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.