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The Millionaire/Billionaire Romance
What is the “Millionaire/Billionaire” Romance Genre?
The “Millionaire/Billionaire” genre focuses on stories about the fabulously wealthy – and this seems to be the fastest growing genre in romance novels.
What to Expect in the “Millionaire/Billionaire” Romance Genre
- the millionaire/billionaire (m/b) is always the male character and is always the pursuer
- the m/b is always portrayed as confident and powerful – both physically and professionally, and they don’t like to waste time
- the female character is always “normal,” even in their looks; they are rarely described as “raven-haired beauties,” etc.
- the m/b always has some kind of “issue” or “secret” that he doesn’t want known (and sometimes the secret is that he is a m/b)
- all of the m/b have trouble with commitment; they’ve been burned before and don’t want to risk getting hurt/taken advantage of
- all of the m/b won’t take “no” for an answer
money/cars/personal jets/trips/exotic locales, etc.
Millionaire/Billionaire Romance Characteristics
- Level of Angst
On a scale of 1-10, the level of angst in this genre is low, and a bit predictable. The hero won’t commit; the heroine wonders if she can ever get him to care outside the bedroom; something occurs to make him realize he can trust her; and he gives her his love forever…sigh…
- Character Development
I have found reading this genre is a little more fun than some of the other genres – the characters are usually pretty interesting if predictable, the situations are engaging, and the stuff of fantasy is pretty realistic and is something we are all familiar with from reality television. It’s kind of fun to get a glimpse inside how the “other half” lives (okay – how the “other 1%” lives) and think that it could be us one day if only we happened to meet the inventor of Facebook or Microsoft or Apple broken down on the side of the road or without his wallet in a diner.
- Plot Strength
This genre is all set in the present day…the genre used to be only millionaires, now it is billionaires – given inflation and the tax rate, I guess millionaires were too common. Regardless, all of the opportunities/possessions/wealth they have are familiar to the reader.
There are a few twists on the plots in these novels: Sometimes the m/b is hiding his identity as incredibly wealthy either as a ruse to see if the heroine is only after his money or because he is tired of being catered to and just wants to be treated as “normal.” This plot is always more predictable since we know the woman will find out who he really is and will be mad at him. Then it becomes a game of cat and mouse.
Another twist is whether the money is self-made (“new money”) or family wealth (“old money”) – that doesn’t seem to influence the plot at all, but it can be interesting to see which approach the author takes and how the story develops.
Another twist is that sometimes the heroine is hired to play the hero’s girlfriend/fiancée (for a wedding, a funeral, etc) so the hero has a woman on his arm, but no relationship complications. Of course, complications always arise as one falls for the other…and the story develops from there.
- Romantic Tension
The level of romantic tension about mid-level. There can be some while the woman tries to decide if she wants to take on all that goes with the trappings of wealth, but generally she is reluctant but accepting of it. The heroine says – 9 times out of 10 – that even if the hero had no money she would still love him. And we believe her…
- Level of Eros
This genre is mixed – when the author chooses to focus on the power associated with great wealth, the power is complete – both emotional and physical. In these novels, there is a lot of “conquering” that occurs – with dialog from the hero like “…once I’ve had you, I’ll never let you leave.” The sex scenes in these novels tend to go a little faster, and are more explicit and “hot.”
Sometimes, however, authors choose to have the m/b woo a reluctant heroine into bed – she has often been hired by him as an assistant, a nanny, a housekeeper, a nurse, etc – and she is trying to be professional, and he wants her. These novels move a little more slowly and the “hot” factor isn’t as hot, but the story is certainly more about the love than the sex (although the sex is usually pretty good, too).
- Prose Quality
The prose quality in this genre is usually pretty good. I have noticed that the heroines are more “everyday” women whom many of us can identify with (or be)…not a lot of drama from the main heroines in this genre. They usually have jobs, are solid citizens, care about the people around them, are not naïve, etc. So, to develop the stories about likable women, the prose quality has to be pretty solid.
Related Romance Subgenres
The closest subgenres for this genre are “athletes” (since they have money), “alpha” (since they like to be in charge) and “contemporary” (since these novels don’t always age very well). The references are usually pretty current, and even a ten year old novel “shows its age.”
“Millionaire/Billionaire” Romance isn't for you if
You like mysteries, time-travel/the supernatural, and you like the “average Joe” hero.
“Millionaire/Billionaire” Romance is totally for you if
You like a Cinderella story. You often picture yourself as the heroine in these books. You enjoy seeing the “normal” girl get the guy.
- 1 The Billionaire’s Charade (2015)
By Eve Gaddy. Is for every woman who had a fling only to find out your fling WAS your new boss. Okay, that doesn’t really happen. But that’s the premise of this novel, which is a lot of fun in exploring the relationship between the two as they solve a mystery by day, and each other by night.
- 2 Stranded with a Billionaire (2014)
By Jessica Clare. Focuses on a waitress and a billionaire who get stranded at a hotel during a hurricane. In the Bahamas. In an elevator. (‘nuf said…)
- 3 The Sweetest Seduction (2014)
By Crista McHugh. Is the first in a series that is a modern twist on Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. It tells the story of a clash between a restaurant owner and a property owner who want the same location, and one another.
- 4 Bared to You (2012)
By Sylvia Day. Is the story of two people with demons in their past, but cannot seem to live without one another in the future, no matter what it might hold.
- 5 This Man (2013)
By Jodi Ellen Malpas. Tells the story of an interior designer who is called to a job, expecting an elderly, overweight countryman. What she finds is an arrogant, conceited playboy who seems bound and determined to have her, whether she wants it or not.
- 6 Maid to the Billionaire: The Tycoon’s Baby (2015)
By Holly Rayner. Is about the impact of one night of passion on two lives, and the third life that hangs in the balance.
- 7 In Flight: Up in the Air (2012)
By R.K. Lilley. Combines a hot billionaire hotel owner and a flight attendant who cannot seem to control herself. Shocked by her response to him, she is determined to discover the appeal he holds for her, even though she is sure it will break her heart.
- 8 The Marriage Bargain (2012)
By Jennifer Probst. Is about a man who propositions a woman who needs the money to play his wife in order to gain an inheritance. The “marriage in name only” quickly becomes more once fate intervenes.
- 9 Reckless in Love (2015)
By Bella Andre and Jennifer Skully. Tells the story of a self-made man from the wrong side of the tracks who became a major media mogul and the artist he is determined to possess. She is unable to turn down such a huge commission, but is unwilling to give up her heart along with it.
- 10 A Ruthless Proposition (2016)
By Natasha Anders. Is for every woman who has dreamt about a few nights of passion with their super-hot, super wealthy boss while on a business trip. The return home, however, provides some additional challenges as their “few nights” turn into quite a bit more.
Publicly Ranked Version of the List21 items >>
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- Persuasion (Jane Austen)
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- Ravished (Amanda Quick)