Tag Archive | Beta Heroes

Alpha Males versus Beta in Romance

As authors, it’s common for us to write our heroes as alpha males but can a beta hero be just as compelling? Let’s examine the differences and this question might be answered.

The alpha male is most women’s idea of the hero. He is masterful, confident, a man of influence and a man of action rather than words. This hero is protective of his woman but often not interested in being tied down. He will be sexy and sensual, fully aware of his effect on the opposite sex and willing to use it to get what he wants. What makes our alpha hero even more intriguing are his vulnerabilities. These will be hidden from the world, masked by aloofness, and only our heroine will be able to expose his softer side. She will heal his wounds.

The alpha hero will likely be first born and a leader in everything he does. He has climbed the tree of success to the very top. He won’t suffer fools and won’t be slow to confront a problem head on. He moulds the world to suit his needs, he makes things happen and will never die wondering. Sensitivity is not his forte and he will put people offside with his confidence and brashness.

These are all wonderful characteristics for our romance hero but can a beta hero work just as well when it comes to stoking the fires of love in our heroine?

Beta guys are more popular now than they once were. This could be due to the advent of a more sensitive society where the particular traits of the beta are valued. He is often a younger sibling, perhaps a middle child. As such, he is a people person, good at getting along with others and is someone who will put the needs of others first. He would be a great hero for a heroine in need of a little TLC.

Our beta hero is a diplomat whose confidence will be boosted when he can master a problem. When he rescues his heroine he shines. He is a practical person, a quiet achiever, more likely to walk away from confrontation but that doesn’t mean he can be pushed around. Family is important to him unlike our alpha who is often a loner. The beta hero is prone to hide his feelings behind humour, especially if he has been hurt by a situation. He could appear weak at times, influenced by the desires of others and unable to make quick decisions. His self-sacrificing nature could grate if carried to extreme.

So, can a beta hero work in a romance novel? I think he could be the right choice if he has qualities that the heroine needs. A heroine with tragedy in her past, especially relating to a man, will need someone she can count on who will place her needs first. She will appreciate his consideration and his chivalry because he makes her feel like she is his princess. A feisty heroine could also compliment a beta hero- opposites attract. In this situation, the writer would need to be careful not to create a hero who can be pushed around by his woman. She might be able to get her way in most situations but when it matters, his word will be law.

Have I changed your mind about writing a beta hero? Do you now want to read a story where the beta is the hero and not a secondary character? Have you written or read a story based around a beta hero? What were his endearing characteristics and what sort of woman was he set against?

Why do I ask? My book The Lady’s Choice has a beta hero and I’ve been reflecting on him this week as I create a ‘behind the scenes’ for him. He is gorgeous, takes his duty very seriously and will do anything for the woman he loves. I wanted to get his character right from the start. He must care without being weak; be a man of action but not confrontational. He must be a thinker and have deep emotions. He isn’t wounded but he does have flaws that are consistent with the beta male – possessive and a little obsessive, makes judgement mistakes when he allows his emotions to take over and is too self-sacrificing. I’ve walked a fine line with Ramon Zorba, but I find him an enduring and endearing leading man.

I’d appreciate your thoughts on the beta hero and his place in the romance novel.

Happy reading

Bernadette x

Behind the Scenes- The Lady’s Choice

Wanting to know more about The Lady’s Choice and the inspiration behind the story? Here’s an interview I did with Ms Destiny way back when the book was first released.

The Lady's Choice Cover- newOver a lazy, late afternoon drink I recently caught up with Bernadette Rowley, author of The Lady’s Choice, to talk about bad boys, hidden passions and romance.

Bernadette, I’m wowed by your new book. It’s an enthralling mix of lust, palace life, plotting princesses and swashbuckling swordsmen – have you always been a fantasy fan?

I’ve been a fantasy fan since my aunt introduced me to the genre when I was about fourteen. She gave me The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks and since then it’s been one fantasy saga after another for me.

Your writing suggests that some intense passions lurk beneath your neat, elegant exterior?

I’m passionate about many things including following your dreams and more than that, being allowed to dream. Intense? Yes, I am that, certainly. I guess my heroines reflect that quality that I have – go after what you want.

Ramon is simply divine … who were you thinking of when you created him? Who would play him in a film?

Princess Avenger Ebook coverWhen I created Ramón initially, he was just a secondary character in Princess Avenger, my first book. But I quickly realised he needed his own stage. I see him as every woman’s best friend, the perfect man; the man you can count on who will put your needs before his always; and he has unforgettable good looks and impeccable grooming.

I would nominate Liam Hemsworth. He has gorgeous blond looks, amazing blue eyes, is the right height and has a great body.

Your hero is a character with a strong sense of what’s right – I prefer someone a bit naughty – you?

