By Mary Hughes On Aug 22 2012, 8:08 am
The Alpha. Highest rank. Strongest and most courageous, or best able to forge alliances. The Leader. Gets the best of everything.
The Beta. Second-in-command to the Alpha, ready to step in if the Alpha dies. May aid the Alpha in courting.
Alpha men are massively hot. Testosterone pumps their muscles huge and fills their step with self-confidence. It also may make them hotheaded and prone to listening only to their own opinions. They may eventually settle down with one woman but in the meantime they have lots of encounters. They’re leaders and at some point, if they don’t put the group first, they may not have a group to lead. So sometimes the heroine comes second.
Beta men have all the same characteristics but for one thing—they’re not leaders. Yet. They can indulge in side interests like running the computer lab or being a bodyguard for the heroine.
Which do you prefer? Alpha? Beta? Or…?
I write strong heroes, vampires males who are powerful, assertive, and protective, even if the heroine can protect herself. These males are leaders, but always put the heroine first, especially in their thoughts and hearts. They’re muscular and masculine, but they’re also thoughtful and caring when needed. Is that alpha or beta? Or…?
I also like loners, the males who don’t follow anyone’s rules but their own, but have a strong code of ethics. Neither leader nor follower, they don’t seem to fit into neat categories either.
And I love the strong, independent, driven males who are a bit of both, like Glynn in my brand-new release Biting Oz. He does his job as he sees fit. Yet he integrates easily with other vampires in the Alliance.
My big bad alpha, the Ancient One, is stuck in Iowa running the Alliance. But Glynn can travel as bodyguard with the Ancient One’s young ward Dorothy—where he can meet heroine Junior. Instantly his desire surges, crashing into Junior's own. Their passion erupts first as arguments, then as a kiss hotter than the sun, and then as far more. Glynn is strong and intelligent, manly without beating on his chest, powerful but not a tool. He commands attention everywhere he goes yet helps Junior run her store’s register. He saves the show literally by stepping onstage. Yes, real vampires do indeed do musicals.
So is Glynn alpha or beta or…? Here’s a short excerpt. Let me know what you think!
In the theater. Junior is late and rushing to get to the pit, but is blocked by a sea of Munchkins.
I screeched to a stop on my toes, off-balance. My bag slipped, dropped off my shoulder, jerked me into stumbling. I nearly dropped the sax, did drop my stand, tangled feet with it and had to wrench myself backward to keep from falling.
Except the sax didn’t hear about the change in plans. Momentum carried it in my original direction, popping it from of my grip.
To my horror, the tenor case pitched straight at the kids.
The man turned instantly, as if preternaturally aware of the danger. But he was behind the kids. He’d have to hurdle like Jesse Owens to get between the deadly sax and those small bodies.
Palming the wall, he levered against it to kick up and over Munchkin heads, clearing them with incredible grace and ease, landing on my side.
On the way he snatched my tenor. Midair.
I set down my instrument bag and blew out my tension. “Wow. Thanks. I…”
Straightening to his full height of six-OMG, he faced me, emanating strength and energy. Powerful chest muscles pushed into the jacket’s gap right in front of my nose.
I gaped, realized I was starting to drool and looked up.
Sondheim shoot me. His face was all dark, dangerous planes. His eyes were twin sapphire flames that hit me in the gut. My breath punched out and none came to replace it. Bad news for a wind player.
He turned to set the sax down. I started breathing again.
A tapping caught my ear, the conductor ready to start. I needed to get into that pit now.
Half a dozen kids and two makeup adults were still in my way.
I’d have crawled over the seats myself but my joints weren’t as limber as the kids’…unless I used my black Lara Croft braid as a rope. I was desperate enough to consider it.
The man, turning back, saw my predicament. He lifted my instrument bag and music stand over kids with the same strength and grace as when he’d snatched the tenor. Then he turned to me.
And swept me up into his arms.
An instant of shock, of male heat and rock-hard muscle. A carved face right next to mine, masculine lips beautifully defined–abruptly I was set on my feet beside the pit. The sax landed next to me with a thump.
“There.” His accent was jagged, as if he were as rattled as me. “There’s your instrument.” He bounded to the back of the theater and was gone.
Biting Oz available now!