The Man in the Black Suit
Brazilian Acacia Santos excels at her job as concierge at the prestigious Hotel Victoire in Paris. When her senior colleague is attacked and sent to the hospital, 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. Compelled to report her discovery, she contacts a former boyfriend who works for the elite BRB, a unit of French law enforcement that deals with stolen art.
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.
Secrets and danger abound as Nicholas and Acacia try to solve the mystery of a piece of stolen art. But Acacia may prove to be the most dangerous mystery of all.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Sylvain Reynard has a way of digging deep into one’s soul. Years ago, when I read Gabriel’s Inferno, I was so taken by his description of Florence that when my family and I planned a vacation to Italy, I had to go to Firenze to see it for myself. I chose all the landmarks he discussed and just felt such peace. Anyway, TMitBS seriously makes me want to go to Paris. I love the way he weaves locations and artwork into his stories. Acacia and Nicholas had such a wonderful connection and the trust they had with each other was beautiful. Their journey, a difficult one, was necessary to become their true selves. This was definitely another great from SR. A must read!! Can’t wait to see what comes next.