I know a lot of readers and writers are totally enamored of their alpha heroes. And who wouldn’t be? They’re a strong, incredibly motivated, take-charge kind of guy.
But what about the other males in the book? The best friend, the sidekick, in some cases, the comic relief. Do you have a favorite among the betas in books?
In my books, I’m probably most partial to Thomas Knowlton, Earl of Brayton, in Time Enough to Love. Now, I know early on in the first book, Betrothal, Thomas does not show himself in a very sympathetic light. He’s jealous of Geoffrey’s attentions to his betrothed and his anger gets the better of him, causing him to make trouble between the couple. But Thomas learns the error of his ways and comes to value the friendship of both Geoffrey and Alyse. Here’s a little snippet from the point where Thomas has an epiphany regarding Alyse.
He lifted his carefully penitent face to hers, opened his mouth to speak, then paused, as if he would change his mind. His eyes widened, as if with some revelation, and his mask of composure seemed swept away, leaving in its wake a man full of contrition.
“Lady Alyse de Courcy. You see before you a man with a contrite heart who would ask your gracious mercy. In my infinite folly, I have spoken words against your gentle character that were false and slanderous. They have, indeed, caused you much pain. I acknowledge these words were spoken without true understanding of your intellect or your kind, generous nature and therefore were falsely judgmental.” Here Thomas peered into her eyes beseechingly. “I sincerely regret the grievous harm I have done you, lady. Had I the power to recall those words, they would have never been spoken. I regret that is not within the realm of God’s mercy. I can only offer what little I have, and therefore lay my hand and my heart before you. If it is within your kind nature to forgive a wretch such as I, I swear my hand to your service and my heart to your purpose, what’ere it may be, from this day forward.”
Stunned and touched by the sincere words, Alyse sat silent for several moments, amazed that there had been none of the glib courtier in that apology. His words had come not from his head, but from his heart. An unexpected turn of events. The primary reason she had declined to hear his apology was her fear that it would be all pretty words with no true feeling behind them. To her shame, she had sorely misjudged him. There had been too much honesty in his words for her to doubt his sincerity, too much genuine remorse in his warm brown eyes at the end to mistrust him.
I like a man who admits when he’s wrong. And a little grovelling never hurt either. Still, Thomas is a very charismatic character, though he’s actually a beta, and I’ve grown very fond of him.
So, who’s your favorite beta male? Please share him with us!