Shameless Ambition (Shameless #1)
by Robert Fanshaw
Erotic Elements: Light Bondage
Publisher: Steam eReads
Release Date: April 15, 2013
Heat Level: Steamy
Word Count: 63,000
Steam eReads: http://steamereads.com.au/product/shameless-ambition/
High-flying executive Caroline and barrister Robert have been married for three years, and the demands of work have left little time for their relationship. Caroline is angling for a promotion, which will mean spending more time away in Germany. On a management development course in Spain, Caroline is tempted into indiscretions with some of her colleagues, a fact that is noticed by course leader and former chief executive Melody Bigger.
Melody sees in Caroline aspects of her younger self and a barely suppressed exhibitionism. She draws Caroline into a plot to put pressure on Von Wolfswinkle, the German delegate to the European Central Bank. His opposition to Eurobonds is causing hardship across southern Europe, and Caroline is inveigled into a peculiar relationship with Von Wolfswinkle based on his voyeurism and her exhibitionism. Melody wants Caroline to influence the banker’s recommendations to the forthcoming European economic summit.
As Caroline is drawn into a seedy world of private parties for bankers and politicians, she soon realises she has damaged her reputation and her marriage. How will she ever be able to face her colleagues and her husband again?
Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.
It is the morning after Caroline’s initiation into the Inner Circle, a secret organisation which provides sex parties for business people, bankers, and politicians.
With the benefit of two more hours sleep, Caroline felt ready to face the world. She helped herself to a healthy breakfast from the buffet: exotic fruits, pain-au-chocolat, and strong black coffee and retreated to a table on the far side of the outdoor terrace to be alone with her thoughts. The blond twins spotted her and dashed over to her table, pulling up an extra bistro chair.
“How are you this bright morning?” asked Natasha.
“It’s really not fair. Your initiation was much more fun than ours,” said Nikita. “All those tongues were amazing, and we loved what you did to that arrogant arsehole the Prince.”
“I’d rather not re-live a blow by blow account right now,” said Caroline.
“Oh, okay. But you will be in Copenhagen for the next event? Now that you’re a full member? We’d love to have some fun with you… and Cosimo.”
“I’m not sure I can make it. It depends on work. I’m trying to land a big new job in the company.”
“Well make sure you get the big job and then you can give us one,” said Nikita. “We’ll go anywhere, do anything.” They looked at each other and laughed.
Caroline looked serious, like a senior executive with major responsibilities. “I have to get some reports finished. I’ll talk to you later on the plane back to Frankfurt.”
Standing up, she took a last sip of coffee and headed to the breakfast room, then through the open French windows back into the hotel grounds. She climbed the steps up to amphitheatre, her eyes trained on the ground. Reaching the stage, she looked around at the tranquil scene which bore no trace of last night’s flickering debauchery.
She saw the tree with a thick branch that the rope had been thrown over and stood underneath it. Lying down on the slabs, she threw an imaginary goblet, got up, and traced its arc to the lavender bed. She remembered the powerful scent. She parted the lavender stalks and there was the trashy goblet she had been drinking from. Picking it up, she looked inside. A small insect crawled drunkenly around in the sticky residue. She checked that no-one was watching her and got down on her hands and knees, carefully searching each plant down to the dry soil.
It was already getting hot and bees were buzzing around her head. Her headache was returning, but still she searched the dense foliage. It wasn’t there. It must have fallen somewhere else. She stood up, her back aching, to return to her room when she spotted a single red flower amongst the heads of lavender only a foot into the flowerbed. She carefully picked the flower and read the label: Sword Blade 32 gigabyte Flash Drive. Made in China.
Now she had the weapon she needed to fight the enemy.
Let me start off by saying that the real reason I signed up for the tour was because 1) a man wrote the book 2) its romantic suspense, my favorite and 3) using sex as a weapon was intriguing to me. Now before you go off and say but Harlie this is cheating, you would be right but there is a point to it and the if you read the book, you will understand. I hate cheating in a book just like the next person but with all the intrigue, backstabbing and blackmail going on…again, you have to read the book. 😉
I really enjoyed the book. Keep in mind that there are a lot of characters that you have to keep up with but again, they have a point to Caroline and ultimately Robert’s story. Yes, this book is about Caroline and her husband, Robert. It’s about how a marriage is strained and assumptions are made and how they are drawn back together to fight the enemy. Yes, there is sex and debauchery and lines are crossed. Be warned but I also found that aspect of book, in some ways, boring. Shocker, I know. I was too wrapped up in the suspense part, I guess. LOL! Mr. Fanshaw kept me on my toes with the intrigue.
What really drew to the book was the plot itself. I used to work in banking and I could see this kind of behavior happening amongst the bigwigs. In fact, at my bank, some secretaries and their bosses were fired because of this kind of thing. Yes, this type of thing does go on in our society. That’s what made this book so good for me. I love a good suspense/thriller against a real world setting. Once you get the players right in your head, the story flows from there. Mr. Fanshaw knows his stuff in regards to setting and plot. Plus, I loved his writing style and voice. Taunt, exciting and at times dirty. 😉
I can’t wait to read the second book in this series. Mr. Fanshaw has a fan for life now. Just keep writing romantic suspense and I’m a goner.
I am mid-thirties, a lawyer, and married (still). Writing is more than a hobby; it’s what keeps me sane because most of my job is boring. I think it must be like being in the army. There are very long periods where nothing happens then suddenly all hell is let loose.
I’ve had a book to do with work published before, and have written columns and features for magazines but my first novel Shameless Ambition was much more fun to write. I can’t really claim credit for the idea. Life provided me with Caroline, my wife. The banking crisis provided the plot. All I had to do was write it down and use my imagination for the parts where Caroline refused to go into details.
Caroline is my inspiration. I hope that doesn’t sound too mushy. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she continues to refuse to read the book. The other characters… let’s say that names have been changed to avoid embarrassment or more work for the legal profession. It was never meant to be published but then someone who had agreed to keep it confidential; didn’t. So it had to be.
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