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REVIEW

"Intriguing with unique twists in the mystery of the house"

After breaking off his engagement to a woman he realizes he doesn't love, Boston lawyer, Declan Fitzgerald, buys an old home just outside New Orleans, gives up his law career, and moves to Louisiana. He'd grown tired of the corporate world, and after finding that he had a talent for remodeling and an affinity for demanding manual labor, Declan decides to fix up this house which called to him when he first saw it while spending Mardi Gras with his law school pal, Remi. The house is rumored to be haunted, and from the moment he arrives, Declan hears noises and sees visions of the house as it used to be one hundred years ago. Without knowing how, he knows things about the original owners. He discovers that a young woman was murdered there and that her death was not avenged, and he realizes that there are spirits in the house who want his help and forces that want to drive him away.

While catching up with Remi one night, he meets Lena Simone, the granddaughter of his nearest neighbor and a distant relative of a woman who lived in his house years ago. He is drawn to Lena immediately and quickly determines that she is the woman he will marry. Lena on the other hand is not so sure she agrees with this arrangement. She has made a way for herself, working as a waitress until she could purchase her own bar in the French Quarter, and she does not want to give up her heart or her independence.

Nora Roberts interweaves Declan and Lena's story with flashes of what happened in the house all those years ago. The eldest son of the house, Lucien, married a Cajun girl from the bayou, and his mother and twin brother, Julian, were willing to do whatever was necessary to see that this former servant didn't inherit part of the family fortune.

I couldn't put this book down. The story line was intriguing and just when I thought I had the mystery of the house all figured out, Ms. Roberts threw in a unique twist. The tension between Lena and Declan sizzles hotter and hotter as their relationship deepens, and some of the scenes between them will have readers fanning themselves.

Typically, I would not have picked up a book about a haunted house, but as a fan of Nora Roberts, I wanted to give this one a try, and I am glad I did. I think that it would appeal to those who wouldn't normally read a paranormal as well as fans of ghost stories.

Sarah Neal Copyright January 2002
For PNR Romance Reviews

Reviewed by Sarah Neal
Posted January 24, 2002

SUMMARY

2001 RITA Finalist

The phenomenal #1 New York Times-bestselling author presents a novel set deep in the bayou of Louisiana-where the only witness to a long-ago tragedy is a once-grand house.

Declan Fitzgerald had always been the family maverick, but even he couldn't understand his impulse to buy a dilapidated mansion on the outskirts of New Orleans. All he knew was that ever since he first saw Manet Hall, he'd been enchanted-and obsessed-with it. So when the opportunity to buy the house comes up, Declan jumps at the chance to live out a dream.

Determined to restore Manet Hall to its former splendor, Declan begins the daunting renovation room by room, relying on his own labor and skills. But the days spent in total isolation in the empty house take a toll. He is seeing visions of days from a century past, and experiencing sensations of terror and nearly unbearable grief-sensations not his own, but those of a stranger. Local legend has it that the house is haunted, and with every passing day Declan's belief in the ghostly presence grows.

Only the companionship of alluring Angelina Simone can distract him from the mysterious happenings in the house, but Angelina too has her own surprising connection to Manet Hall-a connection that will help Declan uncover a secret that's been buried for a hundred years.

Read an Excerpt

 

Midnight Bayou
by Nora Roberts

Putnam
October 1, 2001
Available: October 15, 2001
ISBN #0399148248
EAN #9780399148248
432 pages
Hardcover
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Other Books by
Nora Roberts

The Pagan Stone
The Hollow
Blood Brothers
Valley of Silence
Dance of the Gods
Morrigan's Cross
Red Lily
Moon Shadows
Black Rose
Blue Dahlia
Charmed & Enchanted
A Little Magic
Hidden Riches
A Little Fate
Entranced
Remember When
Birthright
The Lives and Loves of Four Brothers on the Windswept Shores
Captivated
Key of Valor
Chesapeake Blue
Key of Light
Key of Knowledge
Once Upon a Midnight
Remember When
Private Scandals
Birthright
Three Fates
Truly, Madly Manhattan
Table For Two
Midnight Bayou
Chesapeake Blue
Once Upon A Kiss
Face The Fire
Three Fates
The Villa
A Little Magic
Heaven And Earth
Once Upon A Rose
Dance Upon the Air
Rising Tides
Sea Swept
Carolina Moon
The Stanislaski Sisters
Heart of the Sea
Once Upon a Dream
Night Tales
Once Upon A Star
Enchanted
The Donovan Legacy
Inner Harbor
Sacred Sins


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