Author: Nora Roberts
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: November 26, 2002
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.
On a whim, Declan Fitzgerald had bought a rundown plantation house on the outskirts of New Orleans. Something drew him to it, and now that he has it, he's determined to restore it to its former glory.
But soon the house and the possibility of it being haunted, isn't the only thing occupying Dec's mind. A woman has taken root in there, a woman as indelibly connected to the old house as Declan himself.
A nice, entertaining, gripping, bitter-sweet read of lost love, hatred, murder, betrayal, reincarnation, and forgiveness.
I loved Declan, I love all Nora Roberts's heroes, really, there's just something about them, but I didn't really connect to Lena; she remained a mystery to me until the very end, I simply didn't get her and her motivations. There was humor, there was drama, there was fear and the slight after taste of danger, there were friends and family, a couple of ghosts, and a love in need of forgiveness spanning a century.
Yes, the added paranormal element was an added bonus that kept things lively and interesting as the romance fizzled out on me.
Also, I saw the TV-movie version of this book and kept waiting for the big final showdown between good and evil in that nighmarish attic...And when it didn't come, and I got the mellow, meh-ish ending instead, I was rather disappointed.