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.
The story starts out by telling of the tragedy that happened at Manet Hall in 1899, then skips to the present day. This happens throughout the book, which I liked.
Declan and Lena (Angelina) are the main characters in this story. They are brought together to set the tragic events of the past straight and lay some spirits to rest. Declan is a very likable character. He was humorous, fun, loving, and determined. Lena was a very strong female in this book, and at first I admired that about her, but after a while it seemed a bit much. At times she just plain got on my nerves. However, the story was well put together and I enjoyed it.
Although I enjoyed Declan and Lena's story, I would've loved to have seen Nora Roberts write a book about the backstory before she wrote Midnight Bayou. Why? The backstory of Lucian and Abigail was interesting and I believe it would've made a wonderful book even with the tragic ending.
All in all, I did enjoy this book and would recommend it.