Oct 11 2011 10:30am

Alpha Among Alphas: Leader of the Pack

Acheron by Sherrilyn KenyonWhat does it mean to be Alpha? It means to be the baddest mofo in this place, and us women want to be with that!

For my definition, the Alpha male does not explain his behavior, is in no need to talk often or quickly, is the focus of attention at all times, is hard to impress, is self focused, loves a challenge, is comfortable in his own skin, and can still show his nicer side and get away with it. Well, that’s a start, at least. The Alpha male is the dominant male in the group, so what happens when you are the leader among Alphas? That’s a whole lotta Alpha right there, and I’m here to discuss a few of them:

Acheron from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series

“Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

Acheron Parthenopaeus, better known as “Ash,” from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunters series is my top pick as leader among alphas. He has to manage and lead all the other Dark-Hunters globally, keep the heifer-bitch-goddess Artemis off his back, take care of everyone’s favorite charonte demon Simi (which, let’s be real, is quite a task), be a wonderful loving husband to his wife Soteria (swoon), and now a loving father to their child together. But he is still doing his thing with his 6’8” self.

With his multi-colored and striped hair and his swirling silver eyes under dark sunglasses and a trench coat, Ash can be considered the poster child of the goth movement. Member of the Atlantean pantheon, one of the last chtonian godkillers, and Leader of the Dark-Hunters, the lifetime of incomprehensible tragedy Ash has endured and how he maintains his unquestionable leadership makes Acheron Top Alpha. He is usually seen as a very calm and reserved male, and rarely reveals anything personal about himself. He doesn’t have a particular style of fighting, he just “whoops ass.”

Ash is also considered supernaturally sexy and is described as the embodiment of perfect male beauty. He possesses raw, unearthly magnetism that is unmatched. His other form is something you hope you never ever see. Acheron has nothing to prove. I could go onnn and onnn, but alas, it’s time for our next leader.

Dark Lover by J.R. WardWrath from J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series

“Life is such a glorious trauma, is it not?”

Wrath, son of Wrath, also known as the Blind King, of J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series is up next. Wrath is the King of the vampires, and as the King, he oversees the Black Dagger Brotherhood, a subspecies of vampire warriors with more physical strength and extra mind powers than most. Following a long series of headaches, Wrath lost his sight (he couldn’t see that well to begin with anyway). He is is now completely reliant upon his dog George to see.

When we meet Wrath, he is the only pure-bred vampire left on the planet. At 6’9,” he is the biggest of the brothers, and is intimidating in size and stature alone. Add his long black hair and the wrap-around sunglasses he never takes off, the leather pants, and his size 14 shit-kickers and he has exactly the effect he wants to have. Everyone either listens or follows—or they better get the hell out of the way.

But it’s the soft side he shows on his first date with his shellan Beth where he is completely unsure of himself that makes Wrath so appealing. Because then he brought his A-Game with peaches. Uh-huh. That appeal just keeps on growing as we watch their relationship grow and evolve. Everything about Wrath screams BADASS LEADER, and he delivers.

River Marked by Patricia BriggsAdam of Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series

Adam Hauptman of Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series is the Alpha (more than 20 years) of the Tri-Cities werewolf pack. He is also the neighbor to Mercy Thompson, a Native American shapeshifter who was raised by werewolves.

Adam is a very dominant wolf, and has a very hot temper, worse even than most werewolves, but he is extremely competent at keeping it under control. Adam is a former Army Special Forces Ranger of the Long-Range Recon Patrol and served in Vietnam. Now he is the CEO of a security contracting firm for various government agencies, and he also acts as a consultant and negotiator in Washington, D.C. All this while keeping harmony among hundreds of werewolves and all their colorful personalities.

Alpha Leader? Check! At 5’10 and 180 lbs, Adam is described as having dusky skin, dark hair with wide cheekbones and a narrow but sensual mouth. Shwing! Not only is he powerful, gorgeous and competent…most importantly, he also sees Mercy as tough and capable and he makes it well know that he would ultimately die for her. There might be other alpha wolves around, but everyone knows that the line between black and white is the one that Adam draws.

