Today we are lucky to have Belinda Williams here to talk about her latest release. Take it away, Belinda!
Why alpha heroines in contemporary romance make good reading
No, that’s not a typo in the title. I didn’t mean to write alpha male. I’m writing about alpha females.
But, hang on, you say. It’s the alpha males everyone wants, isn’t it?
Well, yes. However I’m here to argue that alpha heroines are equally awesome in contemporary romance. But first, let’s recap the alpha male. Come on. You know you want to . . .
Why hello alpha male
In the romance world there’s a lot of talk about the alpha male. Generally speaking, romance readers love alpha males and can’t get enough of them. They’re strong, determined, leaders, and strive for their goals. I can understand the appeal. There’s something sexy about a man who knows what he wants.
Enter female contemporary romance lead *giggles*
Strong heroines are easy to find – in other genres. Lisbeth Salander in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Katniss in The Hunger Games. Eve Dallas in J.D. Robb’s suspense series. Are you seeing a pattern? Anything with some suspense and crime and the alpha female is your girl.
Don’t get me wrong. Today’s contemporary romance heroines are independent creatures, with lives of their own. This can make for interesting reading when they meet an alpha man they’re attracted to. We often see a lot of growth in our heroines as they learn to trust themselves (and their alpha males) throughout the story, ending up a stronger character by the conclusion of the book.
But what about a really alpha female? Is there a place for her in contemporary romance? I’d like to think so.
Step 1: To find love you may have to break an alpha female’s heart
In my latest release, Modern Heart, I wanted to explore the alpha female. I took a very strong alpha female and set her on a journey of finding love—not something she was naturally inclined to do.
As I’ve already mentioned, in a lot of contemporary romance the happy ever after is dependent on the growth of the female lead. It’s actually no different when you’re writing an alpha female. Oh wait. There is one difference: instead of building her up, you actually have to break her down first and then rebuild her.
I found this process absolutely fascinating. (It possibly also makes me a little sadistic, but let’s not linger on that).
Step 2: Find her an alpha male who is up to the challenge
Scarlett Wong is the lead character in Modern Heart and she’s the ultimate tough girl. She’s career driven and doesn’t do relationships. Then along comes John Hart. He’s a quiet alpha. Persistent, but patient enough to hold out for what he wants—which is Scarlett. He’s just got to convince her to let him in first . . .
Alpha females have usually learned to be tough through experience. They’ve built walls to protect themselves, but it doesn’t mean the vulnerability isn’t there. It’s just harder to reach. And when someone does get past the hard outer shell, there’s a whole new layer to explore.
There’s a lot to love about alpha females
Alpha females are strong, brave, confident, and assertive—the sort of woman you’d want as your friend when the chips are down.
Alpha females are never boring either. They’ll say things the rest of us are scared to! In Scarlett’s case, her strength translates to not getting embarrassed easily, which allowed me to have a great deal of fun with her.
This is why I think, given the chance, readers of contemporary romance will fall in love with alpha females just as much as their heroes do.
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Scarlett Wong has a reputation for toughness. A talented and often feared Creative Director at an award-winning Sydney advertising agency, she doesn’t do relationships, she doesn’t invite men home, and she never stays the night. The only people who see her softer side are her three closest girlfriends, and they’re finally convinced they’ve found her perfect man: John Hart.
Scarlett’s never been one to back down from a challenge and she’s not going to start now. But when John secures Scarlett an invitation from one of New York’s leading galleries to exhibit her artwork, it means putting herself out there like never before. Scarlett’s perfect man wouldn’t interfere in her life like this – would he?
For a woman who thinks she’s not scared of anything, Scarlett is about to discover she’s not as tough as she thinks. Will she take the chance to turn her secret passion into a career, risk the safety of her advertising career and let John in? Or will old habits die that little bit too hard?
MODERN HEART will be released on 26 November, 2015.