Jun 28 2011 4:00pm

“A” is for “Alpha”: Would You Date One of Lora Leigh’s Heroes?

Black Jack by Lora LeighThe other day I got to wondering, would I date one of Lora Leigh’s heroes?

(Before you answer that, be sure you have all the facts: Read about Lora Leigh’s newest hero, Abram el Hamid Mustafa, in an excerpt of Dangerous Pleasure.)

What I mean is, we are all modern-day independent women, juggling jobs, homes, and families (Helen Reddy would be proud). So I have to ask, what is it about a Lora Leigh hero that makes us put our feminist side in the closet and drool over a sometimes chauvinistic, often over-bearing male who proclaims loudly and often that he is the MAN and in charge?

The kind of heroes, in the alphabet soup of men, who clearly fall under “A” for Alpha.

Ms. Leigh’s heroes are all extremely intelligent, have superior strength, a strong drive to protect the innocent, possess keen instincts and are adept at leading. Following? Not so much. They also have, in one way or another, a truckload of personal demons and angst to contend with. Combining these elements is a guaranteed recipe for creating an alpha male whose word is law, and who in many ways, still believes it’s the year of the cave man. It’s almost inexplicable that those of us who not only bring home the bacon, but also fry it up in a pan, can sizzle (like our bacon!) every time a Lora Leigh book comes out with a brand new Alpha herp to love and adore. It takes a special kind of author to get me to love a guy who has all manner of personality disorders.

Sarah’s Seduction by Lora LeighI don’t know about you, but it would definitely throw me for a loop if a man asked me to have a relationship with him, BUT, and it’s a big but, only if he could share me with his two brothers. I’m thinking most women would say, “lose my number” while beating a hasty retreat to the nearest exit. And that’s what Marly (Marly’s Choice), Sarah (Sarah’s Seduction), and Heather (Heather’s Gift) almost do in Ms. Leigh’s Men of August series. But they don’t. OH Kay...not your typical scenario to a happily ever after, but stick with me.

The August brothers, Cade, Brock, and Sam, have a special place in my heart because they were my first LL heroes. They are three big-time alphas who have the shared trauma of being sexually abused as adolescents. It’s a scar that runs deep, but together they’ve emerged strong and defiant and have forged a life that is solely on their terms. The only caveat is that part of their healing process includes sharing women, and they have to convince the women they fall in love with to agree to be part of the way they uniquely love. How does one go about that?

Well, the thing about the August brothers that more than balances their alpha tendencies, is the strength with which they love and their honesty, and that’s what takes them from an alpha male who is a cave man to an alpha male who is heroic. In Seducing Sarah, Brock confesses to Sarah what he and his brothers have gone through and why he needs to share her, she’s still freaked out and unable to process it all; but Brock tells her:

“Don’t you understand, baby? You stand between me and the darkness. You always have. I’m different, Sarah, because I offer you everything I am. Inside and out,” he pleaded with her to understand. It was in his eyes, the throb of his voice. “I don’t just offer myself, but my brothers, their love for me, given to you. Their only aim in life to provide for you, to care for you... Just that, Sarah. That’s all. All we are and all the love we have left in us.”

Now, is there anything sexier than a man baring his soul? Telling you that he’ll give you all his love? That’s why the August brothers are dominant alpha maniacs who not only win Marly, Sarah and Heather’s hearts, but this feminist’s heart as well. Interestingly, Leigh wrote the novella, August Heat, as a coda to the three previous books. August Heat reveals that each brother is married to their heroine, healed, healthy, happy, and monogamous. Thanks, Lora!

Kiss of Heat by Lora LeighIn Leigh’s Breed Series, we have a whole ’nother alpha animal to contend with–pun intended.

For those of you who have never read this series, Breeds are men and women (some amazing heroines) who were part of a genetic experiment where human and animal DNA were combined for the purpose of making the ultimate warriors. They were bred and held as animals, tortured and experimented on and lived under barbaric conditions. Their rescue and re-entry into society is tumultuous at best. Becoming part of society, living with humans, fighting for equality and entering a world that is foreign to them are part of each book. So you can imagine these heroes, who have both animal and human instincts fight to protect their race and a find a place in the world, will be all about the ‘law of the jungle’ where every living thing bends to the will of the strongest, because only the strong survive. How’s a heroine going to contend with that, I ask you?

The reason the Breed series works so well is that each hero is given a heroine who can take it AND dish it out. She’s not going to be singing “Some day my prince will come, And away to his castle we’ll go, To be happy forever I know;" she’s singing, “I got a twenty dollar gold piece says there ain’t nothin I can’t do – I can make a dress out of a feed bag and I can make a man out of you.”

