Friday, February 3, 2012

Alpha vs. Beta - The Hero Debate

Welcome Jannine Gallant to Tattered Pages today, who brings with her a post near and dear to my heart! What say you, ladies? Are you an Alpha or Beta lover? Make sure to let Jannine know by leaving her a comment at the end of this post! Take it away, Jannine!

First of all, I’d like to thank A.J. for having me today. A.J. is a woman after my own heart. Her hero, Matty, is one of my favorites!

*AJ blushes* Awww...thanks, darlin. Gotta love me the Matty!  

What springs to mind with the word hero? I bet most of you are thinking tall, dark, and handsome with a killer smile and a macho attitude. Whether he’s the sports star, the business tycoon, or the bad boy, he sweeps the heroine off her feet with his charisma and confidence. He’s the best at what he does—or is he?

I’ve described an alpha hero. We read about them all the time. He’s the man who makes us sigh with longing. Heck, my heroes have all been alpha men—until Daniel. My hero in Bittersweet, a historical romance set in Colorado in 1880, is Daniel Moran. He’s a farmer, the younger brother who lived in his vibrant older brother’s shadow. He’s steadfast and dependable, fiercely loyal, a hard worker, liked by everyone. Daniel is an unusual breed, a beta hero. The odd thing is, of all my heroes, Daniel is the one I love the most. Watching him struggle and grow throughout the book, seeing him put his beliefs before his desires, giving him that alpha moment in the end… Well, I hope you’ll read Bittersweet and tell me what you think of my beta hero.

So, let’s hear your thoughts. What do you look for in a hero?

Eight months after her husband is killed in a train robbery, Tess Moran knows she must pick up the pieces of her shattered life and build a future for herself and her infant daughter. Daniel Moran’s love for Tess is bittersweet. Acting on his feelings for his sister-in-law will betray his dead brother’s memory. Watching her search for love elsewhere may very well destroy him.
In 1880, life in rural Colorado is filled with hard work and simple pleasures, but trouble looms on the horizon. Together Tess and Daniel battle drought and the outlaw who killed the man they both loved, but the greatest challenge of all is finding solace for their battered hearts.


Daniel followed her across the kitchen. He stood beside her in the doorway, looking out at the star filled sky. “It’s late. I’ll walk you home.”
            “You don’t have to. Shadow is with me.”
            “I’ll walk you home,” he repeated.
            Only the scuff of his boots on the road and the sound of crickets broke the silence. Tess sighed.
            He cleared his throat. “Why did Nathan come to see you?”
            “He asked me to the dance at the Leightons’ barn raising.”
            Daniel kicked a rock in the path and swore softly.
She stood still. “You’re the one who said there can’t be anything between us.”
            “I know, but I’m only human. Did he stay long?”
            “No, why do you ask?”
            “I haven’t the right, I know. The way you looked with that wet chemise clinging to you—” His voice trailed off.
            Tess blushed and was glad of the darkness. She hurried toward home, unable to outdistance her thoughts. “A gentleman wouldn’t mention it.”
            “You were hysterical over Emily, and all I could think about was how beautiful you looked. I hated Nathan for seeing you that way.”
            She stopped a few yards from her back door. The light shining from the kitchen window illuminated his face. His misery was clear.
            “All it would take is one word from you, Daniel, just one word. Say it,” she pleaded.
            “I can’t.”
            She swallowed hard. “Then let me be happy with Nathan.”
            He turned away. “I’m sorry, Tess. I’ll leave you alone.”
            “Fine. Goodnight, Daniel.”  Turning, she ran into the house before he could see the tears on her cheeks.

Find Jannine at:

Thanks for stopping by, everyone!


Sarah Grimm said...


I do love my alpha heroes, but reading about beta heroes every now and then is fun, too. Love your excerpt, Jannine! Another book for the TBR list.

Alison Henderson said...

My favorite heroes have both alpha and beta traits. I like strong heroes who are confident enough and mature enough to take care of business but have self-control and patience when they need it.

