Women love a hot, alpha male in their fantasy stories (me included), am I right? So I’ve been thinking…what defines an alpha hero?
Common qualities I’ve seen in romance novels are; arrogant, dominating, overbearing, overprotective, and possessive.
Some good things, some not-so-good, right?
My first two book heroes fit this stereotypical “alpha male” to a T (whatever that means. Seriously, is it tee, or T, or “t” or what?). Especially my most recent book, Destiny United. Marcelo is alpha to the core, complete with giant ego and giant…well…other things.
But with my third book, I’m shaking things up a bit.
Cristian is an alpha – literally, the alpha of a werewolf pack. And he’s got that strong, masculine vibe but….
it’s just a little different from most heroes. Or at least my from last two. He’s not arrogant, he’s confident. He recognizes his weaknesses and wishes others would too. He doesn’t like being put on a pedestal, even though it comes with the job.
He isn’t controlling. He isn’t overbearing or bossy. He can take control if he needs to – handy around groups of sometimes unruly werewolves. But he governs with fairness and compassion even when he has to be harsh.
But the biggest difference is that he trusts the heroine, Natalia, to make her own decisions. He is willing to share the leading role and recognizes when she might know more than him about a particular topic. And she recognizes the same in him. They are truly a partnership. And all fantasy aside, that’s what a good marriage is built on.
Okay, so I won’t try to play therapist any longer.
So what ultimately makes an alpha?
Self-confidence is important. Knowing who he is, strengths and weaknesses, and having a healthy view of them. And it comes down to leadership. A good leader uplifts those around him. He earns their respect and trust instead of demanding it. He rallies supporters, he doesn’t bully them. He takes care of those under his care, putting their welfare above his own. He can mete out judgement and swift punishment ruthlessly as well as gentle kisses to those he loves.
So what part of original alpha list did I keep in Cristian?
The possessiveness and protectiveness of course! That’s the good part of an alpha, right ladies? You want your man to want you, and only you! You want him to stand up for you at any cost. And even if you’re capable of kicking some ass on your own (yeah, I had a green belt in Tae Kwon Do, I get it), you still want your man to want to kick some ass for you!
It’s been interesting writing this different brand of alpha hero, but I’m starting to really like it.
Anyway, just for fun, here’s my list of favorite PNR heroes. (I only picked the big names so you’d be more likely to know them.)
1. Jericho Barrons (though he pushes the boundaries a little for me)
3. Curran (Cristian is a little like him)
4. Any Lychan from Kresley Cole’s IAD – especially Bowen!
5. And I have to mention my all-time favorite even though it’s technically not a PNR – Jamie Fraser from The Outlander series
Now your turn. What makes a good alpha hero for you? Would you like to see some qualities redefined? Are there any alpha traits you truly hate? I want the whole scoop.