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.
Writer Me clearly adores not only alphas, but royal alpha men. (Kismet's Kiss, The Source of Magic, Swords 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!
Click here to return to the main Alpha Male Blog Hop site.