Guest Blogger – Sabrina, ‘The Urban Book Thief’ – Deconstructing the Alpha Hero

shutterstock_118713643-001Today we are thrilled to welcome Sabrina, aka ‘The Urban Book Thief,’ to our blog to give us an insight into the alpha heroes we love. In doing so she also shares some awesome book recommendations. Sabrina’s blog is bursting with fun and fantastic news and reviews of kick ass romance, urban fantasy and paranormal books. If this sounds like your thing (and it’s definitely mine), check it out, you won’t be disappointed! Over to you Sabrina and many many thanks! Tina 🙂

Deconstructing the Alpha Hero

Heroes. Male protagonists. The Alpha. The hottie with a body. Whether you love ‘em or hate ‘em – there’s just no avoiding them. For me, I just can’t seem to get enough. Unfortunately, this sentiment isn’t shared quite so much by my hubbie, who has to live in a house with hundreds of books featuring half-naked men on their covers. Meh.

So I was going about my day last week when I ran into a rather awesome website called All About Romance. The content is stupendous; please do check them out if you have the time. The authors have one or two very insightful things to say about romance heroes, and I read an interesting post about how they tried to determine how many different types of ‘Alpha’ hero there are out there in big bad world of fiction. According to them there are eight heroic archetypes. It’s totally legit. They even had focus groups where they ogled different men and everything.

I was so extra-ordinar-ily fascinated with this idea that I created my own (rather less insightful) response.

1. The Chief

This is the guy you want to stick around when the world is about to blow. He is uber powerful, doesn’t take no for an answer and can kill a man by just jauntily raising his eyebrow in mock humour (just kidding – actually no… I think some of these heroes actually could).

Think Roarke from Nora Robert’s In Death series, Hawke from Kiss of Snow or Jericho Barrons from the Fever series.

“I’m not the hero, Mac. Never have been. Never will be. Let us be perfectly clear: I’m not the antihero, either, so quit waiting to discover my hidden potential. There’s nothing to redeem me.” (Shadowfever by K.M Moning)

Chiefs will never admit to being the hero. They are THAT inflexible. Though it is probably because they had to leave a lot of casualties behind on their way to the top…

2. The Bad Boy

This is the guy you don’t want your parents to meet: he’s the one with the leather jacket, a confident swagger (like Jagger yo) and a past he wants to bury. Tut-tut. He’ll usually say the wrong thing and will likely flick the Chief the bird when asked to do something. Even when it’s polite.

Think Tack from Kristen Ashley’s Motorcycle Man, Wraith from the Demonica series or Gabriel from the Dark Magic series.

“His voice was low and rough … “What about you? Do you like bad boys?” “There’s definitely appeal,” she breathed. “Good,” He bent and clipped her earlobe with his teeth … “Because they don’t come badder than me.” (Passion Unleashed by Larissa Ione).

Ooooh! Count me in for a side serving of rebel with lashings of extra sarcasm. The bad boy is good for making with the funny and delivering the ultimate wise-crack put downs. Slam!

3. The Best Friend

This guy is known by many different names – my cuddly snookums, the one guy everyone gets along with, the sweetheart or the hero who declares his love within the space of almost three chapters. He remembers your birthday and will surprise you with flowers when it isn’t even Valentine’s Day. He’ll rock your little socks off.

Think Drew Kinkaid in Nalini Singh’s Play of Passion, Packard from the Disillusionists series or Jack from the Travis Family series by Lisa Kleypas.

“I respect you,” he murmured. “And your views. I think of you as an equal. I respect your brains, and all those big words you like to use. But I also want to rip your clothes off and have sex with you until you scream and cry and see God.” (Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas).

In paranormal romance, this type of hero is usually referred to as a Beta – and you know what ladies? Beta’s tend to be practical, they’ll pick their clothes off the floor without any prompting and will even cook dinner for you if you ask nicely… I’m sold. Where can I find one? My house needs cleaning…

4. The Charmer

This guy will sweep you off your feet with sweet, sweet words and a devilish smile. He’s fun, he’s sm-oo-th and usually has the gift of the gab which almost always get him into – and also out of – trouble. Think Bones from the Night Huntress series, Reseph from Rogue Rider or Gwenvael the Handsome from the Dragon Kin series.

“Wrong way, Bones. The men’s showers are in the opposite direction.” “I’ll file that away with all the other information that doesn’t pertain to me” was Bones’ mocking reply. (One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost)

He’s a playboy with a heart of gold… well, most of the time anyway. A word of warning, he’s not always the responsible type so don’t pen his name down for babysitting duty – not until he has been trained.

