Musings on Money and Hero Inflation

Cat 243 Doverby Mary Jo

Pity the poor traditional Harlequin hero—it used to be enough to be a Millionaire Italian Stallion to win the hot Heroine Virgin Bride, but in these difficult economic times, he won’t get to first base unless he’s a billionaire.  A million dollars or euros just don’t go as far as they used to. 

Billionaires are all the rage in contemporary romance these days—I have a friend whose editor asked her to come up with a trilogy of them—but grade inflation has also been taking place in historical romance.  It used to be that any kind of lord would do.  Indeed, the sainted Georgette Heyer had some heroes that had no title at all.  Simple Misters!!!! Imagine, it was enough to be a wealthy gentleman.  Shocking, isn’t it? 

Fairy tale castle

Cinderella

The heart of this is the Cinderella myth of marrying up, and which is part of the fantasy in most romances.  It makes perfect sense—most people have to deal with money problems at some point, and some live near the financial edge their whole lives.  So it’s great fun to imagine a billionaire whisking you off to his private island in Greece, or the lord making you the lady of his manor.

There are romances that don’t take place at such lofty financial levels, of course—the small town series that are so popular now focus on people with much more normal incomes.  But the common theme is that once Cinderella wins the prince, she’ll have more comfort and security for her future.  The reason it’s such a strong romance trope is because it’s true in reality: it’s a very fine thing to have food on the table, a roof over the head, and a future where those things will continue to be secure. 

Money matters!

Jane Austen wrote wickedly amusing social commentary, but it was based on harsh
reality.  In Pride and Predudice, modern readers can see the scary economic realities of her time.  Since Mr. Bennet has no son, his entailed property will go a male relative and his five daughters face uncertain futures.  Marriage is their best bet for security, but without much in the way of dowries, their prospects aren’t good.  If they marry at all, they mightPride and Prejudice have to move down the social scale.  

Hence, Jane’s marriage to Mr. Bingley (5000 pounds a year!!) and Elizabeth’s to Mr. Darcy (10,000 pounds a year!!!!) represent not just a social but an economic triumph.  Because family was the social net of the day, the other Bennet sisters will be assured of “three hots and a cot” even if they remain unwed because their well married older sisters will look out for them.  Being a spinster aunt and companion isn’t ideal, but it beats being homeless.  (Lydia will be no help, though.  She and the appalling Wickham will regularly try to hit up their brothers in law for handouts.)

That’s the economic reality buried amongst the billionaires and dukes:  “I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor and rich is better.”

Rolls RoyceHow much is enough?

How much money one needs to feel rich is an interesting question.  I suspect that I’d find a billion dollars oppressive rather than comforting. Quite apart from having trouble imagining that amount of money, I know that fortunes on that order require a lot of tending, and tending money is boring.

So I don’t need a billionaire, but how many millions would it take to allow me to feel rich?  Two million?  Five million?  Hard to say.   I once read that most people consider “rich” to be somewhat more than they have.  In an African village, the rich guy might be the one who has a concrete floor in his hut rather than dirt.  In Beverly Hills, it’s safe to say that the amount is much higher. <G>

Do we need a duke??

To bring these musings back to historical romance, I freely admit that I enjoy throwing titles around, though I’ve written several books where the title belongs to the lady and her true love is a commoner.  But I try to avoid rank inflation.  There weren’t all of that many dukes around, so I only use that title when I want to make a particular point. 

FeastMost of my heroines have at least a dash of Cinderella in them because they’re seldom wealthy.  Often they must make their own way in a society that doesn’t have a lot of options.  But by the end of the book, they have secure futures. 

I write the stories that way because that’s how I like books to end when I’m reading.  Some years ago, I read a Scottish Rising historical romance.  The sensible and well grounded heroine, who is loyal to the British crown, ends up falling for a handsome Jacobite.  At the end, they run away from everything without much more than the clothes on their backs.  I did NOT like that.  (And wouldn’t like it even if I had a better opinion of Bonnie Prince Charlie.) 

Bag LadyThis is probably not unrelated to the fact that I know a number of women who have bag lady fantasies, particularly those who are unmarried and/or self-employed.  (A fantasy writer friend of mine just bought her first house, and a major motivation for the purchase was so she needn’t fear ending up single and impoverished and potentially homeless, which is a very real fear for writers in a difficult market and rising rents.) 

I should note that despite my wanting to see characters financially secure, in my own life I’ve chosen creative fun over common sense every time.  Perhaps that’s why I like at least my characters to be secure. <G>

All of this contributes to why marrying money fantasies are so inherent in romance, whether it’s mega-money or modest comfort.  The commitment at the heart of a romance often implies building a family, and a woman wants security for her children as well as herself.  She wants a man who she can trust on all levels: that he’ll be kind, loving, faithful—and that he’ll provide well enough to protect their offspring. 

DSCN0007Success vs. Happiness

I’ve read that success is getting what you want, and happiness is wanting what you get. People who enjoy the small things of life and are content with what they are better off than those that are never satisfied. 

So what degree of material comfort and security do you like to see in your romances?  Or in your own life?  What is wealth?  And how much is enough?

