Monday, September 21, 2015

Male on Monday - The Billionaire Hero

We're delighted to welcome Leslie Kelly to the Pink Heart Society as she talks about that oh so sexy billionaire hero...

Although Christian Grey appeared to leap out of nowhere to make the billionaire hero the hottest thing in romance fiction, the truth is, the uber-rich hero has been around for a long time. And wow, is he popular. 

Of course, he wasn’t always a billionaire. Super-rich heroes, even shabby “millionaires” were good enough in the old days. There were lots of them in the Harlequin category line. Do a search on Harlequin Presents titles, and you’ll see that millionaires were all the rate decades ago, gradually giving way to billionaires. (What’s next? Zillionaire’s just doesn’t have the same ring to it—that word always made me think of comics. And super rich heroes are rarely funny.) If you go to Goodreads, you’ll see numerous lists and groups around the rich-hero trope. 

That was my problem. You see, I have always liked writing light, funny, sexy stories. (Except when I’m writing brutally violent suspense novels.) But my contemporary romances have all been pretty light. And it seemed to me that billionaires, who obviously have to spend a lot of time making, watching, growing and keeping all that money, don’t have a lot of time for fun and games. (Unless they involve sex toys!) I wrote about real estate agents and landscapers, cops and firefighters, businessmen, writers, and even a gigolo. None of whom were terribly wealthy. 

The closest I came was when I had a billionaire accidently get into bed naked with the heroine of my story Triple Play, a novella released by Harlequin Blaze a few years ago. 

The hero of that story was a baseball player (who wasn’t very happy to walk into a hotel suite bedroom and find the woman he loved naked with said billionaire.) Anyway, I actually liked writing about the guy, Damien Black. He was a bit of a jerk but he was also sexy and flirtatious. 

So when it came time to write a book about one of my sassiest bad-girl heroines, Viv, who’d appeared in Oh, Naughty Night and New Year’s Resolution: Romance! I decided to pair her up with the rich guy. That worked out especially well because I wanted to do a play on the movie Pretty Woman (with a bad-girl heroine named Viv, how could I not?) so a rich businessman type was the perfect hero. 

The result was my new Blaze, Insatiable. (Oh--please ignore the guy on the cover—he looks like a 19 year old Chippendale’s dancer, and not super-sexy Damien Black, international playboy, hotelier, sports team owner, and billionaire.)

It turns out, billionaires can be lots of fun to write. Yes, I had to pull Damien away from Viv on occasion—there were a few meetings to attend. But mostly he just loved spoiling her, pampering her, lavishing attention on her. What woman wouldn’t want that? Honestly, I think that’s the appeal. Cinderella might have loved Prince Charming, but getting to live in the palace had to be a big perk, too!

What about you? Are you a fan of the super-rich hero, or are you hoping that’s a trend that will soon die out?  Join our debate in the comments!

Leslie's latest billionaire hero, Damien, can be found in Insatiable, out now:

There's no such thing as enough...

When the star player of a professional hockey team gets handsy, event coordinator Viv Callahan performs the slap heard ‘round the world of sports...and is fired. So when she meets a sexy stranger, Viv decides the perfect way to forget her troubles is to have one wild, uninhibited night....

Damien Black finds Viv intriguing.She doesn’t know he’s the owner of the aforementioned hockey team, as well as a chain of upscale hotels. Damien is used to hangers-on, and for once he’s enjoying a woman desiring him just for being him. But he quickly discovers how addictive pure desire can be, and how quickly a few lies of omission can endanger everything he loves.

To find out more about Leslie Kelly and her books, check out her website, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. Fab post Leslie! I think it's really interesting to see how trends rise and fall - I usually fall more for heroes who have more of a standard salary myself, but there's something quite exciting about the idea of being swept off your feet by someone who can take you anywhere and afford to do anything. I think it comes down to that "I want to be a princess" feeling! :P