In practice, I want them to be alpha to everyone but me.
At the same time, I love a good old-fashioned gentleman who opens doors and picks up checks and pulls out my chair. In short, a guy who wants to take care of me even though he knows I'm perfectly capable of taking care not just of myself but everyone else in the room as well.
When an author gets the blend of strength, kindness, attractiveness, and loyalty right, that's my personal sweet spot in book boyfriends. Add to that intelligence, humor, and a little bit of brokenness, and I'm in book heaven. I love that so much that, of course, I gave Eight Beaufort those same characteristics in COMPULSION. I also made him charming, protective, and a little bit pushy about doing what he thinks is right, which is okay because Barrie pushes right back.
To me, while many of Eight's characteristics might be included in the term "alpha male," I think we all define alpha males according to our own values. Truly, it's kind of an ambiguous term, and I've been thinking a lot about what it actually means and whether we really want an actual alpha male in real life? Are they as attractive when we meet them in person, or do we like them on the confines of the page because that's a relatively safe zone in which to live out the fantasy?
I also wonder whether we're doing men a disservice by suggesting that we love "alpha males" without putting clear definitions on what that means. I suspect fewer of us want a guy who is violent, domineering, demanding, self-centered, or over-confident. Speaking for myself, I prefer someone who is confident, successful, physically fit, a good leader, and both able to take care of himself and his family and loved-ones and responsible enough to want to do so.
When I look around the world and see the way that so many women are mistreated, it makes me want to cry. Mostly, it makes me want to sit down with my son and have a long talk about what strong really means and about the boundaries of respect that he needs to set for himself.
I recently took a very unscientific poll on this subject by running a 'Tell Santa What You Want in a Book Boyfriend" contest for the holidays. At the time, it was nothing more than a way to have some fun with readers and get to send out one last book for the year. But I'd like to go ahead and share some aggregate results. I've combined things so it's easier to see,
|attractiveness (in various subjective forms)|| |
|sweet, generous, compassionate etc.|| |
|funny, sense of humor, witty, mischievous, etc.|| |
|intelligent, smart, loves books, educated, etc.|| |
|tough, dominant, possessive, bad ass, foul mouthed, rugged, brutish, bad boy, etc.|| |
|trustworthy, real, reliable, trusting, dependable, honest|| |
|gentleman, respectful, good listener, supportive, understanding, thoughtful, old-fashioned, etc|| |
|loyal, family oriented, best-friend|| |
|loving, romantic, likes to cuddle|| |
|loves dogs, horses, animals, cats, coffee, pizza, movies, music, coffee, and various other specific preferences|| |
|alpha male, protective|| |
|snarky, smart ass, sarcastic, smirky, etc.|
|charming, smooth talker, outgoing, etc.|| |
|bold, fearless, adventurous, brave|| |
|adorkable, dorky, nerdy, different, quirky|| |
|exciting, passionate, spontaneous|| |
|sane, not a criminal, employed, good hygeine, has all teeth, smells good -- aka, the very basics : )|| |
|strong minded, strong, determined, confident|| |
|intense, haunted eyes, broken, moody, angsty|| |
|happy, easy going, balanced|| |
What Do You Think?
Do any of the above qualities resonate with you? What do you want in a book boyfriend, and who are your favorite examples? Leave a comment and complete the Rafflecopter to win a copy of HEIR OF FIRE by Sarah J. Maas.
This Week's Giveaway
Heir of Fire
by Sarah J Maas
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.
While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?
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