Mary Jo

 

150 thoughts on “Musings on Money and Hero Inflation”

  1. I have a penchant for professional men, doctors and lawyers and such (not cowboys). They are usually comfortably off, intelligent useful members of society (okay we can debate lawyers.) Being a Heyer fan I am happy to accept anything from a plain Mr to a Duke but that isn’t the most important thing to me.

  2. I have a penchant for professional men, doctors and lawyers and such (not cowboys). They are usually comfortably off, intelligent useful members of society (okay we can debate lawyers.) Being a Heyer fan I am happy to accept anything from a plain Mr to a Duke but that isn’t the most important thing to me.

  3. I have a penchant for professional men, doctors and lawyers and such (not cowboys). They are usually comfortably off, intelligent useful members of society (okay we can debate lawyers.) Being a Heyer fan I am happy to accept anything from a plain Mr to a Duke but that isn’t the most important thing to me.

  4. I have a penchant for professional men, doctors and lawyers and such (not cowboys). They are usually comfortably off, intelligent useful members of society (okay we can debate lawyers.) Being a Heyer fan I am happy to accept anything from a plain Mr to a Duke but that isn’t the most important thing to me.

  5. I have a penchant for professional men, doctors and lawyers and such (not cowboys). They are usually comfortably off, intelligent useful members of society (okay we can debate lawyers.) Being a Heyer fan I am happy to accept anything from a plain Mr to a Duke but that isn’t the most important thing to me.

  6. Great blog! And so true. Speaking as another writer who has sacrificed financial security for a chance to fulfil her dreams, it’s a difficult choice. Maybe that’s why I deliberately made the heroine of my Tudor novel, Tainted Innocence, a lowly laundress rather than a rich lady. I’m a Georgette Heyer fan too! Joss Alexander

  7. Great blog! And so true. Speaking as another writer who has sacrificed financial security for a chance to fulfil her dreams, it’s a difficult choice. Maybe that’s why I deliberately made the heroine of my Tudor novel, Tainted Innocence, a lowly laundress rather than a rich lady. I’m a Georgette Heyer fan too! Joss Alexander

  8. Great blog! And so true. Speaking as another writer who has sacrificed financial security for a chance to fulfil her dreams, it’s a difficult choice. Maybe that’s why I deliberately made the heroine of my Tudor novel, Tainted Innocence, a lowly laundress rather than a rich lady. I’m a Georgette Heyer fan too! Joss Alexander

  9. Great blog! And so true. Speaking as another writer who has sacrificed financial security for a chance to fulfil her dreams, it’s a difficult choice. Maybe that’s why I deliberately made the heroine of my Tudor novel, Tainted Innocence, a lowly laundress rather than a rich lady. I’m a Georgette Heyer fan too! Joss Alexander

  10. Great blog! And so true. Speaking as another writer who has sacrificed financial security for a chance to fulfil her dreams, it’s a difficult choice. Maybe that’s why I deliberately made the heroine of my Tudor novel, Tainted Innocence, a lowly laundress rather than a rich lady. I’m a Georgette Heyer fan too! Joss Alexander

  11. Fiona–
    Professional men make great heroes in the less over the top romances. Intelligent, capable, operating independently even if they’re within a larger structure.
    MJP, chuckling over the lawyer debate *G*

  12. Fiona–
    Professional men make great heroes in the less over the top romances. Intelligent, capable, operating independently even if they’re within a larger structure.
    MJP, chuckling over the lawyer debate *G*

  13. Fiona–
    Professional men make great heroes in the less over the top romances. Intelligent, capable, operating independently even if they’re within a larger structure.
    MJP, chuckling over the lawyer debate *G*

  14. Fiona–
    Professional men make great heroes in the less over the top romances. Intelligent, capable, operating independently even if they’re within a larger structure.
    MJP, chuckling over the lawyer debate *G*

  15. Fiona–
    Professional men make great heroes in the less over the top romances. Intelligent, capable, operating independently even if they’re within a larger structure.
    MJP, chuckling over the lawyer debate *G*

  16. Joss–
    There were a lot more laundresses than wealthy ladies! And they faced a much greater range of challenges, too. I’m sure you had fun putting your heroine throught the wringer. Errr….no pun intended. *G*

  17. Joss–
    There were a lot more laundresses than wealthy ladies! And they faced a much greater range of challenges, too. I’m sure you had fun putting your heroine throught the wringer. Errr….no pun intended. *G*

  18. Joss–
    There were a lot more laundresses than wealthy ladies! And they faced a much greater range of challenges, too. I’m sure you had fun putting your heroine throught the wringer. Errr….no pun intended. *G*

  19. Joss–
    There were a lot more laundresses than wealthy ladies! And they faced a much greater range of challenges, too. I’m sure you had fun putting your heroine throught the wringer. Errr….no pun intended. *G*

  20. Joss–
    There were a lot more laundresses than wealthy ladies! And they faced a much greater range of challenges, too. I’m sure you had fun putting your heroine throught the wringer. Errr….no pun intended. *G*

  21. Such an interesting topic. I’ve yet to write a duke (someday!) and what with my current series being all about younger sons, most of my heroes aren’t the most finically secure men on the planet, LOL! But they have family ties and support systems that make them good bets in the long run. I actually find it rather interesting to construct stories that deal with financial insecurity and with the power that money brings (how a man might feel undermined by his bride being the one to bring the fortune to the family).
    And I totally sympathize with your friend’s reason for buying a house. In fact, I share it. I’m striving to get mine paid off sooner rather than later so I have that reverse mortgage nest egg to fall back on should I need it when I’m retired.

