Romance Heroes from Alpha to Beta (Guest post by A.K. Kruse)
Romance Heroes from Alpha to Beta
by A.K. Kruse
July 23, 2016Ever since 50 Shades of Grey, there has been an explosion in the romance novel world of “Alpha” heroes: rich, successful, emotionally unavailable men who dominate the heroine, but eventually come out of their shell to connect to her in a deep and meaningful way.
And there’s nothing wrong with these strong, dominating heroes. But have you actually ever met one? And if you did, would you even like him?
This isn’t my type of man. Tad Stevens, the hero of Dark Little Secrets, is my type of man. He has the makings of an “Alpha” hero, but can really be considered more of a “Beta” – he’s more emotionally available, he’s in touch with his feelings, he’s conflicted about his purpose in life. And these things don’t make him weak. They make him real.
Even though romance novels, by definition, center on the heroine (in Dark Little Secrets, grad student Alexandria Lane), the hero is just as important. And I’m much more interested in reading about and writing about men that are complex, emotional, and accessible. Sure, it would be great to be able to ride in Christian Gray’s helicopter, but fancy toys don’t make the man. When money, power, and luxury are gone, what is beneath the surface? Tessa Dare (Goddess of the Hunt, the Castles Ever After series) and Jennifer Crusie (Bet Me, Welcome to Temptation) both write about beautiful, complex men and the women who love them, and are inspirations of mine.
And let’s not forget about the women! How often in real life does a retiring, passive woman actually conquer the “Alpha” hero? I enjoy books where the heroine can be the “Alpha,” too – strong, independent, and driven. Alexandria from Dark Little Secrets knows what she wants and where she’s going, and having a man along (who is also a fantastic lover) is a perk.
A.K. Kruse is a writer who enjoys reading and writing romance. She lives with her kids, husband, and multiple pets in Ohio.
When Tad Stevens meets Alexandria Lane, their attraction is undeniable – but Alexandria is sure that their different backgrounds mean they could never be together. And just when she starts to change her mind, she discovers something Tad has been hiding, and her doubts come crashing back.
Even though their passion drives them back into each other’s arms, more secrets from Tad’s past could make them lose everything.
Will Tad’s secrets tear them apart? Or will the fire between them be enough to let their love grow?