What Type of Alpha Turns You On?

Gareth the Gray – Alpha of the Cold Moon Pack

Raythe says …

The key part of any shifter book, in my opinion, is the Alpha.  He’s always strong. But is he empathetic?  Is he dictatorial?  Does he serve? Or is he served?

Many Alphas in shifter books are defined by their need and ability to dominate everyone around them.  They are there to be served and they return the pack’s fealty by fighting off enemies and keeping order.

M/M Modern Retelling of Little Red Riding Hood

The sexy times often come with the Alpha making his mate submit, which the mate – either secretly or not secretly – finds orgasmic.

I have no problem with this type of setup. In fact, it can be really hot as we all know.

But I needed to do something different when I wrote Gareth the Gray, Alpha of the Cold Moon Werewolf Pack in Crimson, because I made his mate, Jude, have a tragic and angst-filled past with abuse and near rape.  So Gareth had to be strong, but also gentle and protective beyond anything.

It was a different take on the Alpha trope and I’m missing Jude and Gareth already as the serial ended last night.  So Crimson is complete!

So what kind of Alpha appeals to you?

Have you read any good takes on this? (It doesn’t have to be me! lol!)  List whomever you like in the comments below!


22 Responses to What Type of Alpha Turns You On?

  1. Tantalos September 27, 2017 at 6:43 pm #

    “It takes a man to be gentle” is a saying I grew up with and I believe in it strongly. The Alpha isn’t just the dominant leader, he must care for his pack. He sees them fed, he sees them healthy and strong. He sets the example for others to follow. If an alpha thinks only of himself then his pack sees only themselves. If an Alpha only dominates then his pack only knows domination and strife. It takes a healthy balance. The Alpha works hard and gives much of himself to his pack and they care for him. His mate is the one member of the pack that can stand at his–or her–side and give equally. I approve of your approach to Gareth the Gray as he seems to embody what it really means to be a wolf instead of reflecting mankind’s imbalanced, imperfect beast.

    • admin September 27, 2017 at 7:23 pm #

      I get why the Alphas that are normally written about are … hmmm more knock you over the head and drag you into the cave types (at least that’s what I keep seeing) because there’s something sexy about that on one level. But that doesn’t really attract me in an Alpha, the service one’s do. But I was curious if it would work in the shifter romance as it does in other genres.

  2. Blaknite September 27, 2017 at 7:55 pm #

    I like smaller alphas. Where the leader might not be the biggest and baddest but rather more average sized maybe a little undersized but has power in their intelligence and leadership abilities

    • admin September 27, 2017 at 8:11 pm #

      That’s a great twist on the classic. If he’s “smaller” he’s bound to be challenged more often and he has to use other skills to keep his leadership position.

      • Fara September 27, 2017 at 8:26 pm #

        That’s actually closer to real pack structure anyway. It’s the Beta, the enforcer, of the pack that’s usually the biggest and strongest. The alpha pair are the mating pair – yes they are the leaders in hunting and pack decisions, but they aren’t necessarily the strongest in the pack! It’s kind of funny that MRAs use the language of calling everybody “beta males” when what they actually mean are omegas, the bottom of the pack hierarchy. It makes me giggle to know they are calling everyone badasses that don’t take any guff!

        P.S. I much prefer Gareth’s (more true to life!) nurturing Alpha to the seemingly more common domineering Alpha. Those just strike me as assholes, and while I like anti-heroes and magnificent bastards as much as the next person, I can do without toxic masculinity, thank you. I’m sad Crimson is over but I’m really, really enjoying Elven King’s Blade so I’ll survive the loss. 😉

  3. Ipodpixie September 27, 2017 at 9:03 pm #

    I like the strong, silent type that have some kind of flaw that their mate can see past and help heal, either physical or psychological. A bit like Bane really or Demetrius. I hate the I’m the alpha do what I say and immediately comply type – so fake, real wolves may capitulate but these are wolf/human hybrids and I think that the human side would war with the animal half.

    A wounded sensitive soul who is devastatingly gorgeous, no nonsense and very take charge – who wouldn’t want that.

    • admin September 27, 2017 at 9:39 pm #

      Ooooohhhhhh, such ideas this gives me ….

  4. blaid September 27, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

    I think secretly, deep inside, I like someone that while kind on the surface and can be aggressively protective is actually rather wild in love making.

    • admin September 27, 2017 at 9:39 pm #

      I’m with you on that!

  5. Kim Vesely September 27, 2017 at 10:13 pm #

    I loved Gareth! Sensitivity is so sensual with that level of braun. But Bane drove me wild. Alric peaks my fascinations. So loving, brilliant and strong. Master of sexuality! They’ve all been damaged in one way or another. But that’s what makes them who they are. All I’ve read so far is amazing. Starting on second rereads. Keep up the awesome work!

    • Raythe September 28, 2017 at 4:55 pm #

      Thank you! I wasn’t even thinking about how Alric and Bane as alphas but they are in their way!

      • Kim Vesely October 1, 2017 at 1:39 pm #

        With your brilliant mind I bet you could put an incredible twist on “The Lion, The Witcher and the Wardrobe”! The “Cursed” series is on my top of personal favorites! “Beauty and the Best” is my all time favorite story! You are amazing!

