I’m near the end of reading Ilona Andrews’s MAGIC TRIUMPHS. Her heroine, Kate Daniels, is so strong with so many sword skills and so much magic that her love interest, Curran Lennart–whom she marries and has a child with later in the series–has to be exceptional, too, to be her equal. So, in the beginning books of the series, he’s a shapeshifter who is the Beast Lord of the entire Atlanta pack–a shifter who becomes a giant lion who can kill and maim every bit as well as Kate. She’s a female with an attitude, and he’s a male with enough ego and confidence to stand up to her. He’s strong and sexy, but let’s face it. That’s not enough. He also has to respect Kate and be there for her. He has to have a tender side when he deals with her.
I have to admit, I can take or leave most alpha males as heroes. I’m just as into witty or clever heroes–men who are masculine without swagger and macho. I don’t write alphas because that’s not my first inclination when I think of a hero. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy reading about them–especially if there’s a great cover with abs that ripple and biceps that bulge. You know the ones. The ones that snag your attention when you scroll down twitter or Amazon covers.
I happen to think Julia Donner writes some of the best male characters around, but for me, Ilona Andrews writes some of the best alphas. I love “Mad” Rogan in her HIdden Legacy series, and I fell hard for Hugh D’Ambray when he switched from villain to hero in IRON AND MAGIC. I’ve only read the fourth and final book in Staci Troilo’s Protectorate series, TORTURED SOUL, but that fourth Brother was an alpha to remember. Another to add to my list–and he might be an all-time favorite–was Keir in WARPRIZE by Elizabeth Vaughan. All of these men were efficient killers who worked hard to do the right thing against impossible odds and to care for the women they loved.
How about you? Do you have a thing for alpha males? What’s your favorite type of male protagonist? Do you have some favorites?
Whatever you’re working on now, I hope your characters come alive for you and happy writing!