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Cat Johnson Braves Doll Lil’s Word Association Challenge!

August 7, 2013 – 12:48 am | One Comment

I’m back from vacation and ready to get down and dirty finding new free and amazingly bargained books for you! But first this week I have something special. I convinced super hot and crazy talented …

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Badass Week: Jean-Claude is a Badass, That’s right – Jean-Claude!

Submitted by Doll Suz on June 18, 2011 – 4:00 am21 Comments

Post written by Doll Suz.

The classification of “Bad Ass” could be considered subjective. I suspect we all have our own notion of what a Bad Ass is. Being a dominant type of woman, you might be surprised at my ideal Bad Ass. I have to be honest and just go ahead and embrace it. I’m a dichotomy. I am a dominant woman who loves strong, even dominant men who are willing to give a little to get a lot. I’m generally put off by the uber-alpha, chest pounding, he-man types. But don’t be fooled, that doesn’t only leave wet noodle men, there are so many more options.

So who is my favorite fictional Bad Ass Male? Jean-Claude, from Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series. That’s right, the tight-leather-pants, frilly-open-shirt, custom-thigh-boot, long-luscious-curls-wearing, three-musketeer-stereotype-looking, Master of the City of St. Louis vampire. Wait! Before you say “cliché” stop and take another look.

What makes a man a bad ass? For me it’s someone who is unapologetic about who and what he is, but is also tempered with a deep seated survival instinct. I love a man who can embrace the depth and breadth of his feelings and still be able to look at a situation and assess its needs. Yes, extreme pragmatism is a turn on if it’s not just another form of emotional denial. I mean really, how many of the chest-bangers either let their emotions rule the day or use anger or aloofness as a way to deny their feelings? It’s a common trope.

But not Jean-Claude. This is a man who is in it for the long game. He hid his strength and his age for centuries while he built up his personal power. He never unleashes large amounts of power unless it’s absolutely needed, instead preferring to let his limits remain a mystery. That’s not only tenacious, it’s just smart. Pragmatism at its finest. However, when it’s time to deal with a problem or a threat Jean-Claude is ruthless. He doesn’t flinch and he doesn’t guilt himself about it for ages afterwards. He’s equally likely to use magic or just use his vampire speed and strength and slit a throat. But he’ll do what it takes without batting an eyelash and just as quickly be back to his day to day affairs.

I tell you, it makes me shiver.

But beyond overt fighting, beyond power struggles, beyond politics, there is the man. I can only sigh over a man who has all that power and strength and still knows that the best relations, the ones that are real and lasting, are the ones that are given freely. He knows that you can’t force or take things like that. He knows that you have to patiently wait for them to come to you, you have to be there for them, you have to listen and learn, and try to give people what they need. Jean-Claude excels at this like no other. I’m sure most women out there can relate to someone, somewhere, trying to force, manipulate or intimidate them into doing what they wanted. You know Jean-Claude cares about you when he doesn’t do that although he easily could. That’s respect, and it’s not a common character trait with vampires in this genre. In truth, Jean-Claude originally did try most of those tactics with Anita, but it didn’t take him long to realize that the only way he was going to win the lady was to win the lady. He is centuries old and still able to learn. To me, this is foundational bad ass. This is the quiet bad ass, the one who can fight himself to get what he wants. It all sets my heart a-flutter.

I don’t think it’s possible to discuss how bad ass an incubus is without mentioning sex. This is a man who not only feeds on blood but also on lust and sex. For hundreds of years he’s been playing people’s bodies like fine instruments to get the best feed out of them. It’s in his best interest to know how to quickly find all your special places! Something that is never mentioned in the books but is alluded to is that Jean-Claude used his sexual powers sparingly. There is only one instance that we know of that he “enslaved” someone sexually, and he did it for survival; upon his arrival in America (known as the New World at the time) complete broke and without any friends or a place to stay in the day. Two hundred years later and he’s still trying his best to take care of and do right by this terribly bothersome and troublesome female (Gretchen). Binding people to him with his sexual powers is not something he does quickly. Again, he knows the value of free will.

He’s been around so long that nothing shocks him sexually, but making that connection and keeping the intimacy special is important to him. Crazy, hot, monkey-sex without the hang-ups with a man who knows what he’s doing and wants to bond. I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but this is the stuff of dreams!

Finally, I have to admit that even though his fashion sense seems a bit cliché, there is a part of me that still loves it. It’s like a guilty pleasure.

