Netgalley Top Reviewer

Professional Reader Reviews Published 2016 NetGalley Challenge 200 Book Reviews #BookAdvocatesUnite

17 October 2014

❤Blog Tour❤ Decorated With Love (The Designers #1) by Parker James


Chase Moore was devastated when he learned his hot boyfriend proposed to a woman. With his love life in tatters, Chase pours himself into his interior design career. But when a fabric order for an important client goes awry, it threatens to put him over the edge. Drowning his sorrows in a cup of hot, black coffee before consulting on his next big job seems like the answer—until he see Frank.

Frank Hilliard didn’t believe in fate or karma or any of those silly things when he stopped into the java shop, until a powerful attraction draws him to meet a gorgeous man’s gaze. He approaches the stranger’s table with every intention of following a gut instinct to get to know him better—much better.

When Chase discovers the man who sets his body—and soul—on fire is the husband of his newest client, he vows not to be the 'other man' again, but his heart and his body just aren't listening. Frank awakens feelings he never wanted to have--raw and primal--and just when Chase is certain it has to end, the real truth of Frank's situation reveals a stunning secret that promises more than Chase ever bargained for.

Buy Now

Chapter One


“Damask? Who ordered the

damask? Certainly not me. I wanted

silk—the soft sage green silk I sent you the swatch of last week!” Chase broke

the connection on his cellular with as much conviction as he could manage.

He swore, wishing he’d taken

that call on his office phone, a good old-fashioned handset device that allowed

you to slam down a receiver so a caller could feel the wrath as you truly meant

it. He shook his head incredulously. Silk. Soft sage green silk—the perfect

material for Ms. Conrad’s penthouse boudoir curtains—and some buffoon at the

warehouse filled his order with damask! The horror swamped Chase, especially

since he didn’t have the opportunity to break a phone receiver at the warehouse

fulfillment worker’s expense.

Only one immediate cure

popped into his mind at this moment—a nine-thirty-in-the-morning moment when a

glass of Scotch whisky, neat, was out of the question—a good, strong cup of the

blackest coffee Chase could find, along with the richest, most calorie-laden

warm cinnamon roll, dripping in buttery, sugary icing. Well, at least the black

coffee, he considered as he looked for the damned silk order form all over his

desk at Just For You, the full-service concierge home store where he was a partner

and worked as the resident interior design expert. I’d have the cinnamon roll and instantly regret the choice. Maybe I’ll

settle for a muffin—easier on the waistline but decadent enough to soothe my

pain, especially if they still have those carrot ones with the cream cheese


Chase bolted from the desk

chair with what he knew to be unnecessary force, grabbed his cell phone, and

left his office. Giving his office door as much of a slam as he dared—what if

Stefan or, even worse, Kurt had clients in their offices?—he purposefully made

his way down the wide internal hallway and out to the reception area, stopping

there to address the receptionist and interrupting her from what he was sure

must be a very juicy romance novel.

“Wanda, I’m stepping out for

about an hour. If those imbeciles at the warehouse call about the Conrad order,

tell them I’ll get back to them in about twelve hundred calories.”

Chase barreled past a

stunned and totally-clueless Wanda, down the elevator and headed out onto the

sidewalk. He didn’t care if she understood. Right now, he just didn’t care

about much. The morning air still crisp, Chase took a long, deep breath, as if

clearing his lungs would rid him of the frustration the morning had already

given him. A short walk to the trendy coffee shop on the next corner would be

just the thing to cleanse his mood and give him a fresh outlook for a new

beginning on the day. What had happened to him last week, along with snafus

like this morning, were cutting into his otherwise positive outlook about

himself personally and his burgeoning career as one of the areas up-and-coming

new designers. His thoughts drifted back to how the trouble had all began.

“What do you mean you’re going to ask her to marry you?”

Chase could still remember

the shrieking tone in his voice when he asked his lover of several months how

he could want to be with a woman…and forever. Chase and Brad had been quite the

item—or at least it seemed that way to Chase.

