Bad Boys. We love to hate them and hate to love them.
They're everywhere in fiction, from the vampire with stalker tendencies to the motorcycle gang leader, the powerful werewolf, to the billionaire playboy. We read about these aggressive males and their questionable behavior and then swoon when the leading lady finally bags them. They change their ways out of adoration for the only woman they could ever love.
This is wrong on so many levels-- I could write a dissertation on it.
Okay, I admit, there are times when reading about a bad boy makes me swoon. I'm human and I'm female. But so many times the bad behavior that is supposed to be romantic is downright creepy. Sneaking into the leading lady's room to watch her sleep? Not romantic. Stalking her to make sure she doesn't get into any trouble? Also not romantic. I could go on but you get the picture.
We wonder as a society why so many girls and women fall for lousy men and return time after time to an abusive relationship. Whenever we present creepy stalker behavior as romantic, we are adding to the problem. Sure people change over time, but to build a relationship expecting a leopard to change its spots... not the smartest thing to do. I think we've all had that relationship where we fell for what could have been instead of what was. It's normal human nature, and it usually yields disastrous results.
Why can't an alpha male just be nice?
I like to write about powerful men who are nice and good at heart. Perhaps that isn't as exciting as a brooding, possessive jerk, but "I happen to like nice men". Remember that quote from The Empire Strikes Back? Han Solo is the epitome of the type of man I'm talking about. He may be a smuggler and claim to be out for number one, but anyone can see it's mostly an act. He wears the image of a bad boy over a heart of gold interior. This guy can make you swoon, yet you can still take him home to meet the parents.
Am I asking too much? No, I don't think so.
My male leads are emotional, can be petulant at times, they make mistakes, and they admit to them (even though it's hard). They get jealous-- as readers will see in the second Orion Circle book coming this summer. My guys have a tendency to mouth off when they're upset or confused, but they learn and grow from these instances. They may desire to protect the female lead, but will never stifle her. They are supportive and secure in themselves (most of the time anyway).
You will never see them bully anyone but the bad guys-- perhaps they take a bit too much pleasure in that, but who can blame them? Sometimes they tease and flirt outrageously, but they don't lie... much (they are human after all). My guys are kind to children and animals. Don't let this fool you, for they are by no means saints. They are just decent people trying to do what they think is right.
So tell me. What do you like to see in a male lead? Do you like brooding alpha males? How do you feel about the stalkerish tendencies portrayed as romantic?