• Kelly Collins

He puts the sex in sexy.



Character Interview: Roland Mallory

I arrive at the vet clinic early and peek through the open door causing the bell to ring. Roland Mallory is leaning against the front counter. His muscled arms cross his expansive chest. Pictures of kittens and poodles stand in contrast to the hulking six-foot-two hero of Set Up, my fourth book in The Second Chance Series. He’s an unofficial McKinley, but his good looks give Kerrick, Keagan, and Killian a run for their money. Triceps bulging and jaw twitching, Roland pushes forward and approaches me with a look of apprehension. He says he’s not one that likes the limelight, but he intrigues me. How did this simple man win the heart of Natalie Diamond? I peer past his shoulders to where Natalie peeks through the open door to a back room. Once caught peeping, she slams the door shut. Roland turns his blue eyes toward me and the corner of his mouth curls into an almost smile. His blond curls bounce as he guides me to the sofa in the waiting room. He offers his handshake as a friendly hello. “Welcome to the clinic. Can I offer you something to drink?” My heart beats hard in my chest as our fingers touch. I understand why Natalie—the heroine of my story—fell so hard for this man. “No thanks. I'm so excited to be here.” I can tell he’s not used to this kind of attention because he blushes and a flash of red covers his cheeks. “Excuse me if I stammer. I’m a bit nervous.” He tries to lean back and appear relaxed, but the tapping of his shoe on the tile floor shows his nerves are rattled. An entire wall of dog pictures grabs my attention. They are assembled in the same way my mother hung our family photos when I was a child. A picture of a black dog sits next to one of a yellow dog. Below is a row of puppy pictures. Five little furballs ranging in color from yellow to black. Roland follows my line of site and laughs. “That’s the family wall. Natalie started it all with Pepper, our fur-baby.” I shiver. I can only imagine the amount of poop seven dogs can produce. “You don’t have seven dogs do you?” “Depends on the day.” Mischief sparkles in his eyes, and I can’t tell if he’s teasing or serious. “Are there any real babies in your future?” He looks toward the door at the end of the hallway where Natalie is sequestered and smiles. “I won’t say for sure, but I do like to practice.” Another blush colors his face. This man is too cute and sexy for his own good. “Shall I start?” I’m happy to dive into the interview. He shifts in his seat and tilts his head “I thought we’d already started.” Roland is a private man, but I don’t plan on letting him off easy. “Relax Roland. The main purpose of this interview is for our readers to learn a little about you. If you can charm the pants off Natalie Diamond, surely you can entice my readers.” He raises his eyes in a sexy I don’t know that I’m hot way. “You got that all wrong. She charmed the pants off me.” I sit back in the seat and open my laptop. Once I find the list of questions I prepared, I begin with one I know will throw him. “Natalie’s an ex-convict. What’s sexy about that?” He bites his lip, and at that moment I wish it were mine between his teeth. “Her being an ex-convict is the least attractive thing about her. If you want to talk about her big heart, her love of others, and her selflessness that’s fine. I’m happy to go there, but keep up with the ex-con questions, and the interview is over.” I’m impressed. The sweet-natured Roland is not a puppy dog after all. He’s a Pitbull ready to attack anyone he sees as a threat to his love. “So tell me about this attraction.” “Natalie is sunshine and flowers. She cooks a wicked chicken, but don’t eat her casserole, it could kill you.” “I heard that,” a voice pipes in from the back room. Roland laughs. “Did you know she fell at my feet the first time I met her? It was the first time I’d ever brought a girl to her knees.” “I tripped, you big liar.” Obviously, Natalie wasn’t going to go quietly, but it didn’t surprise me. This was a girl who always appeared to go big or go home. She did get arrested for grand larceny. That’s no small crime. “Should I go on or would you like to join us?” My voice was loud enough to be heard at the food trucks down the street. “Go on, Kelly, I won’t interrupt again.” I turn to Roland and shrug. “I don’t want to take up too much of your time. What readers want to know is —” I lean in and whisper in Roland’s ear. “Is she the one?” The back door opens, and a beautiful brunette approaches at breakneck speed. “I didn’t hear that. What did you ask him?” Roland pulls Natalie to his lap and kisses her neck. “She asked if you were the one?” Natalie looks thoughtfully between Roland and me? “How did he answer?” Her sweet voice rings through the air. She is the kind of woman you want to hate, but know you would love if given a chance. “He didn’t.” I typed frantically on my computer trying to capture her look of question and his look of love and admiration with the perfect words. “Perhaps he needs more time to ponder.” Natalie turned and narrowed her eyes at the man she obviously loved. “Perhaps,” I said and closed my computer. Natalie gave us both a Hollywood smile. “I’ve made my famous casserole, would you like to join us for dinner, Kelly?” Roland shook with laughter, and I knew that was my signal to leave. By the look in his eyes, nothing but Natalie would be devoured tonight


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