Fiona Carson and Marshall Weston are both CEOs of multibillion-dollar high tech firms, but that is where all the similarities seem to end. Fiona is a Harvard-educated single-mom who labors overtime to do justice to both her intense job and her children. Marshall, on the other hand, enjoys the partnership of his devoted corporate spouse, but he also harbors secrets that could destroy his career. How these two very different captains of industry intertwine is the subject of this trademark Danielle Steel novel.
Power Playby Danielle Steel
In Northern California two successful CEOs are both indispensable to their growing companies’ futures. Both are brilliant at the power game. But the difference between them is huge. One is a man, the other a woman. In this riveting novel, Danielle Steel explores what that means as she takes readers into the rarefied/b>/i>
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
In Northern California two successful CEOs are both indispensable to their growing companies’ futures. Both are brilliant at the power game. But the difference between them is huge. One is a man, the other a woman. In this riveting novel, Danielle Steel explores what that means as she takes readers into the rarefied world of those at the pinnacle of international business and reveals the irrevocable choices they make, what drives them, and how others perceive them. The heady drug of power impacts everything they do.
Even though Harvard-educated Fiona Carson has proven herself under fire as CEO of National Technology Advancement, a multibillion-dollar high-tech company based in Palo Alto, California, she still has to meet the challenges of her world every day. Devoted single mother, world-class strategist, and tough negotiator, Fiona weighs every move she makes, and reserves any personal time for her children. Isolation and constant pressure are givens for her as a woman in a man’s world.
Miles away in Marin County, Marshall Weston basks in the fruits of his achievements. At his side is his wife, Liz, the perfect corporate spouse, who has gladly sacrificed her own law career to raise their three children and support Marshall at every step. Smooth, shrewd, and irreproachable, Marshall is a model chief executive, and the power he wields only enhances his charisma and is his drug of choice. And to maintain his position, he harbors secrets that could destroy his life at any moment. His world is one of high risks.
Like many women in her position, Fiona has sacrificed her personal life for her career, while Marshall dances dangerously close to the edge and flirts with scandal every day. Both must face their own demons, and fight off those who are jealous of their success. Their lives as CEOs of major companies come at a high price. And just how high a price are they willing to pay? Who are they willing to sacrifice to stay on top? Those they love, or themselves?
Danielle Steel’s gripping, emotionally layered novel explores the seductive and damaging nature of power. Success and greed, trust and deception, love and loss—all come to a head in this compelling drama of family, careers, infidelity, and the sacrifices some people make to hold on to power . . . or to let it go.
Praise for Power Play
“In peak form, Steel examines the effects of power on the lives of male and female CEOs in this insightful, all-too realistic novel . . . to dramatize just how differently men and women handle corporate power and personal responsibility.”—Booklist
“Connecting two powerful CEOs through their children’s romantic involvement, the author uses her signature low-key . . . style to examine personal and professional morality. . . . Appealing fare from Steel.”—Kirkus Reviews
From the Hardcover edition.
“Connecting two powerful CEOs through their children’s romantic involvement, the author uses her signature low-key . . . style to examine personal and professional morality. . . . Appealing fare from Steel.”—Kirkus Reviews
Steel's (Winners, 2013, etc.) latest contemporary romance targets the integrity of corporate executives. Connecting two powerful CEOs through their children's romantic involvement, the author uses her signature low-key, easy-to-read style to examine personal and professional morality. Fiona Carson and Marshall Weston have made it to the tops of their games with a lot of sweat equity, and both are respected leaders, but that's where the similarities end. Fiona is an accomplished divorcée and the mother of two well-balanced college students. She makes accessibility to her son and daughter a priority and rationalizes that she doesn't have room in her life for a man since her work and her children keep her busy and happy. When Pulitzer Prize winner Logan Smith, an investigative reporter, contacts Fiona for a story he's working on, she sees him as a good match for her older sister, Jillian. After all, Jillian's a psychiatrist who's working on a book about women in power, and both Jillian and Logan believe successful women in the business world conduct themselves very differently from their male counterparts. Marshall seems to exemplify that difference. While Fiona's a concerned parent and a by-the-book executive who would never compromise her principles, Marshall's actions reflect his questionable ethics. Married for 27 years to the same woman, he's been a decent provider to his wife and three children, and on the surface, he appears to achieve a perfect balance between family life and corporate duties. But looks can be deceiving. His eldest son despises him; his daughter's on a dubious path; and Marshall's hiding a secret life that threatens to harm the reputation of his company, destroy his marriage and damage others who depend on him. When he's forced to make an important decision, Marshall's loyalty to his company and loved ones is tested. Standard, appealing fare from Steel.
