I’ve got fellow Wild Rose Press author Marlow Kelly with me today. Marlow and I did an exchange on each other’s blogs, each of us sharing our favorite heroes. My personal favorite is what I call the “balpha” hero (I think I stole this term from fellow agency author AJ Nuest, but I can’t recall). But essentially, he's an alpha with a soft side, he's a little beta. Marlow is sharing her love of the alpha.
So glad to have you, Marlow!
First I’d like to say thank you to Joanne for having me on her blog, it’s a pleasure to be here. We’ve have been discussing heroes and the type of hero we look for when we choose a romance novel. Joanne prefers the balpha hero. If you’re wondering about balpha heroes you can read about them on my blog. Personally, I have always been partial to alpha males. I like a man’s man, who means what he says, and says what he means, and that’s what gets him into a heap of trouble, especially with the heroine because she’s a strong woman who can resist his charm.
There are a lot of alphas out there, but one of my favorites is Ben Lewis from Hearts of Fire by Linda Howard. Ben is an Amazon riverboat guide and Jillian Sherwood is an archeologist who knows where a lost city and a secret treasure are located. Women are interchangeable for Ben until he meets Jillian. He demands to know the location of the lost city, when she refuses to confide in him they clash. She stands up to him, and defies him, which is something new.
And of course, she’s attracted to him because like all alpha males he’s tall, muscled, and can hack his way through the Amazon Jungle all day and still have enough energy left to try and seduce her. You gotta love it. But when things take a turn for the worse Ben is there to protect her even though she still doesn’t trust him. He knows she’s special, knows that he loves her, but there’s still a flaw in his reasoning that sees money as the answer. Jillian sees her discovery as cultural and intellectual treasure and until Ben can change his thinking he will never be able to make her happy. It’s a fundamental difference between them. One that is resolved in the end, because an alpha male always gets his girl.
Duncan Campbell, my hero in “A Woman of Honour” is an alpha male. He’s a giant of a man, and although I don’t say so in the book, I picture him to be at least 6ft 8in tall, and over 2ft wide at the shoulders. But that’s perfect because my heroine, Isabel, is about 6ft 2in in height.
They meet in a pitch-black dungeon and her first reaction upon meeting him is to punch him on the nose, being a man’s man this doesn’t deter him at all. He gets a kick out of her primness and enjoys provoking her. But from the beginning he knows he wants Isabel and works to erode her resistance. He warms her when she’s cold, feeds her when she’s hungry and in the end puts himself between her and death. Sigh. What’s not to love about an alpha male?
A Woman of Honour by Marlow Kelly
Worldwide Release Date: 27th August 2014
Duncan Campbell wakes to discover he is imprisoned with a woman in his enemy's dungeon in the Highlands of Scotland. The disenchanted warrior hopes his last few moments on earth will be spent in the arms of the sweet-voiced Isabel. If only she will cooperate.
Isabel Douglas has no intention of obliging the crude captive. The penniless noblewoman considers herself too tall and thin to be desirable. She intends to become a nun. But first, disguised as a boy, she must deliver an important letter to Scotland's hero in hiding, King Robert the Bruce.
Together, the pair make a daring escape that plunges them into the bleak countryside in the middle of winter. In the struggle to survive, they learn the true strength of their feelings for each other. But when Duncan's animosity towards the king becomes evident, Isabel must decide between her heart and her country.
Duncan Campbell drifted into consciousness and opened his eyes to absolute blackness. He lay perfectly still on the cold, dirt floor listening. A small rustle of fabric echoed in the darkness. He cocked his head, getting a sense of the sound’s location, then rose to his feet.
“Tell me who you are before I tear you apart,” he roared, seizing his opponent. Whoever it was didn’t answer, just silence. A fist punched him on the nose. Pain ricocheted through him, and he grabbed his face. In the dark, he lost his balance and fell in the dirt, cradling his head in his hands.
“Oh my, are you all right?” asked a small voice.
“No, I’m not.”
“You threatened me, and I wanted to give you fair warning I will fight back if you touch me.”
The lyrical voice stunned him. A woman? She spoke Gaelic with a strong, lowland accent. He shook off the pain and asked, “Where am I?”
“Dunstaffnage Castle. Don’t you remember your capture? I’ve heard of people getting a bump on the head and not remembering their own name. Is that what happened to you? Did you bump your head?”
Lord, she was talkative.
“I remember I was hit from behind scouting the bast….Are we in the dungeon?” He rose to his feet.
He grunted. On the bright side he hadn’t gone blind. On the other hand they were in a dank, windowless cell with no hope of escape. There wasn’t even a sliver of light coming through the door.
Marlow Kelly Bio
After being thrown out of England for refusing to drink tea, Marlow Kelly made her way to Canada where she found love, a home and a pug named Max. She also discovered her love of storytelling. Encouraged by her husband, children and let’s not forget Max, she started putting her ideas to paper. Her need to write about strong women in crisis drives her stories and her curiosity regarding the lives and loves of historical figures are the inspiration for her characters. You can visit Marlow at www.marlowkelly.com, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Pinterest
Marlow and I were critique partners for a bit. I actually remember this book. And I loved it. Duncan is a great hero. He really is an alpha, but he's one I found myself drawn to. If you like historicals and you like alphas, pick up this one. It's a fantastic book.
Have you read either of these books? What did you think?
If not, who's your favorite alpha?