Author Michelle Willingham is a RITA award finalist who has published over twenty books and novellas. Read about her latest warrior in "To Sin
with a Viking" and look for
her next Highlander romance, "Unraveled by the Rebel."
In romance novels, who doesn’t
love a larger-than-life warrior who will take charge and do things his way? If
he has a gleaming chest, chiseled features and sweeps his woman off her feet,
so much the better. Some would argue that in real life, an alpha man would be
an unbearable jerk no woman would want. And perhaps that’s true.
But as for me? After a summer
filled with bickering children who call each other names, hide each other’s
toys, and constantly whine, “Mooooom” (a
two-syllable word)—if a sexy Viking charged up on a horse and wanted to take me
away, I’d go willingly. Heck, I’d probably beg him to carry me off.
Alpha men are part of the
romantic fantasy. In a world where women are called to work full-time, be a
mother and a referee to her children, and take care of her family, it’s nice to
escape into a world with a barbarian warrior or a sexy Highlander. But don’t be
fooled into thinking that women want to be helpless creatures at the whims of a
fierce warrior. Not at all. In romance novels, the heroine is equal to her man,
able to verbally spar with him and bring him to his knees. That is the true fantasy. Romance is empowering, and the stronger
the hero, the stronger the heroine has to be.
In my Forbidden Vikings series that begins with To Sin with a Viking, I twisted the common theme of a marauding
warrior, but this time, the hero becomes the heroine’s captive. Styr Hardrata is infuriated, to say the least, and
the Irish heroine Caragh Ó Brannon must think of what to do with a hot Viking
chained up in her house.
But alpha heroes aren’t only
confined to romance novels. Many modern actors such as Hugh Jackman, Sean Bean,
Henry Cavill, and Gerard Butler have proven that they have what it takes to be
a compelling character. From Ned Stark in Game of Thrones to Superman, these
men are more than guts, glory, and eye candy—and each one has a strong woman at
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