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Read an Excerpt
By Danielle Steel
Random House LLCCopyright © 2014 Danielle Steel
All rights reserved.
Fiona Carson left her office with the perfect amount of time to get to the boardroom for an important meeting. She was wearing a businesslike suit, her blond hair pulled back, almost no makeup. She was the CEO of one of the largest and most successful corporations in the country. She hated being late and almost never was. To anyone who didn't know her, and many who did, she appeared to be in total control, and one could easily imagine her handling any situation. And whatever personal problems or issues she had, it was inconceivable that she would let them interfere with her work. A woman like Fiona would never let that happen.
As she approached the boardroom, her BlackBerry rang. She was about to let it go to voice mail, and then decided to check who it was, just to be sure. She pulled it out of her pocket. It was Alyssa, her daughter, who was currently a sophomore at Stanford. She hesitated, and then decided to answer it. She had time. The board meeting wouldn't start for a few minutes, and as a single parent, it always made her uneasy not to answer calls from her children. What if it was the one time that something was seriously wrong? Alyssa had always been an easy child, and handled her life responsibly as a young adult, but still.... what if she'd had an accident ... was sick ... was in an emergency room somewhere ... had a crisis at school ... her dog got run over by a car (which had happened once and Alyssa had been heartbroken for months). Fiona could never just let the phone ring and ignore it if it was one of her kids. She had always felt that part of being a parent was being on call at all times. And she felt that way about being CEO too. If there was an emergency, she expected someone to call her, at any hour, wherever she was. Fiona was accessible, to the corporation and her kids. She answered on the second ring.
"Mom?" Alyssa used the voice she only used for important events. A fantastic grade, or a disastrous one, something seriously wrong at the doctor, like a positive test for mono. Fiona could tell that whatever this was, it was important, so she was glad she had taken the call. She hoped it was nothing serious and sounded concerned.
"Yes. What's up?" she answered in a subdued voice, so no one would hear her on a personal call as she walked down the hall. "Are you okay?"
"Yes, of course." Alyssa sounded annoyed. "Why would you say that?" It never dawned on her what it was like being a mother, and the kind of things you worried about, or imagined, or how many things could go wrong, really bad ones. It was Fiona's job to be aware of all those things, and be ready to spring into action when necessary, like the Red Cross or the fire department. Being a mother was like working for the office of emergency services, with a lifetime commitment. "Where are you? Why are you talking like that?" Alyssa could hardly hear her. She hated it when her mother whispered into the phone.
"I'm on my way to a board meeting," Fiona answered, still speaking in a stage whisper. "What do you need?"
"I don't 'need' anything. I just wanted to ask you something." Alyssa sounded mildly insulted at the way her mother phrased it. They weren't off to a good start, and Fiona wondered why her daughter hadn't just sent her a text, as she often did. She knew how busy her mother was all day. But Fiona had always made it clear to her children that they were a major priority for her, so they weren't shy about reaching out to her, even during her business day. So Fiona assumed that Alyssa needed to tell her something important. They knew the rules. "Don't call unless you really need to, while I'm at work." The exception to that had been when they were younger, and called to tell her they'd gotten hurt, or really missed her. She had never scolded them for those calls, neither Alyssa, nor her son, Mark.
"So ask me," Fiona said, trying not to sound impatient. "I've got to go to the meeting in two seconds. I'm almost there."
"I need a favor." It better be a good one, Fiona thought, given the timing, the edge in her voice, and the introduction.
"Can I borrow your black Givenchy skirt with the slit up the side? I have a big date this Saturday night." She said it as though it were a crisis, and to her it was.