Angels’s Blood by Nalini SinghRaphael from Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series

“You are mine, Elena. If you choose to sleep in another bed, I will simply pick you up and bring you home.”

Raphael is the Archangel in Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series and he is the biggest, baddest and hottest Alpha around the NYC area. He is the Archangel of New York and commands his “Seven,” comprised of seven angels and vampires that have pledged their lives to him.

Raphael is also one of the “Cadre of Ten,” the 10 Archangels who basically rule the world. Raphael is frighteningly powerful and complex and most jarring to readers (and sometimes Elena), he is cruel. He  knows how powerful he is, and he is not afraid to use his power to get what he wants.

Initially, his dark edginess can  feel almost more chilling than sexy. Almost. At the series’s outset, Raphael summons vampire hunter Elena for her assistance in a vamp-crime. Raphael is arguably the most intense Alpha out there; he is not playful, he does not goof around, and he means business at every moment with a cool indifference only a top Alpha could pull off. He broods, and is overbearing, but over the scope of three books he has learned to share his heart with his consort, Elena. From the minute you meet him you immediately are like, omg he’s scary….oh he’s so hot omg he’s so scary… no, hot…no, scary…hot…scary…ahhh!! Just how I like ’em.

Magic Slays by Ilona AndrewsCurran from Ilona Andrews’s Kate Daniels series

“Leadership means doing what you know is the right thing. In my experience it rarely involves doing what you want or like.”

We can’t talk Alpha males without discussing Curran Lennart from Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series. Curran is the Beast Lord of Atlanta, responsible for the lives of several hundred, and his job is to make all other alphas tremble. No really… it is!

His beast form is an enormous gray lion, and he is absolute ruler and protector. He has teeth the size of dinner forks and a nice broken nose that didn’t heal right, and is very hot in its imperfection. At 5’11,” Curran has physical power, but he rarely ever uses it. He doesn’t have to! Well, usually he doesn’t, though when he teams up with Kate he always seems to have the need. He is very observant, and shrewd and has a tendency to use diplomacy and intimidation as his first approach, but is not scared to break in to violence as a last resort. He is growly and snarky and likes to roar, but his soft spot is Kate and they could not be a more powerful force together. Curran starts out as Kate’s sometimes stalker, mostly bossy and always alpha counterpart…but through many trials and tribulations wins her heart and she accepts him as mate.

Some other Leader of alphas I feel should be mentioned are Barrons of Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series, Terrible of Stacia Kane’s Downside Ghosts series, Judd and Lucas of Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series, Jeremy of Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Underworld, Bran and Charles from Patricia Briggs’ Alpha and Omega series, Malkom from Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark, and Eidolon of Larissa Ione’s Demonica series.

So these are my picks for Leaders of Alphas, who command and lead with ultimate power and respect. You tell me, do you agree with my choices? And what are your favorites Leaders of Alphas and why?

Pamela Webb-Elliott writes Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance reviews for WickedLilPixie as Spaz. She also has a Twitter (@SpazP) problem, but is not ready to join a 12 Step Program for it yet.

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Synde Korman
1. SyndeKorman
I gotta say I love Adam, in my head he's the most normal(?) of the alphas, but my heart belongs to Acheron..it always will.. a cthonian goth...come on now...my estoeric self squee's with delight!
Nice article Pam...now im off to read some alpha fiction...heh
Megan Frampton
2. MFrampton
I just started reading the second Archangel book, and wow, is Raphael a great Alpha. I like Curran a lot, too, but once he falls in love, he gets a little less scary. Adam is the most normal, I agree with Synde, but you can tell he's got a wicked temper. Yay for the post, Pam!
3. Mippy
I've gotta say that I've read almost all of the aforementioned books and love all of them. That being said, I *really* have a thing for Raphael and Jericho Barrons. And even then, I think I'm leaning a little more toward Raphael. That is one hot, nummy, ... and scary...Archangel :)
Barbara Jones
5. bimmergrl
Great post! Love the list. Have to agree that Ash takes the top (and HOT!) spot. Although, both Lucas from the Psy-Changeling series and Wrath from the BDB hold a special place in my heart. :)
Pamela Webb-Elliott
6. Spaz
@ Synde - Thanks, and I agree! you really can't do a post like this without not only including Ash, but putting him right at the Top. :)

@ MFrampton - Curran and Adam are definitely more even keel, but that temperament is their special weapon before they windmill your a$$ for stepping out of line :P

@ Mippy - Barrons is super duper Alpha. And I got chillbumps writing about Raphael because he is so damn scary. And hot.

