Alpha, beta, cinnamon roll; which is best? It’s a subject
about which many readers have strong opinions. But in case anyone’s confused, what do
these terms actually mean?
Well, the alphas are the leaders, the CEOs, the warriors, the
head of the shifter pack. They don’t have to be cruel or controlling, though sometimes they
are. On the other hand, the betas and cinnamon rolls are perhaps best defined by their
supportiveness. They don’t want to conquer the heroine but they’ll be there for her no matter
what. They’re dudes and they abide. Alphas will annihilate your enemies, but betas will help
you move house. Personally, I see the appeal of both.
For alphas, think Christian Grey from Fifty
Shades of Grey or Sebastian from Loretta
Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels.
betas, almost any Talia Hibbert hero or Winter Makepeace from Elizabeth Hoyt’s Thief
of Shadows. I could do a whole post on the
wonderfulness of Winter Makepeace.
With The Madness of Miss Grey
, I didn’t set out with a particular archetype in mind. But I
knew my heroine Helen was the tortured one. As a sane woman incarcerated in a lunatic
asylum, how could she not be? The hero, William Carter, had to be the antidote to all that, so I
gave him a long fuse, a cute dog, and big muscles. He brings warmth and light back into
Helen’s life, and I knew the book wouldn’t work if he carried too much darkness around with
him. Not that he doesn’t have his issues (who doesn’t?) but he’s very much Helen’s rock. And,
as a doctor, he’s a rock who’s hyper-aware of the ethical conundrum posed by his attraction to
his patient. What can I say? I’m a sucker for betas and forbidden love.
But there are also heroes who don’t fit neatly into either
category. Some readers call them gammas but, whatever you call them, they appear to be a
mix of alpha and beta. You could argue that Winter Makepeace is really a gamma. He’s mild-
mannered, self-sacrificing, and incredibly nurturing, but by night he’s the Ghost of St. Giles, a
Georgian-era Batman, fighting bad guys. And sometimes it’s even more complicated than that.
What about Crispin Burke in my favorite amnesia book, Meredith Duran’s A
Lady’s Code of Misconduct? Depending on
where you are in the story, Crispin’s an alpha, a cinnamon roll, and a gamma.
So where does that leave us?
With choices. A hero for every reader and a hero for every
mood. Multiple book boyfriends of various sorts and flavors. Anne Stuart’s Luke Bardell
day, then Evan from Talia Hibbert’s A Girl like Her to help you get over the trauma.
How about you? What’s your preferred hero type?
All of society believes former actress Helen Grey to be mad, but after a decade imprisoned in
a crumbling Yorkshire asylum, she’s managed to cling to sanity. When a new doctor arrives,
she finally sees an opportunity for freedom and she’ll do anything to not let it slip between her
Dr. William Carter knows Miss Grey is using him, but he can’t blame her. She’s no madder than
he is yet she’s spent years in this place. He’ll help her escape, but they can’t cross the line
and give into temptation-no matter how much he would like.
Helen and Will need to work together if she’s ever going to be free. It won’t be easy, not when
her mysterious benefactor is determined to keep her locked up and hidden from society
forever. When Helen is entangled in her own trap and begins to fall for Will too, she must fight
not only for her liberty but for her right to love.
Romance Historical [Entangled: Amara, On
Sale: April 22, 2019, e-Book, ISBN: 9781640637924 / ]
Julia writes historical romance with passion, intrigue, dark humor and the occasional animal
sidekick. A tea-sodden English woman, she’s the only girl in a house of boys and yearns for all
things pink and fluffy. Before she began writing, she spent many years searching for
something to do with her English Literature degree. Nothing satisfied her until she decided to
commit the stories in her head to paper. These days, if she isn’t writing, she’s probably
reading everything she can get her hands on, spending time with her boys or procrastinating
on the internet.
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