5. The Lost Soul

This guy is the one you want to take home and put your arms around cause life has just pure sucked for him in the past. Big brooders the lot of ‘em. Think Demetrius from the Night Prowler Series, Kere from Born of Silence or Dageus from Dark Highlander.

Also like honor and courage and love, sometimes the truth can be lost, and you have to find your way back to it, crawling over fields of broken glass and dead bodies, your knees and hands bloody and raw, until you get to it and it’s even sweeter than before because of what you suffered on the way. (Rapture’s Edge by J.T. Geissinger).

The Lost Soul is usually no stranger to torture, suffering or pain. In fact, if he wasn’t so god damn sexy we would probably have to put him out of his misery. Poor thing. Nice abs though.

6. The Professor

No, he hasn’t always got his nose in a book – but this guy does have book smarts, and lots of them too. This is a hero who is logical, practical and one to stick to the facts. Plus, I reckon he would definitely be able to complete The Times crossword puzzle. In an hour.

Think Ian from the Highland Pleasures series, Gabriel from Gabriel’s Inferno or Lock from the Pride Series.

When she knew she had her voice back, she asked, “So I’m your girlfriend now?”

“Yup. We’re going to attempt what’s known in the nonintellectual world as a rel-a-tionship.” He sounded the word out and Gwen struggled not to laugh. (The Mane Squeeze by Shelly Laurenston).

Cool as a cucumber and smart as a badger (badgers are dead smart. This I know because I’ve never actually seen one. In fact, I do not know anyone who has seen a real life badger. So unless they have all mystically met their maker, I have deduced that they are cunningly clever ninja spies). This guy can also count without having to use his fingers too. This will definitely help when he goes grocery shopping. Definitely.

7. The Swashbuckler

Step back Indiana, these guys have it covered. Fearlessly brilliant, this is a group of gainly gentlemen know how to dodge a deadly viper while simultaneously bouncing on a space hopper and eating a Big Mac. The Swashbuckler is not afraid to get dirty. In fact – he loves it. Oooh soldier!

Think Strider from Lords of the Underworld, Archimedes Fox from the Steampunk series Iron Seas or Garreth MacRieve from the Immortals after Dark series.

“At fifty times the distance, you dispatched that ko-bold with three arrows to the neck. I’ve earned a trio to the chest. Seems you slapped him while you’re tickling me. You doona want to kill me, which is a good sign. Maybe this is your way of flirting?” (Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole).

These thrills – they be multiplying. And boy do these guys love their thrills. Though just check yourself before you wreck yourself because this man likes to invite chaos and havoc along his merry way.

8. The Warrior

This is the guy you want with you when battling the demons lurking under your bed. These heroes are men’s men. Intensely masculine, hard as nails and potential knights in shining armour – although they may grumble about it and say things like ‘it was my duty’ or ‘I protect all my peoples, even lovely wenches such as yourself’.

Think Curran from Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series, Rain from the Tairen Soul series or Sin from the Dark-Hunter series.

“I turned to leave and paused before the gap in the ruined wall. “One last thing, Your Majesty. I’d like a name I can put into my report, something shorter than typing out ‘The Leader of the Southern Shapechanger Faction.’ What should I call you?” “Lord.” I rolled my eyes. He shrugged. “It’s short.” (Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews).

When the warrior comes out to play it’s time for the bad guys to git cause this guy leaves no stone unturned – so be sure to leave plenty lying around in your back garden in case he comes over for a cup of tea.

Thank you for visiting us from ‘Down Under’ Sabrina. I love all of the alpha archetypes identified, although I’ve currently got a major thing for The Warrior – hence the post image, which I could not resist! I  also admit to adoring Barrons (The Chief), Bones (The Charmer) and  Wraith (The Bad Boy), from the alpha heroes that you identified. I think that all of our readers will have their favourites. Once again thank you for sharing your insights with us. Tina 🙂

The Urban Book Thief blog

All About Romance

Post image: CURAphotography/

About Tina Williams

Book reviewer and blogger and co-organiser of Tamworth (UK) Literary Festival

2 thoughts on “Guest Blogger – Sabrina, ‘The Urban Book Thief’ – Deconstructing the Alpha Hero

  1. Loved your post, Sabrina! So many males, so little time 🙂 The All About Romance site is great. Just going to check out yours. Thanks for cheering me up on a rainy Sunday!

  2. I agree Helena. Sabrina’s post brought a big smile to my face too and I shall now be asking myself which archetype each of the the heroes in the books I read fall into! Thank you once again Sabrina. 🙂

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