Arnold captures the essence of New Orleans, using a family owned hotel setting and characters you will want to continue reading about. This story is just the beginning of a facinating tale of family, love, intrique and more love. Giving just a hint of the problems still facing this family, and unlike most modern romamces, this book pull you in and make you want to return over and over to New Orleans and Hotel Marchand.
Interesting story. Held my attention. Ending weak.
Marcie Sullivan hires Crescent City Security personal protection specialist Mac Jensen to protect her sister Julie from a dangerous person she sent up the river with her testimony over eight years ago, but who is now free; Marcie also insists that Mac hide the truth of his assignment from her beloved sibling who would be upset with the fuss.
To provide cover on his assignment and keeping Julie in the dark for his real reason to be near her, Mac accepts the job of head of security at New Orleans' beautiful Marchand Hotel where Julie is the number two person in charge. In spite of the carnage caused by Katrina, it is the party season in the city with Christmas, New Year's, Twelfth Night, and Mardi Gras in a six week hectic period with the hotel hosting galas for its guests. As the first event occurs, someone apparently wants to destroy the hotel as incidents happen that keep security hopping and Mac away from his first job of protecting Julie. However, when the lights go out during a bash, Mac needs to keep the guests and employees safe while insuring no harm comes to the woman he now loves.
The first Hotel Marchand romantic suspense, IN THE DARK, is a terrific setup entry that establishes a lofty signature bar of quality for subsequent novels to match or exceed. The exciting story line is fast-paced as the past catches up with the heroine while her champion is caught between a hard place and a rock as he knows any decision he makes will be a choice of the lesser of two evils. Sub-genre fans will appreciate this fine thriller and wonder how next in the chute Marie Ferrarella will compare when she tells Sylvie Marchand's tale.
Hotel Marchand #1 -- Julie Sullivan & Mac Jenson (hotel employees).