When 40 year old Richard Anderson, an architect, and his wife, Beth, a nurse practitioner, are invited to a swingers’ club they are nervous and don’t know what to expect. These upper, middle-class, conservative, parents of two, had no idea Richard’s co-worker was a member of Club Climax. Richard is very eager for the experience while Beth is hesitant, but reluctantly agrees.
The first visit finds them spending no time participating, little time watching and most of their time sitting at the bar conversing with bartender, Randy. They are given a walking tour of the Club by the evening’s host, Tom and his wife, Rosa. A spark is felt between Beth and Tom, who is at least 15 years her senior. Admitting the food was good and the members pleasant, they agree to return for the Club’s Halloween event.
Being in costume, adds another layer of anonymity, and the Andersons enjoying their second visit to the Club. While becoming more comfortable, the Andersons begin watching sexual rendezvous. They find it unnerving watching their friends having sex and are stunned to find out their sons’ babysitter and her husband are members once their masks are accidently pushed off. During this visit Richard and Beth have Club sex for the first time, in private. Some of the best sex of their lives, they happily admit.
Finding himself attracted to Beth, Tom asks the Andersons if he and Beth could ‘play’. Richard is pleased that Beth is becoming indoctrinated into the Club’s lifestyle as he hopes to continue frequenting the place. Tom and his wife, Rosa, have been swingers for most of their adult lives. Rosa understands Tom’s need for multiple sex partners and has no problem with him and Beth hooking up. Frequent Club visits and a Club membership allow the Andersons indulgence in numerous graphic sex encounters between themselves but also in a three-some and four-some as well as some girl on girl and bisexual encounters.
Tom and Beth are physically great together and hook-up often. Richard, on the other hand, feels jealous of his wife’s sexual escapades and believes there is more to Beth and Tom’s relationship than just a physical attraction. Although neither has admitted it, it appears that Richard might be right.
Prior to Club Climax, the Andersons were doting parents to Max, aged 7 and Matt, aged 6. But now, their kids are being left with a babysitter more and more as they become hooked on the lifestyle. Even when at home, Beth is spending a great deal of time on swingers’ blogs and websites.
Richard’s career starts to take off as he is put in charge of a large project in Virginia. He is away from home in Kendrick, Ohio, several days at a time, initially, then weeks at a time as the project develops.
One weekend, while home from Virginia, he and Beth head to the Club. A familiar pattern occurs when Beth finds herself busy in various playrooms while Richard sits and watches or hangs out at the bar. Women are not attracted to Richard sexually due to his small penis, clumsiness in the bedroom and lack of sexual confidence. He communicates this to a couple, Chuck and Tina, who he meets at the Club bar. They know what Richard needs to feel ‘fucking great and be able to fuck great’, as Chuck, so elegantly, puts it. They introduce him to cocaine. At first, Richard only uses while at the Club but then discovers it keeps him alert, without needing to eat or sleep; something that helps him be more productive at work.
While Richard spends more time in Virginia, Beth and Tom’s hook-ups become more frequent and Richard is not shy about expressing his disapproval. Tom comes up with a private plan for him and Beth. Because the Club is only open on week-ends and child care is an issue for Beth, Tom rents a high-end condo so they can get together on their schedule not the Club’s. Rosa is fully aware of the arrangement but Beth decides to hide it from Richard.
Beth lies to her staff and takes two days off from work to play with Tom at the penthouse while Richard works in Virginia. On the second day, Richard comes home a day early and doesn’t believe his wife’s lies about why she is not at work. Later that evening, sees an unfamiliar address in her GPS which only serves to heighten his suspicions.
Richard comes home from Virginia for a weekend and the Andersons make a Club visit. Again, Richard hooks up with Chuck and Tina and scores more cocaine. With Richard working away from home, Beth is now paying all their bills online. Taking charge of this endeavor means she frequently checks their online banking balance. Noticing large ATM cash withdrawals she confronts Richard. He becomes very defensive and makes up some unconvincing lies.
While Richard is away over a weekend, Beth is to meet Tom at the Club. Tom cancels due to illness. Beth goes to the Club alone and sits at the bar. Bartender Randy, informs her that he believes Richard may be using drugs due to his affiliation with Chuck and Tina who have a bad Club reputation. Randy believes Beth and Richard are a great couple and doesn’t want to see Richard led down a drug-laden path. This gives Beth a lot to think about and the next time Richard comes home she confronts him. He is furious and man-handles her resulting in several bruises. The next day they make up and he admits to using cocaine and vows to stop. During the same conversation, Richards reveals that his company is opening a permanent office in Virginia and he has been asked to manage it. This would mean a move for the Anderson family. After giving it some thought, they decide it would be good for their family to start fresh in Virginia.