"You called me for that? It couldn't wait till tonight?" Now she was annoyed. "I haven't even worn it yet." She rarely got to wear anything first. Alyssa either borrowed it, or it vanished forever and became only a dim memory in her closet. It was happening more and more often. They were the same size, and Alyssa was starting to like more sophisticated clothes.
"I'm not going to wear it to a track meet. I'll give it back to you on Sunday." Which year? Alyssa's notion on the timing of returns was a little vague.
Fiona was going to argue the point with her, but she didn't have time. "All right, fine. We can talk about it tonight, when I get home."
"I needed to know, otherwise I have to go shopping. I have nothing to wear." That was too long a conversation to get into now.
"Fine. Take it. Talk to you tonight."
"No, Mom, wait ... I have to talk to you about my econ paper. It's due Monday, and the professor hated my topic, I wanted to? ..."
"Alyssa, I can't talk about it now. Later. I'm busy. That's too big a subject to discuss in two seconds." She was starting to sound exasperated, and Alyssa immediately sounded hurt.
"Okay. Fine, I get it. But you always complain that I don't discuss my papers with you, and the professor said? ..."
"Not in the middle of my workday, before a board meeting. I'm very glad you want to discuss it with me. I just can't do it now." She was at the door to the boardroom and she needed to end the call.
"Then when can you?" Alyssa sounded mildly huffy, as though implying that her mother never had time, which wasn't fair since Fiona did her best to be accessible to them, and Alyssa knew it.
"Tonight. We'll talk tonight. I'll call you."
"I can't. I'm going to a movie with my French class, and dinner at a French restaurant before that. It's part of the class."
"Call me after," Fiona said, desperate to get off the phone.
"I'll pick up the skirt on Saturday. Thanks, Mom."
"Anytime," Fiona said with a wry smile. They always did it to her, especially Alyssa. It was almost as if she had to prove that her mother was paying attention. Fiona always did. Alyssa didn't need to test it, but she did anyway sometimes. She just had. Yes, I am paying attention, Fiona thought, and hoped Alyssa wouldn't call again to ask for the black sweater that went with the skirt. "I love you. Have fun tonight."
"Yeah, me too. Have fun at the board meeting. Sorry I bothered you, Mom," Alyssa said, and hung up. Fiona turned the phone on vibrate then and slipped it back in her jacket pocket. She had work to do now. No more lend-lease program calls for the latest brand-new, as-yet-unworn skirt. But this was real life in the life of a modern-day CEO and single mother.
She adjusted her face to a serious expression, and walked into the boardroom of NTA, National Technology Advancement, and smiled at the board members gathered around the long oval table, waiting for the others to arrive. There were ten members on the board, eight men and two women, most of them heads of other corporations, many of them smaller and some of equal size. Half of the group was already gathered, and they had been waiting for Fiona, the chairman of the board, and four other members before the meeting could begin. At forty-nine, Fiona had been the CEO of NTA for six years, and had done a remarkable job. She had come in on the heels of a predecessor who had stayed too long and had clung to old-fashioned, minimal-risk positions that had caused a dip in their stock in his final years. Fiona had been carefully selected by a search committee, and lured away from an important job.
She had taken over in her quiet, thoughtful way, had been incisive in her assessments, and bold and courageous in her plans. She took no undue chances, and everything she did was well thought out, her long- and short-term goals for the company had been brilliant and right on the mark. Within months, their stock had soared and continued to climb ever since, despite the tough economy. Both management and stockholders loved her, and she was respected by her peers and employees. Their profits continued to increase. She was merciless when she had to be, but everything she did was meticulously researched and carefully executed, and with their bottom line in mind. Fiona Carson was a star, and had been for her entire career. She was an intelligent woman, with a brilliant mind for business. She was one of the most successful women in the country, at the helm of one of the largest corporations in American business, and responsible for a hundred thousand employees.