  22. Such an interesting topic. I’ve yet to write a duke (someday!) and what with my current series being all about younger sons, most of my heroes aren’t the most finically secure men on the planet, LOL! But they have family ties and support systems that make them good bets in the long run. I actually find it rather interesting to construct stories that deal with financial insecurity and with the power that money brings (how a man might feel undermined by his bride being the one to bring the fortune to the family).
    And I totally sympathize with your friend’s reason for buying a house. In fact, I share it. I’m striving to get mine paid off sooner rather than later so I have that reverse mortgage nest egg to fall back on should I need it when I’m retired.

  23. Such an interesting topic. I’ve yet to write a duke (someday!) and what with my current series being all about younger sons, most of my heroes aren’t the most finically secure men on the planet, LOL! But they have family ties and support systems that make them good bets in the long run. I actually find it rather interesting to construct stories that deal with financial insecurity and with the power that money brings (how a man might feel undermined by his bride being the one to bring the fortune to the family).
    And I totally sympathize with your friend’s reason for buying a house. In fact, I share it. I’m striving to get mine paid off sooner rather than later so I have that reverse mortgage nest egg to fall back on should I need it when I’m retired.

  24. Such an interesting topic. I’ve yet to write a duke (someday!) and what with my current series being all about younger sons, most of my heroes aren’t the most finically secure men on the planet, LOL! But they have family ties and support systems that make them good bets in the long run. I actually find it rather interesting to construct stories that deal with financial insecurity and with the power that money brings (how a man might feel undermined by his bride being the one to bring the fortune to the family).
    And I totally sympathize with your friend’s reason for buying a house. In fact, I share it. I’m striving to get mine paid off sooner rather than later so I have that reverse mortgage nest egg to fall back on should I need it when I’m retired.

  25. Such an interesting topic. I’ve yet to write a duke (someday!) and what with my current series being all about younger sons, most of my heroes aren’t the most finically secure men on the planet, LOL! But they have family ties and support systems that make them good bets in the long run. I actually find it rather interesting to construct stories that deal with financial insecurity and with the power that money brings (how a man might feel undermined by his bride being the one to bring the fortune to the family).
    And I totally sympathize with your friend’s reason for buying a house. In fact, I share it. I’m striving to get mine paid off sooner rather than later so I have that reverse mortgage nest egg to fall back on should I need it when I’m retired.

  26. Great topic, Mary Jo. To answer Artemesia, I think money trumps title in the Happy Ever After measurement for me as reader and writer. Because it is that security thing that Mary Jo talks about. I need my heroine to end up happy and secure.A title and a mound of debts is no use at all.
    And no running away to wandering poverty. Eeeeeeeek!
    The thing is that as writers we have control. It may not always seem that way when we’re writing, but if we leave our characters teetering on the edge of disaster, that’s our choice. Why do it?
    Have to say that my next book has a plain mister for a hero — Perry Perriam — and they end up with what could be called a comfortable income, no more than that. But given their natures, it’s enough to make me and them very happy ever after!
    Jo

  27. Great topic, Mary Jo. To answer Artemesia, I think money trumps title in the Happy Ever After measurement for me as reader and writer. Because it is that security thing that Mary Jo talks about. I need my heroine to end up happy and secure.A title and a mound of debts is no use at all.
    And no running away to wandering poverty. Eeeeeeeek!
    The thing is that as writers we have control. It may not always seem that way when we’re writing, but if we leave our characters teetering on the edge of disaster, that’s our choice. Why do it?
    Have to say that my next book has a plain mister for a hero — Perry Perriam — and they end up with what could be called a comfortable income, no more than that. But given their natures, it’s enough to make me and them very happy ever after!
    Jo

  28. Great topic, Mary Jo. To answer Artemesia, I think money trumps title in the Happy Ever After measurement for me as reader and writer. Because it is that security thing that Mary Jo talks about. I need my heroine to end up happy and secure.A title and a mound of debts is no use at all.
    And no running away to wandering poverty. Eeeeeeeek!
    The thing is that as writers we have control. It may not always seem that way when we’re writing, but if we leave our characters teetering on the edge of disaster, that’s our choice. Why do it?
    Have to say that my next book has a plain mister for a hero — Perry Perriam — and they end up with what could be called a comfortable income, no more than that. But given their natures, it’s enough to make me and them very happy ever after!
    Jo

  29. Great topic, Mary Jo. To answer Artemesia, I think money trumps title in the Happy Ever After measurement for me as reader and writer. Because it is that security thing that Mary Jo talks about. I need my heroine to end up happy and secure.A title and a mound of debts is no use at all.
    And no running away to wandering poverty. Eeeeeeeek!
    The thing is that as writers we have control. It may not always seem that way when we’re writing, but if we leave our characters teetering on the edge of disaster, that’s our choice. Why do it?
    Have to say that my next book has a plain mister for a hero — Perry Perriam — and they end up with what could be called a comfortable income, no more than that. But given their natures, it’s enough to make me and them very happy ever after!
    Jo

