Cover & Excerpt
The Freemasons Book Two
As Right Worshipful Master of Lodge Drysor, Dominic Cacciari will do anything to ensure the integrity of the brotherhood of Freemasonry—even if it means seducing the woman determined to uncover their secrets.
Gemma Hughes is tired of reporting about the social happenings of Perth’s elite, she wants to be taken as a serious journalist. When her newly discovered father dies in mysterious circumstances, she’s on a mission to find the people responsible and make them pay for taking her father from her. Even if the people involved are from the fraternity her father once was a member of.
Attraction flares to life the moment Dominic and Gemma touch. With both of them on a mission to protect the things they hold important, fighting that attraction is imperative. Only the more they’re thrown together, the more the lines between what they’re fighting for become blurred. Will secrets be uncovered and a love lost? Or will love be stronger than the secrets of a mysterious brotherhood?
Genre: Romantic SuspensePurchase link(s): Amazon iTunes Kobo B&N
Content/Theme(s): Contemporary, Freemasons
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Excerpt & More
“I wouldn’t have pegged you as the standard room type. Slumming it?”
“Are you deliberately looking to have a fight with me?”
She shrugged. She supposed she could be friendlier, but why should she? They weren’t friends. Weren’t likely ever to be friends. After she finished with Dominic he’d never want to see her face again.
“Well, put it this way, I don’t want to be another notch in your bedpost.”
He laughed. “Honey, if I wanted you in my bed we wouldn’t be standing here chatting. We’d be,” he nodded toward the bed, “over there and the only words coming out of your mouth would be my name as I brought you to the best orgasm you’ve ever had.”
Gemma couldn’t prevent the X-rated images of her and Dominic naked on the bed bombarding her mind. She had a feeling Dominic hadn’t lied when he told her he could give her the best orgasm she’d ever had. It wouldn’t be hard. Her sex life wasn’t anything to write home about. Currently the best orgasms she’d had were by her own hand and her trusty vibrator. Not that she had any plans to let Dominic know that.
“As if. I don’t plan on sleeping with you either.”
“Glad we agree on something.” Dominic strolled past her and sat down on one of the armchairs tucked into the corner of the room. He undid the button on his jacket. His snowy white shirt glowed in the muted lamplight typical of a hotel room.
His relaxed stance unnerved her. All the sass and bravado, which had coursed through her while they verbally sparred, petered out. From feeling confident at having Dominic off balance with her appearance at the gala, she now felt on the back foot.
The silence stretched between them. Gemma kept still, not wanting Dominic to know how much the quiet bothered her.
“Are you planning on sitting there for the rest of the evening, because if so, I’ll let myself out?”
“Now why would you do that? Wasn’t talking to me one of the many reasons you attended the gala? Here I am. Waiting. You have my undivided attention.”
His arrogance was going to be his downfall. She would make it his downfall. She wanted to fire her accusations at him. Wanted so badly to let him know she knew it all. Every sordid detail.
But she couldn’t play all her cards at once. If she flat out accused him, she could find herself in the same situation as her father.
“Ahh Gemma, if you don’t say something soon I’m going to think you’re all bluff and no substance. Or maybe,” he got up and moved toward her. She wanted to take a step back. Not liking the idea of having Dominic in close proximity to her. Only if she moved he would know he made her nervous. “This was all a ploy to get me alone. Maybe you want me.”
Gemma laughed. “Oh my God, you really do think you’re all that? Oh please, you are nothing to me.”
“I would disagree with that. If I was nothing to you we wouldn’t be standing here. In fact, we wouldn’t even know each other. If I was nothing, I would be downstairs, at a function put on by my Lodge, enjoying myself.”
At the mention of Lodge Drysor, the purpose of why she was standing in a hotel room returned. “Ahh yes, your precious Lodge. Freemasonry, the brotherhood of secrets. An organization at the center of many conspiracies. Such a noble practice, don’t you think? Keeping secrets about what happens behind closed doors. Why so secretive, Dominic? What are you hiding?”
He folded his arms across his chest. Such a typical defensive I’ve-got-things-to-hide stance. She tamped down the smile threatening to break out over her face.
“That’s a rather naïve approach for a reporter? Oh wait, that’s right, you’re an entertainment reporter. A true investigative reporter would know that anything you want to know about Freemasonry is readily available on the internet, or even in a library.”
