By Karyn Gerrard
Everyone has a preconceived notion of what an Alpha Romance Hero should be. Some like the controlling, domineering cold men of the 50 Shades variety. They really don’t do it for me, though I know a lot of women seem to adore this type. Sales bears this out.
There is also the Shifter/Alpha type male who can also be domineering, but it’s tempered with total, singular devotion and focus on the heroine, loving her for who she is even as he wishes to claim her. This guy for all his outward caveman tendencies, is a pussycat underneath. This type of hero is great for Paranormals and also for that medieval Highlander or Viking.
Then there is the Alpha hero who is tortured and damaged either inside or out or both. He is cold and haughty, protecting his heart, but when the heroine gets past his defences, she finds a man aching to be touched, to be loved, to be healed.
This is the guy I love to write about. I find the historical alpha hero can be a mixture of all three types I mentioned. Mix in some historical background and you have a great hero. I like that the historical setting gives the hero an honorable thread through his character that sometimes isn’t noticeable in some contemporary heroes. For all his alpha-ness, he is a man constrained and ruled by the era he lives in. Love that.
In The Copper and the Madam, Rory Kerrigan, my Scotland Yard detective, fits the third type more than anything. He is haunted by his past and comes across a woman whose past might be darker than his.
Both have to learn to let the other person inside and past those defenses. But I really enjoyed taking the journey with my tough, Victorian era copper as he learns to open his heart and for the first time in his life, put a woman’s wants and needs before his own. *sigh*
To me, that’s a real Alpha.
“Did you enjoy the show, darlin’?”
Rory stepped out of the shadows, the uneven illumination making it impossible to tell his mood. His voice was neither teasing nor angry but flat and devoid of emotion. What a surprise to discover this dispassionate side of Rory.
Furious rage overcame her embarrassment. “You have been out here the whole time? Who told you? By God, when I find out who it is, I will toss them out into the street—”
“Easy, Rhiannon. You forget, I’m a detective. I can observe a place for hours. Standing in this hall was no time at all to me. Besides, no one had to tell me anything. Well, that’s not quite true. Someone informed me ages ago you like to watch. So I began to wonder. It did not take long to find your hidden door. How long and why?” Annoyance deepened his voice.
Caught good and proper. What should she tell him—that the only way she could feel anything at all was to observe others having sex? And that watching him gave her the greatest pleasure she had ever experienced? She shook her head. “It is my private business.”
She turned to stomp away, but Rory reached out and clasped her arm.
“Not so fast, Rhiannon. What you invaded was my private business. How. Long?” Barely banked fury colored his tone.
“Three years. Let me go.”
Rory pulled her against him. He clutched her arm tighter and she winced.
“Now, you will tell me why.”
Hot tears blurred her vision. “Fine. Maybe it’s the only enjoyment a fat, lonely whoremonger can acquire.”
Rory clasped both her arms and glared down at her. His eyes danced with emerald fire.
“Do not call yourself fat, not in my hearing. I know portly when I see it, and you’re not it, darlin’. You have ample curves, aye. Fat is rolls, waddling when you walk, and ten steps have you breathing hard. That is fat.” He trailed his hands down her arms and rested them at her sides. After a few moments pause, they moved over her hips up to her waist. A groan tore from his lips. “Curves, Rhiannon. Luscious, succulent curves. Breasts a man could happily get lost in. Don’t get me started on your arse.”
Well. Heat lingered across her body where his hands roamed. Rory stopped below her breasts, his thumbs brushing the undersides. He caught her earlobe between his teeth then his tongue whorled her ear. A lustful shudder quaked her all over.
“Next time you want to watch me, sit in a chair in the room with me. Don’t hide in a broom cupboard with holes drilled into the walls, you follow?”