Alphabetical Heroics

Whoo hoo! This month we’re talking about my favorite subject—heroes!

The ongoing debate in the romance community about alpha versus beta heroes cracks me up. I like to envision myself grabbing an alpha in one hand and a beta in the other and running away with them both while everyone else is busy discussing and debating their merits. You see, I like ‘em all. Tall and dark, built and blond, brash or smooth as silk, I say yum-yum, bring them on! While I need to identify and relate to a book’s heroine, I am all about the hero. I have to fall in love with the hero to love the book. Period.

But he doesn’t have to fit a mold for me to love him. I’m an equal opportunity hero-worshipper.

For me, the perfect romance hero is a hybrid (Is this a gamma hero? If so, please tell me the title comes with a cape). I love a man with alpha confidence. There’s nothing sexier than a man who has skills and isn’t afraid to use them. At the same time, I want that confidence tempered by a touch of humility. Alpha heroes seem to be everywhere, but a good alpha can be hard to find. I cringe when a male character actually speaks his need to be large and in charge out loud. To my way of thinking, if he has to tell me he’s top dog, he’s concerned that I can’t figure that out on my own. I believe a true alpha knows he’s the man. Modern alphas are even more difficult to write. Let’s face it. If you took the alpha hero from many of the stories written prior to the turn of this century and let him open his mouth today, the man would end up with a knee in his groin.

A good beta hero can be difficult to find. These guys aren’t as machoed up as their alpha counterparts, but that doesn’t mean they are wusses. Their approach is reserved, a tad more cerebral, and yes, they may be more emotionally open than the other guy, but that doesn’t mean the heroine can run right over them. I’m not ashamed to say I have a thing for the nerdy guys. I’m intrigued by the fellas who are a bit reserved and reticent in the parlor but turn into tigers in the bedroom. That probably makes me a female chauvinist, doesn’t it? If so…I’m okay with that.

What about you? Are you an alpha, beta, or gamma; or are you simply a deltoid lover?





Alphabetical Heroics — 12 Comments

  1. Mmmm deltoids. 😀 Great post, Maggie! I think it’s interesting that you put so much weight on the hero of a book. The heroine, for me, is the one who can make or break a story. Of course the hero is important too, but I honestly don’t care who the lady ends up with if I don’t at least care about her.

    • I can understand that. I think I gravitate more to the guys because I had so many older brothers. I understand them a little better than I do most women.

  2. I’m totally for the Hybrid. Strong sexy but with that bit of humbleness and the fact that he isn’t afraid to show the softer side of himself. He can be large and in charge one minute but maybe he needs her to take the lead in the next. Cocky is one thing arrogant is another.

  3. Oh my god, Maggie. I LOVE this post so much. I laughed so hard thinking of you running off w/ a beta and alpha while we all hash it out. I’m with you with the gammas. If that gamma has even a hint of bad boy going on…whew! *fans self* Also, I like the idea of putting the gammas in a cool superhero outfit. That would make them easier to find. Maybe the leather getup Will Smith wore in Hancock would work: 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *