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Alpha Males

Romance - from historical to contemporary

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1encbks
Sep 9, 2008, 8:24pm Top

What is your definition of an Alpha Male and what authors/books epitomize your definition?

I know I'm new to the forum but I did not see this topic. I recently out of some punishing habit bought Diana Palmer's latest novel. I asked mysekf why did i just buy this book, I read the end and was so incensed I returned it the same day.

I recently posted on another topic how her heros come off as mean bullies who humilate, pyhsical and emotional hurt the heroines. And although I do have a problem with the heroines, its really the "heroes" that get to me.

I recently read an interview from Lisa Marie Rice and woman whose Alpha Males I love and she explains her view of Alpha Males
http://www.justeroticromancereviews.com/features/interviews/2007/interview_108.r...

{You write absolutely fabulous heroes, all of them intense and all male, with all of the yumminess of an Alpha hero, without making them look like jerks, what is your inspiration for such appealing males?

My heroes cannot have even a molecule of jerk-dom or dickheadedness (can I say that?). Nothing, nada. They don’t have misconceptions about their women that are cleared up on the last page. They don’t suspect her of being a slut. They’re not mad at her. And above all, they like their women, from the first moment. My love stories happen fast, over a short period of time. My heroes fall fast. They are not going to waste time disliking the heroine. There will be time enough through the rest of their lives for them to get angry, usually when they think she’s put herself in danger. But if they get mad, it will be against a backdrop of strong, mutual love, and it will pass. How can you have the hero and heroine angry at each other while they’re supposed to be falling in love? It vitiates the whole process, in my mind, at least. My books are usually about the first couple of weeks of what will be a lifelong love affair. The men are too busy tripping over their hearts to have negative feelings about the heroine.

And—I’ve said it before. My men are men, not children. They don’t need their egos stroked. They say what they mean and mean what they say.}

After I read this interview I said exactly.

I love Alpha Male novels, so if anyone have any suggestions about good ones list them here.

Erica

2dark-huntress
Sep 9, 2008, 10:41pm Top

Sherrilyn Kenyon writes about extremely alpha-males. Her dark-hunter series (paranormal romance) is terrific. The first book in the series is "Fantasy Lover."

But if you insist on the couple getting along well from page one then she might not be for you. Her characters usually have traumatic pasts that make them distrustful until circumstances force them to take a chance.

3labyrinth
Edited: Sep 10, 2008, 2:44am Top

hi all, I'm a bit of a lurker but I thought I would put my 2 cents in.

I agree, I hate heroes who in some way belittle or denigrate the heroine. But then I don't see those heroes as true alphas. Real alphas for me are men who don't need to make others feel small to make themselves feel big. Alphas don't think that way, with their kind of confidence it wouldn't even occur to them.

I love real alphas; their strength, passion, protectiveness, and the way they only show their softer side to the woman they love. I've heard people say that in real life they would be frustrating as anything but...

...personally I like alpha males so much I married one :)

And yes sometimes that Alpha-ness does make me grit my teeth in frustration but on the other hand being the focus of that kind of intensity (shiver)

FYI - Bit of a discussion on this on the RNTV blog,
hosted by Nalini Singh:
http://www.romancenovel.tv/wordpress/2008/09/03/romance-novel-tv-guest-author-na...

PS: Love Nalini Singh's heros. Her Psi/changling series is great although it took me a while to pick them up because covers and titles didn't really grab me.

4ktleyed
Edited: Sep 10, 2008, 12:55pm Top

I read a lot of Scottish Highlander novels and they're all full of alpha males! To name a few authors I've read, Karen Marie Moning, Julie Garwood, Monica Mccarty, Sandy Blair, Jen Holling andJanet Chapman. Julia Quinn and Lisa Kleypas have a more dignified English type of hero, but I'd still consider them alphas as well, but the Scottish warrior types are especially alpha and ruthless! Diana Gabaldon's Jamie Fraser isn't quite as over the top as a lot of the romance novel alpha males, but he's definitely one too!

All these alpha males are larger than life (in every sense of the word ;)), completely domineering autocratic, oh so tender in love with their ladies and they're down right irresistible! I must admit, I have a thing for them! *sigh*

I'm currently reading Devil's Bride by Stephanie Laurens and Devil is a total English alpha male! *swoon*

5rosamenz
Edited: Sep 17, 2008, 4:40am Top

Great question! I actually just commented on that other thread you mentioned, but thought it was worth repeating: dominant doesn't mean domineering! I'm actually starting to really question the whole 'alpha' thing - too often it seems synonymous with 'jerk!'

