Category Archives: Romantic Couples

Interview with Tess Madison

Tess Madison is the romantic heroine of the Valentine Series. She’s smart, funny and doesn’t take any guff. She’s had a bumpy ride through life, but managed to make it through with the help of French lingerie, chocolate and of course, the love from Jack Valentine. In this interview, Tess answers questions about her relationship with Jack and the origin of her love of fine lingerie.

Q: Jack seems like such a perfect man. He’s handsome, sexy, rich, kind… so why did it take so long for you to open to him?

Tess: Probably because he was so perfect. That and the fact that by the time he’d re-entered my life, I’d give up on the concept of a love that lasts forever.

Q: Why would his being perfect be a hindrance?

Tess: He wondered the same thing. I once told him that he was too rich, handsome and confident. He answered with, “So you’d love me if I was poor, ugly and insecure?” The thing is, when I first knew Jack, all the women he dated were nothing like me. Tall, leggy, gorgeous. Several were models and one was an actress. I couldn’t get how he’d be attracted to me. But he wore me down, convinced me he was sincere.

Q: It’s not like you’re ugly. 

Tess: No. I’m alright. But in truth, that’s not what matters. Jack is a very handsome man, but that’s not why I love him. He’s smart, funny, has an optimistic attitude, he’s loyal, it’s his character that I love. But I’ll admit the packaging is nice.

Q: Jack says he loved you almost from the start. Did you have the same reaction when you first met him? 

Tess: Well… I was engaged to his friend at the time, so it wasn’t the same. But no one can meet Jack and not have a reaction. He has a presence and an energy that makes you take notice. I will admit that as our friendship grew, I had some guilt-filled moments of thinking of him, when I should have been thinking of my fiance.

Q: Do you think Jack was right in the way he handled things that night you went to him after discovering your fiance’s infidelity? 

Tess: In hindsight, yes. Odds are I would have still left and would have hurt him. I cared for him, probably even loved him by then. But my need for him wasn’t about that that night.

Q: How real of a threat was Daniel to your relationship with Jack.

Tess: If you’re asking if there was a chance I’d ever be with Daniel, the answer is maybe. But not once Jack entered the picture. If we’d never reunited, there is a possibility that I would have given in to Daniel’s advances. And it might have worked. Daniel is a great guy. But it wouldn’t be that all consuming passion…that soul deep love I feel for Jack.

Q: Considering your history, it was surprising that you weren’t more worried about Liv messing things up for you and Jack.

Tess: She did mess things up, but not in the way you mean. I trust Jack. I knew he wouldn’t betray me by having an affair. If he wanted to be with another woman, he’d break it off with me first. He wouldn’t cheat. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t feel betrayed by his loyalty to her.

Q: He is very loyal to people he cares about.

Tess: Yes, and I love that about him. But during that whole situation with Liv, his loyalty for her seemed to take precedence over me.

Q: When you reunited a man died, you got involved in murder with Liv, and even your engagement was fraught with trouble. Do you worry that mayhem seems to follow you two?

Tess: We have seen more than our fair share of murder, but a little mayhem and danger is well worth the price for having him in my life.

Q: Will you two have children?

Tess: Someday. Right now we love our lives the way they are. Children change that, not in a bad way, but in a way we don’t want to change right now.

Q: Where did your love of French lingerie come from.

Tess: I grew up going to private schools and then boarding school, where we had to wear uniforms most of the time. What I put on underneath was one way to have control and self-expression.

Q: But no one saw it.

Tess: Jack does. But before then, it didn’t matter if anyone saw it. I knew it was there.

Q: What about your fondness for old R&B tunes. You weren’t even born during Marvin Gaye’s heyday.  Shouldn’t you like more modern R&B?

Tess: I like some modern R&B, but the old stuff is really sensuous, sexy.

Q: It goes well with your lingerie.

Tess: Yes. I’ve really hit the jackpot when it comes to sensuality and sexy – lingerie, R&B and of course, Jack.

 

If you haven’t read Jack’s interview, you can do so here.

Do you have questions for Tess that weren’t asked. Ask in the comments below and she’ll answer them.

 

 

Jack Valentine Interview

Jack Valentine is the romantic hero of the Valentine Mystery Series. He’s all alpha male — handsome, smart, funny, rich, with just enough arrogance to make him endearing. And he’s completely devoted to Tess, although some readers wonder why. In this interview, Jack answers questions about his love for Tess, his feelings towards Daniel, and his fear of flying.

Warning: There are a few spoilers. If you haven’t read Deadly Valentine, you might want to first.

