Title: Midnight Bayou
Author: Nora Roberts
Date Read: September 20, 2013
Summary: 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. goodreads
Review: I tend to be a Nora Roberts fan to begin with. No, she's not deep and mysterious and full of symbolism. But if you want a good love story and a quick read with some substance, she's a go-to. And with Midnight Bayou, girl did not disappoint!
I listened to this book on CD which is rare for me but I'm so happy I did. The narrators had great accents and it really made this book come alive for me. There is no chance I would have been able to imagine a good Cajun accent in my head and actually hearing the voices (not Declan style ;)) speak like the characters transported me to the Bayou as well as the early 1900's.
Rather than a specific character, this story focuses on Manet Hall. I love old plantation houses and love hearing the stories behind them so this book was right up my alley. I really enjoyed the flashbacks to the beginning of the century and the seamless way two love stories were told. At times, it got a little out there with ghosts and re-incarnation stuff but I really enjoyed the overall story line.
You know I'm going to assess the characters and I obviously have to begin with Dec. Nora is known for her leading men and she completely understands what makes women tick when it comes to a main character in novels. Declan was right on par! He was strong, stubborn, rich, and in love. Haha, it sounds ridiculous but he is a guy who any girl could easily fall for. Angelina did not see him coming but even her strong-willed, no nonsense self couldn't deny him. The love story is sweet and believable. The characters are well developed and charming; who wouldn't fall instantly in love with Miss Odette? And the slight ghost story to the plot just adds to it. I would definitely recommend this for a fun read! (and listen to it on "tape" if possible. Did I just age myself or what?!?)