Yes, Brad had been dating

Sylvia when they first met. In fact, Chase remembered the first time they’d

laid eyes on each other—and shortly after, hands, tongues, and…well, everything

else. Their meeting had occurred during one of Brad’s dates with the woman.

Chase had been invited to a

big gathering at a local estate. He’d been privileged to design and supervise a

huge redecoration project there. The invitees numbered over a hundred and Chase

frankly had to stifle yawns of boredom. Good business mandated, though, that he

hang around and be recognized as the person who created the luxurious ambiance

the guests so enjoyed. Regardless of the money their firm spent on advertising,

the best source of leads remained word of mouth and networking. Given how many

people were in attendance and the quantity of champagne the waiters seemed to

be pouring, there would be plenty of word of mouth happening.

He watched as the

hostess—what a pain she had been to work with—wove among the guests, shaking

hands, laughing, making conversation. He even noticed that while she

circulated, her husband used the opportunity to visit with every young, pretty

thing in the room, copping the occasional feel. Chase just shook his head in

wonderment. The woman was a dyed-in-the-wool bitch, but even she didn’t deserve to be disrespected in

that way, especially in front of her guests at her very own house.

What a circus. If I stay about

a half hour longer, I should be able to leave without sacrificing any future

coups. Chase grabbed another glass of champagne, leaned back against the

stone pillar, and resumed his favorite pastime—checking out the men at the

party. The women held little allure for him, unless they had deep pockets and a

need to hire a decorator. Chase’s interest focused more on the faces, builds,

asses, and bulges of the male guests. He hadn’t been laid in quite some time

and the tension built in him.

He’d just about determined

the dark-haired man with the older blonde woman had to be gay and a hired

escort for the night when someone brushed against his shoulder—a little too

close to be accidental.

“I don’t think you’re

checking out the woman for some action there, pal. I think you’re sizing up her

date. Do you think he’s the right size for you?” the masculine voice whispered

softly, its timbre filled with innuendo.

Chase steeled himself not to

turn around. The thrill the hot, suggestive statement promised had gone

straight to his groin and his dick woke immediately.

Taking a deep breath, Chase

kept his eyes forward but turned his head ever-so-slightly in the direction of

the voice at his shoulder, replying in the same tone the man used. “How very

astute of you. But to answer your question… I don’t know. They say size isn’t

important, but I’m thinking I could use long, hard, and large right about now.”

Chase smiled inside as he considered he’d returned as good as the mystery voice

had given, and the excitement of the game they played made him even harder as

he finished his statement.

“Well, if you need long,

hard, and large right now, maybe you don’t have to search too far away. Why don’t

you just look here?”

Chase turned to face the

source of the mysterious voice and fell straight into the deepest nearly-black

eyes he’d ever seen. The man, his exact height and build, stood eye-to-eye and

so close they were nearly nose-to-nose. Chase’s cock twitched, and he considered

briefly if the mystery man’s did the same, they could duel like swordsman—horny

maleness seeking satisfaction.

“So, it seems you may have

an interest in fulfilling a need I have,” Chase addressed the man, not moving a

muscle closer or backing away. “It’s a powerful need, and it will take someone

of considerable ardor to satisfy it. Do you think you can handle it?”

The dark-eyed stranger didn’t

flinch when he gave Chase a piercing stare and replied in a thick, even voice, “Handling

you expresses exactly what I had in

mind—right now. And I think you’ll find my ardor sufficient to please.”

Chase wouldn’t play games

any longer. It was becoming rather painful, standing inches from what was

quickly developing into a very promising situation. He gave the man a

meaningful glance and made his way down the steps leading off the pool deck

into the manicured gardens below. He strolled slowly but deliberately to the

darkest, most secluded spot he could find. Once there, he quickly freed his stiff

dick. The head already dripped with the juice of potential fulfillment. He couldn’t

resist the temptation to stroke his organ while he waited, hoping he’d been

followed—and finding out quickly he had.

