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!