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Top Ten Cruelest Alpha Heroes in Romance Novels

There is something very intriguing about a horrible alpha hero. No matter how distusting and depraved, if they have an ounce of good looks and charisma there is a desire for redemption. When I was watching the HBO Deadwood series on DVD recently  I became entranced with the brothel owning anti hero played by (Ian McShane) who was utterly disgusting and deplorable, and a most beautiful foil for the good looking sheriff (played by Timothy Olyphant), who, dispite his upstanding integrity, falls for the seduction of infidelity. I desired to know what terrible childhood had created such a tough shell.  The show is filled with such cruel alpha males seeking to survive and find their fortunes in a brutal environment. None of the women featured were saved a measure of heartbreak, if they made the mistake of opening their hearts to these men.

When I began writing "The House on Black Lake" I had no idea how my hero would take shape. His background was clear to me - wealthy descendant of old Montreal family, blessed with preternatural good looks, raised with the finest education and social experiences, taught to be a man by shooting big game in the wilds of Africa and learning to tame animals from native descendants on Black Lake. Hero Ramey Sandeley was not strictly of my imagination, as I have known similar men. But once he came alive in my novel he had a mind of his own.

There are many scenes in my book where I believe he is cruel and selfish with heroine, Alexandra Brighton. But it is also clear to me that his intense connection with Alexandra terrifies him, as well his her role in his unfolding fate. The fact that his mother abandoned him by taking her own life and his wife, Ruth, is an alcoholic who tricked him into marriage, makes him terrified of being emotionally close to a woman. So, the cruelties he exhibits appear to me more as boyish ways to fend off his own feelings of vulnerability and abandonment, as well as a fierce desire to help Alexandra grow out of her cocoon into a worthy counterpart -rather than the desire to hurt or destroy her.

Ramey has inherited a position within the power elite. He knows the ways of international commerce and government. His perceptions are skewed do to the nature of his position in society. Although Alexandra, world weary and reeling from a cruel divorce, is literally his captive during her stay on Black Lake and he is involved in her transformation inside the French Canadian underground, his goal is to release her from the psychological imprisonment of  society. In a dramatic scene in a shed behind the old Victorian on the island on Black Lake Ramey picks up a length of rope and asks Alexandra to tie his hands and do whatever she likes with him, so she can feel the power that drives her suppressors. When she declines and tells him he's acting crazy he responds: "How do you decide what's crazy? How do you determine what's good or bad unless you've tried it? Whose rules do you live by, anyway?  Who tells you how you should live your life or feel about anything. Is it you, Baby? Or is it your parents, your husband, your priest, or some fucking magistrate. Don't judge me until you can ask those questions of yourself and be completely honest with the answer." Ramey believes that by breaking Alexandra's shell her soul will be set free - but she does not share his insights. There is a tremendous power struggle between the two, and this struggle marks the beginning of Alexandra's growth as a woman.

On the other hand, the character of Georgie La Point, Ramey's cousin, a prominent French Canadian rock star, is another matter altogether. Also emotionally broken in childhood (his mother left his father for the stained glass craftsman hired to inlay the family crest in their front door), he is cruel and evil to the bone, with no hope of redemption. The man is a supreme narcissist who grooms his hair in the reflection in the eyes of his admirers, makes love to his own singing, and has never been with a woman more than once. No woman can tame this man and those who try will become damaged goods. So, Georgie is the villain in my story, and I had great fun having Alexandra challenge him in very provocative settings.

I have made a list of the top ten cruelest, meanest, most horrible heroes in romance novels (thanks to the Amazon Romance Community for their input).

1. Domenico, The Silver Devil, by Teresa Denys

2. Felipe, The Flesh and the Devil, by Teresa Denys

3.  Sean, Stormfire, by Christine Monsoon

4. Dillan,  Into the Fire, by Anne Stuart

5. Bastian, Black Ice, by Anne Stuart

6. Gray, After the Night, by Linda Howard

7. Steve, Sweet Savage Love, by Rosemary Rogers

8. Rodrigo, Fearless, Diane Palmer

9. Rolf, Risk Everything, Sophia Johnson

10 Dominic, Wicked Loving Lies, by Rosemary Johnson


Dark, Obsessive, Possessive, Romance Novel/Film Heroes

The world has gone mad for Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey. But he is preceded by a long line of dark lovers in film and literature.

Wade Gotwals and Anastasia Blackwell in Scene HOBL trailer

ATTENTION READERS: New Romantic Fantasy, The Chamber of Curiosities is NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER. The e-book will be delivered to your Kindle on Sunday, May 14, 2017. Be the first to read, review, and start discussions on forums. The epic story, set in a carnival in an ancient land, features an obsessive, possessive romance hero and heroine, as well as supporting characters with intense love obsessions.

