Let me get something out of the way right up front: I love me some alphas.

Or at least Writer Me loves me some alphas.

Person Me has a few reservations.

Lemme ‘splain. We'll start with Writer Me.

My first published novel (Kismet's Kiss, a two-time RWA Golden Heart ® finalist) features an alpha among alphas. Kuramos is the sultan of the desert realm of Kad. The descendent of gods and the protector of his people, he's revered for his deeds and respected by his wives. (That's right, I said wives—as the sultan, he has a harem.)

Kuramos takes his responsibilities to his realm, his people, and his family to heart. He's a man who will never let you down once you're under his protection. But being the sultan has forced him to bury his own needs so deep that it takes a strong woman—one who believes in nothing less than true love and monogamy!—to shake him to his core and make him realize all he's missing, despite his wealth and palaces and power.

That's the fantasy of the alpha in romance: that whoever this ultra-masculine man is, whatever his position in life, the love of a good woman is the one thing that can bring this fearless male to his knees.

The Source of Magic

Writer Me clearly adores not only alphas, but royal alpha men. (Kismet's Kiss, The Source of MagicSwords and Scimitars….) Yep, Writer Me likes my heroes hot and powerful. But she also appreciates men who've grown up enough that they don't need to constantly project their macho-ness (for example, the enchanted Frog Prince Alexander in Kiss That Frog: A Modern Fairy Tale).

Both Writer Me and Person Me enjoy the latter kind of man—one who knows that while a woman values feeling protected, she also wants to feel loved, comforted, and respected. Unlike in fantasy worlds, modern living in the real world means we can't solve problems with magic, swords or threats. (In fact, Person Me very much appreciates the strong and caring beta male and has sworn off cocky alphas for some time to come, although Writer Me still loves to write 'em. 🙂 )

It takes a wise man to know how to communicate. Fantasy alphas often try—at least at first—to do that through action. That's nice and all, but in the modern world, a real man knows how to use words. For example, if that hot, powerful guy doesn't understand the value of giving his woman comfort (and not just in bed!), there's no point in keeping him.

Fortunately, even in fiction, many alpha heroes learn that words are worth as much as a well-executed sword strike. When they do, they appeal to readers' hearts and heads.

To me, those are the best romance heroes of all.

So here's my question for you: What do you enjoy in fictional heroes that you wouldn't necessarily want around you in real life?

I'm participating in Carrie Ann Ryan's Alpha Male Blog Hop today, so a lucky commenter from Oct. 19-22 will win a $10 gift card at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo or Starbucks, winner's choice—AND all commenters will be eligible for grand prizes like this:

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $130 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: An awesome Swag Pack of books and reader goodies!

To be eligible for the Blog Hop's grand prizes, you must include your email address IN THE COMMENT ITSELF so the overall Hop administrators can contact you. GOOD LUCK!

  The Source of Magic

Click here to return to the main Alpha Male Blog Hop site.

70 Responses to Alpha males in fiction…and in the wild

  • Elizabeth H. says:

    Alphas are stubborn and bossy and I wouldn’t want the bossy part around in real life. I can handle stubborn because I am stubborn myself. However, I don’t like being told what to do and I would have a serious problem if a guy busted into my life and started giving me orders. That wouldn’t go over well, and apparently, it doesn’t go over well with fictional heroes either!
    Thanks for the awesome hope and for the chance to win!

    ehaney578 at aol dot com

  • Cate says:

    You’re welcome, Elizabeth! And I totally hear you about not wanting to be bossed around in real life. Who needs that? I doubt it’s much fun in fiction, either. My heroines give the heroes who try it a good comeuppance. 🙂

  • Qwillia says:

    I love an alpha hero who isn’t afraid of a strong female. My favorite alphas are Linda Howards’ Mackenzies…yummy. And Cherise Sinclair’s Doms from her Shadowlands series.
    email: qwilliarain AT gmail DOT com

  • Cate says:

    I agree, Qwillia. If there’s going to be an alpha hero, the best heroine may be one with a thick alpha streak herself. Someone’s gotta call him on his, er, stuff!

