by: Nicole Camden
Series: The Billionaire Tricksters of Boston
Genre: Erotic Romance
Release Date: January 11, 2016
Publisher: Pocket Star
In the third book in the Billionaire Tricksters of Boston series, erotic romance sensation Nicole Camden explores the alluring stories of mysterious magicians and ladies whose desires tempt them ever deeper into a world they don’t quite understand…
Born into a family of con artists and thieves, billionaire Roland Webster thinks he’s successfully rid himself of the past. Building his business into a multibillion dollar empire with his two best friends, he’s overcome the legacy of a childhood spent practicing deception…or so he thought.
Boston detective Maura O’Halloran is out to catch the man that killed her brother and his wife, leaving her their baby daughter to raise. It’s been ten years, but the killer has resurfaced in Boston. Her best chance of catching him? One Roland Webster, distractingly gorgeous and hiding something.
With Roland out to prove himself and Maura out to win at all costs, can they take time from their mission to see what’s right beneath their noses?
ON FRIDAY EVENING, Detective Maura O’Halloran slammed her cell phone down on her desk, scattering a stack of papers onto the floor and knocking over the lone picture frame. Immediately, she picked up the frame and gently set it back in its usual place. It was a picture of her niece, Maddie, who would be twelve in a few months. In the photograph, she was six years old and riding a carousel, her brown curls wild around her face.
Scowling, Maura absently kissed her fingertips and touched the glass in front of the girl’s face, seeing the image, but thinking about the bastard that had murdered Maddie’s parents when she was just a baby, leaving Maura to raise her.
Where the fuck is he?
How was it possible that a known murderer, terrorist, and thief was able to move across the globe with ease? Keenan Shy wasn’t in Boston or anywhere else she’d looked. Her latest lead had been a wild-goose chase. The bastard had gone to ground—no activity for the past six months. She glanced up and saw her partner, Bert Boatman, sitting in front of his computer with his coffee mug halfway to his lips, looking in disapproval at the papers she’d knocked on the floor. Since he had the droopy face of a basset hound, the look came across as mournful sadness rather than irritation.
“No good?” he asked, nodding to her phone.
Maura looked down at the offending instrument. “No one seems to know where he is. Not Interpol. Not the FBI.”
With an embattled sigh, Bert returned his mug to his meticulously organized desk and cracked his knuckles, then straightened the cup so that the handle faced away from him. His desk was the only thing in his life that was organized and stayed the way he put it. At home he had a beautiful wife and five kids who lived in a cheerful state of chaos. It made him cling all the harder to orderliness in his work environment.
“What about Roland Chandler?” he asked. “Have you tried talking to him? Maybe he’s learned something.”
Maura nearly growled. Roland Chandler. He was the last person she wanted involved with this case. Keenan Shy was his damn cousin, so he couldn’t be trusted. Folding her arms over her chest, Maura leaned back in her ancient leather armchair—her father’s when he’d been a detective. The springs squeaked loudly every time she moved, but she’d never get rid of it. “I’ve tried, but if he knows something, he’s keeping it to himself.” Squeak. Squeak. Squeak. But maybe there is another way to get him to cooperate. The thought sprang fully formed into her mind.
“What does your dad say?”
Her father had a lot to say on the subject of Keenan Shy and Roland Chandler, none of it complimentary, but he hadn’t had any insights on how she could find Keenan. He’d given her all his personal notes from when he’d worked cases in the Waterfront district related to Roland or his father and had hinted that Roland had a juvenile record, but Maura hadn’t been able to find any evidence that one existed, much less gain access.
“He says that it wouldn’t surprise him if Keenan and Roland were working together.”
Bert frowned, his long face seeming to droop like melted wax. “You don’t believe that, do you?”
Maura shrugged. She wanted to believe it. A handful of encounters with Roland Chandler over the past ten years had convinced her that he was handsome as the devil and just as much trouble. Even if he and Keenan weren’t working together, she had no doubt that Roland would prefer to hunt Keenan alone, even though he wasn’t a cop. The man seemed to think he was a law unto himself. Billions of dollars will do that, I suppose.
“Come on, Maur,” Bert said, pressing his lips together. “Roland Chandler isn’t working with a murderer. I don’t care if they are cousins.”
“Maybe not,” she muttered, and pushed her rolling chair away from her desk, “but he has too much power and too many friends. I can’t compel him to help me.” She stood. Squeak. Squeak. Despite not being law enforcement, Roland Chandler had connections, deep connections, to both the Department of Defense and the governor. He had resources that she couldn’t even dream of having in her tiny police station in South Boston.
“So offer him something he can’t refuse. Find his weakness.”
“Yeah,” she agreed sarcastically, bending to pick up the papers she’d knocked to the floor. “Because he’s so easily persuaded.” The man was as slippery as Maddie’s ferret, and had wiggled easily out of every attempt she’d made to find out what he knew ever since last spring, when Keenan had killed several people in Faneuil Hall Marketplace and kidnapped two others: Blake Webster and Nick Cord, Roland’s close friends.
Bert’s phone rang and he answered on the first ring, his face pained. “Captain?” he said.
Something he can’t refuse . . . Bert had a point. Everyone, even the almighty Roland Chandler, had to have a weakness.