She chatted quietly with the board members as they filed in. It was still ten minutes before the board meeting was due to start. She usually arrived a few minutes early, so she could talk with them. The chairman, Harding Williams, always arrived just as the meeting was about to begin. He had had a distinguished career in business, though not as illustrious as Fiona's. He had been head of a large corporation for most of his career, though not quite as big as NTA, and he had run it like a dictatorship, which had been the accepted style in his early days. Things were different now, as Fiona tried to point out to him when he made some rebellious move, based on his own opinions and whims. Fiona adhered strictly to the rules of corporate governance, the boundaries corporations and the people who ran them were supposed to respect. And Fiona expected the board to do the same. It caused disagreements between Harding and Fiona almost every time the board met. Fiona very charitably said that they were like two parents, who had the best interests of the child at heart, and that their widely divergent opposing points of view frequently benefited NTA, when they arrived at compromise positions. But getting there gave Fiona severe headaches, and brought out the worst in them both. She respected Harding Williams as a chairman, and his long experience, but it was obvious to everyone that she loathed him as a person, and he hated her even more. He made no secret of it, frequently making uncalled-for derogatory personal comments about her, or rolling his eyes at her suggestions, while she was unfailingly diplomatic, respectful, and discreet, no matter what it cost her to do so. He hurt Fiona's feelings with the cutting things he said, both to her face and behind her back, but she never let it show. She would never have given him the satisfaction of letting him see how much he upset her. She was a professional to her core. Her assistant always had two Advils and a glass of water waiting on Fiona's desk when she got back to her office after a board meeting, and today would be no different. Fiona had called the emergency meeting, to attempt to solve a problem with the board.
Harding thought the meeting ridiculous and had complained about coming in. He had been retired from his own job for the past five years, but was still a powerful chairman, and on several other boards. He was going to be obliged to retire as chairman of NTA's board by the end of the year, when he would turn seventy, unless they voted to overturn the rule about mandatory retirement age for a board member, but no one had done so so far. She was looking forward to his leaving at the end of the year, in seven months. And she had to deal with him constructively until then. It was an effort she always made, and had for the past six years, since she had come to NTA as CEO.
And she had known for the past six years, since she took the job, that Harding Williams said she was a woman of loose morals and a bitch. He had been at NTA, on the board, long before she got there, and they had crossed paths before, in her youth, at Harvard Business School, where he taught a class during her first year. He had formed his opinion of her then and never changed it since.
Fiona would have been a beautiful woman with very little effort, which she chose not to make. She didn't spend time worrying about being attractive to the men she met through her work. Her only interest was in guiding the company and its hundred thousand employees to ever greater heights. She had long since adopted the style of women in the corporate world. She was tall and thin, with a good figure, she wore her long blond hair in a neat bun, and she had big green eyes. She wore no jewelry, no frills. Her nails were always impeccably manicured, with colorless polish. She was the epitome of a successful, powerful female executive. She was the iron hand in the velvet glove. A strong woman, she did not abuse her power but was willing to make all the tough decisions that came with the job, and she accepted the criticism and problems that came with it. No one could ever see her own concerns about her decisions, her fear that things might go wrong, her regrets when they had to close a plant that eliminated thousands of jobs. She lay awake thinking about it on many nights. But at work she always seemed calm, cool, fearless, intelligent, compassionate, and polite. Her gentler side, and there was one, never showed at work. She couldn't afford to express it here; it would have been dangerous to do so in her job. She had to be their fearless leader, and she was aware of it at all times.
Fiona waited until all the board members were seated, and Harding Williams called the meeting to order, and then he turned to her with a sarcastic look, which she ignored.
Excerpted from Power Play by Danielle Steel. Copyright © 2014 Danielle Steel. Excerpted by permission of Random House LLC, a division of Random House, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world’s most popular authors, with over 650 million copies of her novels sold. Her many international bestsellers include Country, Prodigal Son, Pegasus, A Perfect Life, Power Play, Winners, First Sight, Until the End of Time, The Sins of the Mother, and other highly acclaimed novels. She is also the author of His Bright Light, the story of her son Nick Traina’s life and death; A Gift of Hope, a memoir of her work with the homeless; Pure Joy, about the dogs she and her family have loved; and the children’s book Pretty Minnie in Paris.
- San Francisco, California
- Date of Birth:
- August 14, 1947
- Place of Birth:
- New York, New York
- Educated in France. Also attended Parsons School of Design, 1963, and New York University, 1963-67
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Rich author. Sometimes I think she writes formula. Nevertheless I have been reeading her love stories since the 70s. Iam now64. She writes and I escape an afternoon.