  • Edna Curry says:

    I love to read about Alpha males, but in real life, I want them to have a softer side, too.
    Edna edna@midco.net

  • SharonS says:

    I wouldn’t want a real guy to be as protective as the ones in books. Sounds nice in theory, but annoying and controlling in real life
    sstognet1 at gmail dot com

  • Katie Dalton says:

    An alpha male with fangs, built body and sexy attitude. I like the quiet confident ones for sure. Sexy looks across a room and little touches here and there. Ya baby!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    flockparty (at) hotmail (dot) com

  • Shannon says:

    Very true, a real man needs to be able to communicate, not just be a dominate alpha

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

  • laurie g says:

    I love a strong alpha male that can still let you know what he needs and makes sure the other person’s needs get met as well.


  • Krista says:

    The bossiness and the quietness! I need someone to talk to!

  • Kasey Dean says:

    While I love the protectiveness of the Alpha Male I could do without the possessiveness. Most Alpha Males in books seem to never want to let their mate out of their sight. We all need our space some times and the possessiveness would get old quickly.


  • Na S. says:

    I like alpha heroes who are fiercely protective, demanding and possessive. I wouldn’t quite want this in real life. I would want to have a say in the relationship too.

  • Evie says:

    They are usually cocky and sarcastic. I’m not sure if I’d find them charming in real life.
    by.evie at yahoo dot com dot br

  • Kelsey S. says:

    I love reading about alpha males. I love their strength, possessiveness, protectiveness, and dominance, but in real life I prefer someone who will ask my opinion and listen to me.


  • Cate says:

    It sounds like many of us love the fantasy of an alpha male when we sink into a good read, but don’t necessarily want one in our daily lives!

  • Trix says:

    The take-charge attitude would seem pushy, the sexual assertiveness borderline harassment, and the protectiveness as control-freakiness. Frankly, a lot of the time it even wears thin in books for me.


  • Yvette says:

    I love an alpha males possessiveness yet they also are tender.

  • I books I love the headstrong man that is determined to get things done. In real life, I like that as long as what they have decided to do makes sense. I hate when they get so headstrong they won’t listen to reason.

  • Rachel says:

    I like strong-willed, powerful men in fiction, but in real life they need to respect me as an equal and trust me to do things as well as they could.

    Thanks for doing this!

    Rachel (oceanrebel333 [at] gmail [dot] com)

  • JeanMP says:

    I like reading about the strong, possessive alpha male, but I don’t want to be controlled in real life.
    skpetal at hotmail dot com

  • Dawna Newman says:

    I think I like that they are fiercely protective so much so they are sort of smothering but I wouldn’t want that in real life.


  • Brenda Anderson says:

    I love having an alpha at home. LOL. But he’s great and I’m just as strong and protective as he is so it works well. Most of the time and when it doesnt it sure is fun to see which one of us will give a little for the other. xstitchdiva at att dot net

  • It’s fun when fictional heroes take charge and take over. In real life though, that can get annoying and usually ends up in someone messing things up.

  • Alicia says:

    I would prefer, in real life, that a guy not court trouble like the alphas in books do. Also, sometimes dialogue can work in a book, but in real life it can come off as obnoxious – in the book we always know that the guy has the stuff to back it up, in real life . . . not so much.

    Thanks for participating in the hop!

    dmr8888 at yahoo dot com

  • kym amaral says:

    I have a hard time when guys in real life are arrogant, but I like to read about them that way..it makes for more angst in a storyline 🙂

    Thanks for the hoppin fun !


  • deb p says:

    Fictional alpha males are a fantasy , in the real world things are different. 🙂


  • Christina Livingston says:

    great post! I love Alpha Males!! I wouldn’t want them to be as controlling as they are in the books! mygirls01@yahoo.com

  • I enjoy reading about dark, brooding heros in fiction. I couldn’t stand that in real life, I want someone who can communicate with me.

  • Oops forgot my email address. It’s woolfcindy@aol.com.

  • micheleann oboyle says:

    i love alphas who isnt afraid to go after what they want but them being sexy and having an edge and swag to them wouldnt hurt either thanks for the chance to win angelwolfmystic@yahoo.com

  • Nat says:

    Because it’s a fantasy ; )
    Thanks for the extra giveaway!