  6. Cas September 28, 2017 at 1:06 am #

    I like the possessive, intense, dangerous type of alpha. I think the sexiest thing is when the “alpha” or top of the relationship is in love with the bottom or “omega” and vice versa. When they only have eyes for each other. I think sensitivity and a powerful sex drive is important too.

  7. susi September 28, 2017 at 6:23 am #

    I loved Gareth and Jude – together they were a great couple, special because they had weakness with themselves.

    My opinion is that true love can be builded only when we love the weakness and the error from the person we think to love. Many people based their feelings only on looks or money. But when your love should last long than that person should be interesting for you for other things like the little mistakes they do or the weakness they had etc…

    Unfortunately I love an other shifter serie more than Gareth and Jude. I mean they are great. Really, but I love to have a backround or more gaycouples or some kind of mystique in there. For me Gareth and Jude aren’t on the end. For me that story is not fully at the end. And I love to read a lot of daily things, too. I want to be a part of theire lives not only have a little see in a special moment.

    And so I love the shifter stories with several stories. And my alpha should be a sensitive and caring shifter. A Shifter that helps and is devoted to his pack and every shifter/human etc. in trouble, not only to his partner alone.
    Yes he needs an strong aura and a lot more to be a classic alpha, but he needs a lot more emphatic – in my eyes.
    And what I don’t like is a cliche in the loveship building. They are both man, so both can be top or bottom. I don’t like it, when an author use a sexrelation like woman and man. Man can do both and the most gay partners do that. Yes some like to be bottom more than top or other round. Some relationships doesn’t do anal intercourse and only fondle each other. But they are man – both of them – so it should be open for both. An Alpha that loves to be Botton would be far more interesting…

    • Raythe September 28, 2017 at 5:03 pm #

      I never can completely write a traditional alpha. So it’s really good that people are open to different kinds! What book has your heart?

  8. camcc0501 September 28, 2017 at 6:25 am #

    I do love Gareth, but there is sometimes that you need a more sever Alpha. In “Darkness Awakened” by Katie Reus, the werewolf Alpha is the “I don’t take shit from anyone” Alpha. But he will use his brain before his strength and just expects respect from his pack. If he don’t get the respect that he deserves you’re going to find his teeth on your ass or throat. I do like those types of Alphas. Suzanne Wright has her “Phoenix Pack Series”, and all of her Alphas are either thought to be crazy or are military strict. But then again all the books I have written about are M/F.

    Now for the M/M I have read, “My Alpha’s Secret” by Rosa Swann, has a more Gareth type character, but he was also mated to another Alpha before meeting the Omega. In “Change of Heart” by Mary Calmes, which is about panthershifters, the Alpha is also like Gareth. But again like Jude the protagonist was an abused man.

    Here is what I find in the question or what I’m trying to point out. In M/F books the females be they alphas themselves or not, will always go for the guy that is more dominant then themselves. In a M/M most characters are dominant themselves, so you have make one of them give in at some point or the story would get no where. Can you imagine two Gareth like characters staring at each other saying “I love you more so I’m the top.” You would get no where with that.

    • Raythe September 28, 2017 at 5:07 pm #

      I know what you mean. I think there’s a sexiness to the real dominant alphas. I can’t always write them though because it doesn’t fit with the submissive characters.

  9. Ceit September 28, 2017 at 10:55 am #

    I could see Jordan as an Alpha as well, a thinker who cares for his pack mated to someone young, but strong and confident in Scott. Probably not your traditional Alpha either. Interesting that most of the replies suggest that the traditional ‘He-man ‘ Alpha is not the most popular choice !!

    • Raythe September 28, 2017 at 5:09 pm #

      I think the traditional alpha is a favorite because of the dominance and submission fantasy. I don’t have that myself so that is why I don’t write it.

  10. Maria Lazarou September 28, 2017 at 5:58 pm #

    Well what kind of alpha appeals to me hmm easy answer,something between Alric, Aetheden,Wulf,Daemon,Nomad,Abaddon and Bane very possessive very protective and absolutely dominant ,simple traditional alpha,

    • admin September 30, 2017 at 2:39 am #

      You don’t make it “easy”! Those are complex characters! Something inbetween them huh … lol!

  11. LurkyCat October 9, 2017 at 11:00 pm #

    For starters, it feels good to know we as readers can be involved in what we can look forward to seeing. If there’s anything I can fully appreciate from you is that you haven’t given us stereotypical alpha male roles. We here at RR are spoiled as hell, and I will be the first to admit that. Normally I’d say “fuck it, she knows what I like”, but that’s not constructive at all, is it? lol For me, the dominant, yet stoic alpha always makes the light in my brain (and body >:D oh yiss) light up like fireworks. Maybe it’s the idea of someone with a cool demeanor, yet beneath lies a wildness that only a few can bring out, much less satiate. He is fiercely territorial. He needs total submission, but doesn’t force your hand when you choose not to. Alphas like Alric (prime example), or even Sean Harding (loving and warm, yet fiercely loyal and protective of others), Jordan with his duality of man and the dangerous beast within… I mean there’s so many dynamics you’ve tossed at us! Just thinking about what you’re cooking up is exciting. Looking forward to what you have in store for us!

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