I prefer someone naughty and probably dark-haired as well. There’s definitely something within my nature that is drawn to the ‘bad boy’ so it was quite a challenge to see if I could write a sexy beta male.

Your heroine, Lady Benae, has to choose between passion and duty – have you been torn like that?

I’m not too good at duty and would go with passion any day. I think we are all torn between what we ‘should’ do and what we truly wish to do. I try to make decisions that make me happy because you only get one shot at life.

Benae prayingCruelty and power play a part in your plot – did you find this challenging to write?

I don’t find power and cruelty difficult to write. It seems to be quite as natural for me as writing about love and loyalty. I believe we all have two opposing natures that hopefully are in balance. Fantasy holds much darkness as well as uplifting themes so I’ve had a steady diet of these contrasting values in my reading.

Unless there’s a yacht and a millionaire involved, I’m not very outdoorsy, but I so adored Benae’s horse, Flaire, I can imagine myself galloping off into the sunset, astride some magnificent steed. Clearly you adore horses?

I’ve always loved horses and rode, bred and trained them in my teens and twenties. They’re magnificent creatures and so rewarding to work with.
Destiny Promo PhotoBenae and her maid are more like sisters than mistress and servant – are you a believer in having good female friends or are they superfluous if you have the attentions of a gorgeous man?

I find I need contact with my close female friends on a regular basis but my husband is my best friend. I’ve always found girlfriends wonderful for sharing your difficulties and bringing problems back into perspective. A problem shared is a problem halved they say.
We know you are a vet and have a family, tell us something else about yourself that will shock or surprise us?

I love being on stage. Before moving to Townsville in 2006, I was part of a ladies barbershop quartet and chorus and just adored singing for a crowd. It was one of the most amazing and fulfilling periods of my life.


You write great romance – what’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done in real life?

I’m still doing the most romantic thing I’ve ever done and that’s being part of a loving and supportive marriage. I’ve been married to Michael for coming up 29 years and we’re now entering the phase where children are moving out. We’ve faced some really difficult times, but we’re still best friends and I can’t imagine life without him.

The Lady’s Choice FREE!

The Lady's Choice Cover- newThis lovely lady is feeling like she has been forgotten. Yes! I’m talking about my second book, The Lady’s Choice. She’s normally $2.99 but if you sign up to my newsletter HERE I’ll send you The Lady’s Choice ebook FREE. With Princess Avenger already FREE, there has never been a better time to check out  my stories. Read on to find the teasers for these books.

The Lady’s Choice

Lady Benae Branasar will sacrifice her ‘happily ever after’ for an arranged marriage with a powerful prince. But can she turn her back on her feelings for the prince’s squire, Ramón Zorba? Ramón is obsessed with the prince’s daughter and tries hard to ignore fiery Benae. As they are drawn inexorably together, Benae and Ramón must choose between keeping personal vows and being true to each other.

I’ll tell you a secret. The Lady’s Choice is my favourite of all my stories. I’m very attached to the heroine, Benae, and I think it’s because she has such a close relationship to her horse. She reminds me of myself as a young woman. If you enjoy my stories, please leave a rating and a brief review at your favourite ebook retailer.

Princess Avenger Ebook coverPrincess Avenger

Passionate Princess Alecia sets out to avenge the slaying of her first love. Captain Vard Anton is dealing with his own dark secrets. When he is appointed Alecia’s protector, both find it hard to ignore the chemistry between them. Can Alecia resist the enigmatic Vard while trying to exact revenge? Will their fatal attraction ultimately lead to tragedy or can love unite Alecia and Vard forever?

Some of you will already have read these books or signed up to my newsletter and I thank you for your support. Stay tuned for more news and offers in the future.

Until next time

This Writing Life

The Lord and the Mermaid coverIs there anything better than telling a story to the world? No, there is not!

I thought I’d put some thoughts down about my writing life. It’s a wonderful mix of left brain/right brain, love/hate, drive/ procrastination, confidence/despair. A writer’s life holds such contradictions, it’s no wonder we fear for our sanity.

But a writing life is wonderful. There is nothing better than escaping into one’s own world, in fact, I live there most of the time. Creating a character from our imagination and then having them surprise us with their actions or words is such a joy. For, though readers like to imagine a writer has control of all aspects of their manuscript, this isn’t the case. Once let loose on the page, our imagination and characters can and do make amazing things happen.

The Lady's Choice Cover- newAt the moment, the right side of my brain is taking a back seat to the left- yes, I’m editing. I love this part of the process where you get to file off all the rough edges and see your word sculpture taking shape. It’s a multistep process. For example, The Elf King’s Lady, which I’m working on at the moment, was edited multiple times by myself before it was sent to my editor. She has come back with suggested changes which I’m currently working on. Once this is complete, the manuscript will move to another editor and then her suggestions will be sent back to me for another revision. There will be another edit after that and more work for me to do but by then I will almost have the finished product.