Jannine Gallant said...

A combo of alpha and beta is probably ideal. A strong man with a sensitive side! Thanks for stopping by, ladies.

Margo Hoornstra said...

A strong man with a sensitive side! Well said. I've only just met him, but I really like Daniel already.

Nice work on Bittersweet, Jannine. Looks like you have another winner here. On my TBR list too. Definitely!

Calisa Rhose said...

Hi Jannine and AJ!
My heart is breaking for those two! I have to read it all now!

I like a Gamma hero. If I remember my heroes right, he's a little Alpha and Beta combined.

Jannine Gallant said...

There is something about Daniel... I hope readers won't be able to get through this book without shedding a few tears. I cried buckets in places writing it! I'm going to have to look up Gamma hero. A new breed to explore.

Joanne Stewart said...

I have to admit I'm a beta girl. I'm a sucker for the nice guy. Have to admit I really don't like most alphas. Most of them make me want to throw the book against the wall. But I do like my men to have enough strength to do what needs done. Who aren't afraid to stand up when they need to. In my writing, most of my heroes tend to be a mix. I think my current hero is the strongest and I still wouldn't call him an alpha. Though my first book, Staking His Claim, my hero Kyle was all beta. He's still one of my favorites.

Sounds like a great book. I loved the excerpt. This one is definitely going on my TBR pile.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

I like my heroes like I like my candy. Firm chocolate outer layer with a creamy caramel filling. Oh yeah, love the alpha-beta mix. Their unraveling pulls more at the heart, I think.

Jannine Gallant said...

Joanne, this is my first foray into a true beta hero. Sounds like Daniel and Kyle are two of a kind.

Vonnie, that ideal hero wouldn't be anyone you know, now would it? LOL

AJ Nuest said...

I'm late to the party! So sorry Jannine! Seems like when the morning starts out behind, the rest of the day just unravels. UGH!

I gotta admit, there is just something about that tough, hard, male exterior, contrasted against a tender, emotionally tumultuous interior, that I adore. Give me the Gamma (or balpha) baby! Every time!

Great post, Jannine! I'm glad you're here with me today. Woot!

Isabella Macotte said...

I also love a combo of alpha and beta. However, I guess it depends on my mood. Sometimes I want to be swept away by the alpha. Other times, I yearn for the realism a beta can bring to a good story.

Jannine Gallant said...

Thank you for having me, AJ. It's always fun talking about men!

Isabella, I married an alpha (they do tend to sweep LOL), so it's nice to escape with a beta once in a while.

What do you guys think? Will a beta man pick up his dirty socks? I know the alpha type doesn't!

Joanne Stewart said...

I'm married to a "balpha" (to quote AJ). He's got alpha tendencies, but was raised by his mother and grew up with two sisters, so he's got a very strong feminine side (don't tell HIM that, however). And he definitely cleans up after himself. He's a neat freak, actually. Makes me look like a slob. lol

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Jannine,
I love alpha heroes, always write about them, but ooh Daniel does sound nice.



Jannine Gallant said...

All women everywhere would benefit from a man with a strong feminine side! LOL But we won't tell...

Maybe you'll have to change it up with your next hero - just for fun! Thanks for visiting.

AJ Nuest said..., the balpha I'm married to (and adore with all my heart) does NOT pick up his socks. Ever. Turns out his son doesn't either. Not sure if this is an alpha/beta thing or just men in general. :-)

Great day, Jannine! Thanks for bringing us such a great topic. Off to snuggle with the kiddos~

Paula Martin said...

Like most commenters, I prefer the alpha-beta mix - it's what I call alpha minus/beta plus and combines the best characteristics of both. Strong and sensitive - the ideal mix.

Jannine Gallant said...

Hmmm, seems like we've found a consensus. All those macho heros better develope a sensitive side if they want to make the top 10 list!

Thanks for stopping by, Paula.