Okay so Monday I totally derailed my own post. What did I mean to talk about? Alpha males in fiction. Right. Let's do that. [EDIT: I sort of derailed this one too, with pictures.]
I feel like in a lot of the romance I've read lately, the love interest is a big, strong, muscular, 'hot', manly man. And he's got the personality to match -- conceited, overprotective, needs to be in charge, I could go on. If it's a paranormal, often he's a werewolf or other shifter. And if he is, he's always the alpha.
God forbid any woman fall in love with the beta of the back. Or just a regular member.
Here's the thing - I get that alpha males are the fantasy of many in the female population (and probably some in the male population too - I should be inclusive). But I don't like them.
I don't find them attractive. Well, sometimes I do, but my tastes usually run to the more...bookish types. Or the charming ones. I certainly don't enjoy the kind of personality their fictional counterparts usually possess. (And yes, I know some of it is distortion because you're viewing them through the eyes of another character BUT STILL.)
Here are some manly men:
Here are some men who are more my type (and yes I am aware some of them are gay, this is one of my problems):
(Bonus: these two sing). (Also Matthew Gray Gubler IS HOLDING A PUPPY)
Also like 90% of the guys on this woefully incomplete list
So what about me? What about the girls who don't want an alpha male, a hyper-manly man? (Manly in the stereotypical sense. Yes, problematic gender norm things, but this post isn't about that.)
Are there any books where the female protagonist falls in love with a werewolf who loves the opera? Or a man who isn't super ripped, and instead likes to read? I've seen a few, but usually the guys are still also super possessive and annoying. And yes, books need conflict, and having the super possessive guy annoy the female until she discovers that really she loves him and he's just trying to keep her safe seems to be a popular one. But there are other kinds of conflict.
I JUST WANT A NERD BOY ROMANCE. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?
So, my dear readers, I ask for your help. (If you are willing and able). Are there paranormal romance books, or SFF books with a romantic subplot, that feature 'nerdy' love interests? Or -- let's go crazy -- even romances with no speculative element whatsoever? They must exist, and I just haven't found them yet.
Otherwise I'll have to write one myself.