The Fallen Man Release

by Bethany Maines

The Fallen Man Release!

Next week sees the release of the fourth book in the Deveraux Legacy series – The Fallen Man. I suspect that each author picks their projects based on something in the story that they want to explore. For me this series started out as an exploration of why the broody, possessive, and sometimes abusive, “alpha” males are still getting plenty of romance novels written about them. The first, and most obvious answer is that they’re fictional. Like Vegas, the things that happen between the covers of a book, stay in the book. I suspect that a lot of people who enjoy those characters in fiction, would not appreciate those behaviors in real life.

How Did We Get Here?

I read one romantic comedy where the hero broke into her apartment with three other guys and relocated all her things to his house. Not surprisingly, for fiction, she didn’t call the cops. In real life, that’s a quick trip to the nearest police station. Also, did he manage to get her rice cooker? She had roommates—how did he know what furniture was hers? And did he rummage through her drawers and see any… toys? Inquiring minds want to know. Then there are the “dark romances” where the heroines somehow manage to get kidnapped, forced into marriage, or held hostage and still fall in love with their captors. I mean, Stockholm Syndrome is real, but… ladies! Come on!

I also wonder how similar these romances are to the crime thrillers, where women inevitably end up raped and murdered while the broody hero solves the crime. In both genres, it seems like perhaps the reader gets to control the abuse and trauma that is quite frightening in real life.

I’m Fun! I Swear!

All of which makes my series sound like a real downer when, in fact, it is an action-packed family saga. But my characters did grow from this space of pondering fictional traumas. In each book of the series, one of the Deveraux cousins struggles with their family’s past legacy of trauma and attempts to make peace with it. And, oh, dodge some killers, solve a mystery, and, of course, find love. Hopefully, none of my readers are out there thinking… “Call the cops! He’s a nutter!”

What do you think? Are the alpha-hole “heroes” still fun to read? Or have we reached a different standard of heroism?


👉 Pre-Order from all retailers:

THE FALLEN MAN: When orphan and convicted felon Jackson Zane realized that he was part of the wealthy Deveraux family, he thought he’d found his proverbial happily ever after. And for the last seven years, Jackson has dedicated himself to fixing and protecting his new family, all while ruling out love for himself. Until now.

A banner shows the four Deveraux Legacy novels, and the prequel novella over the New York city skyline.


Bethany Maines is the award-winning author of the Carrie Mae Mysteries, San Juan Islands Mysteries, Shark Santoyo Crime Series, and numerous short stories. When she’s not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some serious butt with her black belt in karate, she can be found chasing her daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel. You can also catch up with her on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and BookBub.

15 replies
  1. Lois Winston
    Lois Winston says:

    Personally, I like a compassionate hero who respects women for their intelligence and talent and sees them as equals. I’ve never understood why women fall for bad boys. Do they think they’ll be able to change them? Only in fiction. Never in real life. Bad boys only grow worse with age.

    • Bethany Maines
      Bethany Maines says:

      Yes! Thank you! Spoiled bad boys don’t magically become easy to get along with old men. I suppose as an author we’re always treading the line between what’s responsible to put out into the world and what’s fun to write, but at some point the bad boy fictional heroes tip my willing suspension of disbelief and I start yelling at the heroines to kick his bad boy butt to the curb.

  2. Donnell Ann Bell
    Donnell Ann Bell says:

    Bethany, I’m listening to an audio book right now (lots of road trips) and we have an alpha male. I must have evolved because in the 80s and 90s, I would have literally swooned over this type. After you undergo victims advocacy training you become like Will Robinson in Lost and Space. Danger Will Robinson, Danger! I know you’re fun! And your series sounds fantastic. You are on my TBR list! xoxo

  3. Saralyn
    Saralyn says:

    My heroes come in all shapes and sizes, colors and genders. With fiction, I am willing to suspend disbelief for the sake of any story. You tell it, and I’ll fall right into it, Bethany.

    • Bethany Maines
      Bethany Maines says:

      I actually think that may be my problem – most of these “heroes” are brawny white dudes and it’s possible that I may have had it up to my eyebrows with abusive white men. Perhaps if they did come in a few more shapes and sizes I’d be happier about it. But you’re quite correct – if the story is well told I’ll fall right into it.

  4. Kathryn Lane
    Kathryn Lane says:

    Usually, I don’t like the alpha male hero, but really good writers and the correct storyline can make it work for me. The compassionate yet strong male character does more for me.
    Congratulations on the release of your new book!

  5. Gay Yellen
    Gay Yellen says:

    I’m with you on this, Bethany. I’m genuinely turned off by bare pecs and rippling muscles on some book covers. In my book, a hero doesn’t need muscles to win the day.

  6. T.K. Thorne
    T.K. Thorne says:

    I never read Shades of Grey (really) but not because it was alpha-steamy, but (only you guys will understand) because it was said (a lot) that it was not well written. That was the kiss of death for me. That said, I think it is perfectly fine to have a line between fantasy and reality. The problem is the message we send to young girls. In A Little Red, Bethany, you had a very steamy alpha male who wanted to do things but didn’t. His respect made him way more attractive to me. You proved the point that strong is either unmasculine nor unfeminine.

    • Bethany Maines
      Bethany Maines says:

      Lol. And my brain knew that and filled it in for you. And thank you for the compliment regarding A Little Red. I also didn’t read the 50 Shades. I kept seeing excerpts and thinking… what the crap????

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