Jean-Claude is smart, pragmatic, scheming, not driven by his ego, physically, magically, and emotionally powerful, and he’s a sex God. Who needs anything else?

Suz has a grown son, two grandsons, a degree in graphic design and loves both computer and studio fine arts. She reads a lot. She's not very good at diplomacy, most people find her abrasive. She grew up cutting her teeth on high fantasy (and low?) ala Anne McCaffrey and science fiction ala Robert Heinlein. She's gone through bouts of Stephen King and the like being her focus, too. But for several years now she's been stuck in Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. She must admit that she is most often scornful of the Paranormal Romance, constantly hoping to find that rare offering that breaks the tropes and molds but cynical and a bit condescending if she doesn't find it. If you see that from her, it means she was too hopeful for the book and ended up disappointed, not scornful of the genre.
Doll Suz
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  • June M. says:

    Sounds like books that I really need to check out. Thank you for introducing me to this series.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Day says:

    Awesome post Suz! I think I need the Anita Blake graphic novels:)

    Reply to this comment »
  • KittNLuv says:

    I don't Suz! I absolutely LOVE JC. He's one of the main reasons LKH is an auto-buy for me. Now, if only there was something to be done about Richard…

    Reply to this comment »
  • Mona says:

    Woot! I love JC! Richard….not so much, but he's okay. And Curran! He's always at the top of my list. Jeez, girl, you've managed to put together an impressive list there and all of them are incredible.

    Reply to this comment »
  • jane says:

    well said suz! love me some JC, he really has it all.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Suz says:

    @June M. – They just released book #20 and the first three books have been done in graphic novels. The stories go from pure urban fantasy to urban fantasy erotica and back to urban fantasy. I love the long story arcs and the characters. It keeps me coming back.

    @Day – I LOVE the graphic novels, and they are very true to the books.

    @Kitt – You are one of my "OMG JC is IT" besties. ;) I think it may have been our original bond.

    @Mona – I didn't know you loved JC, but I'm glad to hear it! And yes, Richard is the character I most love to hate of any series.

    @jane – I agree. I love JC for the subtext, the unspoken and only alluded to, as much as the overt stuff. He really is the total package.

    Reply to this comment »
  • BLHmistress says:

    I haven't read Anita Blake I have heard its a love or hate relationship but I have been wanting to read this series.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Miranda Grissom says:

    Wow I think I've read about half the books in the Anita Blake series I can't believe there are 20 now. I am oh so interested in the graphic novel I mean hello yummy!

    Reply to this comment »
  • Noa says:

    ok, so graphic novels huh? *goes to seek out the graphic novels*

    thanks Suz :D

    Reply to this comment »
  • I have always loved JC from the moment he was introduced. He has a dry wit and a lethal protective nature!

    Reply to this comment »
  • Di says:

    I've never read a graphic novel – maybe this is the place to start.

    Reply to this comment »
  • I don't think I have ever read a graphic novel with a badass guy in it. I guess I need to start with this one!

    Reply to this comment »
  • Kah_cherub says:

    I couldn't agree more! I'm also a bit dominant and too-dominant men annoy me. LOL Jean-Claude is SO VERY patient with Anita, he's just so perfect!! AND he can be a super badass when necessary! ;)

    Reply to this comment »
  • Georgia says:

    I. Need. To. Read. These. Books.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Adriana says:

    I haven´t read Anita Blake.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Rae M. says:

    I have to admit, Jean-laude wasn't always on my list. He had to grow on me and grow on me he did! So yeah definitely a badass.

    Reply to this comment »
  • I think I have finally found my reason to give the Anita Blake series a try. I've always been kinda "I dunno…" about it and even after working in a book store for a year none of the devoted customers could sell me on the series. I'll be sure to add at least the first book though and give it a shot.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Audrey says:

    Okay,this week is terrible. More and more books to buy. I need to know what happens to Jean Claude (>_<)

    Reply to this comment »
  • Vivien says:

    I really need to get into this one! Nice :)

    Reply to this comment »
  • yumm, you guys are killing my TBR wishlist and will be burning a hole in my husbands wallet here shortly lol

    Reply to this comment »
  • Sally says:

    Who indeed would need anyone else? jean-Claude is a dream come fictional fantasy. I am completely and utterly in love with him for all the reasons you spoke of. He is wonderful. I think you forgot to mention that he’d not possessive either. I just adore that level of self-confidence.

    Reply to this comment »