When the overbearing parents of billionaire Mike Woodley move back to town and reclaim the family home, he’s ready to escape to his new house. First, he needs an interior decorator. Local artist Darren Williams could be the answer to his prayers, until he insults her. But to pay off yet another of her sister’s gambling debts, she puts her bruised ego aside and accepts the job.
As they work on Mike’s house, the sexual attraction between Mike and Darren ignites, though neither wants anything more than a fling. Darren is still getting past the death of her fiancé, and the marital discord in Mike’s family has discouraged him from settling down.
Still, they can’t stay away from each other, until family matters intervene. Before their relationship can move on, Mike has to confront his family’s expectations and Darren must allow her own family to help her for once.
Did he have any idea how this mere contact awoke the nerve endings behind her ear? Momentarily, she was glued in place, telling the rest of her body to ignore the shock waves rippling down her neck to her lower region.
Even in the room’s dim shadows, she could tell when his eyes went smoky. “This room is giving me ideas I probably should ignore.” He paused, stared directly in her eyes, giving her a chance to decide the next move.
He was coming on to her. No mistake. She’d never been propositioned by a guy she barely knew. Well, maybe at a rave when she was much younger, but that didn’t count. Nothing from those days was real. Did he actually expect her to roll around naked on this wood subfloor? She couldn’t help glancing down. “Uh … ”
“Let’s check out the other rooms.” His voice had gone hoarse, urgent.
The Story Behind the Story
Back in college I took a course on Interior Design on a pass/fail basis because I needed an elective and the idea appealed. Since that time I’ve had a secret desire to be an interior decorator someday when I grow up. For practice, I’ve used my first two apartments and then my homes as my living labs. (By the way, I did pass my course, although I still can’t fathom why the color scheme for my final project, a kitchen, featured a color scheme of turquoise and orange.) It’s interesting how the color palette I’ve used over the years has changed; I wouldn’t go so far as to say “evolved.”
My first apartment living room was based around our first sofa, a tweed of lemon and teal. The living room of our first home was wedgewood blue and lemon yellow. Wedgewood blue, mauve, and cream took over the living room of our second home. In our current home, I used the new area rug as my inspiration: wedgewood blue, olive green and brown. I know, there’s a pattern there, but blue is my favorite color.
However, I went a new direction in our condo: Havana brown, dark red, and caramel, my husband’s colors. If I were selecting living room colors today, I’d turn to dove gray and silver with accents of blue.
I used Darren’s experience decorating Mike’s new house in this story as an opportunity to play around with different colors. In this case, a very subtle light yellow wall color and medium shades of brown for furniture. However, read on, and somewhere in that color scheme you’ll find blue.
My husband started out teaching art education. Although he later went into information technology management, his interest in art is still there. These days he’s into carving. I used what I’ve observed him doing and talking about over the years as I described Darren’s work as an artist.
As for Mike’s being a billionaire, well, thus far no personal experience with that one. That was the fun part of writing him, imagining what it would be like to be in his shoes.