Characters that linger – Jean Claude

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.

My favorite of these, by a long mile, is Laurell K. Hamilton’s Jean Claude.  He isn’t a large man, nor a hulking, muscular beefcake–that’s not what attracts me to him.

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?

3 thoughts on “Characters that linger – Jean Claude

  1. Hehehe, I guess this is a day for us agreeing to disagree. Whereas you couldn’t get into the BDB books, I’ve not connected with these. And I’ve tried a few times. With Guilty Pleasures, a short story in an anthology, and a later novel from the series. As I responded in my post: different strokes for different folks, I guess. 🙂

    • Yep, if we all had the same taste in books, life & writing would be pretty boring, right? This series is definitely not for everyone. 🙂 Most either love it or hate it.

  2. I’m a fan of the Anita books, much more so than of Brotherhood ones. That being said, I’m only into like book 5 of Anita’s series and while Jean-Claude is gaining on me, he’s not quiiiiite there yet. I’m not a fan of all his “ma petite”s sprinkled liberally throughout. I DO like how he outsmarts Anita with all his marks and how she’s always left shaking her head wondering if he wants her wants her OR WANTS HER wants her as in a forever kind of love way. (Sounds like middle grade talk paranormal adult romance style.) I thought he was sexiest in book 1, but like I said, I have a long way to go in this series and I’ll admit, I’ve peeked ahead because I’ve purchased many of the later books already. tee-hee. I know. I’m bad.

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