To the trained and the untrained eye alike, Charis Boyle comes across as a shameless thrill seeker. "I'm driven and competitive," she says. The 26-year-old Virginia native is an adept horseman with a metalsmithing degree who is eager to acquire skills with more practical life applications. "I learned glassblowing. It's a beautiful art, and I have a decent set of lungs," she says, laughing. Now the erstwhile iron forger and jewelry maker is vice president of Primacy Cos., which owns nightclubs and restaurants along the East Coast, including the innovative D.C. club Nation. "Along with a team of architects, I design the look of each venue, down to the lighting fixtures and matchbooks," she says. When Manny Puig from Animal Planet's Extreme Contact tried to turn her attention from nightspots to wild critters, Charis was happy to take off to Florida for the challenge. "We talked for hours -- he showed me pictures of sharks and we became interested in what each other did," she says. "He said, 'Come jump into the ocean and we'll feed 800-pound groupers for the show.' I'm going to do a few episodes because I like fun stunts that get me noticed and also help me conquer my fears." Is Miss February daring at love, too? "I don't believe in love at first sight, but I think there can be lust at first sight," she purrs. "For me, it's not about the way someone looks; it's his personality that makes him sexy. Showing initiative and creativity in making something romantic drives me crazy. I love that. It could be a candlelit picnic in the backyard or being flown to Paris -- simple or grand, it doesn't matter. I'm not one to plan ahead. I just take opportunities as they come."
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