  • Sebrina says:

    Maybe it would be all the drama…..like running for my life or trying to save a family member or friend. LOL
    I actually do love a lot of those annoying things the fictional Alphas do! *if I’m in the mood for it* lmao
    Thanks so much for the chance,
    Sebrina_Cassity at yahoo dot com

  • Tammy Turner says:

    Why I love Alpha Males is no real surprise! The perfect Alpha Male for me could be a Vampire, a Scottish Laird, an English Rogue/Gentleman, a Werewolf or Shape-shifter, or a Knight. He’s the rogue who thinks he can’t be reformed into a gentleman. He’s the rough and scarred Scottish laird that has a heart of gold. He’s the werewolf or shape-shifter that needs to heal an aching heart because it took him years to find his true mate. He’s the vampire who has waited decades for that special someone’s blood to sing to him and wake him up. And he’s the knight who can defeat the enemy with a quick swing of his sword, but can’t see the love in front of his face. My Alpha Male has eyes that can see into your soul and are as blue as the sea, or as black as a storm. He’s tall and brooding. His heart can enfold you into its grasp and make you fall in love when he gives it to you freely and completely. He is protective and passionate. In the end he is the one that makes your heart jump and butterflies fly in your stomach, and still kiss you until your legs melt!


  • Veronika says:

    Thank you for the wonderful post and the giveaway! Alpha Males are my absolute favorites! They’re strong, confident, protective, sometimes a bit bossy, and of cource sexy!

    verusbognar (at) gmail (dot) com

  • Marlena Fein says:

    It is funny that you have asked this question as I have posted it many times in comments. I love having an alpha male to read (and maybe drool) about but in my relationships I honestly prefer a beta to kind of tone down my dominant side. I cannot be my mean, snarky self with a beta and tend not to hurt them the way I did with alpha men. Although, my Pomeranian, Cosmos, is definitely an alpha and keeps me in line! Thanks for participating in the blog hop. I have added Kiss that Frog to my TBR list. It sounds amazing and I just love the cover.
    Best Wishes,

  • Gwyn says:

    Now, Cate, you know I love my alphas, but like you, wouldn’t want to live with the real deal. You see, I’m a taaaaad bossy—oldest child thing—-and need to be with someone who respects my opinion but is strong enough to stand up to it when need be (which, imo, isn’t very often. *G*) Also, being the nurturing sort (birth order, again), I need someone who needs me. Alphas don’t admit to needing anyone—at least not out-loud. So, yeah. Give me a take-charge, protect the woman, defeat the enemy guy in my romances, but in the real world, I want the same things, just tamed, in smaller quantity, and flexible. (Alphas are notoriously inflexible!)

  • JanD says:

    The possessiveness and taking charge of every situation can be a bit much in real life.
    bituin76 AT hotmail DOT com

  • Nadzy T says:

    Jericho Barron has to be my fav alpha male!
    i love how protective they are and how they can go all gonzo (cave man) on you haha

  • Lynne Parker says:

    Master Adam, Master at Arms.

    They make great fantasy, but real life Alphas can be a pain in the butt!

  • Lisa Walker says:

    My favorite alpha is Roarke from JD Robb’s In Death series!

  • ki pha says:

    Alpha males are Awesome! Betas are too, so got to love them all! Gammas!
    I think I wouldn’t want an overly possessive male but they are great in books!
    Thanks for the giveaway and being apart of the Blog Hop!

  • Mel Bourn says:

    I love my fictional alphas! I definitely would not want the bossiness! I do love a good Dom, but not being bossy.
    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

  • Tamara Hoffa says:

    My husband is my favorite alpha. He takes good care of me!

  • Lacey T says:

    I love the protectiveness and possessiveness of an alpha! My favorite is definitely Barrons from the Fever series 🙂

  • Joy F says:

    I love alpha males and how strong, loyal and protective they are.

  • Jenny says:

    In fiction I like men that are possessive. In real life, I don’t like a possessive guy at all. Also, jealous is way hotter in books than in real life where it’s annoying.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    Jyl22075 at gmail.com

  • Misha K. says:

    I love how possessive an alpha male can be in fiction~ but, don’t like my men quite so possessive irl. 🙂


  • Cate says:

    Thanks for all the comments, everyone! They’re fun to read.