Q: Most readers love the unequivocal devotion you have for Tess, but a couple people have questioned what you see in Tess, especially since she was so cool toward you sometimes in the beginning?

Jack: Really? Hmm. Well, first, you have to remember that I met Tess long before that fateful night at Asa Worthington’s house. When I first met her, she was outgoing, witty, always willing to go on an adventure.  She was different when we reunited, but I could see she was still in there. A few hard-knocks made her guarded, but deep down, she was the same.

Q: How did you and Tess first meet?

Jack: I was meeting with my lawyer, Brad Chancellor. This is before he came to work for me. She showed up at the end of that meeting.

Q: On several occasions, you make it sound like love at first sight.

Jack: It was pretty close, which was difficult because she was engaged to Brad then. And Brad wasn’t just my lawyer, he was a friend.

Q: So what was it about her that had you falling so fast for a woman you couldn’t have?

Jack: I can give you the list of attributes – she’s smart, fast with a good retort, beautiful – but many women are. There was just something that grabbed me right in the gut. I suppose some people might call it chemistry. I don’t know how to explain it, but I remember feeling it deep in my soul. I’d never had that happen before.

Q: Did she feel the same about you?

Jack: You’d have to ask her. I think there was something, but again, she was engaged to Brad so it wasn’t something either of us considered pursuing. I had to settle being her friend.

Q: Didn’t she indicate there could be more between you two after she and Brad broke up?

Jack: She had initially come to me seeking support and comfort…a shoulder to cry on. It could have become more, but I think she would have regretted it. It was a difficult decision on my part to push her away, but I didn’t want to be the rebound guy or the way to get back at Brad.

Q: Did you have any sense of how profoundly that night effected her?

Jack: I knew she was hurting. She’d had experience rejection and betrayal before, and I think she saw Brad and my actions as reinforcing that. But I didn’t get at how deeply that pain went. Or how much it would alter who she was. I might have if I’d been able to stay in touch with her, but my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer right after that, so my priorities were caring for her.

Q: So you love Tess for her wit, adventurous spirit and that je ne sais quoi?

Jack: Among other things. I love that Tess doesn’t care about status or money-

Q: I guess that was always an issue with other women. You didn’t know if they liked you for you or your money.

Jack: Oh, I could tell. There was a time it didn’t matter, but I knew that in the long run, I wanted someone like Tess.

Q: What else attracts you to her?

Jack: I love how she challenges me and she gets me. And it doesn’t hurt that she’s beautiful.

Q: And she has good taste in lingerie.

Jack: That’s a perk, yes.

Q: How do you feel about her relationship with Daniel?

Jack: Ah, Daniel. I have Jekyll-Hyde feelings. I like that he was … still is there for her. He and his family are important to her and I respect that. But, I am a man, and like most men, don’t like having other men eying the woman I love.

Q: You never asked her to stop being his friend.

Jack: No. First of all, she wouldn’t take it well. I think Daniel found that out when he asked her not to see me. But he’s important to her and I have to respect that.

Q: Did you ever worry that Daniel might win Tess’ heart?

Jack: I didn’t worry that he’d win her heart, but I worried she might choose the safer route. I know she loves and cares for Daniel, but not in the same way she loves me. Our love is intense and passionate, which also makes it riskier, scarier. I  worried she wouldn’t take that risk.

Q: Is that why you rejected her when she tried to mend your relationship after she broke up with you?

Jack: No. I’m impulsive and am willing to risk a lot if I think there will be a good outcome. I rejected her because I was hurt and angry. I still kick myself for that.

Q: Because she nearly died?

Jack: That’s one reason. But even if she hadn’t nearly died, she could have decided I wasn’t worth the effort after all and rejected me when I apologized.

Q: You and Tess seem to get mixed up in murder a lot. Did that happen before and do you worry that you two seem to attract trouble?

Jack: Except for my dad getting killed in the line of duty as a police officer, I’d never had a personal experience with murder. I’d only seen murder in the movies until Asa was killed. But I don’t worry that Tess and I have seen more than our fair share of dead bodies. It’ll take more than murder to keep me from her.

Q: Do you think you’ll have kids? Your lives seem a little dangerous for that.

Jack: Yes, we’ll have kids. But it will be awhile. I’m not ready to share Tess yet.

Q: Well, it’s clear you’re a romantic. But you can’t jet off to romantic places because you don’t like flying. Have you always been afraid to fly?

Jack: Yes. Actually, I’m not afraid to fly, I’m afraid to fall. It has nothing to do with heights. It has to do with crashing. It ruins the macho image, I know. But … well…I can’t be perfect.

