Here at Demon Lover’s we love to have authors pop by to chat, and I am especially excited to host Laurel O’Donnell because her book The Angel and the Prince is the first romance novel I remember reading. And I remember reading it several times. ~Highland Hussy
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines alpha as socially dominant especially in a group of animals. This made me laugh. But in a way, it’s what describes an alpha male. Socially dominant. He is the hero. Usually devastatingly handsome, definitely dominant. In charge. Strong. Confident. Many times he is arrogant. Wolverine from the X Men comes to mind.
Despite his confidence, an alpha male works in the romance novel, because he is broken or flawed. He needs the heroine to complete him or keep him in place or both. He needs her love.
In Angel’s Assassin, Damien is an assassin. He is the best assassin. His skills are honed to perfection. He has no doubts about his skills and instincts. Physically, none can beat him. Yet, internally, he yearns for more. It’s not until he meets Aurora of Acquitaine that he understands what he has been missing. When he sees the man he could be reflected in her eyes, his entire world shifts and he is lost.
So, what’s the appeal of these arrogant men? Physically, they are an eye full! It’s more then that. They are always in charge. Think Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark. You had no doubt he was going to save Marian. The trip was definitely worthwhile!
The trick to writing a romance novel with an alpha male is to allow him to show his tender side for the heroine without losing any of his alpha male aspects!
So well said! I do love an alpha male, that protective instinct balanced with his possessive instinct, makes a hero swoon-worthy for me.
Damien is an assassin, a man with no home and a tortured past. Sold into slavery as a young boy, he is trained to kill with cold calculation, without remorse. As a reward for his ruthless success, he is given a chance to earn his freedom from his cruel master. One last mission. One final person to slay…
Lady Aurora of Acquitaine is the epitome of purity and goodness, beloved by all her people. She lives her life trying to atone for her mother’s cruelty by being a fair and just ruler. Secretly she fears that one day her mother’s murderer will return for her. When Damien enters Aurora’s life, tempting her with promises of dark passion and forbidden lust, he threatens to tear her peaceful world apart with shadowy secrets of his own.
She was more than stunning. She was an angel.
She looked down at a beggar who held an old, feeble hand out to her, his gnarled fingers stained with mud. Outrage filled Damien that this dirty, decrepit man should accost her in such a manner. But the lady did not shy away from his filth. She did not turn her back on him. She smiled at him. Damien found himself wishing he were the beggar, wishing he were the recipient of such radiance. Then she bent forward, touched the beggar’s shoulder, and spoke earnestly to the old man.
Damien inched forward, ignoring the crush of people around him as he moved closer to this goddess. He could not hear her words, but the people around her smiled.
The beggar nodded his head enthusiastically at the regal lady and smiled a toothless grin.
Lady Aurora turned and moved leisurely into the square. Her blue velvet surcoat swished about her long legs. The lone guard walked before her, keeping the path clear.
One guard to protect her, Damien thought, disgusted. If he were her father, he would hire an army of men to trail her and keep her safe.
People called out to her now. She paused and spoke to many, giving them her undivided attention. What would she say to him if he called out to her? Did he care? No, he wouldn’t care what words she uttered. All he wanted was to see those luminescent eyes turn to gaze at him with the same undivided attention she so graciously offered everyone else.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a movement. A shadow. A slithering shape. He searched the crowd, the feeling of unease growing much stronger now, spreading across the nape of his neck and shoulders. His gaze darted through the throng, focusing on one villager and then another. A mother smiling down at her child. A farmer speaking with a short baker. A monk gazing at Lady Aurora.
And then, mixed in the crowd, Damien found him. He was a small man, dressed in a faded green tunic. He hunched slightly, moving slowly between people, being careful not to touch anyone, being careful not to draw attention to himself. But unlike the people who surrounded him, there was no serenity in his face, no adoration. Only dark purpose. The man focused on Lady Aurora with the intensity of a predator.
Damien recognized him immediately. He was one of Roke’s elite guards, a killer, and an assassin. A slave of Warin Roke just like him. Damien didn’t know his name, but he knew the face. And he knew the ugly gleam of determination in his eyes as he trapped his prey in his sights. What the devil is he doing here? Damien silently demanded as fierce anger blasted through him. What game is Roke playing?
Damien moved through the crowd, inching closer to him, not taking his stare away from the stalker. He bumped into a farmer half his size. The man grumbled something, but Damien moved on, ignoring him, concentrating on his target.
Damien heard the gruff call, but did not look up to see who it was. He didn’t dare take his gaze off the man, lest he lose him in the thick crowd of villagers. Damien watched the man’s reaction. He saw him hesitate, watched his small eyes shift from Aurora to somewhere off to the left where the other voice had originated.
For a moment, Damien thought the puny man would turn and leave. Is he here to make sure I complete my mission? His eyes slowly narrowed. No, that was not the reason he was here. He knew Warin Roke well, well enough to realize he would never send anyone to watch over him.
Something glinted in the little man’s hand.
Damien’s eyes widened in realization. The man isn’t here to follow me. He is here to steal my freedom! Damn you to hell, Roke.
The killer bent his legs and sprang forward, moving with a quickness his small stature belied. He moved straight for Lady Aurora, his dagger flashing in the fiery sunlight.
Next stops on the tour:
Laurel O’Donnell has won numerous awards for her works, including the Holt Medallion for A Knight of Honor, the Happily Ever After contest for Angel’s Assassin, and the Indiana’s Golden Opportunity contest for Immortal Death. The Angel and the Prince was nominated by the Romance Writers of America for their prestigious Golden Heart award. O’Donnell lives in Illinois with her four cherished children, her beloved husband and her five cats. She finds precious time every day to escape into the medieval world and bring her characters to life in her writing.
Where to find Laurel: