Alpha males are very prominent figures in paranormal romance, because we readers simply can’t get enough of them. I recently asked visitors of my blog what appealed to them the most about alpha males. The traits they mentioned are all of the ones I like myself:
The strength and power alpha males wield, which can be considerable in paranormals. Loyalty. Bravery. The willingness to sacrifice everything to protect those they love. Intelligence. I admit this is a big one for me. All brawn and no brain, as they say, does not appeal to me in the least. Compassion. (There has to be a soft spot in those tough hides.) A sense of humor. My favorite alpha males – even the tortured ones – have teasing natures and spark laughter in their heroines. Determination. Enough confidence to admire the women who come to their rescue. A handsome face and a great body. (I thought about leaving the latter off the list, but who would I be kidding?) And a protective nature.
You’ll find that Bastien, the hero of PHANTOM SHADOWS, has all of these qualities. Some of the other characters in my Immortal Guardians series may dispute this, though. He isn’t exactly in their good graces, since Bastien entered my series as a villain. My goal with Bastien was to create an atypical villain, someone readers would happily root against, yet couldn’t quite hate. By the time I finished writing DARKNESS DAWNS (Immortal Guardians Book 1), I not only found I couldn’t hate him myself. I found myself wanting to redeem him, as did many readers. Now Bastien’s world has been turned upside down and he reluctantly finds himself working ALONGSIDE the very immortals with whom he once waged war. Needless to say, his integration into their ranks is not going smoothly. So I decided I would give Bastien what I think ALL alpha males need: a strong woman to stand beside him.
Dr. Melanie Lipton is that woman. One might not think it upon first glimpsing her. Average height. Slender build usually clad in unremarkable jeans, a T-shirt, and Chuck Taylor high top sneakers. Bookish. Quiet. A doctor who works for the human network that aids the Immortal Guardians, Melanie searches for a cure for the virus that infects both immortals and vampires. A virus that rapidly drives vampires – humans who have been infected – insane. (Immortals are gifted ones – men and women born with advanced DNA – who have been infected and are spared the madness.) Most would imagine Melanie spending all of her time in a lab with test tubes and various machines most of us wouldn’t be able to identify. But there is more to her than meets the eye.
Melanie possesses all of the characteristics above that readers love so much in alpha males . . . and will need them once Bastien enters her life. She is strong in more ways than one. In terms of fighting skills, she is one of very few mortals who can hold her own in hand-to-hand combat with vampires. To further her research, she even works with two vampires who could have psychotic breaks at any moment and attack her, a courageous endeavor her male colleagues forgo. She has never given in to peer pressure in her life and isn’t about to do so now, not even when that pressure is applied by incredibly powerful immortal beings who want Bastien dead for past dark deeds. Instead of going with the flow, Melanie looks past all of the rumors regarding Bastien’s supposed evil to the good, yet scarred man beneath and appoints herself his champion.
Bastien doesn’t know what to make of her. He isn’t used to having an ally and doesn’t understand why Melanie would risk raising her voice to support him while everyone else calls for his execution. She is stubborn, smart, and beautiful. She makes him laugh and feel SO much. Melanie knows exactly what, or whom, she wants and doesn’t hesitate to pursue him. And his resistance swiftly begins to crumble beneath the onslaught of her kindness and teasing nature. An alpha male to his core, Bastien wishes to protect her, but doesn’t know how he can do so when HE poses the greatest danger to her. Or so he thinks . . . until a new enemy – one the Immortal Guardians could never anticipate – rises and threatens everything.
Dr. Melanie Lipton is no stranger to the supernatural. She knows immortals better than they know themselves, right down to their stubborn little genes. So although a handsome rogue immortal seems suspicious to her colleagues, Sebastien Newcombe intrigues Melanie. His history is checkered, his scars are impressive, and his ideas are daring. But it's not his ideas that have Melanie fighting off surges of desire. . .
Bastien is used to being the bad guy. In fact, he can't remember the last time he had an ally he could trust. But Melanie is different--and under her calm, professional exterior he senses a passion beyond anything in his centuries of experience. Giving in to temptation is out of the question--he can't put her in danger. But she isn't asking him . . .
So, what do you think? Do alpha males need strong women? Who is your favorite alpha male / strong female couple? Leave a comment below to enter to win a signed copy of PHANTOM SHADOWS, the third book in my Immortal Guardians series, which is both a New York Times and USA Today Bestseller.
Thanks for joining me!
Dianne's Website: http://www.dianneduvall.com