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Midnight Bayou
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Declan Fitzgerald had always been the family maverick, but even he can't understand his impulse to buy a dilapidated mansion on the outskirts of New Orleans. All he knows is that ever since he saw Manet Hall, he's been enchanted - and obsessed - with it. So when the opportunity to buy the house comes up, Declan jumps at the chance. Determined to restore Manet Hall to its former splendour, Declan begins the daunting renovation room by room, relying on his own labour and skills. But spending his days in total isolation in the empty house is taking its toll. He's 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 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.
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Declan Fitzgerald is determined to restore a dilapidated mansion on the outskirts of New Orleans to its former splendour, though he must rely on his own labour to do so. As he works he sees visions from a century past, and only Angelina Simone can distract him, until a secret that has been buried for 100 years is uncovered. (Temporary)

About the Author

Nora Roberts is the author of more than one hundred New York Times bestsellers, with more than 300 million copies of her books in print. Under the pen name J. D. Robb, she is author of the bestselling futuristic suspense series. Visit her website at www.noraroberts.com.

Reviews

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.

Always check to see whether the crumbling manor house you impulsively decide to purchase and renovate is in fact haunted. That is what Declan Fitzgerald failed to do, and now he must uncover a 100-year-old secret before it is too late. 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 fiance, 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.

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