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In Praise of Billionaires, the fictional kind at least, or why I read romance

Since I began reading romance many years ago and certainly since I began writing romance, I’ve had a particular affection for the billionaire trope. When I wrote my debut romance it was a foregone conclusion. My hero is a broody, arrogant billionaire.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t love me a cop, soldier or firefighter hero and boy do I swoon for those Texas cowboys. And don’t even get me started on those hot Highlander heroes!

But yeah, I do like billionaires as romantic heroes. Alot.


C’mon, you say. Don’t be so shallow, Charlotte! Those other men and their career choices are more deserving of praise. Their lives, their loves, trials and tribulations are much more worthy of a story.

And to that I say, it depends.

I’ve read an unforgettable cowboy hero or two and I can think of a few military heroes I’ve adored. And though I don’t recall a firefighter hero I’m sure there are some sizzling ones in romances I need to read. (Recommendations welcome!)

And of course… Jamie Fraser.

Still, my heart beats just as hard for the billionaire. Especially the self-made kind.

Wait a second, I can hear you say. Billionaires are unbelieveable. The material possessions, the jetting here and there. And they can be so egotistical. True.

And I guess that’s where opinions ultimately diverge. Because for me it boils down to why I read romance. I read to escape. For fantasy. I enjoy the fantastic elements and angsty, thrilling, over the top conflicts that are part of some of the best stories. No matter who the hero is or what he does.


Because if I want to dwell on real life, all I have to do is turn on the news. No thank you.

And with a billionaire, we start with the idea that of course in real life billionaires are as rare as snowflakes in Florida.

In real life they can be gross and mean. But in real life that could be said about any of these tropes. And do I want to read about a gross or mean (insert any hero type here) hero?

NO! I want my fantasy. 

And though I definitely do enjoy an everyday hero/heroine when s/he’s well written that doesn’t preclude me from relishing the billioniare hero. Because they aren’t everyday.

If a hero happens to be a billionaire I still want to know the details of how he got there and what motivates him. And with a billionaire there is usually something interesting, something big in the backstory that got him on the road to billionairehood. Which can be just as satisfying to read about as the life of a news reporter hero or a chef hero.

I want to know all of that for my heroine too—whether she’s a billionaire herself, or a lawyer, soldier, waitress or inventor.

The big question for me with both the hero and the heroine is how they became who they are when the story begins and how they grow and change on the way to their happily ever after.

What do you think?

And do you equate a billionaire with a man in a suit? Does that make a difference? What’s your favorite trope for a hero? For a heroine? Do you have a trope you won’t read?










6 thoughts on “In Praise of Billionaires, the fictional kind at least, or why I read romance”

  1. Hi Charlotte,
    I guess I’m the opposite; I don’t like tropes, even in escapist books. I like characters who defy my expectations. I think that’s the one constant I want in a hero or a heroine: unexpected qualities that push the boundaries of my internal stereotypes for a given profession. I’d rather see the heroine as the billionaire. I imagine someone’s tried that 🙂 Enjoyed your post! I love the cover of your book.

    1. I guess to me a trope is like comfort food. I don’t want a trope ALL the time but there are times when that’s what’s needed. If the character is believable to me then it wouldn’t matter if he or she is within or outside of a trope. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Hello Charlotte. Great post. I like billionaire tropes but there always needs to be something more for me. A man with a ton of money is just not enough. I do love military/security tropes, and mix those with billionaire’s…and you’re on track with my fantasy. Best of luck with your debut and all your books to come. Anni xx

    1. So true. Of course I want something more to the hero too but…should I blame my fixation on an impoverished childhood? Maybe. Or that in NYC the high cost of living and lack of money is such a glaring fact of life? I don’t know. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Hi Charlotte,

    My fantasies have to have magic in them, My hero’s lean toward military men, shapeshifters and demons. Do I see a billionair in a suit, sure, but some of the self-made ones also where jeans as in working their why up to owning a large construction company or maybe in the oil business. Interesting post, thanks for sharing!

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