The Barnes & Noble Review
In Nora Roberts's realm, human frailties like fear and jealousy are always conquered, and wild, commitment-phobic lovers are miraculously domesticated. It's that magic that makes every one of her more than 60 bestselling novels so enchanting to read. Midnight Bayou, set deep in the Louisiana bayou and on the steamy streets of New Orleans, is no exception.
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)
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 fianc?e, 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. Literary Guild main selection. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Roberts spins a romantic tale of love, murder, betrayal, and ghosts in the bayou. Just days before his wedding, wealthy and handsome Declan Fitzgerald (of the Boston Fitzgeralds) leaves his fianc e, his job, and his home on the East Coast to buy a decrepit old mansion near New Orleans. Manet Hall has a dark history, and as Declan progresses with the renovations, he begins to hear a baby crying somewhere in the house. In the midst of this, Declan meets beautiful bar owner Lena Simone. Their romance begins to mirror an older, doomed love from the past listeners will have a hard time stopping the tapes on this one. Roberts can be an erratic writer, but Midnight Bayou shows her at the top of her game. The narration is very good, and for once it is not rushed; James Daniels's wonderful voice embodies both Declan's sexy machismo and his sensitive side. Sandra Burr reads the flashbacks that add so much depth to the story. Enthusiastically recommended for all libraries. Barbara Perkins, Irving P.L., TX Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
A gumbo seasoned with ghosts, love, and murder on the bayou. When 30-something Declan Fitzgerald of Boston, a successful lawyer and a member of a large and loving family, breaks off his engagement to very suitable Jessica, he knows he needs to change his life. Lawyering is not fun anymore, so, recalling Manet Hall, an old deserted plantation house he once visited with law school classmate and New Orleans native Remy, he buys the property and moves down south. Declan is also a gifted craftsman, a born decorator, and very, very rich. Soon, he meets beautiful Lena, who's visiting her grandmother Odette, Declan's friendly Cajun neighbor. Declan is as certain that Lena is destined to be his wife as he was that Manet Hall would become his home. But, surprise, Lena has a troubled past (like the house) and is determined to resist Declan's courtship. While he suits Lena and works on the place, Declan experiences troubling dreams. It seems he's actually reliving the novel's parallel story, which took place in 1899. In that year, the maid, Abbey Manet (from whom Lena, coincidentally, is descended, and who married wealthy Lucian Manet), was raped and murdered by her brother-in-law Julian as she nursed her baby daughter. Her body was dumped into the bayou by her mother-in-law, who despised her. And grief-stricken husband Lucian, away at the time, being told that Abbey had run off, committed suicide. Now, in an unconvincing twist of gender and reincarnation, it's Declan who hears a baby crying , experiences childbirth and rape as the reincarnation of Abbey, while Lena is Lucian. The two accept all this with equanimity, and, Manet Hall's secrets revealed, it becomes the setting for predictable andmuch foreshadowed resolutions. Agreeably credible lovers and a neat piece of home-restoration compensate some for the hokey hauntings on the bayou. Loyal fans will enjoy. Literary Guild main selection
“Roberts spins a tale of bayou passions old and new in her latest romantic suspense novel...lush setting...Satisfying.”—Publishers Weekly
“Roberts is in peak form with this combination of historical romantic suspense and contemporary ghost story...Roberts has cleverly crafted an enticing tangle of times and relationships…To add to the pleasure, tastefully choreographed, highly erotic scenes are seamlessly woven into a novel that exemplifies storytelling at its finest.”—Booklist
“This amazingly talented and prolific author has cooked up an entertaining and engrossing story from the mix…As always, her dialogue sparkled, her love scenes steamed up my glasses, and her secondary characters added humor and interest.”—The Romance Reader
“Quick wit and snappy conversation...Steamy.”—The Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)
“A gumbo seasoned with ghosts, love, and murder on the bayou.”—Kirkus Reviews