Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Alpha-Bits, Pt. 4: Hard Core!

Alphas, be they cops, corporate honchos, cowboys, or car mechanics, are all Tough. As. Nails. Not so much with the warm fuzzies. Not very understanding, or even, at times, forgiving. A friend of mine who was more Alpha than I have ever seen before or since once said, “Every criminal should be executed. The really bad ones should be tortured first.”

That unbending spine is both a source of frustration and a reason for admiration for our heroine. As difficult as it may be to live with Mr. Upright, it’s that sense of justice that makes him strong. Call it the Good-Kirk-Evil-Kirk Syndrome. Remember that episode of Star Trek? Evil Kirk was a bad man with poor impulse control, but he was the one who got things done. Good Kirk was compassionate and caring and suffered from crippling indecision.

Romance Alphas aren’t much different- they start out somewhat dark and dangerous, even if they’re firmly on the right side of the law. Helping them find the balance between Val Jean and Javert is the heroine’s flipping job in these books. But I beg, plead, and bribe with Triple Split Your Pants brownies if need be- quit wussifying my Alphas!

I’m perfectly okay with a hero who can blow the bad guy away and not suffer the agonies of the damned. I’m perfectly okay with a hero who can blow the bad guy away, period. Forgiveness and sweetness and warmth can be powerful, wonderful things; any Alpha is capable of them. And sometimes those things can require more strength than pulling a trigger.

But I want a good reason for his decision. Please, please, please don’t turn my ruthless, tough hero into some milksop who can’t take care of business simply because he’s now in luuuuurve. Let my caveman keep his club.


StarvingWriteNow said...

Ah, Captain Kirk. I always loved it when he would go into a seething rage and say: "I'll--KILL YOOOUUUU!!"

Robyn said...

And when he was really mad at some red shirt who wasn't obeying orders, he'd snarl "Mistah" like James Cagney.

Bernita said...

Damned straight!
BTW, Robyn, you won.

Robyn said...


Sorry. I'll step away from the caps lock now.

Kimber An said...

Kirk was hot, but I never would've gone out with him. Sure, he could blast Klingons, but could he change a diaper? I don't think so!

Well, you know what a baby fanatic I am. Captain Sisco was my favorite Star Trek Alpha, 'cause he was a great dad. And he had an incredibly sexy voice.

Robyn said...

Kimber, he will forever be Hawk to me. You're right about the voice, though. "Spen-saahhh!"

Missie said...

Ugh! I have read so many books where the hero kills fourteen bad guys, slays a dragon, wrestles a wild boar in order to bring home supper, then somehow he is reduced to a puddle by a "mere slip of a girl"? I am not thinking so.

I am staunchly against what I call the Wussifying of America. And the romance genre too.

By the way, am in God's Country now. Can you hear my rejoicing from OK?

Robyn said...

REJOICE! REJOICE! The villagers are dancing!