Midnight Bayou by Nora Roberts
Declan has fallen in love with New Orleans and knows he plans to stay but Lena has her doubts. She never wants to depend on a man and end up like her mother so she’s determined to hold everyone at bay. She believes Declan will eventually get bored with his “vacation” and her and return home to his wealthy family. I first read this one over 10 years ago and have gotten around to reading it again and I’m very happy I did so. In typical Nora Roberts fashion, this story was a great romance, with witty banter, spicy characters and little bit of mystery thrown in.
I aways enjoy Robert’s attention to detail and how she can create such an amazing atmosphere in her books. I really felt like I was in New Orleans, enjoying the wonderful cajun flavor. I also really liked the little haunting twist Roberts included in this one since it was different than what you would usually come across in a romance story. I really appreciated the unique way Roberts handled this.
I really loved Declan — Roberts really knows how to write a hero! He may be from Boston but he had all the charm of a southern gentleman and certainly knew how to hold his own with the fiery Lena. This book was very heavily about Declan — his connection the Manet Hall, his renovation of it, his struggle in a new environment, and his love of Lena. Because of this I felt like Declan was his solid presence and Lena was just rotating around him. We rarely get scenes with just Lena alone going about her day and work. Because of this, she felt a bit one-dimensional in the grand scheme of the story.
4 out of 5 stars
Flashback rape scene (on page)
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.
Published by Berkley on November 26, 2002