  30. Great topic, Mary Jo. To answer Artemesia, I think money trumps title in the Happy Ever After measurement for me as reader and writer. Because it is that security thing that Mary Jo talks about. I need my heroine to end up happy and secure.A title and a mound of debts is no use at all.
    And no running away to wandering poverty. Eeeeeeeek!
    The thing is that as writers we have control. It may not always seem that way when we’re writing, but if we leave our characters teetering on the edge of disaster, that’s our choice. Why do it?
    Have to say that my next book has a plain mister for a hero — Perry Perriam — and they end up with what could be called a comfortable income, no more than that. But given their natures, it’s enough to make me and them very happy ever after!
    Jo

  31. Rather crass, but I’d feel rich if I didn’t have to worry about paying for health insurance out of my pocket.

  32. Rather crass, but I’d feel rich if I didn’t have to worry about paying for health insurance out of my pocket.

  33. Rather crass, but I’d feel rich if I didn’t have to worry about paying for health insurance out of my pocket.

  34. Rather crass, but I’d feel rich if I didn’t have to worry about paying for health insurance out of my pocket.

  35. Rather crass, but I’d feel rich if I didn’t have to worry about paying for health insurance out of my pocket.

  36. Interesting discussion … as a veteran reader and another Heyer fan, I deplore the title inflation in recent romance. For every real duke of Regency times there must be around a hundred thousand in fiction by now. And many of the authors have little idea of what such an estate and rank actually implied.

  37. Interesting discussion … as a veteran reader and another Heyer fan, I deplore the title inflation in recent romance. For every real duke of Regency times there must be around a hundred thousand in fiction by now. And many of the authors have little idea of what such an estate and rank actually implied.

  38. Interesting discussion … as a veteran reader and another Heyer fan, I deplore the title inflation in recent romance. For every real duke of Regency times there must be around a hundred thousand in fiction by now. And many of the authors have little idea of what such an estate and rank actually implied.

  39. Interesting discussion … as a veteran reader and another Heyer fan, I deplore the title inflation in recent romance. For every real duke of Regency times there must be around a hundred thousand in fiction by now. And many of the authors have little idea of what such an estate and rank actually implied.

  40. Interesting discussion … as a veteran reader and another Heyer fan, I deplore the title inflation in recent romance. For every real duke of Regency times there must be around a hundred thousand in fiction by now. And many of the authors have little idea of what such an estate and rank actually implied.

  41. As for my own life, it would be enough if I did not have to work for my own support, but could freely choose whether I want to do that under the conditions offered. At current low interest rates that would take a lot of capital, however.

  42. As for my own life, it would be enough if I did not have to work for my own support, but could freely choose whether I want to do that under the conditions offered. At current low interest rates that would take a lot of capital, however.

  43. As for my own life, it would be enough if I did not have to work for my own support, but could freely choose whether I want to do that under the conditions offered. At current low interest rates that would take a lot of capital, however.

  44. As for my own life, it would be enough if I did not have to work for my own support, but could freely choose whether I want to do that under the conditions offered. At current low interest rates that would take a lot of capital, however.

  45. As for my own life, it would be enough if I did not have to work for my own support, but could freely choose whether I want to do that under the conditions offered. At current low interest rates that would take a lot of capital, however.

  46. Very interesting topic. In these days where men and women are both educated, professional and achievers there really is no need to marry for security reasons. But most women do!! It is a deep seated reflex and it will be a long while for women to not desire “Wealthy suitors”. As far as historical romances go heroes do not all need to be dukes. In the Black Sheep Heyer deliberately keeps the reader guessing about his financial background. (Of course he is wealthy!!)

  47. Very interesting topic. In these days where men and women are both educated, professional and achievers there really is no need to marry for security reasons. But most women do!! It is a deep seated reflex and it will be a long while for women to not desire “Wealthy suitors”. As far as historical romances go heroes do not all need to be dukes. In the Black Sheep Heyer deliberately keeps the reader guessing about his financial background. (Of course he is wealthy!!)

  48. Very interesting topic. In these days where men and women are both educated, professional and achievers there really is no need to marry for security reasons. But most women do!! It is a deep seated reflex and it will be a long while for women to not desire “Wealthy suitors”. As far as historical romances go heroes do not all need to be dukes. In the Black Sheep Heyer deliberately keeps the reader guessing about his financial background. (Of course he is wealthy!!)

  49. Very interesting topic. In these days where men and women are both educated, professional and achievers there really is no need to marry for security reasons. But most women do!! It is a deep seated reflex and it will be a long while for women to not desire “Wealthy suitors”. As far as historical romances go heroes do not all need to be dukes. In the Black Sheep Heyer deliberately keeps the reader guessing about his financial background. (Of course he is wealthy!!)

  50. Very interesting topic. In these days where men and women are both educated, professional and achievers there really is no need to marry for security reasons. But most women do!! It is a deep seated reflex and it will be a long while for women to not desire “Wealthy suitors”. As far as historical romances go heroes do not all need to be dukes. In the Black Sheep Heyer deliberately keeps the reader guessing about his financial background. (Of course he is wealthy!!)

