Now that the excitement of my novel release has settled down somewhat and normal life is returning, I’d like to get back to my series of favorite characters.
Those who know me and my writing know I love a sexy villain. Even better, is a villain-turned hero who is still flawed enough he continues to make mistakes and grows through the series.
He’s slender, has long, curly hair, stands 5’11”, wears lots of tight leather pants and old fashioned shirts with frilly lace cuffs. Oh yeah, and he’s a 600 year old French vampire/incubus.
Huh, you say? How is that sexy? It’s all in his manner. He has sex appeal dripping from every pore, shown in everything he does from sitting on a sofa to walking across the room. Jean Claude moves with the grace of a dancer. The way Hamilton describes his smile and his body language gives me shivers every time he’s in the room with Anita Blake.
Even from book one (Guilty Pleasures) where he was still very much the villain, trying to seduce Anita every chance he got, I wanted him to succeed. I wanted her to give in to his charm despite his being the bad guy. The way he calls her Ma Petite. His French accent. The way he positions his body so she’ll notice, then laughs when he detects the reaction in her body. Loved it.
Even when he does something untoward to Anita to further his political or personal agenda, he’s just so easy to forgive. I mean, he almost gets her killed in Guilty Pleasures and in a sneaky way, binds her to him as his human servant, and I STILL forgave him. So did Anita. Eventually.
As the series rolls along, we learn more about why Jean Claude is the way he is. He’s had a hard existence as a vampire. No, not hard, that doesn’t cover it. Torturous would be more accurate.
As an incubus, he needs to feed on sex, something his female master often teased him with, and denied him often just to amuse herself. Even so, he stayed under her rule to save his best friend and former lover, Asher. Hey, there’s a good guy left in him somewhere. I knew it!
We also see his affection for Anita soften him, though we only catch glimpses of it through his relaxed outer demeanor. Those little chinks in his armor only made those glimpses all the more sweet. He loves her and we get to watch as he learns how to do it without pissing her off, which with Anita, is nearly impossible to do.
Hamilton kept me salivating for quite a few books until I finally ate up the scene I’d been waiting for, when Anita finally gets naked with Jean Claude. So much more satisfying than if she’d chosen Richard, the moody werewolf.
Jean Claude is definitely one of those deliciously complex characters that will stick with me forever.
For anyone who loves a gritty, flawed heroine, multiple sexy men, and unique story lines that wander into the realm of taboo, the Anita Blake series is for you.
Do you have a favorite villain-turned hero?