Jackie Ashenden, author of the just-released Billionaire's Club story The Billionaire Biker, is our latest guest on the blog. If you couldn't tell from her wickedly sexy books, she's a big fan of Alpha males, and especially loves that there are, in fact, such a wide variety of types. Today she's here to share her findings on the 6 flavors of Alpha. Thanks for joining us, Jackie!
Okay, so I have a confession to make: I love an alpha hero. Yeah, I know, loving an alpha isn't so fashionable these days. We want a guy who's more sensitive, who's not so in your face or controlling, who's laid back, who's a bit more true-to-life even.
But me, I'm an alpha girl all the way. He's a very misunderstood beast in my opinion. Like the best kind of bad boy, he has a checkered past and a rap sheet a mile long. He's got a few skeletons in his closet (not looking at anyone in particular old skool romance!). But the true heart of an alpha hero is golden and the journey of him finding that heart is its own very special form of crack.
One of my personal peeves about alpha heroes though, is the accusation that they're all the same. They are not. They come in many different flavors and if you're not an alpha fan, you may be surprised at what kind of man you might uncover.
Check out these guys here. Six of my favorite alpha hero types and why they're different.
- The Playboy: This guy's been around the block or twelve. He's sexy, charming, a fabulous lover. He's witty, super-naughty and usually shocking, which is all kinds of awesome. It's extra sweet to see this hero fall in love since underneath his playboy ways he's hiding a heart of gold. As an example of this kind of hero, I particularly loved Pato from Royal Without Rules by Caitlin Crewes. He owns the naughty straight up by inviting the heroine to a threesome, then falls head over heels for her. No wonder this was nominated for a RITA.
- Wounded Alpha: This is like the Beast from Beauty and Beast. He's surly, grumpy and sometimes quite snarly. He needs a hug and a blanket but you know he'd bite your hand off. This one I love because seeing the heroine make it all better is extra satisfying. Check out Cade from Unbroken by Maisey Yates. Cade is in pain and his life is on hold. He's grumpy and surly and if you're not careful, he'll probably bite. But watching him find his purpose in life is a joy to behold.
- The Bad Boy: I love a bad boy alpha. They're tough, mean and sexy as hell. There's just something about a rebel that I admire, especially when they put their bad sexy ways in the past for the heroine. Like Kaleb from Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh. All through the Psy/Changeling books, Kaleb has been on the periphery and you never know whether he's a villain or a hero (my personal crack). Is he even redeemable? Morally ambiguous is my kind of dude.
- The A-hole: Yeah, yeah, the alpha-hole hero is definitely not everyone's cup of tea. But I have a soft spot for them if they're well motivated. And watching an a-hole become a better man for the heroine is just so incredibly satisfying. Example: Sebastian Ballister, Marquess of Dain. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase. Dain is a horrible bastard. But he is magnificent in his horribleness and I think the trick to an a-hole alpha is the heroine. She has to be strong enough to take him on and Jessica is definitely strong enough for him.
- The Alpha in disguise: When is an alpha not an alpha? When he's masquerading as a beta! This kind of hero is quiet about his achievements and is much more laid-back than other types, but he definitely knows what he wants and isn't afraid to go out and get it. Dell from All I Have by Nicole Helm is exhibit A. Dell looks cunningly like a beta on the surface, but underneath beats the heart of a hungry alpha. The way he tries to out-maneuver his competition, AKA the heroine, to get his farm off the ground, is very interesting to watch.
- The Uptight Alpha: You know the one. He's got his tie knotted right up to his throat and his shirt correctly buttoned. His jacket straight. He's got rules and he follows them to the letter and if you don't then you'd better pull up your socks, buddy because, by God, there's going to be hell to pay. I love this guy, I really do. There is nothing in the world as charming as watching the goody, goody uptight alpha discover his inner bad boy when the heroine leads him from the paths of righteousness. I loved Martin from Her Best Worst Mistake by Sarah Mayberry. He's so disapproving of Violet, the heroine, and yet is somehow all kinds of hot. And when these two get it on…whoa, fireworks!
What about you? What's your favorite type of alpha hero? Give us an example!
Learn more or order a copy of The Billionaire Biker by Jackie Ashenden, out now:
Jackie Ashenden lives in Auckland, New Zealand with her husband, the inimitable Dr Jax, two kids and two cats. When she's not torturing alpha males and their stroppy heroines, she can be found drinking chocolate martinis, reading anything she can lay her hands on, posting random crap on her blog, or being forced to go mountain biking with her husband.
Jackie writes dark, sexy contemporary romance for St Martin's Press, including the New York Billionaires Club series of novellas, the first due out in 2014.