Friday, July 10, 2009

Paperback Heroes: The Rich and the Famous

We've saved the rich for last. The wealth and privilege that comes with it puts these paperback heroes into a class all their own. They are born into wealth or self-made men, they are old-world nobility or modern robber barons. They influence people, they live the good life and they can get away with all kinds of things. Yet, even amidst their wild wealth, they are good men, honorable men. They are the Prince in the modern fairy tale.

Paperback Hero: The Rich and the Famous
The self-made man is damned attractive in literature. He's made his fortunes through hard work and ingenuity. He isn't pampered by money and he may like all the things that good money can buy, but he's not so spoiled with it he can't appreciate the real world. The poster boy for the rich and famous as a romantic leading man must be J.D. Robb's Roarke.

From the moment Eve Dallas meets him, she's taken in by his good looks, charm and something more -- that utterly compelling aura that marked him as a driven man. He was not softened by his wealth nor defined by it; his money is a mark of his independence, his desire for complete autonomy and in his own way -- what he does to have fun.

The Rich and the Famous in Books

Iris Johansen embraces the rich and the famous with the first appearance of her billionaire industrialist John Logan. He even gets the girl in The Face of Deception: Eve Duncan's first appearance. But the second book, he lets her go back to the Atlanta cop who loves her because he's a great guy who can let go of what he loves in The Killing Game. But Johansen pays him for his karma by introducing him to Sarah Patrick in The Search. Despite the great affection he feels for Eve, he discovers real love with Sarah.

Kay Hooper delivers a powerful man of wealth in her novel Touching Evil with John Garrett (what is it with men named John?). John is searching for what happened to his sister and empath Maggie Barnes can help him. But even as he pushes her, he learns that his money can't buy her safety or protection. The gothic sensibilities in this modern romance are very compelling.

One cannot talk about wealthy men of privilege in literature without mentioning Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. Finally, still wondering what other literary wealthy men there are? Just check out some of these titles:

  • At the Argentinean Billionaire's Bidding
  • The Prince's Waitress Wife
  • The Ruthless Magnate's Virgin Mistress
  • The French Tycoon's Pregnant Mistress
  • Seduced by a Wealthy Playboy

The list goes on and on and on. In part because money is very sexy so is power and influence.

Wealthy Romantic Heroes in TV and Film

Just look at Rick Castle on ABC's new series. The murder mystery novelist is doing quite well for himself and shamelessly uses his influence to his advantage. Remember Mickey Rourke's wealthy sensual appetites depicted in 9 and Half Weeks? There's also Gordon Gecko as played by Michael Douglas in Wall Street. Richard Gere is the wealthy, but lonely Edward in Pretty Woman. Pierce Brosnan as the devilishly sexy, but bored and lonely Thomas Crowne in The Thomas Crowne Affair

Money, influence, power and titles are all definite turn ons for readers.

Who is your favorite wealthy romantic hero?

Thanks for joining us this week for Paperback Heroes. There are so many different types we didn't tackle, so we'll return to this series in the future. Next week, we're going to be talking writing romance in genre and across genre! So be sure to come by for your daily dose.


  1. Heather you are sooooooo right about a self-made man looking good in paperback. Add to the name John and you've got one Heck of a hero. Or Jack...Jack is a very good, sturdy and sexy name. Love the post and keep them coming.

  2. Thanks for coming by Christine! And yeah, I think the self-made man is pretty darn yummy -- and wealth eliminates some of the problems couples have when finances are tight, but opens up all new avenues of romance and romantic gestures!