With at least four books to be released this year, I’ve been editing all year and the pressure is mounting within to write another story. I have three ideas in mind, involving my world for which there are now two series: my self-published Brightcastle Saga and Momentum’s Wildecoast Saga. Momentum’s will obviously be the focus. Lucky I have Brightcastle Saga Book 2 already written and-you guessed it- awaiting another edit!

Princess Avenger Ebook coverSounds busy but I pace myself. I have to. All writers have another life and most have other jobs. Almost all have children or grandchildren to care for (other than their book babies).

I hope that gives an insight into my writing life though I really haven’t touched on the agony of actually writing the story yet. That would be a whole blog series! Perhaps I can look at that later in the year and get some other writers to help.

In the meantime, happy reading- you’d better enjoy it because now you know how much blood sweat and tears goes into a book.

The Avenging Princess Returns

Princess Avenger Ebook coverYes, you heard it here first! The avenging princess Alecia is back and looking better than ever. After much thought, I decided to self publish my first two titles, previously published with Penguin Australia: Princess Avenger and The Lady’s Choice. Both have new covers and will be available from all good ebook retailers.

The Lady's Choice Cover- newAdded to that news, I have plans to complete the trilogy begun with Princess Avenger:

Book 2 of the Brightcastle Saga is Princess in Exile– already written and in the editing process.

Book 3 of the Brightcastle Saga is The Queen Returns

The covers of these two books I will hold close to my chest until closer to their release dates.

Also remembering that this year sees the release of my two Momentum Australia titles: The Lord and the Mermaid and Love Alliance. You can read an outline of these stories on my Coming Soon page.

Next week, the cover reveal of The Lord and the Mermaid is planned so watch this space! It’s release date is June 2015.

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day 2015

I Love You- Valentine's DayNo one would question the fact that this day is for the ultimate romantics but I think Valentine’s Day brings out the romantic in many of us, even just a tiny corner. We begin to think about what it means to us to have a valentine and how we should show our appreciation.

Does it all have to be about the dollars we spend? Did you know that Australians will spend nearly one billion dollars on Valentine’s Day? Expensive gifts are one way to show someone we love them but not the only way. Simply the spending of time with your loved one – a good long chat, sharing a movie together, going on a walk, reflecting on how you came to fall in love and telling your valentine the things you love about them – are all great, inexpensive alternatives.

No matter how you celebrate the day, I believe the important thing is that Valentine’s Day is a chance to stop and appreciate each other. So let’s do that this Valentine’s Day: take a moment to pause and remember all the great things about your valentine: the loveable, the funny, the romantic, the thoughtful, the caring, yes all those attributes that make it worthwhile being in a relationship.

The Lady's Choice Cover- newValentine’s Day is dear to the hearts of romance writers- you might say it’s our ‘one day of the year’. This year I would like to give all my readers the gift of one of my new covers for 2015, hot off the press. The Lady’s Choice was previously published by Destiny Romance and the second edition of this story will be available in the first half of 2015.

Happy Valentine’s Day xx

The Fantasy World

Kain JazaraOver the last two posts I’ve outlined the sword and the quest, two critical components of high fantasy and both very close to my heart. Today, my exploration will lead us into The Fantasy World.

Coastal Scene (123)- cliffsIn many fantasies, the world takes on the status of a character and many authors spend innumerable hours in what we writers call world-building. For some authors, the world will come first and they won’t start writing until all the rules and geography of the world is in place. Many readers love being taken out of their land and dropped into the middle of a different realm, one that can come to be as familiar to them as their everyday surroundings. If the author has done their job, the fantasy world makes sense to the reader and everything that occurs in the story follows the rules of that reality.

High fantasy worlds are antiquated, their technology roughly Middle Ages or pre industrial. Life is hard, people die young of diseases, wars are fought in hand to hand combat, ladies wear extravagant gowns and the men, breeches. Travel is by foot, horse or carriage and food is harvested by hand. The world may even have a map as most authors want to be able to visualise their worlds. Maps help the author to get distances and travel times right as well as directions. As a fantasy reader, I love maps as they help me to orient myself in that world.

RainforestThe most important aspect of high fantasy worlds which sets them apart from reality is magic. Magic can take many forms. It may come from witches and warlocks or from the forest itself. Dragons and other creatures can have magic powers. In Princess Avenger, the magic potions of Hetty the witch come up against the transformative talents of Vard the shape shifter. Benae, in The Lady’s Choice, had a magical talent for healing and also the gift of being able to speak mind to mind with her horse Flaire. Magic in fantasy stories is only limited by the imagination of the author. It is what takes a life a drudgery and pain and creates wonder and light and perhaps a triumph of good over evil.

The Lady's Choice Cover- high resSo, imagine the world of the Middle Ages, add magic and you have The Fantasy World. No wonder so many of us are captivated by this genre.