Manhattan's sexy adults-only hotel is now a crime scene. And concierge Mia Traverse--self-described CSI addict--is on the case. Whether it's hunting down extra-soft pillows for a fussy guest or tracking down a murderer, Mia loves solving a mystery. With her grapevine connections and her plucky determination, she knows she can be a big help to the hot detective in charge.
With just a few months left on the force, Bax Milligan needs all the help he can get on this high-profile whodunit. But he hadn't counted on vivacious, beautiful Mia becoming the Watson to his Holmes, reviving that old thrill of solving a crime...and triggering a few new thrills. Now the case isn't the only thing he wants to put to bed....
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February 29, 2008
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Excerpt from Coming Soon by Jo Leigh
It was just a mater of keeping her cool.
Mia could deal with movie stars. After all, she was a concierge at Hush, which was one of the most glamorous hotels in Manhattan, so she met major celebrities all the time. She could deal with the press. Again, thanks to Hush, especially because owner Piper Devon was so hands-on about her hotel, and the paparazzi never got tired of the beautiful heiress. And she could deal with the cranky Belgians on the fifth floor who wanted everything New York had to offer without paying for a thing.
The trick was handling all three at once.
Mia straightened her small gold name badge, her Clefs d'Or pin, then her skinny black tuxedo skirt as she adjusted her mental attitude and her smile. "Of course, Mr. Weinberg. I'll be sure to let housekeeping know you would prefer eiderdown pillows. They'll be ready for you by six o'clock."
Mr. Weinberg of the infamous Weinberg Film Company looked at Mia as if she were more distasteful than his pillows and strode off, trailed by a posse of assistants, most of them talking away on their Bluetooth headgear.
Mia turned immediately to Bobbi Tamony, the star of Coming Soon. She was dressed in a spectacularly sparkly gown that had protective paper all around the bodice, slippers on her feet, and her hair, world-famous in all the tabloids, rolled in giant curlers.
"Listen, sweetie, I have to be on set in two seconds, so could you make sure there's a limo waiting for me around ten tonight? I should be done by then and I want to get the hell out of here."
"No problem, Ms. Tamony. It will be waiting at the back entrance when you're ready to go."
"Thanks, hon," Bobbi said, waving her hand distract-edly as she walked toward the front entrance.
It would have been nice to find a moment to breathe, but one of the Belgians moved from in front of the long, black lacquered reservation desk to her station at the far end. "We wish tickets for a big Broadway show, si vous ne vous occupez pas."
"Of course, Monsieur Michaud. Would you like to see a list of the shows that are currently available?" Mia responded in French.
He nodded, then glanced around the lobby. "When will these movie people leave? So much noise," he said. "Very annoying."
"I'm afraid they'll be here for the rest of your stay. They've reserved their rooms for the entire month of June."
He snorted as Mia gave him a printout of the most popular shows. Not all of them, actually. Just the ones she could get tickets for.
He perused the list for several moments and Mia took advantage of the tiny break to quietly jot down notes about the pillows and the limo.
"This one." Michaud pointed to one of the long-running shows that rarely sold out on the weeknights.
"Is this for tonight?" she asked, holding back a sigh when he nodded. It was already three-thirty. She'd started her shift at eight that morning, so he could have come at any time, but no. The only minute for certain guests was the last minute.
It took some time to get all the details taken care of, but Monsieur Michaud left on a bright note with the tickets and finally, Mia could relax.
Well, this was the job. She'd fought hard to get here. It had helped that she'd been raised all over the world in the best of the best hotels, that both her parents were concierges, and that she spoke five languages, including French. Still, getting this job at Hush when she was only twenty-eight... Unbelievable. Most concierges didn't even aspire to this level of hotel until they'd been on the job for at least fifteen years.
Maybe it had to do with how special Hush was, and the clientele the hotel catered to. In less dignified quarters, Hush was known as the sex hotel, but those more sophisticated understood that Hush was a haven of sensuality and luxury. A celebration of the mind, the spirit and most definitely the body.
She'd yet to meet a guest who hadn't left with a dreamy smile and a confident walk. Although these wacky movie people might be the first.
She got on the phone with the transportation department and set up Bobbi Tamony's limo with a driver she knew personally, then with Theresa, the housekeeping manager, to secure Weinberg's pillows, at least six from different suppliers. Neither of them had to mention that the Hush house pillows were some of the finest in the world. Everyone who stayed at Hush, at least the ones who thought they were Very Important People, had their own litmus tests for just how important they were. Sometimes it was the turndown service: the shades exactly three-quarters drawn, Godiva chocolates on the end table. Often it had to do with the liquor, particularly the champagne. Today it was pillows.
She answered a dozen successive calls, each of them sending her to her computer where she was plugged into a very exclusive and private Web site connecting concierges from every major hotel in the world. If she couldn't get her hands on something, one of her compatriots would, and eventually, all was well.