There are romance novels out there for nearly anything you like: soft and sensitive men, women who are more powerful than their partners, sports-themed, stories about mafia kings, and those in a fantasy world. But one of the most tried and true forms of romance novels is the tale of the alpha male.
Alpha males are those characters who are strong, have an undeniable presence, and can be possessive or even dominating in some cases. But at their heart, an alpha male cares fiercely about their partner and would do anything to protect them. Done right, stories about alpha males can be some of the most compelling there are.
Whether you like something sexy, sweet, or a mix of both, these 20 books feature alpha males you will fall in love with.
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
If you love the classic story of a good girl being swept off her feet by a bad boy, Beautiful Disaster is for you. Abby Abernathy is looking for a fresh start at college and keeping a low profile, until she meets Travis Maddox, a handsome and tattooed student. When Travis is shocked at Abby’s lack of interest, he makes her a bet.
If he loses, they won’t have sex for a month. If she loses, they’ll move in together for the same month. But Travis is surprised as he learns how strong Abby really is in this popular enemies-to-lovers novel.
Real by Katy Evans
Underground boxer Remington Tate is known for his power in the ring and temper outside of it – it’s no wonder that so many fans clamor for his attention. But when Remington sees Brooke Dumas, he is sure she’s the only woman he will ever want. Her job is to keep his body working like the machine it is as a sports therapist, but she is instantly attracted to Remington.
Despite their primal attraction, Remington and Brooke are tested by his past and her family. Touching on topics like mental illness, Real is both a passionate romance and a touching love story.
Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
One of the most popular series in recent decades, Fifty Shades of Grey introduces readers to ultimate alpha male Christian Grey. The successful businessman meets Anastasia Steele when she interviews him for her college newspaper, where they immediately click and begin seeing each other.
Ana soon learns that Christian is interested in BDSM and hesitantly becomes his submissive partner. As this relationship is explored, readers watch Ana come to terms with her feelings for Christian and discomfort around their sexual relationship. The story is completed through the rest of the series, which picks up with them attempting a more “vanilla” relationship.
The Sweetest Oblivion by Danielle Lori
For lovers of the mafia romance genre, The Sweetest Oblivion centers Elena Abelli as the principessa of the mafia. When her sister is set to marry Nicolas Russo, Elena disapproves- he is a known cheat. Despite that, Elena feels a kind of desire she has never known when she meets Nicholas.
Desperate to avoid another scandal, Elena resists her feelings for Nicolas. The book has no shortage of chemistry and sexual tension in a slow burn that pays off in spades.
Brutal Vows by J.T. Geissinger
Reyna’s niece is sold to an arrogant, Irish mobster – and she is ready to fight to free her niece from the arranged marriage and a fate like Reyna’s. As she challenges him every step of the way, Spider finds himself increasingly obsessed with Reyna, not her niece. Their connection is palpable any time they are in the same room, even when it means Reyna is after him.
Spider must contend with these feelings in light of the marriage contract he signed. While he focuses on this goal, readers begin to see the way his heart has been broken in the past and how he will fight to do what’s right.
The Perfect Match by Meghan Quinn
Walker Rockwell is the most hated player in baseball. Threatened with expulsion from his team, he must clean up his image with the help of his new PR manager, Kate Chapman. What’s supposed to be a simple public relations tour takes a turn, and Walker and Kate find themselves working together closely.
The problem is that Kate’s contract forbids her from fraternizing with the players, and Walker wants nothing but to fraternize with her. Neither can lose their job, but they also can’t stay away from each other. Full of dirty-talk and a forbidden romance, The Perfect Match is perfect for fans of both baseball and alpha males.
The Takeover by TL Swan
Tristan is the classic romance lead: a billionaire, powerful and arrogant, unbelievably gorgeous, and surprisingly charming. Claire hates him, especially as he tries to take over her late husband’s company. Despite his efforts, she avoids Tristan at all costs to focus on her children.
But Tristan Miles always gets what he wants. With his sights set on Claire, his alpha male personality puts Tristan right where he wants to be. Though he is powerful and sometimes arrogant, The Takeover is also a great story about how Claire can rebuild her family with the right man.
King by T.M. Frazier
Sometimes, the appeal of an alpha male is that you shouldn’t like them at all. Brantley King just got out of prison for committing serious crimes and is still running a drug ring. But he can’t help but to extend grace to Doe, who is living in the streets after a traumatic event she can’t remember.
As both Brantley and Doe explore their pasts and futures, they also find a connection neither of them can deny in King.
Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren
When Bennett Ryan returns from France, he is poised to take on a new role in his family’s massive business. And it turns out that the assistant he’d been working with is a gorgeous woman – who he also finds completely insufferable. Bennett isn’t looking forward to working with Chloe, especially since he has a strict “no hookups at work” policy.
But he might make an exception for Chloe. And one exception leads to many, many exceptions as their attraction grows. Their forbidden relationship provides tension throughout Beautiful Bastard, and fans of alpha males will love his controlling nature and the ease with which she undoes him.
