Monday, November 19, 2007

The Alpha's Appeal

Alpha Males are hot. They're arrogant, strong, sexually domineering and very, very popular in the world of romance. The days of the loving beta seem to have disappeared, replaced by uber-strong hero with just a touch of emotional vulnerability that lends to his likability.

Honestly, though, could any of us really live with a real alpha? Imagine a partner who constantly bossed you around, never let you make a decision and always thought he was right? To hear my husband tell it, that would be like living with me. A nightmare even I wouldn't be able to handle. haha But though many of us like the thought of a strong partner with such confidence, I don't think we'd be able to live with him.

Yet in fiction, the alpha is not only sexier than hell, but a roll model for most heroes. Though he's often tortured in some way, he normally has to overcome his own aversion to accepting help to become whole. And what's more appealing than a strong man who's broken in some way, prodding in us that need to fix him?

I like the werewolf, in particular, as an example of the ultimate alpha because I've read some really great werewolf stories lately and I've studied them to see what grabbed me. A few hot-ticket items I noticed in the stories:

1. Hot, sexually magnetic, if not handsome, heroes
2. Strong heroes who protect what they love
3. Mates, the one and only female they can truly love
4. Sexy, take-charge in the bedroom types
5. And come on, wolves are beautiful

So okay. The alpha male, as a werewolf, is sexy. But why is he so charming? It's that mate thing, the ultimate hero taken down a peg by the vulnerable (physically at least) woman he loves. There's nothing quite like a strong man who's putty in his woman's hands. That dichotomy of strength and weakness, power and vulnerability that interests me as both a reader and writer.

Whether my heroes shift form or are completely human, they all share that same, powerful trait. Because what woman doesn't secretly want someone to lean on when times get tough? Someone who will remain strong no matter what? And to know that person will remain loyal and faithful 'til the end?

Some alpha stories to enjoy: A Wolf at The Door by Christine Warren (and all of her Other series), Christine Feehan's Dark Magic (Carpathians) , Lora Leigh's Hidden Agendas (Tempting Seals series), Shannon McKenna's Behind Closed Doors.

Smiles and happy Monday.

Marie **(wolf picture by

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