  51. I’d like enough to pay bills without working so hard. Money isn’t the most important–it doesn’t seem to have worked for Jackie Kennedy.

  52. I’d like enough to pay bills without working so hard. Money isn’t the most important–it doesn’t seem to have worked for Jackie Kennedy.

  53. I’d like enough to pay bills without working so hard. Money isn’t the most important–it doesn’t seem to have worked for Jackie Kennedy.

  54. I’d like enough to pay bills without working so hard. Money isn’t the most important–it doesn’t seem to have worked for Jackie Kennedy.

  55. I’d like enough to pay bills without working so hard. Money isn’t the most important–it doesn’t seem to have worked for Jackie Kennedy.

  56. Isobel–
    A younger son series is interesting for all the reasons you mention: they haven’t got the silver spoon, so they have to be clever. And there are more younger sons than heirs!

  57. Isobel–
    A younger son series is interesting for all the reasons you mention: they haven’t got the silver spoon, so they have to be clever. And there are more younger sons than heirs!

  58. Isobel–
    A younger son series is interesting for all the reasons you mention: they haven’t got the silver spoon, so they have to be clever. And there are more younger sons than heirs!

  59. Isobel–
    A younger son series is interesting for all the reasons you mention: they haven’t got the silver spoon, so they have to be clever. And there are more younger sons than heirs!

  60. Isobel–
    A younger son series is interesting for all the reasons you mention: they haven’t got the silver spoon, so they have to be clever. And there are more younger sons than heirs!

  61. So true, Maria–having vast estates and responsibilities is a huge burden, and one doesn’t see much of that in historical romances. (I try to put in bits to indicate the amount of work involved.)

  62. So true, Maria–having vast estates and responsibilities is a huge burden, and one doesn’t see much of that in historical romances. (I try to put in bits to indicate the amount of work involved.)

  63. So true, Maria–having vast estates and responsibilities is a huge burden, and one doesn’t see much of that in historical romances. (I try to put in bits to indicate the amount of work involved.)

  64. So true, Maria–having vast estates and responsibilities is a huge burden, and one doesn’t see much of that in historical romances. (I try to put in bits to indicate the amount of work involved.)

  65. So true, Maria–having vast estates and responsibilities is a huge burden, and one doesn’t see much of that in historical romances. (I try to put in bits to indicate the amount of work involved.)

  66. Maria, most of us don’t get to choose whether or not we work; I suppose that’s why it’s called “work.” If we’re lucky, the work has pluses beyond the salary.

  67. Maria, most of us don’t get to choose whether or not we work; I suppose that’s why it’s called “work.” If we’re lucky, the work has pluses beyond the salary.

  68. Maria, most of us don’t get to choose whether or not we work; I suppose that’s why it’s called “work.” If we’re lucky, the work has pluses beyond the salary.

  69. Maria, most of us don’t get to choose whether or not we work; I suppose that’s why it’s called “work.” If we’re lucky, the work has pluses beyond the salary.

  70. Maria, most of us don’t get to choose whether or not we work; I suppose that’s why it’s called “work.” If we’re lucky, the work has pluses beyond the salary.

  71. pv–I love THE BLACK SHEEP, and the amgibuity about how well off he is. *G* As you say, these days the economic balance has changed, and that can make for interesting stories for contemporary romance writers.

  72. pv–I love THE BLACK SHEEP, and the amgibuity about how well off he is. *G* As you say, these days the economic balance has changed, and that can make for interesting stories for contemporary romance writers.

  73. pv–I love THE BLACK SHEEP, and the amgibuity about how well off he is. *G* As you say, these days the economic balance has changed, and that can make for interesting stories for contemporary romance writers.

  74. pv–I love THE BLACK SHEEP, and the amgibuity about how well off he is. *G* As you say, these days the economic balance has changed, and that can make for interesting stories for contemporary romance writers.

  75. pv–I love THE BLACK SHEEP, and the amgibuity about how well off he is. *G* As you say, these days the economic balance has changed, and that can make for interesting stories for contemporary romance writers.

  76. pswart–You’re right, money is NOT the most important thing, but it is nice to have enough so you don’t need to think about it much. when money is tight, one has to think about it way too much.

  77. pswart–You’re right, money is NOT the most important thing, but it is nice to have enough so you don’t need to think about it much. when money is tight, one has to think about it way too much.

  78. pswart–You’re right, money is NOT the most important thing, but it is nice to have enough so you don’t need to think about it much. when money is tight, one has to think about it way too much.

  79. pswart–You’re right, money is NOT the most important thing, but it is nice to have enough so you don’t need to think about it much. when money is tight, one has to think about it way too much.

  80. pswart–You’re right, money is NOT the most important thing, but it is nice to have enough so you don’t need to think about it much. when money is tight, one has to think about it way too much.

