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.
It has been a while since I have read a Sylvain book. As soon as I started reading this it took me back to the times of the Professor (Gabriel’s Inferno Trilogy). Sylvain has a way of constructing his books with full of art, music, and passion. The entire reading experience felt like meeting up with a long lost dear friend with a long hug.
I enjoyed the story tremendously due to its premise and mysterious build up. From the heroine’s troublesome past, which is revealed out to us much slower than for our black suit loving hero’s backstory. I can honestly say I loved the heroine, Acacia Santos, a little bit more than the mysterious Nicholas Casirer. She was such a strong personality and when you will read the book you will see why. But also she was amazing because she remained such a strong woman who did not give up he independence under the clout of a protective man. Acacia fought Nicholas back for her independence as fiercely as she fought herself to relinquish some of the burden of her past.
Unfortunately, the blurb does give away a bit too much. I would say about 1/3 of the book. The middle part of the book felt a bit drawn out to me. But the ending did pack a punch of revelations and satisfying conclusion to their tale.
If you are ready for adventure that is full of mystery and international suspense then The Man In the Black Suit is for you!