@ WLP - YAY Nat! Ash all the way :)

@bimmergrl - Thank you! Lucas is still one of my most favorite alphas from the Psy/Changeling series. You have excellent taste, my friend :)
7. CdnMrs
So apparently I need to read me some Kenyon, cause I have no clue who this Ash dude is but he sounds yummy awesome. Thanks for the heads up.
8. Grace S
Yay for Archeron......Ash is badass enough to ride herd and be boss of a group of *mad* Alphas. He makes wrangling the likes of Zarek and company look easy while being a smoking hottie. :)
Pamela Webb-Elliott
9. Spaz
@ CdnMrs - *gasp*!! Yes you do!!

@ Grace S - EXACTLY. :)
10. ChelseaMueller
Excellent post, Pamela! You know I love me some alphas. A couple favorites I would add (you covered most of them) would be Bones from Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress novels and King Dorian from Richelle Mead's Dark Swan series.

Pamela Webb-Elliott
11. Spaz
@ Chelsea - YAY! Thank you! Oh you know I love me some Bones, and King Dorian. Excellent additions! :)
12. Glittergirl
Other alpha's to consider... Leigh's Breeds: Callan Lyons, Wolfe, Del-Rey Delgado and Jonas Wyatt, all powerful alphas. Then there's Feehan's Zacarias De La Cruz the Dark Predator and then some. That book is so appropriately named. I am just starting it but he's already given me goosebumps!
13. Musingbookworm
Ash FTW!! And Wrath, hell yes!! I love 'em tall, powerful, kick-ass and dressed in leather. *Drool* Other Alpha's for your consideration should include 1. Alec from Southern Arcana Series by Moira Rogers. AWESOMENESS 2. Michael from The Guardian Seriers by Meljean Brook. Dude is fighting LUCIFIER. THE LUCIFIER. And trying to keep Demons controlled and lead an army of almost angels to fight for earth. 3. Jim Heron from The Fallen Angels Series by J R Ward. Fighting against ultimate evil to save all of those who have ever lived while dealing with two fallen angels with kick ass attitude.
Cynthia Netherton
14. Cynthia aka Artemis
Will always be Wrath for me, first and foremost. When everyone else swoons about Rhage, V, etc., etc. I could never get interested in Kenyon's Dark Hunter series and haven't read any of the other's - yet. Although, I will now put Singh's Guild Hunter's series to the top. Raphael is my type of alpha!
15. Bookworm-at-Starbucks
I must say that Ash is what I call an alpha male and for the rest, well I haven't read all of them so I can't really say. But, I still agree that Ash is indeed the Alpha of the Alpha.
16. Shannon55
You managed to list literally all my favorite alphas (this includes the ones in the small blurb at the bottom) and most of my favorite series and one alpha world i haven't read about. I trust your good taste and I'm going to go look for Illona Andrews' Kae Daniels series!
17. NotSoNiceLibrarian
Ash, by far, has my heart... ultimate bad-a$$ and....I so want one.... Though, if your tastes don't run to A$$-kicking Papa Smurfs....his twin Styxx is seriously yummy too...and just as much of a bad-a$$, if not more... since he had the Altantean gods trembling...and he was human. ;) Gotta say.... I'm def feeling twins here LMAO
18. Dunia
I have a certain weakness for alpha males, and it's always nice to know I'm not alone. That said, I only know 2 of the amazing alphas on your list: Ash (in all his Atlantean glory). He is my favorite, of course. And Wrath, son of Wrath. And Lucas Hunter, if you're counting, and, let's be honest, I am.
Adding the rest to my TBR pile. Thanks for sharing!
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