Wednesday, April 22, 2009

All About Alphas 6 - Michelle Reid

Well you knew that I had to get Michelle Reid in here didn't you?

Apart from being one of my very special friends, she is also the author of some of my favourite romance novels - The Price of a Bride, Gold Ring of Betrayal . . . Michelle's books hit me before I ever met her in person. And of course there is one particular aspect of her writing that hits harder than any other - and that is the way that she writes her heroes.I've fallen in love with more Michelle Reid heroes than I can count and some of them have stayed with me so clearly that they come back to haunt me when I'm trying to create my own heroes who, although Alpha, are not 'Michelle Reid Alphas'.

Because here we are again, avoiding the narrowest definition of this term. Just as a Sandra Marton hero is not an Anne McAllister hero, a Michelle Reid hero isn't a Kate Walker hero . And that's a fact for which we should all be grateful. Each author has her own particular approach to this subject, each hero has his own particular traits and characteristics, and that's how it should be. And, as Donna Alward comments on the very first posting of this blog -
>> I definitely see how my heroes are alpha in many ways, but also have beta characteristics, and the balance changes depending on each hero.

Each individual hero should have an individual balance of all the characterisitics - and soem will come to the fore more than others depending on the challenge that he meets and has to contend with, the conflict in which he finds himself. So even within a particular author's range of writing there will be many vaiarions on the theme.

So here is Michelle Reid talking about how she creates her Alpha Hero.

Who is my Alpha Hero:

Well, who is he? Let’s take it as a given that he is tall dark and spectacularly handsome. Mediterranean too (for me at least) because they’re so gorgeously sexy and so arrogantly un-reconstructed! No political correctness lurking inside my Alpha hero. When he wants something/someone badly enough he just goes for it with all the passion in his nature and to hell with what other people might think. That does not mean he possesses no conscience, he would be no hero of mine if he didn’t have very good reasons for doing what he does.

Ruthless? You bet. He has to be. He’s the major player in a cut throat world of big business and without that essential streak of ruthlessness he would not last a day, which also means he must have the sharp mind and the intellect to keep him in the game. He’s also deadly honest with very high standards by which he lives his life and expects others to live by. Try to pull a fast one on my alpha hero and he takes it
deeply and very personally.

In his personal life? Here’s where his cynicism creeps in. A man who is so wealthy, powerful, good looking and single can take his pick from the countless beautiful women who throw themselves at him – which does not mean that he does. Discernment is the key to my alpha hero. To simply take a woman because she is there for the taking is, in his view, as bad as a woman selling herself for money. My Alpha Hero would have way too much pride and respect in himself to do that. He can possess every fabulous advantage we want to throw at him and still be a decent human being. And he certainly does not maintain his place so high on the success ladder by obsessing about women. He keeps that place by sheer grit and cleverness and a lot of focus and determination.

Which means he isn’t stupid. When it comes to his deeper emotions he keeps them securely locked away from all the mercenary vultures out there he knows are waiting to pounce on him. He understands that beautiful women believe they deserve a rich and successful man like him to pander to their expensive tastes. My Alpha Hero can see through their fine feathers into their darker inner self. She can be the most beautiful woman in the world on the outside but if that inner core is tainted then he won’t want her. Then again, he likes to play as hard as he works so of course he enjoys rich warm intimate relationships with women! He’s young, single and Alpha! And he will pander to their needs up to a point. He’s a warm, charming, generous lover – while it lasts.

A hardened cynic about women then? No. My Alpha hero has a
romantic streak which lives deep in the very core of his makeup. He wants to
love and be loved – for himself. Some might call it his fatal flaw, because when
that one particular woman does come along and breaks through the emotional
protection he wears around his deeper feelings, he becomes as vulnerable and as
unsure of himself as any man recognising that he’s falling deeply in love. He’s
wary, suspicious. He does not want to be caught out and made a fool of by some
feline vulture wearing an angel’s mask. So from the moment he meets her he’s
fighting both her and himself. Hence the conflicts he has with himself and the
heroine, hence the ups and downs in their relationship as they proceed towards
the inevitable outcome.

The bottom line? My Alpha hero does not choose his life’s mate with his eyes or his libido. He chooses with his carefully guarded heart. And when he mates, he seriously mates for life.

Which makes him special – Modern/Presents Alpha special. Unique, exciting, passionate, complicated, frustrating, and as sexy as hell!

Michelle's next Alpha hero appears in her novel Marchese's Forgotten Bride which will be out in the UK in September. Her February Title The Greek's Forced Bride is still available on Amazon and the Mills and Boon website - and on eHarlequin.

Greek billionaire Leo Christakis is convinced the drab, shapeless suits worn by Natasha are simply a cover for the gold-digging harlot who lies beneath. Mistakenly thinking Natasha's been stealing from his company, Leo commands her to be at his beck and call-in and out of the bedroom. Natasha is thrown into his world of unimaginable luxury. Then Leo discovers she's innocent-in every sense! Now she has no choice-she must become the Christakis bride!


Anne McAllister said...

Whoa, Michelle, the power and intensity of your heroes really comes off in what you just wrote! And it's so true. Every time I read one of your books, your heroes take my breath away. Thanks for the inspiration.

Annie West said...

Ditto to what Anne said! I always know when I'm reading one of your stories, Michelle. The hero just leaps off the page.

Love the description of your next book. Can't wait to get my hands on it!


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