  81. Stories often end when Cinderella marries her Prince and enjoys his wealthy living standard ever after. But what happens to their kids is something I rarely see addressed in romance fiction (or anywhere, for that matter). I saw a great many second and third generation families who devolved into disaster. Too much money, too little effort required.
    One thing I particularly liked about the movie The Descendants (I’ve seen the movie but haven’t read the novel upon which it was based) was its portrait of a wealthy family generations down the line. Only one or two of the descendants (including Matt King, George Clooney’s character) are doing anything on their own. The rest are coasting and spiraling inward. In the movie Matt says you should give your kids enough money to do something, but not enough to do nothing. So many of our clients’ lives would have been improved if their parents had listened to this advice.
    We see it in the entertainment industry all the time – self-destructive kids of celebrities and wealthy execs. I wonder if we’ll see it with the kids of computer billionaires? I would imagine we will.
    We see it in regencies as well — the young men waiting to inherit, kept on a leash of dependence upon their allowance, not required or encouraged to pursue some life’s work, and turning into dissolute gamesters and rakes whom even Our Heroine cannot reform. But it’s not often dealt with as a result of bad parenting, which is what I think it is.

  82. Stories often end when Cinderella marries her Prince and enjoys his wealthy living standard ever after. But what happens to their kids is something I rarely see addressed in romance fiction (or anywhere, for that matter). I saw a great many second and third generation families who devolved into disaster. Too much money, too little effort required.
    One thing I particularly liked about the movie The Descendants (I’ve seen the movie but haven’t read the novel upon which it was based) was its portrait of a wealthy family generations down the line. Only one or two of the descendants (including Matt King, George Clooney’s character) are doing anything on their own. The rest are coasting and spiraling inward. In the movie Matt says you should give your kids enough money to do something, but not enough to do nothing. So many of our clients’ lives would have been improved if their parents had listened to this advice.
    We see it in the entertainment industry all the time – self-destructive kids of celebrities and wealthy execs. I wonder if we’ll see it with the kids of computer billionaires? I would imagine we will.
    We see it in regencies as well — the young men waiting to inherit, kept on a leash of dependence upon their allowance, not required or encouraged to pursue some life’s work, and turning into dissolute gamesters and rakes whom even Our Heroine cannot reform. But it’s not often dealt with as a result of bad parenting, which is what I think it is.

  83. Stories often end when Cinderella marries her Prince and enjoys his wealthy living standard ever after. But what happens to their kids is something I rarely see addressed in romance fiction (or anywhere, for that matter). I saw a great many second and third generation families who devolved into disaster. Too much money, too little effort required.
    One thing I particularly liked about the movie The Descendants (I’ve seen the movie but haven’t read the novel upon which it was based) was its portrait of a wealthy family generations down the line. Only one or two of the descendants (including Matt King, George Clooney’s character) are doing anything on their own. The rest are coasting and spiraling inward. In the movie Matt says you should give your kids enough money to do something, but not enough to do nothing. So many of our clients’ lives would have been improved if their parents had listened to this advice.
    We see it in the entertainment industry all the time – self-destructive kids of celebrities and wealthy execs. I wonder if we’ll see it with the kids of computer billionaires? I would imagine we will.
    We see it in regencies as well — the young men waiting to inherit, kept on a leash of dependence upon their allowance, not required or encouraged to pursue some life’s work, and turning into dissolute gamesters and rakes whom even Our Heroine cannot reform. But it’s not often dealt with as a result of bad parenting, which is what I think it is.

  84. Stories often end when Cinderella marries her Prince and enjoys his wealthy living standard ever after. But what happens to their kids is something I rarely see addressed in romance fiction (or anywhere, for that matter). I saw a great many second and third generation families who devolved into disaster. Too much money, too little effort required.
    One thing I particularly liked about the movie The Descendants (I’ve seen the movie but haven’t read the novel upon which it was based) was its portrait of a wealthy family generations down the line. Only one or two of the descendants (including Matt King, George Clooney’s character) are doing anything on their own. The rest are coasting and spiraling inward. In the movie Matt says you should give your kids enough money to do something, but not enough to do nothing. So many of our clients’ lives would have been improved if their parents had listened to this advice.
    We see it in the entertainment industry all the time – self-destructive kids of celebrities and wealthy execs. I wonder if we’ll see it with the kids of computer billionaires? I would imagine we will.
    We see it in regencies as well — the young men waiting to inherit, kept on a leash of dependence upon their allowance, not required or encouraged to pursue some life’s work, and turning into dissolute gamesters and rakes whom even Our Heroine cannot reform. But it’s not often dealt with as a result of bad parenting, which is what I think it is.

  85. Stories often end when Cinderella marries her Prince and enjoys his wealthy living standard ever after. But what happens to their kids is something I rarely see addressed in romance fiction (or anywhere, for that matter). I saw a great many second and third generation families who devolved into disaster. Too much money, too little effort required.
    One thing I particularly liked about the movie The Descendants (I’ve seen the movie but haven’t read the novel upon which it was based) was its portrait of a wealthy family generations down the line. Only one or two of the descendants (including Matt King, George Clooney’s character) are doing anything on their own. The rest are coasting and spiraling inward. In the movie Matt says you should give your kids enough money to do something, but not enough to do nothing. So many of our clients’ lives would have been improved if their parents had listened to this advice.
    We see it in the entertainment industry all the time – self-destructive kids of celebrities and wealthy execs. I wonder if we’ll see it with the kids of computer billionaires? I would imagine we will.
    We see it in regencies as well — the young men waiting to inherit, kept on a leash of dependence upon their allowance, not required or encouraged to pursue some life’s work, and turning into dissolute gamesters and rakes whom even Our Heroine cannot reform. But it’s not often dealt with as a result of bad parenting, which is what I think it is.

