Do you like a little alpha with your beta, or a little beta with your alpha?
I remember the true alpha heroes I read in the historical romance novels of my childhood–most of which I honestly didn’t like. The fact is, they were mean to the heroine… And forceful–not just emotionally and physically, but often sexually. I remember reading a number of stories where the hero flat out raped the heroine (not even forced seduction,) spanked her, called her names, treated her like crap, and then turned around and professed his undying love. The heroine often forgave him with no retribution and then fell into his arms, and I was still steaming mad at him.
Then there’s the so-called beta hero. He’s wimpy and emotional (though he can be funny), letting the heroine walk all over him. Always the best friend, never the boyfriend types. They would never stand up to anyone because they fear confrontation. This type is obnoxious too. A man should be able to protect the woman he loves, and a true beta doesn’t have it in him.
Because of this, I write a different kind of hero. My men can feel pain and anguish when they lose the woman they love, but they use it to find strength. They can feel fear, though it never cripples them. They can take charge, but never at the cost of trampling the heroine’s feelings. In short, my men are real.
There’s nothing more sexy than a man who would be bothered by the thought of losing the woman he loves. Be bothered enough to ignore what’s cool and let himself react to the moment, and take strength from what another man might consider a weakness. (Of course, it’s twice as sexy if that man has a six-pack.) I find myself drawn to this sort of hero more and more, in my reading and my writing.
What kind of hero do you prefer?