Nothing is more rewarding than delving into the psyche of an obsessive, possessive, romance hero. A sexy, powerful man possessed with love has undeniable allure.

Ramey Sandeley from The House on Black Lake is an obsessive, possessive male who has never heard the word "no".  Ramey first appears in the novel sweaty and burnt, fresh from branding animals with his custom tools. He believes his preternatural good looks, charm, wealth, and power afford him the right to own whatever and whomever he desires. But he meets his match with Alexandra Brighton, who, after having been possessed by her previous husband, and having made a vow at a shrine to be true to her manifest destiny, will no longer allow herself to be owned or controlled by anyone.

The night Alexandra arrives at Black Lake with her young son she is world weary from a brutal divorce, and in a highly vulnerable state. Soon after she is rowed out by Ramey and his wife to stay in a deserted Victorian in an island, with no way out. That night she dreams she is tied to a four poster, waiting for a burning brand to seal her wedding vows. Their battle of wills will lead them both to the brink of self destruction, and threaten the lives of those caught in their orbit.

To be adored to the point of obsession is truly a rare and beautiful thing.  Possessed film heroes can be found in - TwilightLegends of the Fall, The Phantom of the Opera, Cruel Intentions, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Meet Joe BlackPossession, King Arthur, The Last of the Mohicans, LadyhawkeTristan and Isolde, The Thorn BirdsA Streetcar Named Desire, The Man Who Cried  features Johnny Depp as a gypsy who rides a beautiful white horse, and Original Sin offers some of the sexiest scenes on film as Antonio Banderas outplays Angelina Jolie at her own dangerous game, with her possessive brother played to perfection by Thomas Jane (of Hung).  There are also notable darkly seductive tortured souls in literature, and many of the aforementioned tales began as novels.

Following are a few novels that feature such brooding males:

The Carpathian Series by Christine Freehan

An Independant Wife by Linda Howard

Immortals After Dark Series by Cresley Cole

The Madness of Lord Ian McKenzie, by Jennifer Ashley

The Misted Cliffs,by Catherine Asaro

The Silver Devil and The Flesh and the Devil, by Teres Denys - Note: These are cult classics and can be expensive

The Wolf and the Dove, by Cathleen Woodiwess

To Love an Earl, by Elizabeth Thornton.

The Devil's Embrace Catherine Coulter's first novel. Some have called it creepy, cruel, and disgusting, but everyone has their own tastes.

The Ground She Walks Upon, by Meagan McKinney

The House of Rohan- Ruthless, Breathless, Reckless, by Ann Stuart

Shadow Heart, by Laura Kinsdale

Uncommon Vows, by Mary Joe Putney

Double Standards by Judith McNaught

Gold Ring of Betrayal, by Michelle Reed

Murder Game, Ghostwalkers series 7, by Michelle Freehan

Into the Dark Lands, by Michelle Sagora

The Dark Jewels Trilogy, by Anne Bishop

Prince of Dreams, by Lisa Kleypas

The Twilight Saga, Stehanie Meyers.

Julie Garwood, J.R. Ward , Fallen Angel and Black Dagger Brotherhood Series  Gena Showalter- are other notable  authors who specialize in the genre.

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

 Wuthering Heights, offers the supremely perfect, dark, brooding hero, Heathcliff,  Emily Bronte's masterpiece.

Gone with the Wind. gives us  Rhett Butler, who is in a class of his own.

For those who desire a darker, more erotic experience the following are well written in this genre:

The Man in the Black Leather Mask follows a female attorney's transformation from powerful woman to submissive beneath the hands of a ten years younger dominent colleague

Kidnapped for Christmas by Evangeline Anderson - Average, overweight woman's skinny sister plans her own kidnapping as a sexual lark, but man takes wrong woman and the more conservative sister finds herself a submissive to a very sexy man

Surrender To Me, by Shayla Black - a woman's secret desire is met by her boyfriend in a Las Vegas trick where he consents to menage with friend, who also happens to be Navy Seal. An obsession is sparked between the woman and her new friend and nothing is the same for the two.

Master of the Mountain by Cherise Sinclair - an less than figure perfect ad agency artist complies with boyfriend's request to visit remote swinger's cabin. During her stay she sees boyfriend with other woman and realizes her relationship is over. However, she meets a man that is emotionally scarred and afraid of commitment who takes her on a journey into the underworld of dominence and submission.

Submissive Desires by Carolyn Faulker. Very severe story of a woman's five year journey to complete submission in the hands of a fiercely powerful and possessive ex Navy Seal.

What will it take to relieve him of his torture?

Obsessive, possessive, brooding romance hero


I was recently interviewed about obsessive possessive love and the character of Ramey Sandeley.  Here are my thoughts:



Thanks to Amazon Romance Community