I’ve posted this pic of Clive today because… well, do I really need a reason?

No, I would contend. But I did have one anyway. You see, for a while Mr. Dare and I had this running joke that in every one of his movies, Clive had some variation on the line, “If you touch her, I will kill you.” Similar to the ubiquitous “Whoa” in Keanu Reeves flicks.

And while Mr. Dare and I had a good chuckle over this little joke of ours, I think it came to my attention in the first place because – damn, is it ever hot when he says that! That deep voice, that intense look … *shivers*

It seems that most romance novels feature hero jealousy to some degree. So it must be something that works for a lot of us – that the mere suggestion of another man skimming a single finger over his beloved’s pale, satiny shoulder will compel the hero to drive his fist into walls, or his rapier into expendable characters. Of course, nothing turns me off as a reader faster than completely irrational jealousy, especially when the hero turns his anger on the girl instead of the shoulder-skimmer or repeatedly refuses to believe perfectly good explanations. (“Truly I tell you, he was only flicking an aphid off my shoulder!”, etc.) But in general, for me at least, fictional jealousy = hawt.

Real life male jealousy … not so much. That must be why I’ve never ended up with a particularly jealous guy.

How about you? Which examples of hero jealousy work for you and which leave you cold? Ever had a real-life jealous hero? Was it hot or not?

Breaking news!! My amazing CP Courtney Milan finaled in The Golden Pen!!
Yay, CM! Oh, I am soooo glad I will not have to enter the Golden Heart this year and be up against her.

12 comments to “TMI Tuesday – Hero Jealousy: Hot or Not?”

  1. Lenora Bell
    · October 15th, 2007 at 10:20 pm · Link

    I have pictures of Clive plastered all over my story board for inspiration. I love the way his nose is crooked. And the way his smoldering eyes seem to be looking at me with carnal intent…*longing sigh*

    I think jealousy can be hot in small doses. But I had a lover once who was jealous to the point of not wanting me to spend time with anyone else, even my own sister. That was grounds for rapid dumping.

  2. Maggie Robinson
    · October 16th, 2007 at 4:04 am · Link

    To me jealousy is a sign of insecurity. Had the jealous boyfriend in high school. He was depressed and no fun. Had the jealous boyfriend in college. He was angry and no fun.

    But I admit I love it when a fictional hero quivers with desire/rage as someone else dances with the girl.

  3. CM
    · October 16th, 2007 at 6:54 am · Link

    Fictional jealousy works for me if it smolders, but not if it erupts, if that makes any sense. If it makes him hot for her–or it makes him uneasy–it’s all good.

    But if he starts acting like a ninny, I lose patience.

    In real life, I guess I’m also okay with smoldering jealousy–and there’s something to be said for teasing the person you love from time to time. As long as you both know how things stand, there is nothing like a little flirtation to get his interest.

  4. Alice Audrey
    · October 16th, 2007 at 7:02 am · Link

    I’m with CM. Smoldering is good, ninny is not. I’m willing to tolerate smoldering in real life if there’s justification, but I’m very careful not to provide justification. I’m not a tease. Not that I don’t tease, just that I always put out.

  5. Lindsey
    · October 16th, 2007 at 7:31 am · Link

    Yeah, it’s a fine line. Jealousy is such a natural emotion that a little “seeing you with him made me want you even more” can be cool, but anything based on insecurity or lack of trust is not.

    Except for Clive – he can kill anyone who touches me and it will be hot.

  6. Tessa Dare
    · October 16th, 2007 at 9:07 am · Link

    Lenore – Good call on the dumping. And Clive and that carnal intent. *drool*

    Maggie – I love those ‘simmering with rage/desire’ moments, too. I was just thinking this morning about that awesome scene in LoS where Dain asks (commands) Jessica to dance, and she points out that she is already engaged to dance – she has a dance card in the shape of a fan – and then he demolishes the fan and whisks her onto the dance floor. And even Jessica is admitting to herself how it’s absurdly barbaric and deliciously swoony all at the same time. siiiiigh.

    Darelings screaming… will answer more later…

  7. doglady
    · October 16th, 2007 at 11:50 am · Link

    Hmmm. Cannot go wrong with some Clive O on the menu, Tessa! Have any of you seen Elizabeth, the Golden Age yet? I saw the previews and my dears, Clive in tights is enough to make me drive the 20 odd miles one way into the city to see that movie. I’m sorry, but I do love a little fictional jealousy when it makes the hero do something stupid, only to shake his head at his own stupidity later. That smoldering ownership type jealousy is hot when he keeps it to himself as it says so much about how he feels about the heroine when he hasn’t told her a thing. Well-written jealousy is an excellent tool!

  8. Darcy Burke
    · October 16th, 2007 at 5:53 pm · Link

    I love me some smoldering jealousy as well. But, I do believe Clive’s “don’t touch her” tendencies in movies include the protective variety as much as the jealous. As in, threaten my girl, and I’ll kill ya. Harm my girl and I’ll kill ya. Kidnap/abduct/otherwise abscond with my girl and I’ll kill ya. (For those of you who love the movie Stripes as I do, imagine Francis aka Killer saying these lines.)

    There’s someone terrifying and beautiful about a hero unleasing his fury in the name of his wronged heroine. Again, fantasy is fabulous. IRL, that behavior will get you arrested.

  9. India Carolina
    · October 16th, 2007 at 11:58 pm · Link

    Yay! CM! The breakin’ news just keeps on breaking! What an awesome group. And you know, not having to compete against you guys is a big incentive for me to stick to comtemporary!

    Well, I have to admit that I love a man who would risk everything to protect his loved ones–against a genuine threat of course.

    Jealousy on the other hand, turns me off. But I’d have to own that arrogance doesn’t.

  10. Janga
    · October 17th, 2007 at 5:56 am · Link

    This topic is a timely one for me. I just finished rereading EJ’s Potent Pleasures for an essay I am writing for Mind of Love, Sarah Frantz and Eric Serlinger’s collection, and I was reminded of how I love one scene with the hero, even though Alex Foakes is a character I dislike for much of the novel. When he arrives on the scene and realizes that Charlotte has just been kissed by another man, he is so consumed with jealousy that he has to get away for a time to stop himself from hitting the other man, an old friend of his. I find the flare of jealousy appealing precisely because it is controlled. Too bad he ends up being such a jerk later.:(

    And hurrah, CM! Congratulations.

  11. terrio
    · October 18th, 2007 at 7:50 pm · Link

    I can’t believe I got so busy I almost forgot TMI Tuesday. I have no patience for jealousy IRL as it goes to a matter of trust. If you trust me, there’s no reason to be jealous.

    Now in books, I love it when the hero continuously proclaim he feels nothing for the heroine but everytime he sees her with another man, his blood boils. They’ll come to pistols at dawn but still not admit they even like the silly chit. Until she’s had enough and walks away which makes him realize he can’t live without her. *sigh* Done often but still works for me.

    Congrats again, CM!

  12. Tessa Dare
    · October 18th, 2007 at 9:47 pm · Link

    My, what insightful comments you all posted! And my, what a lame job I did of responding to them!

    But it seems we have a consensus that (at least in fiction) jealousy’s quite appealing in moderation.

    And Terri – you make a really good point. When you’ve got an obtuse alpha hero who just won’t admit his feelings, often the jealousy is our only clue that he’s got some deeper emotions going on.