I also love my heroines--spunky, plucky, intelligent women who discover they're stronger than they imagined. They turn life's adversities into advantages. And as the saying goes, they don't need a man's bull because they've sold the cow.
I also love alpha heroes. Love their confidence, their sexy swagger, their need to protect and, yes, to conquer.
But I'm seeing a trend in our alpha males and it bothers me.
It also bothered another woman who approached me in a restaurant last night. She bore a sheepish expression as she whispered, "I cheated on you."
I laughed. "You did? Who did you read?"
She told me the author's name and the title of the romance--and it was not one of the Fifty Shades books. "I could only read a chapter and a half. It was about a rich man and a younger woman and his need to possess her. I got this creepy feeling that this wasn't going to be a healthy romance, but a story about possession. With domestic violence so rampant, why would romance writers write about possession and glorify it, when in real life it so often leads to abuse?"
I thought of my current WIP and winced a tad. Was my alpha coming on a little too strong?
She continued to tell me she returned the book to the brick and mortar store and demanded her money back. Oh yeah, she was irate! Her hand on her hip, she leaned in. "Why would romance writers write about the kind of male behaviour we women fought so hard to get away from? I mean the whole book was about male domination. What woman in her right mind wants to put up with that? What about our independence? Our ability to take care of ourselves?"
She had a point.
I've been doing a lot of reflection since our conversation. I went to Amazon and read reviews on this book. Many called it hawt--better than Fifty Shades. Others felt the same way as the lady in the restaurant, that it was a story of a rich guy's need to dominate the young woman he'd fantasized about for years--his best friend's baby sister.
So, I wondered. Was it the younger generation who reviewed it in a favorable light? Were those who couldn't handle this alpha's behavior of an older generation who had encountered their fair share of male dominance in the work force and did NOT want it to sift into their beloved romances. What?
Has the Fifty Shades mania changed how we want our heroes?
Are women willing to put up with verbal abuse in thier search for a man who will take care of them, cater to their every need and then seduce them to supply the ultimate orgasm? Are we crossing the unhealthy line from alpha behavior into abusive men--and can such men be classified as heroes?
What are your thoughts?