Richard is still suspicious about Tom and Beth’s relationship and he has not figured out why she lied to him about taking a couple of days off from work. He has not forgotten and decides to get to the bottom of it. This issue is bothering him; he misses his family and is feeling a lot of responsibility as he works long hours. He knows he should quit using cocaine but finds it too valuable as a crutch in his private and professional life.
Beth goes alone to Virginia to begin house hunting with Richard. While she is there, Richard checks his text messages and becomes sullen. After several hours of this new attitude, Beth confronts him. He tells her that the text was from a private detective he had hired who followed her for five days. The texted report indicates that Beth was found only to be working and being a good parent. Unfortunately, Richard hired a cheap private eye and got what he paid for. The inept detective missed following Beth to meet with Tom. The fact that Beth is ‘clean’, had Richard wracked with guilt and he confesses a two-month affair he has been having with a project engineer. He states he broke it off with her several weeks ago. What he doesn’t reveal is that ex-mistress, Rachel, did not want the relationship to end and has been threatening him ever since.
Beth is stunned by the news and leaves Richard’s hotel room to get one of her own for the night. The next morning, before catching her plane home, she goes to Richard’s hotel room to collect her belongings and finds white powder on the bathroom counter, proof he is still using cocaine. Beth flies home and changes their bank accounts so Richard cannot access their money for drugs. She tells all to Tom who sees her bruises and becomes furious, telling Beth he will kill Richard if he ever hurts her again.
Meanwhile, Richard is getting low on cocaine. By chance he runs into his Virginia dealer on the street who is eager to unload a large stash from his car. He gives the drug to Richard and makes arrangements to go to Richard’s hotel room that night for payment. But when Richard tries to withdraw money for the deal he is denied. Later that night, Richard is pistol-whipped and given a 24 hour deadline to come up with the money.
The next day Richard has a difficult time concentrating on work, but when a safety compliance issue appears he decides to use it to his advantage. A contractor has used sub-standard material and Richard decides to extort the company owner for the money he needs to pay the drug dealer. Unfortunately for Richard, the owner has ties to some ruthless men and laughs Richard out of his office threatening him if he doesn’t keep his mouth shut.
Knowing he needs to hide from the drug dealer and now, possibly the mob, he seeks shelter from his ex-mistress, Rachel. He lets himself into her condo and she is thrilled to see him back, assuming he wants to repair their relationship. After spending one night with her he packs up and leaves while she is at work. He knows if he is to ever make up with his wife he cannot stay with Rachel, even if it is only for his safety.
Feeling the weight of the world on his shoulders, Richard rents a cottage on the edge of town where he believes he can stay hidden while keeping an eye out for anything, or anyone, unusual. He tells his office he was mugged and his injuries will keep him from working for the rest of the week. As he stays alone, constantly looking over his shoulder, he thinks about how simple his life was before Club Climax. He relates the downward spiral of his life to the introduction to the swingers’ lifestyle. He now has Tom calling and threatening him should he ever hurt Beth again. He is scared that he is being sought after by the drug dealer and now possibly the Mob.
His wife has had no contact with him since she found about his affair, so he is excited to see a text message from her. His excitement turns to despair when the message reveals she has contacted an attorney. Assuming it is regarding divorce, this blow shatters him even further. In desperation, Richard begins to have thoughts of suicide, knowing he has a large life insurance policy that his family would inherit. He is beginning to see no good way out of the mess he sees himself in.
Several weeks earlier, Pete Graham, the owner of the aquatic center Richard is building, invited him to a fox hunt at a local hunting club. Richard had been delighted to accept the invitation knowing hobnobbing with wealthy and powerful business men, such as Pete, would only serve to enhance his own status. Pete has gone through some trouble to get him invited as a guest and to gather all the gear Richard will need. Now, despite not wanting to participate in the hunt, due to his depressed state, he forces himself to go.
Unknown to Richard, he is followed to the hunt club and stalked through the woods by an assassin. Just as the killer is about to pull the trigger he watches Richard place a hand gun into his mouth. The reader knows a shot has been fired but doesn’t know if it was murder or suicide.
All with be revealed in Book 2 as we continue to follow Beth and her unfolding life.