by Sarah Morgan, author of Ripped (Cosmo Red-Hot Reads from Harlequin)
I love writing fun, independent heroines, so when I was invited to be part of the Cosmo Red-Hot Reads from Harlequin program, I didn’t hesitate. In fact, I already had something half-written on my laptop that had been sitting there, waiting for the right moment.
About two years ago I was struggling with a book that wasn’t going well. I was pondering the characters and their problems but, because the brain is a weird thing (well, mine is!), instead of solving their issues, I came up with a completely different idea. I had a really clear vision of the characters and a particular scene. I felt so excited about this scene that instead of wrestling with the book I was supposed to be finishing, I took some time out to write it down. I took a day, I couldn’t afford more time than that, but I loved every minute and laughed the whole time. I wrote one short chapter. It didn’t fit with anything I was writing—I knew it wouldn’t be a Harlequin Presents; in fact, I didn’t know what I was going to do with it, if anything, but I knew I loved it.
Because I write to a tight schedule I didn’t have time to write any more of the story, especially as there was no obvious “home” for the work, so I filed it carefully on my laptop knowing I’d come back to it at some point. I have files of half-written stories, ideas that have never gone anywhere (but might in the future), and this one joined it and gathered dust.
Fast-forward two years and my editor called to ask if I’d be interested in writing a Cosmo Red-Hot Read. I knew instantly I’d found a home for my experiment. I said to her, “I might have something that fits what you’re looking for….” and I sent over what I had and bit my nails while she read it. She replied ten minutes later saying she was laughing so hard everyone in the office was staring at her. I was thrilled. I finished the story. I loved every minute. I laughed the whole time, except when I had to stop to take a cold shower, because this read is “Red-Hot” after all . I called it Ripped, and luckily the Harlequin and Cosmo team loved that title, too.
The heroine of Ripped, Hayley, is an engineer. She’s the reluctant bridesmaid at the wedding of her ex and suffers a major wardrobe malfunction. She’s rescued from the most embarrassing moment of her life by the best man, sexy Italian Nico Rossi, a buttoned-up lawyer she believes has always disapproved of her. This story takes place a few days before Christmas and wrapping paper isn’t the only thing to be ripped in this book!
The chapter that sat on my laptop for two years waiting for its moment became the beginning of the book. You can read it on my website if you’d like a taste. If it makes you smile, I hope you’ll download the book.
Whatever gets ripped over the holidays in your house, be it wrapping paper or clothing, I hope you have fun, and if you want to leave a comment confessing the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you, go right ahead. It will be just between us!
About the Book
Ripped (Harlequin Cosmo Red-Hot Reads)
“Wardrobe malfunction” doesn’t begin to cover it.
With a rip louder than the “I dos,” Hayley’s hideous bile-yellow bridesmaid dress explodes. She’s always had enviable curves, but nearly naked wasn’t quite the look she’d been going for at her ex’s wedding.
She’s rushed from the altar under the best man’s designer tux jacket. Hayley’s expecting a blast of icy disapproval from sexy, sophisticated Niccolò Rossi—his usual reaction to anything she does. What she gets is a kiss that nearly melts what’s left of her polyester nightmare gown.
It’s impossible on a million levels. Exuberant engineer Hayley and buttoned-up lawyer Nico have never seen eye to eye—but skin to skin? Oh, mio… So when Nico shows up at her flat on Christmas Day to give her a fabulous gift—himself—Hayley’s delighted to do the unwrapping. But it’s just a holiday fling. By New Year’s Day, she’ll come back to her senses…unless Nico’s sensual skills tear away all her resolve.
Read an Excerpt from Ripped here!