Author Lauren Jameson on–Writing the Alpha Hero

On December 31, Lauren Jameson released the first of her six-part erotic serial, Surrender to Temptation. Today she is hear to talk about the alpha hero.

“There is a fine line between alpha and asshole.”

This is something that my dear critique partner Suzanne Rock told me years ago. It is something that I try to keep at the front of my mind every time I start out on a story such as Surrender to Temptation. Writing an alpha hero can be a fine line to walk—but when it goes well, it can make for a very sexy hero.

Wikipedia defines an alpha as the individual in a community with the highest rank. These individuals usually have greatest access to resources—food, desirable items… sex. An alpha hero, particularly a billionaire one like Zach, fit this definition to a t. So what’s appealing about this mysterious alpha? After all, with all of these great things being thrown his way, he sounds like he could easily be—dare I say it—an asshole.

Aah. But that’s part of what makes stories with an alpha hero so great. Maybe the hero is on the verge of becoming an asshole, but the love of a good woman saves him. Maybe he’s truly a kind soul albeit with a need for control, and people think he’s a jerk when he’s truly not. Regardless, I think that the appeal lies in a very primal response that we as women have towards this kind of creature.

Isn’t there something kind of empowering when the leader of the pack singles us out?

Of course, it’s not so cut and dried as all that. When a woman admits to finding an alpha hero attractive, there are surely going to be cries of abandoning the ideals of feminism. Personally, I think it takes a strong woman to submit to the demands of an alpha. In Surrender to Temptation, I tried to make Devon’s characterization reflect this. In Tempted to Submit- Part 1, she’s feeling pretty low, and is uncertain of herself as a person. This is what leads her into a new relationship that she knows darn well isn’t a good idea—she just ended things with her co-worker boyfriend, and clearly becoming involved with your new boss isn’t the best idea that she’s ever had. Throughout the installments of the serial, she grows as a person and becomes more empowered. It’s only then that she can truly submit—and it’s that strong woman that Zach ultimately gives his heart to.

I hope that readers will enjoy the alpha hero that I’ve created in Surrender to Temptation. I very much enjoyed writing him. It’s so much fun to play with the characterization and the relationship dynamics in this kind of story. And now, I am curious and so I must ask…

What do you, as a reader, find appealing about an alpha hero?

temptedtosubmitPart One, Tempted to Submit is available now (Kindle l Nook). Part two, Tempted to Rebel is available January 8. Visit her site for the remaining books and release dates.


  1. says

    I think it’s when an alpha is vulnerable. (I’m thinking now of Dain in Lord of Scoundrels, one of my favorite alphas.) When he’s able to humble himself and admit his weakness to Jess and to her let her help him — something that’s so much more poignant when he is an alpha and thus doesn’t do this very often — that’s so moving, so sexy. And yes, I think you’re totally right: alphas in literature and life should only be paired with strong partners who won’t take their crap. ; )

  2. says

    What I find the most appealing characteristic of an alpha hero is the knowledge that he needs an equal – not window dressing, not a baby factory, not someone willing to dismiss their worth for a man. I love that. It’s such a strong message because I think that’s what most people want, regardless of gender. Equality is a stronger bond because you know where you stand. No power imbalances. An alpha knows his worth to himself and community while directly wanting someone just as confident.

  3. says

    Definitely love the idea of being chosen by the top man in a given society. Authors who write my favorite alpha males: Thea Harrison, Kristen Ashley, Karen Marie Moning, Lara Adrian, just to name a few.

    This post is super fun. Just got my kindle sample of Tempted to Submit and looking forward to checking it out. Nice to meet you, Lauren!

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