Although she’s been spinning stories her entire life, the first tale Margo Bond Collins specifically remembers writing down was Wizard of Oz fan-fiction when she was seven–and it included a romance between Dorothy and the Wizard. That one was never published (for which she is eternally thankful), but Margo has been writing ever since. Along the way, she picked up a Ph.D. in eighteenth-century British literature–mostly because graduate school allowed her to keep reading and writing for a living. Her study of the period’s amatory fiction (arguably the earliest form of category romance) influences her own romantic fiction. She currently teaches college English courses online, but writing fiction is her first love. After a decade of moving all around the country (Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta are a few of the places she’s lived), she has settled in her native Texas. Margo lives near Fort Worth with her husband, her daughter, and several very spoiled cats, and she spends most of her free time daydreaming about heroes, monsters, cowboys, and villains, and the strong women who love them.
One of my favorite things about writing is finding just the right mood music to go with the story I’m working on!
In my new release, Hot on His Heels, college English professor Sadie Quinn is in Vegas at a romance readers’ conference in search of reclusive erotica editor Jocelyn Dellarivier, not realizing that the attractive publisher’s assistant Jake Blaine she keeps running into is actually the person she’s searching for. Ultimately, all of the songs in this playlist represent Sadie or Jake and their experiences—and they’re also the songs I listened to when I was writing the book.
I couldn’t write a Vegas book without listening to a lot of classic Vegas music—Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Elvis. But I also wanted to play with the fact that Sadie and Jake both work with writing—just very different kinds of writing! In this playlist, Sadie’s work is represented by classical music. Jake, as an erotica editor, has more current musical interests, and his tastes are represented in the playlist by “Vegas Girl” and “Believe.” Finally, Sadie has a tendency—almost a compulsion—to quote literature in this book, so I included an excerpt from a Jane Austen novel (and it might just play a part in the book).
Enjoy the Hot on His Heels playlist, and be sure to check out the excerpt below!
Hot on His Heels by Margo Bond Collins
He’s exactly who she’s looking for…she just doesn’t know it yet.
Sadie Quinn is at the romance readers’ convention for one reason only: to find editor Jocelyn Dellarivier. Which she could do if she didn’t keep running into the most frustrating, gorgeous man ever. To make matters worse, she just won a contest and a date with him is the prize.
Jake Blaine could kill his boss for rigging the contest, but now he’s face to face with the one woman who could expose his alter ego. He’s not about to leave, but he can’t tell Sadie he’s the editor she’s looking for. But even though he’s playing with fire, Jake can’t seem to stay away. And after a night with the raven-haired beauty, he’s not sure he wants to…
“Don’t get distracted,” Amelia said, giving Sadie a gentle push to get her moving again.
Still craning her neck to examine the rows of conference attendees behind her, Sadie tripped over yet another woman’s feet. Her ankle twisted under her, and her arms pinwheeled out to either side. All around her, conference-goers ducked out of the way.
At the last minute she managed to spin around as she made a grab for Amelia, but it was too late to stop herself from landing ass-first in the closest seat.
Unfortunately for her, the chair wasn’t empty, as evidenced by the whoosh of air she knocked out of its inhabitant when she landed on his lap.
Her face scrunched up in embarrassment, she turned a sheepish look toward her not-quite-savior.
The man had to be one of the cover models. He was that gorgeous. Dark, silky hair, deep brown eyes, a sensuous mouth curving up in a smirk that suggested he knew exactly the effect he had on women.
He also looked oddly familiar.
Where had she seen him before?
Maybe on one of the covers of the many novels she read while writing first her dissertation, and now this book.
That had to be it. She’d certainly remember if she’d met him in real life.
Beautiful men left her tongue-tied. The brilliant ones she could handle. She knew how to meet them on their own terms, even if their specialties were different from hers. Her last boyfriend had been a professor like her, but with a specialization in biology.
She’d known how to talk to him. That was what mattered, after all—how well they communicated. Physical attraction could develop from intellectual intimacy. It was better that way.
The gorgeous ones were so far out of her realm of experience that she could never figure out what to say. They made her nervous, uncomfortable.
Like now, as they stared at one another.
There’s a reason it’s called being “stunning.”
She definitely felt stunned. “‘Not handsome enough to tempt me,’” she muttered.
“Pride and Prejudice,” Amelia said as she leaned around Sadie to smile at Mr. Beautiful. “Hi. Sorry about that. I didn’t mean to push her quite so hard.”
“No problem.” His voice was smooth, sliding across Sadie’s skin like a caress. It wasn’t fair. No one should be that attractive and also sound like an audiobook narrator.
I wonder how he tastes.
With a tiny shake of her head, she dispelled the thought. It wasn’t like her at all. When Sadie fantasized, it was usually about tenure, not sex.
Quit it, Sadie. You’re here to do a job, not to fantasize about random romance-novel cover models.
And definitely not sit in their laps.
At that thought, she sprang into motion, scrambling off him and into the empty chair two down from him, leaving the one next to the stunning man open.