You see, this series takes the cave man and makes him an alpha hero because of the heroine. It’s just that simple, because when an alpha hero enters into a partnership with his heroine instead of an ownership, then you have the makings of a glorious relationship.

Bengal’s Heart by Lora LeighWhen Cabal in Bengal’s Heart is furious with his mate, reporter Cassa Hawkins, for not listening to him and putting herself in dangerous situations in order to find answers to a series of murders she yells at him:

“Go to hell!”... “I’m not some weak-kneed little bitch you can order around.”

Her controlled fury, combined with the truth, makes Cabal think for the first time, and he finally admits to himself that she is his equal:

It had bothered him, he admitted that now. It was something he hadn’t wanted to admit before. Just as he hadn’t wanted to see what it was doing to her. He wanted to protect her. He had wanted her to demand her rights from him as he’d seen her do with others she went up against. He had wanted her to challenge him. He hadn’t realized until this moment how she had been challenging him. Daring him to be a true mate. Daring him to be her equal.

The thing about an alpha that will make a feminist like me swoon and not gag is when he can admit that the heroine is his partner and together they can only be stronger. The Breeds series has that in spades.

Leigh’s Nauti Boy series brings us several contemporary/romantic suspense heroes from Kentucky—the Mackay cousins and their assorted friends and relatives. They’re badasses from the South with a take-no-prisoners attitude, living life on their own terms. They all, in one way or another, become the alpha hero who gets knocked for a loop when they meet the woman that will define their lives.

This could be a typical trope with the requisite hero found in many books, but in the hands of Ms. Leigh, well, she gives you an inside view to the turmoil and confusion that each man in this series goes through when he has to re-examine what his priorities are and learn how to act when he loves someone enough to share his life with. When love takes hold of their hearts their minds are slow to catch up, but when it finally happens they all turn into alpha heroes who are willing to LEARN. Now that’s exceptional.

Nauti Intentions by Lora LeighNauti Intentions is a brilliant example of this because Janey Mackay teaches Alex Jansen what it means to love, and she does that by simply loving him. No tricks, no gimmicks, no hijinks, just a steadfast and heartfelt compassion and love for another person. Alex doesn’t believe in love, so he has no way of knowing what it is, but he does know that he has powerful feelings for Janey and he can’t let her go. And as he tries to explain his feelings it becomes clear what he truly feels for her.

His throat locked up at the thought of trying to explain it, tightened with emotion he didn’t know how to describe. This wasn’t what he had heard love described as. This wasn’t what he had seen love to be.

He wanted to protect her, yet he wanted to watch her be herself. He wanted to surround her in security, and at the same time, he thrived on the flashes of independence he saw within her.

His realization prompts him to ask her, “Teach me how to love.”

Janey can’t refuse him, and truth be told, neither could I.

Lora Leigh can make a hero out of Breeds, men who can only have a relationship if it’s a ménage (Bound Hearts series), wounded warriors who’ve become super secret spies (Elite Ops series), and even some crazy-ass cousins from Kentucky (Nauti Boy series). She does it by taking an Alpha with a capital ’A’ and infusing him with vulnerability, courage, honesty, a willingness to listen and learn, and the ability to share the burden of whatever comes his way.

So yes, I would date these heroes if they walked into my life because these alpha males know how to be strong and determined and at the same time share a bond that can only be made with another person if you are willing to truly reveal yourself and love with your whole heart.

I’m curious: Who are your favorite Lora Leigh heroes?


Marisa is a television producer by day and at night she loves to read. She reviews for the Heart 2 Heart blog.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. Bubble0304
Lora Leigh's Breed Series and yes, I would DEF date one of her men! :D
Jessica Stein
2. bookworm13
I love Lora Leigh's books. I would most definitely any one of her many alpha males.
3. AmyA
I have always loved the Breed series! The word honorable most often comes to mind when I think of her alpha heroes. I'll have to look for August Heat...I've read the other three :)
4. hrharris398
The first Lora Leigh book I read was Marly's Choice. I fell in love instantly with her male characters. The August men are for sure my favorite heros.
Marisa O'Neill
5. MarisaONeill
@ bubble and bookworm – it’s hard to pick a favorite when there are so many to choose from.

@Amy - Ahh- honorable is the perfect word to describe LL's heroes.