  86. Funny you should mention descendants, Janice, because one of Heyer’s books, An Infamous Army, involves the granddaughter of the hero and heroine of another Heyer story, and she has a pretty unhappy, disastrous life(until she falls in with the hero of this book).
    I dislike the money inflation in Harlequin contemporaries, and the title inflation in historical romance. I guess publishers think the word “Duke” in a title sells. So please keep on writing about those younger sons, military men, and plain Misters.

  87. Funny you should mention descendants, Janice, because one of Heyer’s books, An Infamous Army, involves the granddaughter of the hero and heroine of another Heyer story, and she has a pretty unhappy, disastrous life(until she falls in with the hero of this book).
    I dislike the money inflation in Harlequin contemporaries, and the title inflation in historical romance. I guess publishers think the word “Duke” in a title sells. So please keep on writing about those younger sons, military men, and plain Misters.

  88. Funny you should mention descendants, Janice, because one of Heyer’s books, An Infamous Army, involves the granddaughter of the hero and heroine of another Heyer story, and she has a pretty unhappy, disastrous life(until she falls in with the hero of this book).
    I dislike the money inflation in Harlequin contemporaries, and the title inflation in historical romance. I guess publishers think the word “Duke” in a title sells. So please keep on writing about those younger sons, military men, and plain Misters.

  89. Funny you should mention descendants, Janice, because one of Heyer’s books, An Infamous Army, involves the granddaughter of the hero and heroine of another Heyer story, and she has a pretty unhappy, disastrous life(until she falls in with the hero of this book).
    I dislike the money inflation in Harlequin contemporaries, and the title inflation in historical romance. I guess publishers think the word “Duke” in a title sells. So please keep on writing about those younger sons, military men, and plain Misters.

  90. Funny you should mention descendants, Janice, because one of Heyer’s books, An Infamous Army, involves the granddaughter of the hero and heroine of another Heyer story, and she has a pretty unhappy, disastrous life(until she falls in with the hero of this book).
    I dislike the money inflation in Harlequin contemporaries, and the title inflation in historical romance. I guess publishers think the word “Duke” in a title sells. So please keep on writing about those younger sons, military men, and plain Misters.

  91. A couple of things:
    When I read Jo Beverley’s book Lord Wraybourne’s Betrothed, I realized that the arranged marriage was the equivalent of “hiring” an executive assistant or business partner – given the standards of the time she had to be a wife.
    On the topic of younger sons, Lord Peter Wimsey is a younger son who goes his own way. In one book (Gaudy Night?) his nephew, the heir, a college boy, gets into a tough spot and Peter makes the comment that “He’s kept ridiculously short (of money) given his expectations.” Interesting side story there but we never learn anything more other than if the kid died and Peter became the heir it would devastate his lifestyle.

  92. A couple of things:
    When I read Jo Beverley’s book Lord Wraybourne’s Betrothed, I realized that the arranged marriage was the equivalent of “hiring” an executive assistant or business partner – given the standards of the time she had to be a wife.
    On the topic of younger sons, Lord Peter Wimsey is a younger son who goes his own way. In one book (Gaudy Night?) his nephew, the heir, a college boy, gets into a tough spot and Peter makes the comment that “He’s kept ridiculously short (of money) given his expectations.” Interesting side story there but we never learn anything more other than if the kid died and Peter became the heir it would devastate his lifestyle.

  93. A couple of things:
    When I read Jo Beverley’s book Lord Wraybourne’s Betrothed, I realized that the arranged marriage was the equivalent of “hiring” an executive assistant or business partner – given the standards of the time she had to be a wife.
    On the topic of younger sons, Lord Peter Wimsey is a younger son who goes his own way. In one book (Gaudy Night?) his nephew, the heir, a college boy, gets into a tough spot and Peter makes the comment that “He’s kept ridiculously short (of money) given his expectations.” Interesting side story there but we never learn anything more other than if the kid died and Peter became the heir it would devastate his lifestyle.

  94. A couple of things:
    When I read Jo Beverley’s book Lord Wraybourne’s Betrothed, I realized that the arranged marriage was the equivalent of “hiring” an executive assistant or business partner – given the standards of the time she had to be a wife.
    On the topic of younger sons, Lord Peter Wimsey is a younger son who goes his own way. In one book (Gaudy Night?) his nephew, the heir, a college boy, gets into a tough spot and Peter makes the comment that “He’s kept ridiculously short (of money) given his expectations.” Interesting side story there but we never learn anything more other than if the kid died and Peter became the heir it would devastate his lifestyle.

  95. A couple of things:
    When I read Jo Beverley’s book Lord Wraybourne’s Betrothed, I realized that the arranged marriage was the equivalent of “hiring” an executive assistant or business partner – given the standards of the time she had to be a wife.
    On the topic of younger sons, Lord Peter Wimsey is a younger son who goes his own way. In one book (Gaudy Night?) his nephew, the heir, a college boy, gets into a tough spot and Peter makes the comment that “He’s kept ridiculously short (of money) given his expectations.” Interesting side story there but we never learn anything more other than if the kid died and Peter became the heir it would devastate his lifestyle.