Bound by Honor by Cora Reilly
Aria Scuderi is struggling to find her own path among her family, who just happen to be some of the Chicago mob’s leaders. It’s a difficult thing to do, especially when she has been betrothed to Vitiello since she was 15 as part of a peace deal. While she barely knows Vitiello, she fears that his handsomeness is a mask for a cruel demeanor.
Despite her fears, she moves forward with the marriage in hopes she can charm Luca into kindness. But this may be harder than she thought, because Luca is a focused and dominant character, dedicated to his family business. Bound by Honor readers will be charmed by his alpha male personality and the soft side he begins to show Aria.
The Mogul and the Muscle by Claire Kingsley
At first glance, Cameron Whitbury seems like the most powerful person in the room- she is a billionaire, an aerospace mogul, and can find her way out of any problem with her engineering genius. But an attempted mugging leaves her worried, and she hires Jude Ellis as her personal bodyguard.
The two are focused on her protection, and nothing else, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t looking. Jude is a silent type at a crossroads in life, and only took the role to help a friend. But as The Mogul and the Muscle progresses, the two find it hard to stay apart.
Hero by Samantha Young
In a story all about secrets, Alexa learns that her father had a second family and sets out to right his wrongs. Along the way, she meets self-made billionaire Caine Carraway, who has plenty of secrets of his own. Caine wants nothing to do with her, and is cruel to her when they meet. But throughout Hero, the two spend more time together, and she begins to crack his tough exterior.
If You Were Mine by Melanie Harlow
Claire is only planning to have a one-night stand with Theo – he may be physically perfect, but he has a huge ego and isn’t very kind to her. Their chemistry, though, is undeniable despite their opposite dispositions. If You Were Mine is a perfect example of a mysterious bad boy and a happy, optimistic girl who have a steamy connection.
Steeling Her by Ashley Constantine
Carter Steel is the only daughter in a famous football family and is tired of being used for tickets. She swears off football as she heads to college, where she meets Nick Jackson.Nick is a star player and used to getting everything he wants – so why won’t Carter talk to him? Stealing Her is a short read full of sports, love, and even a bit of dominance.
Feral Sins by Suzanne Wright
For a more literal version of the alpha male, Feral Sins offers a wolf shapeshifter story centered around an arranged mating. Taryn agrees to an arranged mating with Trey to provide an alliance, but their instincts soon take over. As they carry out their three-month agreement, battle rages on around their intense romance.
Stay by Tia Louise
The alpha male in Stay, Stephen, is nearly textbook – a control freak, arrogant, angry, and rich. And of course gorgeous, which is why Emmy slept with him ten years ago. But when they meet again, Emmy is in the middle of a divorce and Stephen wants her desperately. A mix of tension and romance, enemies-to-lovers fans will enjoy this one.
Bared to You by Sylvia Day
When Eva graduates college and moves to New York City for work, she isn’t expecting to meet Gideon. She and the successful businessman are immediately attracted to each other, but both have emotional baggage and trauma that complicate that connection. In Bared to You, Eva and Gideon must confront their past while keeping up with their own lust for one another.
This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas
The first in a series, This Man follows Ava O’Shea, an up and coming interior designer. She expects her next client to be a rich old man, but is shocked to see an attractive and charming young man. Despite his sadistic nature, Ava can’t deny her attraction to him, or his to her. Anyone who loves a dominant playboy will be thrilled with this alpha male story.
Ruthless Billionaire by Kylie Hudson
Ruthless Billionaire is everything the title promises. Blade Channer is rich, cold-hearted, and proudly greedy. When he meets Desiree, she isn’t what he would usually fall for – she is smart but not cunning. But this novel follows them on a sexy and romantic journey toward a happy ending.
The Bride by Julie Garwood
Set in medieval times, The Bride is the tale of Lady Brenna, who is captured as a bargaining chip to secure a political alliance with her father. She is initially resentful toward Connor, her captor, and defies him at any turn. But as they travel to his stronghold, Brenna and Connor must overcome challenges together, and she begins to see more in him.
When the alliance is broken and Brenna’s father returns, Connor must take on the alpha male role to protect their newfound connection. This novel offers classic romance tropes and an alpha male to root for, set against a historic backdrop in Scotland.
What is an alpha male?
“Alpha male” typically describes a man who is confident, dominant, and assertive. This can be as part of a charming personality or one that is more abrasive. Alpha males are often seen as strong and courageous people who like to take charge. They are often, but not always, physically large and imposing.
Is Fifty Shades of Grey about an alpha male?
Many people find Christian Grey to be an alpha male due to his controlling, dominant nature, power, and physical attractiveness.
Who writes alpha male books?
It is very common to find alpha males in romance novels for adults. Christina Lauren is a popular author in the genre, as are Sylvia Day and Jamie McGuire.