It’s always a joy whenever I’m asked to guest blog here at Petticoats and Pistols. It’s always an honor to hang-out with the fillies. After all, I love Western Romances. I especially love Historical Western Romances, hence the reason I write them.
So, um, if I love westerns so much why is my September release, DANGEROUS ALLIES, set in 1939 Nazi Germany? Let’s face it. There weren’t a lot of cowboys roaming the German landscape in 1939. I’d venture to say there weren’t any cowboys roaming around over there at that time.
It’s a long story of how I ended up setting my novel in WWII, one I’ll leave for another day. Suffice it say, DANGEROUS ALLIES is a romantic spy thriller. The hero is an American naval officer on loan to the British government. MI6 (the British equivalent of today’s CIA) sends him into Germany to photograph the blueprints of a Nazi secret weapon. The heroine is an exiled Russian princess and also the hero’s contact inside Germany. As you can see, not a cowboy in sight.
But that doesn’t mean my hero, Jack, isn’t as sexy as any cowboy. In fact, I think Jack has a lot in common with my other heroes. Primarily because he’s an alpha hero.
So what makes a hero an alpha? More specifically, what makes an alpha hero appealing, whether he’s riding across the American west on a horse or doing his part to defeat the Nazis?
Here’s my very unscientific list of character traits that make an alpha hero.
- He has integrity. Seems straightforward, right? Not so much. Male integrity requires a strong sense of right and wrong deep within a man. He has to know who he is at the core. His yes should always mean yes, and his no should always mean no. An alpha male will always do the right thing, even if that means losing something valuable to him. He commits without compromising. Most important of all, he doesn’t intentionally hurt people to get what he wants. Rather, he refuses to make decisions that will have long-reaching, negative consequences to others.
- He respects others people’s boundaries. Piggy-backing on my definition of integrity, a true alpha male respects others’ boundaries. He doesn’t force himself on others, especially not on women. He doesn’t insist people bend to his will just because it’s “his way or the highway.” He takes people’s word at face value. It’s not his place to read minds. This doesn’t mean there aren’t times when he knows best. But only in extreme moments of danger will he go against another’s wishes, which brings me to number three.
- He protects those weaker than himself. In the case of protecting his loved ones and those weaker than himself, an alpha does what needs to be done. Immediately. No hesitation, no discussion. In times of danger, all bets are off. When another’s safety is the only factor at play he steps up. In other words, an alpha male protects his own, to the death if necessary. No one is getting past him. Not even the person he is protecting.
- He likes women. Again, this is another area that seems straightforward but isn’t. An alpha male doesn’t just lust after women. He truly likes them. He enjoys their company. He revels in their differences from himself, the sort of things that make females essentially female. He finds a woman’s femininity fascinating and alluring. He is charmed by her lilting voice and soft skin. He even gets a kick out of her shifting moods (most of the time). He recognizes that a successful man has a good woman walking beside him. And once he commits to that woman he stays committed.
So, there you have it, my list of alpha male characteristics. Thoughts? Additions? Come on, fillies and guests, let’s talk men. 🙂
Oh, and I’d like to give away a copy of DANGEROUS ALLIES, my next release, to three of today’s commenters. As a bonus, I’ll toss in my Love Inspired contemporary, HOMECOMING HERO, to each winner. Both releases feature alpha males (unusual for Inspirationals).
Renee Ryan writes for Steeple Hill’s Love Inspired Historical and Love Inspired line. Her fabulous editor is Melissa Endlich. For more information, visit Renee at firstname.lastname@example.org