    It sounds like we romance readers like to embrace a healthy fantasy life, but we also know there’s a big difference between fantasy and real. 🙂

    There’s still time to comment–the grand prizes have another day, and I’ll draw a name for my personal giveaway on Tuesday morning.

    Good luck!

  • donnas says:

    Great hop!

    Thanks for the chance!

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  • Linda Thum says:

    All the characteristics that we tend to quote for our ideal heroes would be fine in moderation: possessiveness, take charge (ok plain bossiness) attitude, even a sense of humor. In real life I would want my man to be able to sense & empathize with how I feel & know how best to handle my mods (yeah I’m very moody unfortunately). Have you ever come across a guy who is always trying to be funny? When you are dead serious it can be quite galling.

  • Natasha says:

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  • Dovile says:

    In fictional alphas I enjoy cockiness and confidence, in real life I don’t like that.

    spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

  • Cassandra Hicks says:

    I would probably have to say the danger they normally carry with them and their overwhelming smug self assurance of themselves (the type that makes you want to hit them up side the head)
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  • susan platt says:

    I love alphas who are Strong, Sexy and Smart but would not like the reality of arrogance and cockiness!
    awesome blog hop!
    susanmplatt AT hotmail DOT com

  • Carin W says:

    I think bossiness and cockiness is awesome in a book boyfriend but not something I would deal well with IRL :O) Carin mawmom at gmail dot com

  • Alpha males are the best….strong, independent, fiercely protective, but on the inside they are nothing but a big ol’ teddy bear! I love the way their mouths talk filthy, but their eyes portray their sensitive sweet. They can be rough and tough in the bedroom, but still have the gentle caress of an attentive and protective lover. It’s all in the heart…..alpha males are the best!

    Jack Gordon from Liz Crowe’s REALTOR series rocks!

    Thanks for participating in the hop!

    molly at reviewsbymolly dot com

  • Savannah Miller says:

    I know in the past I look books when its seems almost like the alpha is stalking the girl 🙂 like if she tries to flirt with another guy hes there…. or if she is doing something she is not suppose to he there 🙂
    I love watching alphas get protective and over jealous 😉
    In real life not so much if my hubby tried to control me I’d make him sleep on the couch lol


  • latisha depoortere says:

    I love Alpha males who are strong and protecitve!
    What a great blog hop Alpha males are my favorite!
    One of my favorite Alpha males is Decebal from The Grey Wolves Series by Quinn Loftis!
    Thank you for the great giveaway!
    Latisha D
    tishajean@ charter.net

  • Michelle Bledsoe says:

    The true stubborness and danger they have in their stories.

    koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

  • Stephanie says:

    While I like a man who is strong, sexy, and who has confidence in who he is in both fiction and real life, I’m not attracted to a man who is cocky in real life. Sometimes in fiction an alpha with some cockiness is still sexy.

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    snhoveln (at) gmail (dot) com

  • Jo says:

    Great question! I think in a book Alpha, I like to have strength, maybe a bit of the bull-headedness, whipsmart, and someone who (deep down) remembers that his mother taught him to be respectful. My favorite Alpha hero is Adam from Patricia Briggs’ Mercedes Thompson series. Thanks for being in the hop!

    jochibi AT yahoo DOT com

  • Kaylyn D says:

    I like an alpha who is brave, loyal and protective. I also like a sense of humor. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • I enjoy a take charge attitude in heroes, but in real life I don’t like to be told what to do.

  • Shadow says:

    I love alpha heros. So hot! 🙂 I love how dominant, possessive, loyal and protective they are. Thank you for the awesome hop and giveaway! This is so much fun!

  • Stephanie says:

    I believe the assertiveness and sensuality would get on my nerves after a long while!

  • bn100 says:

    I like alphas and their protectiveness. I like Zsadist.


  • Traci G says:

    Thanks for being a part of the blog hop. i love how powerful, fierce and passionate alpha males can be.
    i totally want to read your books

  • Daniel M says:

    strong & protective – regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

  • Cate says:

    Thanks for playing, everyone! I enjoyed all your comments about alphas, and I hope you enjoyed the blog hop. I drew Marlena Fein as the winner of the gift card. See you for a future hop!

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