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Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Midnight Bayou by Nora Roberts

It seems that lately whenever I'm feeling a bit aimless about my reading, that I reach for a contemporary romance novel by a tried and true author. One that I know will a) have a happy ending and b) compell me to read it almost straight through. There is a certain type of romance that fits this slot nicely for me, typically they are full length novels that revolve around a town or a family, and are often part of a series. Examples of this feel-good, quick read, series that I've loved include:
So despite having quite the haul of library books, and the entire Black Dagger Brotherhood series on stand-by, I picked up Midnight Bayou.  Midnight Bayou has been on my TBR shelves for years. I'm pretty sure I got it from Paperbackswap and it's managed to stay on the shelves through the moves and the purging. Due to Ms. Roberts incredible success, her paperbacks often have tons of blurbs, and a glossy full length picture of the author, but no easy to locate plot summary. So I knew it was a romance, and I knew it took place in or near New Orleans, and I knew I could expect some paranormal activity. I'm a huge sucker for a New Orleans/ Cajun / Bluesy setting (In the Midnight Rain by Ruth Wind being an all time favorite book, not just romance!) so I dived in.

Midnight Bayou is a standalone romance (I wonder if Remy and Effie might have their own book, but have been too lazy to figure out). Our hero, Declan, has purchased a large plantation in a state of disrepair and has moved from Boston to restore it. Lena is a descendent of the house, and is now a moderately successful bar owner. Dec is down right perfect. Seriously, no flaws. None. And is rich. Lena isn't perfect, she's pretty cynical and distrustful of love, and it takes her a while to come around. I love that the conflict is never about how they feel about each other, or how much they trust each other. There is no big misunderstanding. In fact, there's very little conflict at all, except with the ghosts, and I liked that.

Here's the thing though, while Midnight Bayou hit the spot exactly, I didn't really love it. It did have quite a few flaws- the paranormal aspect is heavy heavy. Really heavy.  If you don't want a story with ghosts, skip this. Unlike Roberts' new Boonsboro Inn series, the ghosts are very very prominent.  Additionally, it seems that Roberts has recycled Lena's mom Lilibeth into Mac's mom in Vision in White. In both cases, I think the new versions are better, but overall I hate that I noticed at all. And last, the book ends very abruptly. I read it in two long sittings, but for several hours after I finished I kept having that feeling that I was at the very end of a book and needed to see how it ended. It was annoying.

In the end, typical Roberts, I'm glad I read it, but not a favorite.

1 comment:

  1. About the ending of "Midnight Bayou": I've only had a few experiences like that. The first time was the most unsatisfying. It was with a historical novel by Anne Rice called "Feast of All Saints". I figured early on that it wasn't my type of book but I was on bed rest so I couldn't go to the library and pick something else. The story just drops off, almost as if someone had ripped the last several pages out of my copy of the book. I was so frustrated and disgusted.


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