The handsome stranger’s eyes

widened when he noticed Chase’s hand wrapped around his hardened sex, the head

glistening with pre-cum. The man stepped closer, freed his own cock, and

grasped it firmly.

“Beautiful,” he said before

his mouth descended on Chase’s.

Hot, wet, and demanding,

Chase didn’t think he’d ever wanted a kiss so badly.

Pulling back, he managed to

gasp, “I need your cock.”

“And I need yours,” the man

answered then removed his grip on his own staff and led Chase to switch hands, so

he held the stranger’s length and the man grasped Chase’s firmly.

For the next several

minutes, Chase fought to stay ahead of his feelings and his approaching orgasm.

Chase joined their cocks in the same hand, giving each pull of his sex the

double friction of two men’s hands and the feel of another cock rubbing and

throbbing against his—intense and nasty, needy and primal. He deepened their

kiss—wet and desperate. His tongue probed and darted, matching the cock strokes—hot,

horny. Finally, as if on cue, Chase’s release gave way, along with the man’s,

their cum mixing in their hands.

That surprise encounter had

been the beginning of him and Brad. After their adventure that night, Brad

slipped Chase a business card with his contact information and went back to the

party to find his date and girlfriend, Sylvia, who’d made a trip to the lounge

to freshen up. Chase had known about Sylvia from the beginning, but Brad had

been the hottest and sexiest partner he’d ever had. Besides, Brad had told him

Sylvia was a nice woman that he cared about but their relationship was really

no big deal. Brad spent time with Sylvia and never talked badly about her, but

based upon what Brad had told him, Chase believed he used her more as a ‘beard’

to keep the world at large from discovering what a true ‘man’s man’ he was. Brad

always found time for them to get together—and get together they did. They

couldn’t keep their hands off one another. They’d almost been caught several


Chase closed his eyes while

he waited at the light, remembering the feeling of Brad’s hot, wet mouth

wrapped around his dick. And it had been so long since he’d sunk his cock into

Brad’s sweet, sweet ass or taken Brad’s dick into his.

Brad never promised Chase

anything, but Chase had secretly hoped Brad would realize they were meant to be

together. After all, everything with them seemed to fit perfectly. How can Brad not see that? But just last

week Brad had destroyed his hopes with the news he intended to ask Sylvia to

marry him.

“We can still get together,”

Brad had said.

Stricken and lovesick over

the news, he had his limits—fucking a married man among them. Chase called it

off, then and there. After tears, scotch, and a couple of movie musical DVDs

accompanied by buttery popcorn, he’d readied himself to face the world again.

But what did the world give him? Damask! Damned damask!




Chapter Two


Chase entered the coffee

shop, needing that hot, black coffee more than ever. Luckily, there were only a

couple people ahead of him in the queue, giving him just enough time to

consider his choices of pastry. The desired and dreaded carrot cake slathered

with cream cheese icing tempted him mightily but he tore his gaze away from it,

trying to whip up some interest in the healthier but decidedly boring bran


“Hey, Chase, what’s your

pleasure today?” Mandy, the barista asked. “You look like your dog got run

over, and you don’t even have a dog. No offense.”

“None taken, and anything

that isn’t made of damask or named Brad will work fine,” Chase answered,

knowing Mandy wouldn’t have a clue what the hell he was talking about but not

being able to refrain from spitting out exactly how he felt nonetheless.

“All righty then… One no-damask,

no-Brad coming right up—not. Would you like to try that order again?” Mandy

laughed, and Chase had to smile at her one arched eyebrow and her cute dimples,

even though they did nothing for him that


“Sure, Mand,” he forced a

smile and called her by her nickname to soften his initial comment. Just

because he felt lower than a snake’s belly wasn’t reason to take it out on her.