Loved this book, Power Play by Danielle Steel. I have been reading her books for years. She never disappoints me!
Best book ive ever read and im only inthe second chapter
Enjoyable read. Was too short - I wanted it to go on a bit longer! I would recommend reading it if you are a Danielle Steel fan. Power Play by Danielle Steel is the story of two successful and powerful captains of industry whose lives are poles apart. It is a parallel story of ambition, trust and morality brilliantly told. Fiona Carson and Marshall Weston have a lot in common. They both are ambitious, brilliant, committed, shrewd, hardworking and successful. They both are leaders in their own rights. In a way, both are broken and searching for happiness. Forty-nine years old Fiona Carson is divorced and the mother of two college-going students. She is committed to her job as a CEO of a tech company as much as she is committed to her children. On the other hand, Marshall Weston leads a double life. One of them involves a mistress who is thirty-year-old, Ashley. She lives with their twin daughters in Malibu. His legal wife Liz lives with their three children in Marin.
This is yet another page turner that Ms. Steel has created from her unbelievably awesome mind! I've never before read books that have me so involved, I find myself (mentally) yelling at the main characters, and/or crying along with them! No matter how tired I was from reading, I could NOT put this down until I was done, then I felt like I was losing a friend...I would most definitely recommend this book for a book club discussion, and I sure would LOVE to sit in on THAT discussion!
WONDERFUL BOOK COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN!!!
I have been a Danielle Steel fan for years and she never ceases to amaze me with her emotional writing and story lines. This book is a wonderful lesson on how hard it is to live life in the power lane of careers and still enjoy life to the fullest. The pages just kept turning and turning with a great flow that before I knew it I was finished and wanting more. Great job!
It was hard to get into the book. So many characters and didn't really like it. She used to write books that kept you so interested that you didn't want to put it down. But this one wasn't one of them for me. It's about a power struggle and somewhat in my opinion untrue. Money doesn't make you happy, but family is more important and does make one happy. So this wasn't one of my favorite book written by Danielle Steel and I have every book that she has published from day 1.
I have always been a Danielle Steele fan, and eagerly looked forward to reading her newest novel. However, lately I have begun to find that most of these follow the same path, and I can almost tell what the ending will be after reading just a few pages. I'm looking for something new and "fresh" to bring me back to the excitement I felt when I first started reading her work.
Fabulous book !
This book was great, had me hooked from the first page. I have read all of Danielle Steel books and this is one of her many BEST!!!
This I found to be one of the best book D.S. has written. If you have ever worked in the corporate world you will especially enjoy it.
I loved this book! Great great read!
This book is a dud. I am sorry to say this, having read many Danielle Steel books over the years. I could hardly finish it and skimmed through to the end, so I could see how she ended it. I finally now have to agree with all the reviews over the years that suggest she is a formula writer. In this book's case, it was disjointed and offered no accountability for the "other woman's" bad behavior. She was portrayed as a victim, who in the end was rescued by a Prince Charming. Summed that story line up in a happy cookie cutter ending. Absolutely no depth to this book and a true disappointment.
I loved this book!! So real to life!! Recommend Very Highly!!
I loved this one. It was so interesting to the very end and the characters were very REAL...The story kept me totally absorbed....One of her better ones of late.
A very good Danielle Steel book
Great read...exciting and different from Steel's normal formula writing.
FOUND THIS BOOK TO BE A LITTLE SLOW READING, DID NOT REALLY GET INTO IT FOR ABOUT THE FIRST 100 PAGES BUT STILL FOUND IT TO BE GOOD,
Have read and enjoyed 90% of her books, especially the early ones. This one was, in my opinion a big flop. It tried to justify lying and cheating to the point of me having total dislike for all the characters. Since these books are character driven, this was an unhappy place to be. The story was disjointed and felt as though the author was trying to use nonsense to satisfy a word count. I plodded through it, hoping it would get better. Unfortuneately it never did. While l normally devour these books in a few hours, this book took several days of torment.
Remember the old story about story cards you mixed and made up a story from hero heroine place time packs steele seems to bemissing a few of her story cards