Fantasy • Magic • Romance

Alpha males in fiction…and in the wild

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

  1. 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

  2. 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. 🙂

  3. 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.
    Qwillia
    email: qwilliarain AT gmail DOT com

  4. 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!

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

  8. 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.

    KaseyDean@live.com

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

    kesummer69(at)gmail(dot)com

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

  14. 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)

  15. 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

  16. 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.

    vampiremistress2010(at)gmail(dot)com

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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 !

    ~Kym
    flwrs4ever(at)yahoo(dot)com

  20. 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

  21. 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!

    Angelheart618@gmail.com

  22. 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

  23. 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,
    Marlena
    charmedpoms(at)yahoo(dot)com

  24. 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!)

  25. 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

  26. 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!
    kp_kazamei(at)yahoo(dot)com

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

  28. I love the protectiveness and possessiveness of an alpha! My favorite is definitely Barrons from the Fever series 🙂
    laceyblossom1(at)gmail(dot)com

  29. 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

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

    MostlyMisha[at]gmail[dot]com

  31. 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!

  32. 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.

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

    spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

  34. 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!
    cassandrahicks1989@yahoo.com

  35. 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

  36. 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

  37. 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

    savannahm1987@gmail.com

  38. 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

  39. 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

  40. 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

  41. 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!
    shadowluvs2read(at)gmail(dot)com

  42. 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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