He was a regular and she was one of his java besties. They’d passed more than a

few hours when she wasn’t busy, commiserating about life disappointments in

general and man problems in specific. “I’ll just take coffee black this time.

Give me the darkest roast you’ve got ready, please.”

“Want a pastry with that?”

Mandy threw the question back over her shoulder to him while she dispensed the

coffee. He could see the steam rising from the brew, and he was hopeful its

warmth would cure what ailed him.

“Nah, thanks though. I think

I’ll behave myself this morning, though tell your Nana that the carrot cake

should be illegal. I’m going to call the police and have them at her door one

of these days.”

That made Mandy smile and

with a wink, she handed him the cup, took his money, and turned to the next


Coffee in hand, Chase made

his way to an empty table in the corner. Maybe a few minutes of quiet and hot

java, would pick him up. He congratulated himself on avoiding the muffin, but

he wasn’t entirely certain he wouldn’t weaken, go back to the counter, and get

it and the carrot cake after all. His

current outlook on life? Down—about as down as anyone could be. The breakup

with Brad had really shattered his confidence in the relationship department.

Wait, could we even have a breakup if Brad kept his

relationship with his girlfriend the entire time? What did we have besides some really hot sex? How much of a jerk am I, believing him and

cheating with him on the side? Shit. That’s so not me—or at least it’s not who

I thought I was or who I ever wanted to be.

Staring into his steaming

coffee, Chase reflected on the realization he’d wasted months of his life on a

relationship that likely was all in his imagination. Brad had used him. He’d

been nothing to the man he cared for but a sex toy, a fuck buddy. His stomach

dropped with the understanding and made Chase feel even worse, if that were

possible. What an idiot! I deserve

someone who returns my feelings and doesn’t consider me just an easy lay—even

if I acted like one!

And then the business—damn that damask! Chase couldn’t even

get an order right this week. Kurt bouncing off the ceiling was a given. He

involuntarily cringed at the thought of facing that when he got back to his


Kurt, one of the triumvirate

involved in Just for You, along with Stefan and Chase, had turned their boyhood

friendship into a partnership that suited each of their individual talents.

Chase had a knack for color and design detail. Stefan was a master carpenter

and all-around handyman, and Kurt possessed an uncanny ability to market, woo

potential customers, and coordinate the financial and physical details of

project organization and fulfillment. Together they’d forged the most

successful concierge design business in the city—and in a relatively short time.

Chase felt pride in the

three of them. They’d met in grade school and been quite the trio. They were as

different as they were alike, and those similarities and differences were what

made their friendship special.

Chase had always been the

smaller, more slightly built of most of the kids in school and the very

interests that led him to eventually become a decorator also opened him to

harassment and bullying. He was proud of his creative eye and his artistic

abilities now, but during those awkward, formative years, they had been challenging,

to say the least.

He remembered it as if it

were yesterday. He’d been walking home from school one day—he thought it was

during his fifth grade year—when a couple of the older—and much bigger—boys

from his class had cornered him against Mrs. Johnson’s hedgerow.

“Hey, squirt, got any treats

in that bookbag for us?” They’d crowded up to him, making him instantly

fearful. It wasn’t the first time he’d been put upon this way by these boys,

and they had friends who did similar things as well.

Chase hadn’t known what to

say. His bookbag didn’t have anything in it they would like, and he somehow

knew that wasn’t going to bode well for him. So, he just remained silent,

waiting to see what fate would befall him. It seemed the safest route to take.

“What’s the matter, buddy?

Cat got your tongue?” The one named Marv put a beefy palm against Chase’s chest

and pushed him back farther against the hedge. The branches poked his back and

he felt the sting of scrapes against his arms. There’d be some scratches there,

for sure. Still he remained silent. What’s

the point of trying to reason with them?

Suddenly the other

boy—wasn’t Chad his name?—grabbed Chase’s jaw and squeezed his mouth into a

painful pucker.

