You won’t find pushy alpha males or mean alpha females here. We’re talking strong, sensitive romance leads served up without toxicity. Check it out on StoryOrigin.

Is it common for alpha characters to be toxic too? Maybe I haven’t ventured far enough into that romance rabbit hole, but most of the romantic reads on my shelf these days tend towards the wholesome.

In 2018, I was utterly taken by that Zach Woods article in GQ magazine, the one about how sweet gentle “beta male” types are finally getting recognition. And well, it’s 2022 now and I still can’t stop thinking about it.

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing many decent genuinely nice guy types, gentle souls, chivalrous but not chauvinistic humans worthy of being written into a story. Chris from my short story The Guy From The Flower Shop, for example, is a mish-mash of three decent humans I know.

His sweetness came from a shy friend who is unabashedly thoughtful when it comes to loved ones. His little impassioned rant was borrowed from someone who’s mild most of the time until he feels strongly about something good.

Finally, his maturity and perspective come from someone who doesn’t conform to common social norms and conversational rituals, making him the perfect set-up for Su-Li, who is tired of pandering to some of the ‘norms’ she grew up with.

The male love interests of Somerville Downs are brave in the face of their fears and emotions, which I don’t think is unrealistic at all.

A sparse bouquet of flower heads on the cover of The Guy from the Flower Shop by Birdie Song

Psst! By the way, The Guy from the Flower Shop is currently available for free on B&N, Kobo and Apple Books. Basically any retailer that would let me run a free book promo without jumping through a million hoops. Happy reading!

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