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Advance Search

Vipers' Nest

Published by: eXtasy Books

Author : S D Johnson

ISBN :978-1-4874-3987-3

Page :227

Word Count :66001

Publication Date :2024-01-12

Series : #

Heat Level :

Available Formats : Vipers' Nest (epub) , Vipers' Nest (mobi) , Vipers' Nest (pdf) , Vipers' Nest (prc)

Category : Contemporary , Mystery and Suspense , What's New

  • Product Code: 978-1-4874-3987-3

Family and business can make deadly bedfellows.

Finn Ryan knows an opportunity when she sees one, and in the ailing Roslin Enterprises she sees a big one. She knows she’s a diamond in the rough, but she knows how to play the game and she’ll do what it takes to succeed. Even if that involves seducing the owner’s son…

Henry Gallagher realises Finn Ryan is just what his company needs. His son Jonathan, married to a domineering eco-maniac, is a disappointment. Maybe Henry doesn’t entirely trust Finn, but he can certainly use her to fulfil his ambitions.

The question is who controls who in this seething viper’s nest?

Henry Gallagher yawned loudly. He was bored and he let it show, flustering the candidate pitching to be Head of Sales and Promotions at his company.

“Do you want me to go on?” the young man asked.

“Not really,” Henry replied.

The candidate blushed deep red. “Would you mind if I asked why?” 

“Because I’m bored. All you’re doing is reading aloud the words on your slides. I can do that for myself.”

The young man closed his laptop and gathered his notes. “I’m sorry I wasted your time, sir.” 

“So am I, son,” Henry said. “Believe me, so am I.”

The candidate left the room.

“That was so rude,” Henry’s son, Jonathan, said. “You could have let him finish. I thought he made some good points.”

Henry looked at his son in despair. ”Do enlighten me,” he said, exasperated by his son as much as the candidate. The idiot had sat there nodding and smiling encouragingly throughout the candidate’s dismal performance. “What illuminating points did he make?”

“He said we have to find a new customer base.” Jonathan repeated the message of the opening slide.

“We know that. He was supposed to tell us how to find it.” Henry sighed again. “Death by PowerPoint. They could have all submitted a handout and we could have read them, shredded them, and saved ourselves a lot of time by not interviewing them.”

“Maybe the last candidate will be different.”

“And pigs might fly.” He picked up the phone to tell his secretary to bring her in.


Henry was surprised Finn Ryan’s arrival aroused his interest. He knew at once she had something about her. Her energy and confidence appealed to him immediately. He took in her appearance as she set up her laptop.

He decided she was attractive in an unrefined way. The suit she was wearing was, he thought, almost certainly one hundred percent polyester. It made that cheap friction noise as her sleeve brushed against the body of her jacket. The garment looked as if she’d bought it from a down market store. Those were the very places where he’d bought his indestructible crimplene suits and nylon shirts in the old days. The days when he knew, and could afford, no better. Before old man Roslin had kitted him out.

Her hair was long, and she had straightened out every natural wave, bend, or kink. He realised she’d used a henna dye to create its harsh deep redness.  That was a colour he hated and was too extreme for him. He also disliked her heavy makeup. 

I expect, he thought, her nails are false and red. He checked as she assembled her notes and handouts into order. He was pleased to find he was correct. He was also correct about the cheap plastic stiletto shoes she was wearing. He knew he could read people well.

She walked purposefully to their table and handed them what appeared to be a brochure. The document was in full colour and professionally finished.

“This contains a copy of all my slides and a summary of the points I will be making. You can read them at your leisure as I’ll be concentrating on my vision for your company.” She held out her hand to each of them in turn. “I’m Finn Ryan. Are you ready for me to begin?”

Henry straightened himself in his chair, hopes rising. Maybe this woman would be worth listening to.

She wasted no time in getting to the point. ”Your market share,” she said, “is shrinking. The pandemic forced people into internet shopping and your goods aren’t available in the big supermarkets. A lot of your small stockists have been forced to close their doors and no one is queueing to take over their businesses. The high streets are full of coffee shops and charity shops and that isn’t going to change overnight.”

“You’re telling me.” Henry was only too aware of the crippling drop in sales.

“Your traditional market has disappeared. It will take something radical to get you trading with the big hitters. My plan will take you first to the high-end operators and then, by developing a budget line, into the big supermarkets where the volume market lies.”

Henry Gallagher felt a surge of excitement deep inside. That was a feeling he hadn’t had for years. He’d given the company everything he had for over forty years and had felt as if he’d come to the end of a cul-de-sac for some time. His visionless accountant son had given him no hope, no path to follow. He’d prepared the depressing figures week after week. They had headed relentlessly downwards but he had not come up with a single idea of how to reverse the trend.

“The team I work with has taken my company’s products and got them into Lakeland, John Lewis and, of course, Waitrose, so I know how to deliver. I’ve watched and learned every move they made. Their cheaper range is now in the big supermarkets. I’ve been involved at every step and I’m able to bring that knowledge here.” 

What she said was true, Henry reflected. The company she worked for had a significant product range—bakeware that had taken off like nothing he had witnessed before. Even high-profile TV chefs were recommending their wares on their shows.

“The company I work for can’t offer me career progression right now. Their sales team is rock solid and well-paid. I’m ready for challenge and I can’t get that where I am. I want to use what I’ve learned. Your company could be what I’m looking for.”

Henry allowed himself an inner smile. This woman had some nerve. He was the one looking to make the appointment.

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Tags: Contemporary, Suspense, Thriller, Family drama