Politically correct? No way! Alphas don't give a dang what anyone thinks of them. They do what they want, say what they want, and, in the case of my pirate hero, take what they want. But if Alphas are such knuckle-dragging Neanderthals, why do we love them?
For one thing, they are frequently damaged in some way. Gregory House is wracked with constant pain. Jennifer Ashley's Ian MacKenzie suffers from Aspergers Syndrome centuries before it was diagnosed. Edward Cullen is undead and unhappy about it. In Loretta Chase's LORD OF SCOUNDRELS, her hero Dain was convinced as a child that he was a monster, unworthy of love. And as a man, he set out to prove them right. If you haven't read this terrific story, I urge you to run out and find a copy today! It's Beauty and the Beast writ large.
Alphas aren't limited to historical venues. My DH received the first season of 24 as a Father's Day gift and we sat down to watch it. (Warning: The series affects the nervous system like heroin. We had to finish the whole thing in just a couple of days!) The hero Jack Bauer is an uber-alpha. Smart, tough, overflowing with physical courage, he does what needs to be done, regardless of the personal consequences. He exhibits one of the most attractive qualities of an alpha--self-sacrifice.
But not all alphas are so high-minded. Bad boy heroes have captured our imagination since Bronte first created Heathcliff. There is an enduring feminine myth that any man, no matter how degenerate, can be brought to heel and reformed if the right woman sets out to reclaim him. While this makes for engaging fiction, I suspect actual cases of bad boys turning good can be counted on one hand.
So what about you? Do you like alpha heroes? Do they make you want to run the other direction? Who is your favorite Alpha?