Devlin Hayes is the quintessential overachiever. Smart, ambitious, and hard-working, he's made a name for himself in the television industry by starting several niche cable networks and populating them with shows that are wildly popular with the most desired demographic of advertisers—Millennials. When he succeeds his father as CEO of Modern Media Corp., Devlin wants to hit the ground running and prove to his board of directors, as well as his peers in the entertainment world, that he's worthy of the position. His first order of business is to reinvent Cecily's network, CuisineTV, which has stagnated in the ratings, but the radical changes he sets in motion do not sit well with Cecily who's a fan of the status quo. The line between professional and personal becomes blurred as Cecily and her new boss start spending a lot of time together, working to make her revamped show a success.
Author's Notes: I thoroughly enjoyed writing Devlin as seen through Cecily's eyes. On paper, he's perfect—handsome (Those electric blue eyes!), charming, well-educated, and he comes from a similar background as Cecily, so they have a lot in common there. Problem is she doesn't trust him, even jokingly referring to him as a "snake oil salesman" at one point. There's no denying the man is smooth and he has a habit of talking Cecily into doing things she doesn't want to do, which she irritates her.
Devlin, also, provides a great counterpoint to Dante. They're equally dynamic and charismatic, but the way in which they approach problems is vastly different. Devlin reasons and cajoles until he gets what he wants while Dante browbeats people into submission. Cecily is stuck between a rock and a hard place with these two.
Quotes: "It's what we do in TV all the time—dazzle, distract, defuse."
"Chemistry between two people on-screen, as well as in real life, needs to happen organically."
"I'm not like most media moguls. I'm a man of the people who travels commercial just like everyone else."
Casting: I had just started writing Mixing It Up last summer when I happened to watch an episode of Zoo. (Yes, you may snicker, because I readily admit the show is ridiculous, but it's nonetheless entertaining.) I had only been watching the show for a few minutes when I realized that James Wolk, an actor I've liked for years (loved him in The Crazy Ones, Political Animals, Mad Men, and Happy Endings), was the perfect embodiment of Devlin. He has the preppy good looks, the charm, the make-your-knees-wobbly smile, plus he's just sexy. (I invite you to check out any kissing scene he's ever done . . . HOT!)
Now you know Devlin a little better. Tomorrow I'll give you a dossier on the bane of Cecily's existence, Chef Dante Marchetti. If you asked Dante, he'd say that he's the most interesting, exciting, and entertaining character in the book, so prepare to be wowed by him! ;)