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Concierge by Stella Barcelona
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Sep 26, 2017

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2017-books-read

Concierge. “A resident in an apartment building especially in France who serves as doorkeeper, landlord's representative, and janitor….” When one hears the word “concierge,” one thinks of an efficient individual, professionally dressed in business attire, greeting you with a warm smile and the job to make your requests become reality. In Stella Barcelona’s third book in her Black Raven series, the concierge in the title fields requests, but “The Concierge” wants to be satisfied too, demanding utter loyalty and devotion. When one thinks of this “Concierge,” the image conjured in your mind is of the Devil himself…..

Andi Hutchinson lived through hell, but in the two and a half years since her kidnapping and torture she lives within a prison she created for herself - when not in her French Quarter home, she is closely guarded by a Black Raven security detail. Although she paints scenes of New Orleans with with expansive color and emotional depth, her life is a two-dimensional charcoal sketch. Perpetually unhappy with Black Ravens agents, the company sends its elite superagent, Gabe Hernandez to smooth ruffled feathers with his notorious charm. But Andi only seems to get more ruffled with the presence of the easygoing, likable Gabe! Gabe feels a pull of attraction to Andi, knowing full well this is not a client to get involved with. When some of the young runaway teens Andi often sketches go missing, it is clear there are demons at play.

What a well-written, spellbinding book! From the first pages the reader is drawn into Andi’s world of daytime isolation and night terrors. I found Andi to be a stunning contradiction - seemingly emotionally fragile while in reality strong-willed and fierce! The gentle Gabe lives up to his Guardian Angel namesake - the easygoing hero who can, on the drop of a dime, turn into fearsome protector. And such a protector Andi needs, for with the appearance of Concierge, Ms. Barcelona introduces one of the most evil, depraved, perverse villains to grace a romantic suspense novel. The pacing was perfect, the suspense nail-biting and the romance…..*sigh* so satisfying!

Although the last two Black Raven books were terrific, something about the return of the series to New Orleans just sharpens the moments - it amplifies the characters actions, the parade scenes, the desolation of Pic’s long walk to his safe place. All while the Mississippi lazily drifts by, hiding its secrets and mesmerizing us. A++
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