May 15 2014 11:00am

Give it To Me, Baby: Top 5 Attributes an Alpha Male Should Have

Today we're delighted to welcome author Gena Showalter to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Gena's latest release, Burning Dawn, is the third book in her Angels of the Dark series. Last week, Julie Ann Walker talked about the qualities an alpha must have and Gena is here to talk about her favorite alpha attributes and the heroes who embody them. Thanks, Gena!

In fiction, I have many book boyfriends. These men are alphas at the top of the food chain (be it human or immortal). Some live by brute strength and cunning, and follow no rules but their own…and sometimes even those are tossed. Some are honorable, some aren’t. Some are hot-blooded, while some are as cold as ice. They come from the past, present, and future, but there are five attributes all of these men share.

1. A weakness for one woman.

In Lothaire by Kresley Cole, it takes a human girl from Appalachia to slip past the chilling defenses of an evil, millennia-old vampire. Though Lothaire, The Enemy of Old, remains true to his villainous nature, he begins to treat Ellie Peirce differently, protecting her, spoiling her, even making sacrifices for her. Once he has his red eyes set on Ellie, Lothaire does absolutely anything to prove his love—even ripping out his own heart and sending it to her!

2. Courage.

It’s not that he lacks fear, it’s that he gives the fear no place in his life. He treats it as an enemy and acts despite it.

In Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh, Vasic has never known emotion. That’s the way he and his people were raised. But when he meets Ivy, and begins to experience white-hot desire, he could have run from her, but didn’t. He ran to her, seeking more... all.

3. Strength.

He is the predator other predators avoid.

For centuries Thane, the hero of my book Buring Dawn, has lived by a single rule. No mercy. Those who hurt him, he repays a hundredfold. His determination to defeat any foe is legendary, as is his ability to withstand any amount of pain and torment.

Redeeming Love by Francine RiversOn the other end of the spectrum, there is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Michael is a farmer with amazingly strong faith—a faith that never waivers despite the harsh obstacles thrown in his path when he marries a girl who had been sold into prostitution as a child. He forages on, never giving up in the battle to win her trust…and her love.

4. Persistence.

He doesn’t know the meaning of “quit.”

In Barefoot in White, the first in the new Barefoot Brides series by Roxanne St. Claire, the hero realizes early on that years before he'd unwittingly, but badly, hurt the heroine by something he'd done. A decade later, he's given a chance to make up for that hurt and he will stop at nothing until he does. After her initial rebuff, he intensifies the campaign and his efforts grow stronger, more effective, and incredibly sexy as the story progresses. Who can resist a guy who will persist like that? Not me!

5. He has a purpose.

Thane isn’t pulled along by life. He has life by the throat and forces it to follow him. And while his purpose can change—from slaying demons to protecting his woman—he would rather die than give up.

In House of the Rising Sun by Kristen Painter, Augustine struggles to be more than his past. He knows that the angry, reckless, punch-first-ask-questions-later man that he once was is not who his heroine—or his city—needs. Harlow is already trying to come to terms with being fae, something Augustine reeks of, but for her, he pushes himself to think clearly, make better choices and consider the consequences, and as a result shows her being fae is nothing to be ashamed of. Causing her to fall in love with him is just a side effect.

Is it any wonder I’m head over heels for these men?


Learn more about or order a copy of Burning Dawn by Gena Showalter, available now:

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Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the acclaimed Lords of the Underworld series and more than thirty other books. She lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Visit her at

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