Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Temptation Tuesday: Matching the Alpha Hero

Anna Cleary investigates the temptation of an alpha hero.

Hello, Pink Heart Lovers. Anna Cleary delighted to be signing in for some musings on the fascinating complexities of the male-female struggle in the modern romance novel.

Much has been written about the Alpha Hero. Too much, some might say. There’s a strong possibility that many of those earnest blogs telling us how much we love to read about a tough, cool guy being brought to his knees by a hot, lovin’ woman are really just sly opportunities for gratuitous chest ogling.How many times have you started to enjoy a witty, well-conceived discourse on the psychological attributes of the alpha male only to be confonted by some bare, bronzed expanse of rock hard, powerful pec like this? And what’s the point? We all know what they look like under their Armani business suits. Like this. Oops. Where did that come from?
This is why I’d prefer to concentrate today on the Alpha Heroine. Contrary to popular belief, the alpha female is not necessarily one of these kick-ass chicks who pour themselves into lycra and spend their time in the gym lifting weights and sucking from a lucozade bottle. Not at all. The AH has many more strengths than mere muscle power and the ability to sweat. While she can do these things, and does when the need arises, she has a wealth of other talents. She’s funny, witty and clever. She’s sophisticated, elegant, and possesses an arsenal of subtleties the male animal sometimes finds perplexing and intriguing.
When confronted with the sort of arrogant assumption of his right to dominate often projected by the alpha man, the AH doesn’t just lie down and offer herself as a footwipe. She stands up and faces her adversary, as sassy and caustic as the guy can take without disintegrating.
Often, sensitive to the fragility of the male ego underneath all that hard-packed muscle, she cushions her cunning riposte in flirty, casual language it takes some time for the guy to puzzle through. This is why you often see a Clooney or a Depp suddenly halt in the middle of a street and wince Ouch.
While our heroine is a moral being who cares for herself and others, she is a red hot, flesh-and-blood woman, comfortable with her sexuality and not afraid to express it. When the occasion demands, she can be as sultry and seductive as any siren of the silver screen. (Often an occasion with some alpha male, like
him, him, or him!

She can be relentless in the pursuit of justice and truth, but at the same time she’s a well of compassion. Her heart is bigger than the average, I believe. She’s a passionate and generous lover, a wonderful mother, and a loyal and trustworthy friend. She’s intelligent, honourable and supportive, and beautiful on her good days.
In other words, she’s just like you and me, dear readers, and exactly the sort of woman a guy like him needs.
I’m thrilled to say that in my recent publications, including Untamed Billionaire, Undressed Virgin, the cover angels at Mills&Boon have been brilliant in their selection of actors to portray my heroines. They appear to have taken some care with the guys, too. Hope the lovely readers in North America manage to catch my beautiful virgin while she’s out in the bookshops in May!
And, it would be my absolute pleasure to send a gift copy of Untamed Billionaire, Undressed Virgin to the first person who contacts me through my website at www.annacleary.com.
Anna Cleary's latest Untamed Billionaire, Undressed Virgin features a wonderfully sexy alpha hero and a fiesty alpha heroine -- just the thing to tempt you into a reading binge.


  1. This sounds like a great read and I would love to read it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Terrific post, Anna. I love an alpha heroine!

  3. THanks for dropping by, Virginia, Lacey and Liz. Lovely to see you here. And Liz, you know all about alpha heroines! I've been delighting in yours for years!

  4. Excellent post Anna, and not just for all that sizzling hot tottie!!

    So, now I'm going to try and set the cat among the pigeons and ask does an alpha hero always need to be matched by an alpha heroine?? And is it possible for a woman to be confident in her sexuality and still be a virgin??

    I loved Untamed Billionaire, Undressed Virgin and I think you pulled it off, but how the heck did you do it??

  5. G'day Heidi,
    Great to see you.

    Wow. These are some seriously great questions you've given us all to ponder. First up, I say YES! WE all need to be alpha heroines, if we're to deal with those wicked conniving seducers in the suits.
    As for virgins...

    I suspect some will disagree with me, but I think the days are long gone when the average virgin is so ignorant of what it's all about that she doesn't dare say boo to a goose. Or hi to a guy, when the occasion calls.
    It's important though that she takes that next dramatic step in her womanhood at a time of her own choosing. Not under pressure from peers, or to fit in with some social perception of how a woman should be.
    THis to my mind is being aware of her own needs, and confident in her sexuality.
    Of course, when she meets that guy, she has little doubt about those things!

    What do other people think?

  6. I think that was a great post Ann - and yes, agree with what you say about her going for it at a time when she's ready... just because she hasn't done it before doesn't mean she's not going to be confident about how/what she wants it when she does decide to!

    Ah, tooooo much fun this! ;)


  7. Nat, great to see your lovely face here. (Your utterly beautiful face, I've noticed in those pics.)
    This is good, this chat about virgins, I think.
    When I was establishing my Sophy character, I decided I didn't want to have to think up some convoluted excuse as to why Sophy had never gone the whole way before in love-making.
    Reading some of the mags, it's as though these days a young woman needs some excuse to explain why she's still a virgin if she's past the ripe old age of seventeen.
    I'm pretty sure there're are lots of young woman who don't take that plunge as teenagers.
    It seems to me that as long as the woman is in control of her own destiny, whatever she decides, at whatever age, she has nothing to answer. Sophy wasn't tempted until she met Connor, and oh wow. Was she tempted then!

  8. Actually, I was very tempted by Connor too, Ann!!

    But seriously folks, I'm quite fascinated by the whole virgin-in-romance thing. I've yet to write a virgin heroine, but my last one was the next best thing (having only had one rather traumatic experience as a teenager before she sleeps with the hero). And I found her extremely hard to write. Maybe it's just that it's been such a long time since I was there myself or that until Juno appeared I had never considered writing an 'inexperienced' heroine, but what surprised me most of all was the hero's reaction to her inexperience. It scared the hell out of him, making him feel a responsibility he'd never felt before. She'd trusted him when she'd trusted no-one else - and however much he tried to rationalise that trust, he couldn't and of course he didn't think he deserved it.

    And seeing him battle with those emotions and try to ignore them was really quite delicious.

  9. I have this book and it is great! I love curling up with a HP before bed!

  10. That conflict sounds very real, Heidi. I don't see Juno's name mentioned in your Hotshot Tycoon soon to be released, so does she swish into centre stage in the next one? (Oh , to have a next one and a next one.)

    Thanks for dropping by, Mari. Hope you enjoy the book!

  11. I think our time is just about up, so thank you all the lovely people who came to the party.

    And I'm delighted to announce that the winner of a copy of *Untamed Billionaire Undressed Virgin* is Virginia Horton.
    Send me your details Virginia, and I'll pop your book straight in the post.


  12. I'm having to think hard about whether I've ever written a virgin. Definitely a whole new challenge, Anna, and hats off to you for doing such a great job!

    And agreed, an Alpha man really does need a strong woman to match him :o)

  13. Thanks for dropping by, Kate. I think we all know that you know everything there is about writing virgins, alpha heroes and strong fantastic heroines!
    Can't wait for your next great read!