‘More To Love’
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‘More To Love’

‘More To Love’
Meet Luke Conley, 26, of Santa Maria, Calif. He wasn’t sure if he should participate in Fox’s new reality dating show because he didn’t think it would be possible to meet the kind of women he’d be interested in dating on reality TV. But a chat with his mother changed his mind.

“I asked her, ‘What are the chances that I can meet a sincere woman on this show?’ ” he said. “And she said, ‘I think your chances are good. You’re an honest, sincere person and you’re on the show, so why couldn’t you meet a great girl?’ She also shared with me that that it’s going to be a difficult thing for a woman to put herself out there to be possibly rejected on national TV. That made me feel more comfortable with the sincerity of the girls coming on.”

The Times spent two days on set, observing the production. The show premieres July 28. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
“The Bachelor” has his rose. Luke has a diamond promise ring.

“When I give them the ring, I promise them that I’m serious about this and if they accept it, they promise they’re serious too,” he said.

When Luke sends a woman home, he keeps the ring. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
One of the group dates was a spa trip to the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point. Luke was very excited to spend a day relaxing with six of the women instead of having to dwell on who would be going home next.

“This has been very stressful for a lot of the women, so it’s really great to be able to unwind,” he said. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
The six women on the spa date are, starting from the back: Anna, 27, a Los Angeles model; Lauren, 26, an Atlanta student; Kristian, 26, a substitute teacher; Mandy, 26, a fitness instructor; Tali, 26, a motivational speaker; and Malissa, 26, a waitress.

When the women arrived at Spa Gaucin, Mandy jumped into Luke’s arms, which he remarked later was a good thing. “It really did something for me,” he told her. “I feel your heart and who you are.” (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
The group date begins by the pool, which includes a nice spread of sandwiches, salad and wine. Luke poured wine for the ladies and asked them to remove their sunglasses because “eyes are definitely the window to the soul,” he said.

Pointing out the fact that he was in the middle, Luke added: “Three on my left, three on my right, I’m gonna have a good time tonight.” (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
The women tell Luke stories about how they’re feeling about the competition.

Lauren (immediately to his right): “We all are good people and we do like each other.”

Mandy, 26, (third on his right): “The best part is actually having you here with us.”

Luke: “I’ve really made great connections. And surrounding myself with people like you makes it tough. I’m gonna have to do some serious soul-searching.” (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Luke and Mandy leave the pool for their one-on-one date inside, where hot stone massages await them. After an intense make out session, Mandy reveals: “I’m going to have to get over the feeling that meeting the right person could actually happen.”

Luke replies: “I don’t want you to feel over pressured. Let’s just enjoy each other.” (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
The show’s field director, Mike Taylor, watches Luke and Mandy on monitors in the control room next to the treatment room where they are preparing for their massages. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
After Mandy leaves, supervising producer Mark Allen coaches Luke on topics to bring up with Tali. Up until this point, she had been reserved on dates and interviews and Allen wants Luke to bring it up with her. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Luke and Tali relax before their foot massages. Luke doesn’t waste any time before asking her if she feels comfortable around him and in the house.

“I’m not a competitive person…I think there have been a lot of silent moments but not in an awkward kind of way. Am I wrong?”

Luke agrees. “What makes us such a good couple is that we balance each other out.” (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Luke and Tali can barely keep their hands off each other during their date.

Tali admits: “I don’t like thinking about you with the other girls.”

Luke replies: “Think of me doing errands or something. Don’t think about that.” (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
The producers ask Luke to end his date with Tali because he still has four women waiting. They move into the hallway and linger a few more minutes, stealing some more kisses.

“What is going on?” says executive producer SallyAnn Salsano in the control room. “We need to move on. Get her out of here!” (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Malissa joins Luke for a wine bath next. He rubs her back and they kiss. But then the conversation takes a sad turn when she reveals that her mother died when she was 10 years old.

Luke listens and tells her that he can’t imagine losing his mother “because we’re so close.”

He later adds: “I love your sexy confidence.” (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Luke and Malissa kiss goodbye. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)