@hrharris398- Marly's Choice was also my first LL book - I didn't know what to expect and at the time and didn't have a clue as to why I was so intrigued by the characters and the non-traditional story line, but I was, and I continued to read the series. Now after reading so many of her books it’s crystal clear why her heroes are so appealing.
Jacqueline Banks
6. dogonhunter
Would I date one of Lora Leigh's Heros? Are you kidding? I would "date" all of them! We Hunters need to stick together. ;-)
7. War41777
Holy gawd are you kidding....would I date any of her heroes....HELL TO THE YES!!!!
Give me any of the Elite ops or SEAL team men thank you very much! Damn something soooooo sexy about a dangerous man! DROOOOLWORTHY!
8. Diana N.
I have loved Lora Leigh for years, discovering her through Ellora's Cave. But of all the heroes in her books, Ian Richards from Killer Secrets has my...uh heart. There is just something about him that gets me. I've had to stop reading my personal copy after it started getting frayed!
Mary E. Meade
9. kybarbie69
I have to say that the LL books are the most amazing books that I have read to date. I would definately date ANY of her alpha males. My first book was Marly's Choice and in between breaks I go back to read those 3 books in the series. I also love the breed books ALOT.
10. Janie
I LOVE Lora's Breeds - especially Mercury Warrant....
11. marcellecole
In a New York second! Any of them would pass my yum yum test!
Malissa Usjak
12. malusjak
Yes, I would for sure date a Lora Leigh Alhpa. Which one though, well I would have to say it would have to be a Nauti Boy for sure. They have the simple for home and allthey want to do is make sure their mate is happy and satisifed ALL the time. This was the first series I read from her and I actually started with Nauti Intensions.
13. Deborah Woods
In a freak'n heartbeat!!!!!
Ashley Browder
14. ab2003
Yep !!!! I'm still in love with Noah Blake ( Nathan Malone ). He makes me want to move to Alpine, Tx
15. tiago5
Yes!Yes! and Yes! I can't pick just one.I love all of her books but if I had a gun to my head FORBIDDEN PLEASURE. This book clearly "to me" explains a man's need for a "THIRD" in a relationship. This is a fascinating thing to read about and Lora Leigh, I hope has done some intriguing research on this subject matter. It totally fascinates me. The August Men were beyond the pale. Those guys were so damaged and it is HUMONGOUS for a woman to put herself in the position "pun intended" to be in relationships that getting that sexed up on the MANY WAYS that the women were was F**king HOT!!!!!! To as a woman have this kind of definite lifestyle change in her life if only for a little while takes some doing on my part. But damn what a sexy and cobstant ride it would be. Again "pun intended".
16. Alix
Just one? Lora's Alphas bring out the feminine side of all of us. It's great to be a strong woman but that doesn't preclude us from being sexy, wanton, and yeah, a little dirty once in a while :)
17. Sexcee
Oh but YES! I would enjoy being with anyone of her Alpha males, from The August Men to The Breeds, and with a little of the Bound Pleasure Men to round it out! Love her books...and wait with bated breath for her upcoming books.....
Marisa O'Neill
18. MarisaONeill
Wow - how amazing! It's so great to see how many of us there are. By that I mean, how many of us started our LL journey at Ellora's Cave reading The Men of August series and haven't stopped since.

