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The Disgraced Playboy is the first continuity book I’ve written for Presents, so I was a bit anxious to see what sort of characters I’d be given to play with. And sure enough, the first thing I read about Lucas Wolfe was his description as an utterly shameless playboy.
This presented a significant challenge for me as I am no fan of the playboy in real life. That’s because the real life playboy is, to put it mildly, a highly unappealing specimen. I live in Los Angeles, which is a city teeming with playboy types of all descriptions. You can see them in their ridiculous man-toy cars, squiring their near-adolescent girlfriends here and there, filled to the brim with smugness and self-congratulatory self-regard. Ick.
I did not feel that this was hero material. And yet, Lucas was the hero I’d been given. I was going to have to make it work.
At first glance, Lucas certainly seemed to fit right in with all the men you can see here—looming about Los Angeles hotspots every night of the week, the male version of mutton dressed as lamb and about as attractive. How was I going to write about that? The first time my heroine, the self-made and highly self-protective Grace Carter, lays eyes on Lucas, he’s behaving appallingly with a married woman in the middle of a party. Obviously, she is not impressed. (Neither was I.) But just as obviously, there’s something about Lucas that keeps her up all night, thinking about him.
It’s not just that he’s stunningly gorgeous (though he is). It’s not just that he comes from a very famous, very scandal-ridden family (though he does). It’s not even that several tabloids keep themselves in paparazzi and speculation thanks to Lucas’s antics (though, clearly, they do). There’s something else, something more, or a woman like Grace, who deals in famous and important people all the time without so much as blinking, would never be the slightest bit intrigued. And unfortunately for her and the careful life she’s built for herself, she is entirely too fascinated by a man she ought to find repulsive.
So I started to think about why Lucas was the way he was. If I started from the premise that this was a man that tough and dedicated Grace would fall in love with, if she could only see the real him, I knew that Lucas had to be as smart as she was. And as quick, and as capable, and as loyal and stalwart. So why would a man who was all of these things go to such great lengths to hide it? From the world, from his family, even from himself? Why would he make it a point to live down to every low expectation thrown his way? Who would act like that?
Once I got that, I got him.
The more I dug into the layers of Lucas Wolfe, the more I liked him. And the more I got to know him, the more I loved him. Lucas is one of my favorite heroes ever—maybe my most favorite to date.
I’m thrilled that you have the chance to meet him now, and I hope you’ll end up loving him just as much as Grace and I do. He may be utterly shameless—and believe me, he is—but that’s just one of the reasons he’s so much fun!
- Caitlin Crews
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