“Hey, pretty boy? Wanna give

me a treat from your bag—or maybe you want to share another kind? I think

you’re one of those sissy boys who’d rather play dolls with the girls and play

mush-mush games with other boys. Is that the kind of treat you’d like to give

us? Gimme a kissy-kissy.” He’d put his face so close up to Chase’s that Chase

could smell his fetid breath.

Man, who’d want to kiss that mouth?

Chase’s fear was momentarily pierced by that thought and he nearly smiled. Now that would not be a smart thing to do.

Chase just remained silent

and still, hoping against hope that they might move on or at the very least,

not hurt him too badly. He’d closed his eyes to wait for their next taunting

salvo when suddenly the hands that had been grabbing at him were wrenched away,

pulling him forward a bit with them.

The memory of opening his

eyes and seeing two other boys, taller than him and definitely more physical,

holding onto Marv and Chad with relative ease, still stayed with Chase. One of

them—he knew now it had been Kurt—addressed the bullies.

“Now what are the two of you

doing? Don’t you know it isn’t a good thing to bother a friend of ours?” Kurt

shook Marv just a little as he delivered the question in a deceptively sweet

and sing-songy tone.

A friend? Chase had seen these two around the school, but they’d never

met, much less formed a friendship. But at this moment, he wasn’t about to

contradict his rescuer’s statement. About that time, the other boy—Stefan, he’d

later learned—literally picked Chad up and tossed him into a nearby bush.

“Don’t ever let me see you near this guy again. If you know what’s good

for you, you’ll give him a wide berth—unless you want to grow up in that hedge

you tried to back him into, that is.” Stefan wiped his hands on his jeans, as

if needing to clean himself off after putting out the garbage.

Giving Marv a shove so he

landed on top of Chad, Kurt clapped Stefan on the back, they exchanged a high

five, and turned to Chase.

“Hey, dude, I’m Kurt. This

is Stefan. Want to go grab a soda?”

And that’s how it had begun.

Their friendship had only deepened since that day. Chase recalled their awkward

phases and the uncertainty, embarrassment then wonder at the realization they

were all gay. They’d navigated the sometimes-treacherous waters of growth from

being children, to adolescents, and on into adulthood—and they’d done it

together. They’d even come out to their families together. What a night that

had been. They’d planned a multi-family cookout, and over dessert of triple

chocolate cake, they’d broken the news. Chase smiled when he pictured the looks

of shock on some of the faces and the mix of reactions. They’d nearly held

their collective breath until their parents had ultimately come to terms with

what their sons had chosen to share with them en masse. Thankfully everyone had

accepted them and who they’d discovered themselves to be. Chase smiled when he

reviewed the memory.

That night, along with all the other experiences we’ve

shared, forged a bond among us that’s saved my ass on more than one occasion.

Life might be shit right now, but my friends are the best.

He might not have Brad, but

at least Chase had his best buddies and his business, even if he would have to

deal with—

I have got to let go of the damned damask! If they won’t take

it back, maybe I can use it in Mrs. Shaupenouer’s dining room design.

Chase had nearly made peace

with the morning’s material order error when fate made him look up, straight

into the gaze of the best-looking man ever born.

Damn! Who are you and where have you been all my life?

The attraction to the tall,

dark-haired man felled Chase instantly—mentally, emotionally, and physically.

He even felt a little lightheaded, which didn’t really surprise him, since so

much blood seemed to have rushed from his brain to his suddenly wide-awake and

rising-to-attention dick. Dropping his head to stare into his now-empty coffee

cup, he suddenly had more questions than answers.

Who are you? Why are you looking at me? Are you interested? What

should I do now?


Parker James is a unique, multi-variant personality who loves everything that has to do with love. Parker lives in Florida surrounded by wonderful friends, a home she remodeled herself—well, okay, paid someone to do what she wanted—and a rescued feral cat. While a published author in other areas, this is one of Parker's first forays into M/M romantic erotica, but there are many, many more to come! Email:


EJ Button

No comments:

Post a Comment