Although I've liked some of Lisa Marie Rice's books, I really couldn't stand the last two for this very reason. What she says about her heros becoming angry 'when they think she’s put herself in danger' makes ME angry - cause that comes RIGHT through in her writing. If he THINKS she is in DANGER - well, then, all bets are off - she loses all her autonomy, he can get abusive and force her to do things against her will. An alpha male is all very well and good with an alpha female, but when the author insists on pairing them with a subservient, accommodating woman (Shannon McKenna, anyone??) , look out! To me this spells nothing but DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, not HEA!!

And though I ADORE Nalini Singh, she too has gotten lax in this regard - oh, well, they're MATES, so whatever bad behavior he gets up to is just 'boys being boys!' Slaughtering 50 people - no need to bat an eye - it's not murder, it just proves his manliness, and ability to PROTECT (the feckless heroine).

In the cited interview, she says her alpha 'simply decided to behave (well, most of the time) for the heroine. Not for any other woman. Only for the one who owns his heart.' Excuse me?? So it's okay to be an asshole to everyone else? The whole idea of a grown man 'behaving' - that is the language you use for children. A grown man should not have to regulate his behavior around the 'lil ladies - he should have some self-control already.

All that being said (and I hope it's a continuing discussion!) - my favorite alpha male - literally the alpha - is Jeremy Danvers in Kelley Armstrong's Bitten. He's not the 'hero' of the story, nor is this a traditional Romance, but he exemplifies the true 'Alpha' - leadership: making the tough decisions, even when they're not always right, standing up for his family, being incredibly strong and dominant without ever being domineering (the trademark of a bully, not a leader). I was so glad that Armstrong, when she decided to go the syndication route, did not immediately write his 'story' (romance), and even more glad when she finally did (No Humans Involved). It was worth the wait!

6rosamenz
Edited: Sep 17, 2008, 4:45am Top

Oh, and speaking of Alpha MALES, the overuse of the words 'male' and 'female' really sets my teeth on edge. Lori Foster is the worst! There are no WOMEN in her books, only 'females.' Ack!

7Jenson_AKA_DL
Sep 17, 2008, 9:13am Top

>5 rosamenz: Rosa, with regard to Kelly Armstrong, Jeremy is my favorite character so far in her series, but I've only read Bitten and Stolen. Do you think No Humans Involved would make sense without having read the others of the series?

8HMegargee
Sep 17, 2008, 3:22pm Top

Rosa, I couldn't agree with you more about Jeremy Danvers. And Jenson, No Humans Involved would probably still make sense (you've been introduced to many of the characters in Bitten and Stolen), but you're missing a lot by skipping the other books in the series.

9rosamenz
Sep 17, 2008, 8:28pm Top

>7 Jenson_AKA_DL: DL, I agree that you could skip right to No Humans Involved (LOVE that title, btw), even though you might miss a bit in the middle. Like many others, I was underwhelmed by the other characters in the series, sad that it became a series at all actually, though I'm pleased that the author got very well known that way.

I can't remember exactly where Jaime Vegas (the female protagonist of No Humans) comes in - I really like her character, and she moons over Jeremy quite a bit before they get together in No Humans.

If you like Elena, Clay, and Jeremy, I'd suggest reading Broken (the one just before No Humans) first, as they are all in it. But even more than that, anyone who loves these characters should hie themselves over to Armstrong's website for free short stories that do not appear anywhere in print, including stories of the Pack before Jeremy became alpha, and the early story of Clay and Elena meeting. To. Die. For.

I find this series illustrative of the whole 'Alpha' thing - I think most would describe Clay as having an 'alpha' personality - domineering, controlling, sexy but immature - all those things that precisely make him beta - the non-leadership role. Not coincidentally, these are also the things he needs to learn to master in order to not lose Elena.

BTW, has anyone else noticed the preponderance of 'Elenas' lately - including the teaser for the new Nalini Singh...

10Jenson_AKA_DL
Sep 18, 2008, 11:00am Top

Thanks, HMegargee and Rosa :-) I'm pretty sure Broken is lurking in my tbr pile so maybe I'll read that and go right on to No Humans Involved, soon.

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