Title: The Man in the Black Suit
Author: Sylvain Reynard
Genre: Suspense Romance, Contemporary
Rating: ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
Acacia Santos excels at her job as concierge at the prestigious Hotel Victoire in Paris. When her superior, Marcel, is attacked in a supposed random mugging, she is tasked with serving one of the hotel’s most mysterious and attractive guests.
Nicholas Cassirer checks into the hotel under an assumed name every three months. Usually, he stays in the penthouse suite with a beautiful female companion but on this occasion, he arrives alone and is displeased in having to deal with someone new. A match of wits ensues as he tests Acacia’s expertise with a series of almost impossible demands. Her intelligence and creativity rise to the challenge, earning his respect.
They strike a tenuous accord until Acacia discovers a famous stolen painting in his suite, she contacts a former boyfriend who works for the elite BRB, a unit of French law enforcement that deals with art thefts.
Nicholas is questioned by police and released when it is revealed the painting is a reproduction. Irked with her behavior, Acacia’s supervisor demotes her threatening dismissal and the cancellation of her work permit.
But Acacia has already attracted Nicholas’s attention. Remorseful that she may lose her job on his account, he offers her a choice – she can wait until her supervisor dismisses her, or she can leave the city of lights behind and become his personal assistant.
Acacia initially refuses his offer, but Nicholas is persistent. He reveals himself as a man who quietly acquires stolen art in order to restore it to its rightful owners. Faced with mounting familial debts and the possibility of dismissal and deportation, she agrees to work for him.
Nicholas opens up a whole new world of beauty and intrigue to Acacia as they travel the globe. Soon the line between employer and assistant is blurred, and the two lonely people embark on a passionate relationship.
Sylvain Reynard introduces us to some amazing people. The characters are unique with interesting background stories that I haven't seen before. Acacia is an incredibly strong, fierce, independent woman who doesn't want to be a man's inferior but his equal. I absolutely love this about her. She's also feisty and proud and wants to make her own way in the world. Nicholas is a determined and driven man but also knows how to make an impression. Kate is a loyal friend and Rick well, I was torn about him but his interactions later on with Acacia were one of my favourites.
Trust is earned and Acacia doesn't know if she can trust Nicholas. But he is determined to keep her safe and that's something which should be admired. With all the intense action and suspicion, it is nice to have lighter moments and see the playful side of the characters.
"Sometimes I wonder if they speak to one another when the museum is closed, sharing their secrets." Nicholas smiled.
His whimsical reflection surprised Acacia. It also pleased her. "Maybe they will share their secrets with us."
"One can only hope." He winked.
Of course there are also some very intimate moments where we get to see just what Nicholas can do with his mouth ;)