds like he's on the third floor, which is vacant.
Enter Angelina Simone (Lena), the granddaughter of Miss Odette who lives next door to Manet Hall. Lena has always been drawn to Manet Hall ever since she was a little girl. Of course this being a romance, Lena and Declan fall madly in love while they try to unravel the strange happenings surrounding them.
Character development is excellent and Roberts delves into Declan and Lena with her usual style, leaving little to the imagination. Also, we are given insight into Abigail and Lucien and were led to believe that they could be Declan and Lena in previous lives. Ok, so its a bit weird, but nothing is out of reach when Nora Roberts is at the helm. A support cast rounds is also well developed and intriguing in their own rights.
Roberts doesnt overdo the hauntings or supernatural stuff to the point that it deters from the story line or characters. If anything it enhances the readers enjoyment. She uses the right mix of romance and supernatural to attract a greater reading audience.
Found this at a yard sale for the Humane Society but I haven't read it.
Triple-platinum romance doyenne Roberts spins a tale of bayou passions old and new in her latest romantic suspense novel, set on the grounds of a dilapidated postbellum mansion outside New Orleans. Declan Fitzgerald, a Harvard-educated Boston lawyer, has longed to possess Manet Hall ever since he and his friend, Remy Payne, broke into the old place as drunken students on a lark. Now, on the eve of his wedding, Declan leaves Boston, the law and his fiance, buys the decrepit hall and embarks on a mission to restore it with his own sweat, blood and money. But Manet Hall comes with a dark history, and restoring it means uncovering its past, which includes rape, murder and betrayal. Declan encounters an additional challenge in the person of Cajun beauty and bar owner Lena Simone, who has her own dark history and a surprising connection to Manet Hall. As Declan digs deeper at the Hall, he often hears a baby crying. The cries are followed by voices, particularly that of Abigail Manet, the baby's mother. Abigail's story, which unfolds in 1900, is woven so tightly with Declan's that he finds it difficult to escape her grasp. In the end, only Lena can bring him back from the tragic past that threatens to engulf him. Roberts's role reversal here it is the male character who hears voices and even swoons gives her faithful readers a little extra thrill, and the lush setting and the satisfying if predictable romance round out the package.