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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
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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)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Brad on 12-10-13

A Nora Roberts Review By A Guy

This novel came up in one of Audible’ s special sales. It sounded interesting to me, a Boston attorney comes to bayou area outside New Orleans buying a huge Southern mansion and doing the restoration/renovation mostly himself, rebounding from a broken engagement and finding love. Embodied in this was a parallel story at the turn of the century involving a murder in this home and various spirits (ghosts) that were active in this long-abandoned plantation home, and the obligatory love story, both past and present and very connected. So far, so good.

As a male reader of mostly history/nonfiction and detective/thriller novels, this had some excellent elements to get me engaged. First, the story is somewhat complex as the characters from the past are highly correlated to the characters in the present. There is a lot of ghost activity, flashbacks and paranormal events. Nora Roberts demonstrates authority on the process of restoration which was interesting.

Suffice it to say, this story leaves the concrete world and heads somewhere else. The characters are well-developed and interesting. The couple is compelling, complex and interesting whole people. My only quibble comes at the end, when too many things happen and there is parallel story running simultaneously; that got me into disbelief quickly. Would you say yes to marry someone that had lost his mind/gender periodically?

Things happen with much purpose and everything means something, so there is a bit of rush as everything has to be neatly resolved. I recommend this book as excellent entertainment. Nora Roberts writes a novel with strong characters, a great plot and wonderful information and dialog.

So, from a man's perspective, this is worth the time and money. It was escapism at its best.

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43 of 44 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Phyllis S. Mike on 01-18-13

Not the Norm

I read it twice now. The two things I enjoyed most are:
1 - The characters get together early. It's not the typical cat and mouse game.
2 - The evil is revealed in the very first chapter of the book but the twists in the plot kept me keenly interested. The second time I read it I picked up a lot that I missed the first time. I'm sure I'll read it a third time.

Truly delightful. I typically love the characters in Nora Roberts books and this is no different.I consider this story a very pleasant escape from reality.

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32 of 33 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Toomanybooksnotenoughtime on 12-16-13

Classic Roberts romance with a ghostly twist

In many ways, this is a classic Roberts romance with the attractive hero overcoming all the feisty heroine's reservations about falling in love. However, the ghost story which underpins this book turns it into something a bit special.

The novel centres around Declan Fitzgerald, a Boston lawyer who has changed his life to move to outside new Orleans to rebuild Manet Hall. But the Hall holds some dark secrets and the past and the present become strongly entwined.

Both narrators are excellent and particularly good at bringing a Cajun flavour to the story. However, I found the switches between narrators a bit jarring. I know it highlighted the switches in the narrative past and present but I personally prefer one voice in a book( unless it's a full cast drama), especially as either of the narrators were more than competent to have delivered the whole package on their own.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Janice on 04-14-13

Really good bedtime listen.

Really enjoyed this 'bedtime read' though at times bedtime ended up being later as I had to listen just a little more! Recomended.

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