Anger built up inside her at his barb about her reporting skills. She hated being an entertainment reporter. Having to report on the latest airhead socialite who was flavor of the month in Perth wasn’t part of her career path. Unfortunately, not many investigative positions were available at the moment so she had to stay where she was.
“I may work on entertainment stories, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to be a good reporter.”
“Is that right? Well, if that’s the case, hit me with the information you have.”
What did she do? Did she tell him she knew about their involvement with the kidnapping of street kids? That she knew the Lodge’s contributions to the Parklite Charity was a way of making it seem the Lodge was helping the community?
She had to see if he would say something that would confirm what she already knew.
“How about you answer some questions first?”
“Fire away. I’ve got nothing to hide.”
“What happens at your meetings? These rituals you have, what do they entail?”
“Lots of things happen at our meetings. Yes, we do rituals. We do initiations of members and then we have a late meal and drink Scotch. Next question?”
“You didn’t answer my question about the rituals.”
“No I didn’t, because it’s not my place to share that information with someone who isn’t a Freemason.”
“So what are you hiding?”
“I’m not hiding anything. As I said before, that type of information is available for anyone to find it. If they’re so inclined.”
Gemma had to give it to him. He gave no indication he wasn’t telling the truth. She’d done a course on reading body language. To watch for the subtle signs a person unconsciously gave if they were uncomfortable. The only time he’d shown anything was when he crossed his arms. She knew he had a formidable reputation in the business world. He’d increased his family’s wealth tenfold while building his own personal fortune. If he wanted to, he could probably buy this hotel. Maybe he did own it.
“You’re right. I could look it up at the library or on the internet. I could watch documentaries but,” she paused and closed the distance between them. Placing her hand on his chest, absorbing the charge of fire that came from him. “Why do that when I have a bona fide Freemason standing in front of me? Nothing like getting information direct from the horse’s mouth. So much more reliable than books and the internet.”
He shook his head and pulled her hand off his chest. “A weaker man might succumb to your seduction attempts. Sadly, I’m not one of them.” He looked at his watch. “Now if you’re done with this absurd investigation into Lodge Drysor, I’ll escort you back downstairs and ensure you get safely into a taxi. Then I will go back to my party. Hopefully it won’t be over.”
“I’m far from done. I’ve not even scratched the surface. I will uncover the secrets you’re hiding. I will make sure the public knows just what sort of organization you’re a member of.”
“So you keep saying and it’s getting rather laborious. So far you haven’t given me any indication you have anything against the Lodge.”
“You may think, just because you’re the Grand Poobah of the Lodge, you can boss the members of the Lodge around. The difference is I’m not a member, so you can’t boss me around.”
She gasped as Dominic grabbed her hands and pulled her flush against his body. “What did you call me?”
Gemma had met her fair share of domineering men, with all the loser boyfriends her mother had gone through before she died. She knew how to stand up for herself and with Dominic it would be no different. “You heard me.”
“Clearly you don’t know anything about Freemasonry, because if you did you’d know my correct title is The Right Worshipful Master. If you want to call me by my title, then that’s what you use.”
“I think I prefer Grand Poobah. Or maybe just GP, it’s quicker and easier to say.” She knew her comment was provocative but she didn’t care. No matter how much she wanted to deny it. Or how wrong it was. Dominic was very attractive and she’d have to be a walking zombie not to wonder what it would be like to be seduced by him. Her weak heart was telling her to forget her vendetta and surrender to him.
Not on your life, her brain screamed at her. She hardened her heart against the sexual tension strumming between them.
“If you know what’s good for you, you won’t call me that again.”
Oh, he so shouldn’t have said that to her. Telling her not to do something was akin to a red flag to a bull. The devil in her tempted her to push her luck. With her body so close to his, she could feel he wasn’t impervious to her either. Perhaps he got off on the verbal jousting they were engaging in.
“Really? I’m not afraid of you or your empty threats. So what are you going to do, GP?”
If possible, his blue eyes glowed brighter. “I’m going to do this.”
Gemma had no time to wonder what “this” was. Dominic lowered his head and captured her lips with his.
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Be on the lookout for Nicole Flockton's future release(s): Bound by Their Love coming October 2015
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