Alpha Fatigue

Shanyn's avatarby Shanyn Hosier

Anyone else getting a little tired of the “typical” romance heroes—the alphas? The ones with enough muscles-bulging testosterone to raise suspicious eyebrows at an Olympic event? So obsessed with the heroine he simply can’t leave her alone? Unable to utter the words, “I’m sorry,” or “In need some help with this…”

I get the fantasy, truly. And I enjoy partaking once in a while. But when the alpha hero becomes ubiquitous, thanks to the (mistaken?) belief that this sort of guy is the only kind a romance reader can fall in love with, it gives me indigestion. The whole-hog alpha works better for me as an occasional treat, not a steady diet. I need some reality-man seasoning to put my system back to rights.

It’s a fine line, too, between a guy displaying an attractive level of protectiveness and what Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan of Smart Bitches Trashy Books refer to as “alphole” tendencies. More than once, I’ve wanted to shake the heroine, whether plucky or spineless, and shout, “Run the other way! This guy’s a misogynistic jerk, possibly a stalker!”

The antidote? My latest romance release features a “beta” male… who happens to be a Dom. In Ingenue: a feminist BDSM adventure, Reed helps Paige explore her newly discovered, sexually adventurous side she never knew existed. Read on for more…

“I didn’t say you were submissive,” Reed parried, his tone amused, even indulgent. “I said you were a submissive.”

“There’s a difference?”

“A world of difference,” he assured. “A Dom/sub relationship is about control, but it’s only given freely, and you’re mistaken if you think the sub relinquishes it completely. In fact, many would argue the sub holds all the power, all the time.”

Why did my knees feel weak? Why did my gut feel all bubbly? Why did he sound so convincing? Like he understood things about me that I’d never guessed.

“I’m a feminist,” I argued.

“So am I.” In the pause following, I held my breath. He was like the Pied Piper, and I was befuddled, aroused, and utterly enchanted. “What you want in the bedroom, in a sexual partner, doesn’t have to apply to the world at large.”

He stood, becoming a black silhouette against the glare. When he stepped toward me, I realized from his perfectly carved shadow that he was naked! I should’ve run away screaming, but I was riveted—not with fear, but with desire.

“You want a man to take control of your pleasure. And there’s nothing wrong with that, honey.”

He sat on the coffee table in front of me, the heat radiating from his body kindling something dangerous, unpredictable within me. He reached for my hand, kissed my palm, and I melted.

“I’d love to show you that side of yourself,” he purred, placing my hand on his neck, and I felt his pounding pulse. Knowing he felt as charged as I did did nothing to reestablish my equilibrium. “I’d love to make you feel safe enough to trust me with it.” He drew my hand down to his chest. Beneath the soft curls, I detected his steady breathing, his solid heartbeat.

“So, what, you want to tie me up?” I was proud my voice stammered only a little, considering my tongue felt Novocain-leaden.

Reed caressed my hand in a soothing manner. “We can share some bondage play, if that turns you on. Blindfolds, cuffs, maybe even a collar…”

My heart raced at the words, fit to burst, and heat rushed up my throat to my cheeks. Fear and arousal tangled into knots in my gut, but I couldn’t bring myself to pull my hand away, to get up and leave.

“Will it hurt?” My voice had faded to a whisper.

His voice was gentle in response. “There’s a world of pleasure to be found through pain, Paige. But it’s always your choice. We’ll stop whenever you want to stop.”

ingenue front cover 2Ingenue: a feminist BDSM adventure is available for preorder now on Amazon. Please visit my website for more information and another excerpt.

Shanyn Hosier adores reading and writing in the same way she loves breathing and eating, deriving a similar nourishment from each. For more information about current and upcoming releases, please visit her website, You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


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