Q: I think Tess thinks you come pretty close to it.

A: I hope so.

Do you have questions for Jack that I didn’t ask? Ask them in the comment section below and he’ll answer them!

Great Romantic Couples – Jonathan and Jennifer Hart

Back in January, I wrote about Nick and Nora Charles of The Thin Man in the Great Romantic Couple series. My next great romantic couple is Jonathan and Jennifer Hart, who were an 80’s version of Nick and Nora. Jonathan and Jennifer were the main characters of Hart To Hart, which ran from 1979 to 1984 as a weekly TV series. When the show was unexpectedly cancelled, the stars, Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers, continued to work together in the play Love Letters and were able to eventually re-invent Hart to Hart as a two-hour movie series in the 1990’s. After eight movies, the Harts were finally retired from TV, but not from the hearts of its fans who continue to talk about, write fan fiction and share DVDs created from home-made VHS recordings of the show (only seasons one and two and movies are for sale on DVD ).

The Harts depict the happily ever after die-hard romantics love. They are rich, beautiful and deeply in love.  The actors have said in interviews that there were attempts by writers to create angst in the marriage with roving eyes and infidelity, but both were adamant that the Harts were 100 percent committed to each other. Thank goodness because that is what made the Harts a great romantic couple. Jonathan never questioned Jennifer when it appeared she’d become a thief. Jennifer never question Jonathan’s fidelity when evidence suggested he might be having an affair…twice. That’s the kind of love, trust and commitment true romantics love.

Like their predecessors Nick and Nora, the Harts also were a fun couple who bantered and played. Oh, and they also solved crime, although any die-hard Hart fans will tell you that the plots were less important than watching the relationship. The Harts had the perfect relationship, so it’s no surprise that they won in my survey of favorite romantic couples (as of 2/26/13).

If you’ve never seen the Harts, but are a die-hard romantic, it’s worth checking out the show. Season one in particular had the banter and fun reminiscent of The Thin Man. But all seasons have their share of love, romance and mayhem.

Who make up your favorite romantic couple?

Are you a hopeless romantic like I am? Both the Valentine and Delecoeur books are the types of couples I love to read about or watch on TV or in movies. Sexy, smart, fun and 100 percent committed is what I love in romantic couples.

Below are 15 fictional romantic couples from literature, movies and television. It’s a small sampling of old and new from Rhett and Scarlett to Edward and Bella. Not all of them meet my criteria, but are still considered by many to be great romantic couples (i.e. Rhett and Scarlett aren’t together at the end of the book). Are any of them your favorite? Or if your favorite couple isn’t listed, add it.

Anne Elliot and Capt. Wentworth – Great Romantic Couples

Most people who think Jane Austen think Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility, but for me Persuasion is the book that tops the list. The last book published while Austen was alive, it’s often referred to as the mature Pride and Prejudice. The story is about Anne Elliott who’s family has connections, but unfortunately, her father and older sister have squandered their money. Seven years earlier, she fell in love with Frederick Wentworth, a man with no money or connections, but who had goals and good character. They’d planned to marry until a family friend persuaded her to break the engagement.

Now, seven years later. Anne and her family have to move to cheaper accommodations and rent their estate to Admiral Croft, who coincidentally is married to Frederick’s sister. By this time, Anne is 27 and losing her “bloom”. Frederick is now a captain in the navy and is wealthy. He visits his sister, where he and Anne are reacquainted; however, he acts indifferent to her, as if she were only a past acquaintance. Rubbing salt into Anne’s wound, he openly courts another young woman. Eventually, of course, the two reconcile. The standout scene is when Anne is speaking to a friend of Wentworth’s talking about how men forget the women they love sooner than women forget men. Overhearing this, Wentworth writes Anne a letter that is guaranteed to make you swoon.

“I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in

F. W.

I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father’s house this evening or never. “

Chasing him down, Anne and Frederick reconcile.

Aside from this letter, what makes this story so wonderful is the subtle way Austen shows us they love each other still, even though it’s not obvious to them. Wentworth, once angry that Anne could be persuaded to leave him, learns of her strength and loyalty. Anne, who thinks she’s lost all hope of finding true love, learns to do what is right in her heart, not what’s right for her family. What I really love is that idea that they never stopped loving each other, even when all hope of being together was lost.

There have been several movies made of Persuasion, but my all time favorite is with Ciarán Hinds and Amanda Root. They do such a fabulous job of showing the viewer their love and longing, while hiding their feelings. Here is a video that shows highlights and the gist of story from clips from this movie version. I highly recommend seeing the movie Persuasion and/or reading the book if you like Jane Austen.