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Publisher's Summary

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 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 the 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.

©2004 Nora Roberts (P)2004 Brilliance Audio

Critic Reviews

"Narrator James Daniels depicts this romantic, suspenseful ghost story with finesse, switching Cajun accents as he navigates between Declan Fitzgerald and the restoration of Manet Hall in 2002, to betrayal, rape, and murder in the early 1900s." ( AudioFile)
"To add to the pleasure, tastefully choreographed, highly erotic lovemaking scenes are seamlessly woven into a novel that exemplifies storytelling at its finest." ( Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    742
  • 4 Stars
    652
  • 3 Stars
    334
  • 2 Stars
    102
  • 1 Stars
    44

Performance

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    748
  • 4 Stars
    551
  • 3 Stars
    224
  • 2 Stars
    43
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    26

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
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  • 4 Stars
    521
  • 3 Stars
    306
  • 2 Stars
    90
  • 1 Stars
    47
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • PUNTA GORDA, FL, United States
  • 04-15-14

Hated the Narrator

What disappointed you about Midnight Bayou?

The Narrator was terrible, I could not finish the book

Would you ever listen to anything by Nora Roberts again?

I love Nora Roberts, I have almost all her books and will buy more. I will listen to the Narrator first.

What didn’t you like about James Daniels and Sandra Burr ’s performance?

James's voice was so odd I just couldn't listen anymore.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

to that I found, but I didn't get all the way through it either.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Could have been a story with real depth and myster

What disappointed you about Midnight Bayou?

The author had a great story idea, but did not follow through with the plot; focusing to much on the "bedroom" and not enough on the exciting idea of the haunted mansion. This story could have been much better, had the author more fully developed and followed through with the story.

What do you think your next listen will be?

I am going to try a book by Susanna Kearsley.

Would you be willing to try another one of James Daniels and Sandra Burr ’s performances?

Possibly; I just don't know if I would want to pay a credit for another shallow story.

What character would you cut from Midnight Bayou?

The heroine's mother.

Any additional comments?

Any suggestions on an author that writes romance, but is not explicit with sex scenes?

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jan
  • LAGRANGE, KY, United States
  • 04-12-14

Good book for traveling and but don't expect a lot

Would you try another book from Nora Roberts and/or James Daniels and Sandra Burr ?

Probably not, I enjoy books with good plots and intriguing characters. This is not a bad book- just very predictable.

What could Nora Roberts have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

The plot was very predictable. The only real inspired concept was making the male character the person who experienced what in most books would have been experienced by a woman. I can't be more specific than that because I don't want to ruin that for you. I know there are lots of Nora Roberts fans out there and I respect them.

Which scene was your favorite?

I enjoyed all of the scenes that involved the restoration of the home. The descriptions of the once beautiful Louisiana mansion and of the current state of disrepair were interesting. The passages that involved the main character's restoration of the home were the best parts of the book.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The book is set in one of my favorite parts of the U.S.- southern Louisiana and New Orleans. The narrators did not try to over-do southern accents. Having grown up in the south I think that there is nothing is worse than a poorly done southern accent.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Long time getting there

I liked this book it was charming and witty. The second story background is just enough. The first story is positively brilliant. But it took a long time getting to the end and although it was interesting till the end it was predictable after you find out a certain " tidbit" of information. I felt the story was given away.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Linda
  • Tuscaloosa, AL, United States
  • 04-06-14

Very Nora Roberts!

Ghostly....Unique story, would love to listen to more of their story. The last 30 minutes gave me goose bumps! The narrator sucked...there is no other word to describe him, it could have been a 5 with a better narrator.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • barc2003
  • Glendale, AZ, United States
  • 04-04-14

I loved, loved, loved this book.

The only bad part was that it ended. An old romantic tragedy based on class differences of the old South in the antebellum period in New Orleans, leaves a mystery, legends, spirits and a beautiful home in ruins.

Fast forward to modern day where a Boston lawyer breaks his engagement and goes to New Orleans to by the home and restore it to its former glory. He meets the most interesting people in the process of restoring the home. In the process he begins to hear, see and dream things that happened 100 years ago. Can he solve the mystery, renew the house AND get the girl?

The characters are rich in creole tradition, the phrasing and behaviors are spot on for the area. Each character is believable and charming. An excellent read

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Cliché

Reads like a bad made - for - tv movie. Skillful writing but Boring story line. I had to force myself to finish it. It's basically a typical cliché boy meets girl who doesn't want to get hurt, boy chases girl until she changes her mind. Oh and there's a ghost here and there. It's mostly about a love story that has been done too many times. I enjoyed the narrators, though. That is probably why I finished it.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Tracey
  • Keller, TX, United States
  • 03-26-14

Mediocre

What did you like best about Midnight Bayou? What did you like least?

I normally love Nora Robert's but I wasn't a big fan of this book. First of all I really didn't care for the narrator's. The man's voice was not as good as some of the other's she's had and the woman's voice sounded electronic to me, way to monotone. Secondly, I wasn't a big fan of the whole re-incarnation theme throughout the book. I enjoyed it okay but definitely not one of her best.

Would you be willing to try another book from Nora Roberts? Why or why not?

Yes, because I have listened to others of hers and really enjoyed them.

What didn’t you like about James Daniels and Sandra Burr ’s performance?

James Daniels just seemed flat to me. Sandra Burr's voice sounded like it was electronic and not human.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable yet flawed

Would you consider the audio edition of Midnight Bayou to be better than the print version?

I love audio books and have found myself lately listening more than reading. That being said, I do believe this book would have been better in print mainly because of the botched accents in the audio version. If you have ever lived in the south, especially Louisiana, this will drive you CRAZY! The narrators, especially the female reader, bounced back and forth between an Irish accent to a feeble attempted Cajun accent. With a bit of research and coaching, the narration could have been tremendously better.

Any additional comments?

This audio book would be enjoyable to anyone who is fond of the romance/mystery genre and not very familiar with a true Cajun accent. The story has a supernatural twist which I found interesting and the main characters (especially Declan) were easy enough to embrace. It was predictable at times but that isn't always a bad thing especially in a romance novel. I would recommend this book to someone wanting a fun weekend or vacation read.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Loved 98% of this book!

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed almost all of this paranormal romance. I don't usually read stand-alone novels since I l-o-v-e a good series. However, this book was surprisingly good. Midnight Bayou started off strong in my opinion and stayed that way until about the last 15 minutes of the book. Without giving away any spoilers I will just say that I felt the ending was extremely rushed and could have been fleshed out a bit more. The plot builds and the characters keep saying that something needs to happen or be resolved. And then bing-bang-boom, the book is over. With that in mind, I do still feel that this book is work reading. The characters are interesting, the setting sounds beautiful and there is even a ton of detail on the house remodeling and old furniture styles (I also love furniture). I laughed out loud a few times which was great because I'm always looking for books with humor.

As for the narrators, I mostly enjoyed both of them. I am very picky as far as narrators go and I didn't mind either. I actually liked how they switched back and forth between the present and the past. While I preferred James Daniels' reading over Sandra Burr, I will say that neither got the accents quite right but neither narrator made any of the women's voices sound whiny also which is a huge pet-peeve of mine. So I have to give them credit for that.

In the end, as I said before, I would recommend reading Midnight Bayou. It's an entertaining and fun little read, but unfortunately, expect to feel a little cut-off at the end.