It looks as if we'll all be spending next week reading Dangerous Pleasures! Seriously? I can't wait!
Lisa Mckinney
19. EliseChevre
All her men are amazing and definitely do-able. I'm partial to men in uniform, both spec-ops and breed enforcers, which makes it hard to pick just one, but I currently favor Seth Lawrence from "Dawn's Awakening", because of his control over his passion and romantic side that has him collecting specially scented soaps during his travels for the simple goal to give his mate pleasure. OhhhLaLa... Please pamper me baby!
20. Maggiekat
Mercury Warrent, Tanner, Del Rey, Kell and Nikolai.
21. evie73
Just one??? Most definitely yes. I love all of her heros.
Yvonne De La Cruz
22. ymdlc1
HELL YES! Lora Leigh became my favorite author since the first book I read. She was the one to opened my eyes to erotic and paranormal romance books. Out of all of her Alpha males, if I had to pick just ONE it would be Clint McIntyre. He is my ultimate bad boy, how I wish I could be in Morganna's shoes. My close second is Alex Jansen.
Janine F
23. JanineF
Ummm HELLO??? YES I would... I walk around every day looking for one of her men.... (and I'm married, LOL) I read the Nauti Boys first, then moved on to the August brothers, Seals and Ops. LOVE them all. I accidentally read some out of order and I'm no catching up... Nathan Malone had tears in my eyes. Something about the Irish... (read other series with Irish men) Reading about Ian now on my Nook color and have many other down loads ready to go. I pre ordered Dangerous Pleasure and Midnight Sins.. Can’t wait to read these as well…. So so many to enjoy and I want to thanks Lora for all the hot and steamy reads!!!
Mindy Felician
24. Mins
any men from the elite ops esp NOAH BLAKE jus hotttt!!!
25. Roma
I just LOVED the Nauti Series and the Mackay cousins.......my personal favourite is James "Dawg" Mackay.........smart and sexy, the perfect guy.
26. Mela
Well....YES. Anyone....there is not a single one that I wouldn't ...uhm have if I could.
27. RachelC
I'd date any of them *grin*, but Matthias (Wolf Breed from the short story In A Wolf's Embrace) is a main contender - the scene near the end where he thinks he's loosing Grace is heartbreaking, and really shows the vulnerability behind the strength. There's also something about Nik in Renegade that draws me to him.
28. Monique Ito
It is hard to say if I could pick one. I love to many of her men. I would say I would love to have Micha Sloane from Maverick. I would love to have Shayne Conner from Guilty Pleasure Khalid thrid. I have to if I had to pick it would be Lawe or Rule from the breeds. This will surpise some of my friends Dog. ( I would have to change his name). There is something about a breed that makes me purr.
Ms Pink26
29. mspink26
I would date pretty much any of them. But I would say some of my faves are Seth from Dawn's Awakening (not a breed, I know. But still very alpha hero), Mac AND Jethro from Forbidden Pleasure, Cam and Chase from Wicked Pleasure and Only Pleasure, ALL the August brothers..... You know what? I love them ALL! The only ones that sometimes frustrated me more than others were some of those stubborn Breeds. But ultimately they are all deliciously redeemable!!
30. KCharles
I've read every Lora Leigh story, and I would absolutely date ANY of her heroes. Two of my favorites: Mercury and Cabal.
31. judyM
i love her breed series and the elite ops
and yes i would date one of those alphas!!!!!
32. Laura Bowles
My favs are the Elite Ops series, Navy Seal series and the Nauti Boys series. I have only read the first 7 books of the Bound series needed a break the story lines were getting repetative. I will go bavk to them this winter. I made a;; of them to keep me warm in Canada if we have a winter like last years.
33. rdsangel127117
My favorite Lora Leigh hero is Nik Steele. OMG! Everything about him is screams super Alpha. And Mikayla is just perfect for him. She twists him in knots and turns his world upside down. I love that! It amazed me how this strong, world weary man was brought to heel by his love for the heroine and his own heart, which he didn' t think he possessed anymore. She just wove those gorgeous threads of love around his heart and brought him in from the cold where he'd been too long. Love it!
Camella Hunte
34. Sultryvoice940
I love Lora Leigh books and I've been reading them for years now. She is super. But her heroes are the things of all female fantasies to die for. Her Elite Ops guys like blackhawk, Breeds like mercury and Nauti Intension guys. Wow oh wow.
35. Berlie1776
Reno from the short story "Reno's Chance" most likely because he was my first LL-Hero and the one that got me hooked on all of her books. My second chose would be Khalid from "Guilty Pleasures".
36. Finn
I am going to against the grain here and say no way would I date any one of them! Yes, they are fun to read about but I dont want some control freak trying to run my life at every turn. How aggravating would that be? Oops here come the rotten tomatoes :) *ducks*
37. nikkitrueblue
I haven't read all of them but I can't pick just one either! Mercury, Jonas, Cabal, Tanner, and Styx are my faves.
38. Lee76
There is nothing wrong with an Alpha male. Love all the men in her books. Who doesn't want a male who is confident of what he wants,very sexual , sexy, and great in bed? It just takes the right woman to come along. Cuz when they love, they love for life. I know I would jump at any of them.
Jeanine Pence
39. daisylou
I would definitely give any of the Seals my best shot. I've put pictures of each of the Alpha men in my books but haven't seen anyone on the street to meet my specs yet. Still looking.
Gina Hawkins
40. GH89
I love ALL the Elite Ops men. A military man, one who literally needs me like he needs his next breath of air. A man who actually shows me how much and tells me how much he loves me. Life means nothing to him unless I am in it? YES, these men are what dreams are made of.
gillian brough
41. Jillyb
I also love ALL Lora Leighs Alpha Elite Men and would in a New York Miniute go with anyone of them especially Callan.
Erika Blackburn
42. fadedsouls
I've loved all of her heroes, but I'm not sure about dating them. They all seem to have a lot of issues to work through. But then, maybe all the hotness would be worth it.
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