We're having a discussion on the Amazon Forums about Alpha heros and I realized there are two classes of Alphas: Grunting, and the Cool, Dangerous, Sophisticated with the occasional Grunt on the side.
These are the guys who charge into the fray with swords in hand and slaughter the enemy first and ask questions later. They're a bit stubborn, and just a little wild (to put it lightly), demanding complete possession of their women. They are the leaders of the pack who don't take crap from anyone, and if you mess with them, you'd better watch out because they'll steam roll you if not hack off your head...
Gavrael McIllioch, otherwise known as Grimm from To Tame A Highland Warrior is a perfect example of a Grunting Alpha. Besides the fact he's a beserker, he is definitely more likely to hack the enemy to pieces and ask questions later type-of-guy. And demands FULL possession over his woman. In fact, I'd say most of Karen Marie Moning's heroes are Grunters.
Marsha Canham likes to write about grunting Alphas, as does Bertrice Small, Virginia Henley, Keri Arthur, and Sue-Ellen Welfonder.
When he steps into a room all eyes turn towards him, sensing his commanding presence. He is handsome to a fault, but he never shows his true feelings so you never know what he's thinking. He plays it cool, but there's a dangerous edge to him -- cross the line and you just might find yourself on the field of honor. Women flock to him, adore him, and tend to beg for one tantalizing night in his bed because he KNOWS how to pleasure. He's the sophisticated Alpha, but the moment his woman is threatened, he'll become a Grunter.
Rothgar from Jo Beverley's Devilish is the PERFECT example of a Sophisticated Alpha. He's cool, he's dangerous and knows how to dress to kill... LOL He's so aloof, you've just GOT to learn more about him.
Wulfric Bedwyn from Slightly Dangerous (Mary Balogh) is definitely a Sophisticated Alpha. Similar to Rothgar, he's cool, dangerous and very much reserved, until the heroine pulls him out of his shell.
Jane Feather, Teresa Medeiros, Julia Quinn, and Eloisa James, all love to write about Sophisticated Alphas
And then we have sweet, romantic Betas...
Though these males often show Alpha tenancies when the going gets tough, they are generally speaking very romantic, shy, and may patiently wait years for their chance to woo the woman of their dreams. You may not notice them at first for they do not stand out in a crowd, but once seen they capture your interest. They are highly intelligent and want nothing more than to sweep the heroine into their arms and hold them tight for the rest of their lives.
Julian Hampton from The Romantic by Madeline Hunter, waited years before finally wooing the love of his life. He did not let his feelings show until the day she came to him, needing his help. He is truly one of the most romantic heroes I've ever had the pleasure to read---the book was aptly named.
Sir Marmaduke Strongbow from Sue-Ellen Welfonder's Bride of the Beast is another favorite Beta hero of mine. Though scarred, he has the tongue of a poet, the heart of a romantic, and the sensuality of a god. He is a classic Beta/Alpha hybrid, the perfect sweet Beta to heal the heroine and sweep her off her feet.
I admit, I love them all: Grunt-o-licious Alphas, Sophisticated Alphas, and Romantic Betas. Tell me, what's your favorite type of hero? Who would you like to sweep you...er...the heroine off her feet?