I blame Christian Grey. Ever since the sexy, mysterious, alpha male walked onto the scene, it seems like romance has been overrun by male characters like him. There’s nothing wrong with that, in truth. Who doesn’t like a man who takes charge, both inside the bedroom and out?
However, a question started bothering me last summer: what about the alpha females?
It seemed like in so many romances, the pairing was an alpha male and a weak, submissive female. That archetype bothered me because for me, I’ve always believed a strong, confident woman who knows who she is can be the sexiest thing. That’s where the character of Sage Everling was born, and that’s when I decided that I would match two alphas in my next romance, Lone Hearts.
For me, this book was about allowing an alpha male to meet his match. Cash Creed is a true alpha in all ways–he is overly confident, knows what he wants, and isn’t afraid to quench his sexual desires. However, there’s one thing he isn’t all about–commitment. His love them and leave them mentality is a product of his desire to chase what he wants when he wants to. He’s not ready to settle down.
But in Ocean City, Maryland, he meets his match when Sage Everling struts into his life. She is not the stereotypical weak female whose heart is claimed by the alpha male. She, too, is an alpha personality, confident in herself, her business, and her sexuality. She also ascribes to the love them and leave them mentality because to her, sex is just for fun. She dominates men in all ways she can because she’s not afraid to tout her sexuality, her confidence, and go after what she wants.
When the two meet, sparks fly–but so do problems. Pairing two alphas together is always bound to lead to fireworks, and not in the best ways. As the two overly confident, stubborn characters start to realize there might be something more between them, they have to figure out how to maneuver something foreign to both of them: the selflessness and the compromise that comes with love.
Writing Sage’s character, for me, was about bringing light to the fact that females in romance aren’t all submissive. They aren’t all waiting for a man to come and save them or claim them. I wanted to portray women in a way that modern women could admire. I wanted to celebrate the strong, independent females in our society and show how the path to love can look for them. I also wanted to explore the complexity that can arise even in modern society when a woman is an alpha. There’s this idea that women need love to be happy. I don’t think that’s necessarily true. Sage shows that love is one facet of our happiness. It’s an important one, but it doesn’t necessarily define the whole of a woman. I think that’s an important lesson for all of us to celebrate but especially in romance novels.
All types of romance novels are valuable and can teach us something. Christian Grey certainly taught all of us a lot (A LOT, am I right?). Still, as a writer in the genre, I strive to show all sorts of dynamic characters and relationships so that we can break the molds and explore different paths to love, different personalities, and celebrate the fact that every journey to love is different.