The file that Maura had on Roland Chandler was on her personal laptop in a folder filled with all the scraps of information she’d been able to find on the man. Despite the volume of mentions in local papers, international news, company profiles on Accendo, and magazine interviews, there was surprisingly little that actually told her anything about him. He dated beautiful women, but never the same one more than twice. He spent Thursday evenings having drinks with his two friends and business partners at the bar near the Accendo offices, but was rarely seen in any other bars in the city. His stepfather, former representative Jack Chandler, came into the city to have lunch with Roland every few weeks and they ate at the same restaurant every time, a steak house popular with powerful men.
She’d had him followed, and he’d slipped the tail every time. She’d even tried herself, and the man had managed to lose her within ten minutes. His business partners and friends were a tight-knit group, and she couldn’t see any opening there.
She’d even interviewed his father—Cliff “Crawly” Cozen— in prison, for all the good it had done her. The man had smiled, told her she looked like a young Maureen O’Hara, and tried to convince her that she could find a treasure of gold coins in the back of an abandoned bookstore in Watertown, but he hadn’t revealed one damn thing about Keenan Shy’s location, nor had he been willing to discuss his son.
“Yes, sir,” Bert said, interrupting Maura’s train of thought. He hung up the phone with a glance at the captain’s empty office. The man had headed out at five with most of the squad. She and Bert should have left as well, but they were closing out a double homicide from a week earlier, having finally caught the asshole who’d shot the owner of a local gas station and run over an old woman as he tried to get away.
“What’s up?” Maura asked him.
Their captain had issued Maura an ultimatum two days earlier. If nothing popped on Keenan Shy this week, she was to set it aside and focus on more pressing cases. He thought she was spending too much time hunting for the man and not enough time working her regular caseload, even though she and Bert had a higher close rate than any other detectives in the district.
Bert sighed and rubbed his eyes. The man might have a face that belonged on a basset hound, but he was a great detective. “He said good work on the gas station killings and asked me to tell you that if he gets one more call from the FBI this week, he’s going to suspend you from duty.”
Fucking FBI. Couldn’t keep their damn mouths shut. “Great. That’s just great,” she muttered.
“You have called a lot this week. I’m not surprised Agent Cutter decided to rat you out.”
“If she would just call me back—”
“Why, Maur? No one has seen or heard from Shy for half a year. Wherever he is, he’s laying low for the time being.”
She couldn’t believe that no one had seen him. He was an international criminal, on watch lists for theft and terrorist activities. Several government agencies wanted him for questioning. The problem was that she was a small fish in a big pond, and Keenan Shy was a damn whale. A whale that seemed to be able to fucking disappear at will.
“He’s being protected by someone with influence—that’s the only explanation.”
“I don’t know, Maur. Seems like maybe the captain has a point and you should set this aside for the time being. I know it’s frustrating, being so close last year after eleven years of hunting the man, but right now this looks like a dead end.”
“Frustrating” wasn’t the word for it. Almost catching the man who had killed her brother and his wife, only to have him slip away, was worse than more than ten years of barely making any progress whatsoever. And now Maddie was getting old enough to really understand what had happened to her parents, to understand and to ask questions.
“Fine,” she muttered, standing up. “I’m headed out. I’ll see you tomorrow.” They worked every other Saturday, but two other detectives had requested that they switch.
He looked at her suspiciously. “What are you going to do?” She pulled on her lavender down coat and tugged her long red hair out from the collar. “I’m going home. It’s been a long week.”
“I don’t believe you.”
He was a good detective. “’Night, Bert. Say hi to Aria and the kids.”
Bert grunted. “Just don’t do anything too crazy.”
Crazy, she thought as she stepped out of the station and into the bitter cold of a Boston January. I’m not crazy. I’m desperate. Maura shook off her thoughts as she headed down the street to the train station that would take her to Downtown Boston and then Faneuil Hall Marketplace, to a bar called the Hairy Lemon.
Pulling her phone out of her pocket, she checked the text she’d received earlier from Blake Webster, Keenan Shy’s former girlfriend, whom he’d kidnapped last year and had nearly killed.
Party tonight with Nick and everyone from Accendo. The bar where I used to work, the Hairy Lemon. Stop by?
Maura had phoned her this morning, asking if they could talk. Maura had wanted to go over the threatening letters that Keenan sent Blake every Valentine’s Day, certain there was something she was missing. Trying to talk in the middle of some kind of party wasn’t what she’d had in mind, so she’d told Blake that she would just talk to her later.
But if everyone from Accendo would be there, then so would Roland Chandler. He hadn’t taken her calls in a month—always passing her off to his cheerfully obstinate assistant, Zach.
The wind bit at her exposed nose and cheeks as she marched through the snowy sidewalks in her boots. She wasn’t exactly dressed for a party—underneath her coat she was wearing the ubiquitous slacks, blouse, and blazer combo that constituted her uniform as a detective, but she wasn’t going to let that stop her. She would find Keenan Shy, even if she had to work with Roland Chandler, even if it took her the rest of her damn life.
Purchase Lie in the Moment from:
The Billionaire Tricksters of Boston Series:
(Click on the book covers for more information or to purchase from Amazon.)
Nicole Camden, author of “The Nekkid Truth” in Big Guns Out of Uniform has returned to erotica after a decade of teaching, dog-rescuing, and other mayhem. She lives in Houston with her husband and two dogs.
Places to find Nicole Camden:
a Rafflecopter giveaway Follow