  96. Interesting subject I think that to get the HEA you have to have security and that must mean money – how much is debatable!Personally I think I would find billions scarey!!And as there were not that many dukes about the chances of catching one who had the energy to keep his lands and fortune secure would probably be minimal!So a plain mister with a sense of humour and a good business brain should win hands down!!

  97. Interesting subject I think that to get the HEA you have to have security and that must mean money – how much is debatable!Personally I think I would find billions scarey!!And as there were not that many dukes about the chances of catching one who had the energy to keep his lands and fortune secure would probably be minimal!So a plain mister with a sense of humour and a good business brain should win hands down!!

  98. Interesting subject I think that to get the HEA you have to have security and that must mean money – how much is debatable!Personally I think I would find billions scarey!!And as there were not that many dukes about the chances of catching one who had the energy to keep his lands and fortune secure would probably be minimal!So a plain mister with a sense of humour and a good business brain should win hands down!!

  99. Interesting subject I think that to get the HEA you have to have security and that must mean money – how much is debatable!Personally I think I would find billions scarey!!And as there were not that many dukes about the chances of catching one who had the energy to keep his lands and fortune secure would probably be minimal!So a plain mister with a sense of humour and a good business brain should win hands down!!

  100. Interesting subject I think that to get the HEA you have to have security and that must mean money – how much is debatable!Personally I think I would find billions scarey!!And as there were not that many dukes about the chances of catching one who had the energy to keep his lands and fortune secure would probably be minimal!So a plain mister with a sense of humour and a good business brain should win hands down!!

  101. Janice–you’re so right that too much money often wreaks havoc on descendants–I can think of examples among people who I know even though the family trust funds are nothing like Rockefeller sized. Possibly in aristocratic families, some would do better if they were decently parented, since the heir would be raised to tend to the substantial responsibilities of his rank, and the younger ones might be urged into productive careers in the military or the church. But I’m sure a lot of them ended up as warped characters instead.

  102. Janice–you’re so right that too much money often wreaks havoc on descendants–I can think of examples among people who I know even though the family trust funds are nothing like Rockefeller sized. Possibly in aristocratic families, some would do better if they were decently parented, since the heir would be raised to tend to the substantial responsibilities of his rank, and the younger ones might be urged into productive careers in the military or the church. But I’m sure a lot of them ended up as warped characters instead.

  103. Janice–you’re so right that too much money often wreaks havoc on descendants–I can think of examples among people who I know even though the family trust funds are nothing like Rockefeller sized. Possibly in aristocratic families, some would do better if they were decently parented, since the heir would be raised to tend to the substantial responsibilities of his rank, and the younger ones might be urged into productive careers in the military or the church. But I’m sure a lot of them ended up as warped characters instead.

  104. Janice–you’re so right that too much money often wreaks havoc on descendants–I can think of examples among people who I know even though the family trust funds are nothing like Rockefeller sized. Possibly in aristocratic families, some would do better if they were decently parented, since the heir would be raised to tend to the substantial responsibilities of his rank, and the younger ones might be urged into productive careers in the military or the church. But I’m sure a lot of them ended up as warped characters instead.

  105. Janice–you’re so right that too much money often wreaks havoc on descendants–I can think of examples among people who I know even though the family trust funds are nothing like Rockefeller sized. Possibly in aristocratic families, some would do better if they were decently parented, since the heir would be raised to tend to the substantial responsibilities of his rank, and the younger ones might be urged into productive careers in the military or the church. But I’m sure a lot of them ended up as warped characters instead.

  106. Karin–
    I was informed by an author who has had many dukes and duchesses in her titles that the book DID sell better, which is sort of sad. I can’t blame her for wanting to keep her sales figures healthy, but really, the characters are more important than their labels!

  107. Karin–
    I was informed by an author who has had many dukes and duchesses in her titles that the book DID sell better, which is sort of sad. I can’t blame her for wanting to keep her sales figures healthy, but really, the characters are more important than their labels!

  108. Karin–
    I was informed by an author who has had many dukes and duchesses in her titles that the book DID sell better, which is sort of sad. I can’t blame her for wanting to keep her sales figures healthy, but really, the characters are more important than their labels!

  109. Karin–
    I was informed by an author who has had many dukes and duchesses in her titles that the book DID sell better, which is sort of sad. I can’t blame her for wanting to keep her sales figures healthy, but really, the characters are more important than their labels!

  110. Karin–
    I was informed by an author who has had many dukes and duchesses in her titles that the book DID sell better, which is sort of sad. I can’t blame her for wanting to keep her sales figures healthy, but really, the characters are more important than their labels!

  111. Artemesia–arranging a spouse was indeed like hiring for a position–these are the qualifications, here is the be candidate. IIRC in LORD WRAYBOURNE’S BETROTHED, the hero chose the heroine not just because she was well born and well brought up, but he found her lush figure appealing and promising. *G* So there was some emotion mixed in with the check list.

  112. Artemesia–arranging a spouse was indeed like hiring for a position–these are the qualifications, here is the be candidate. IIRC in LORD WRAYBOURNE’S BETROTHED, the hero chose the heroine not just because she was well born and well brought up, but he found her lush figure appealing and promising. *G* So there was some emotion mixed in with the check list.

  113. Artemesia–arranging a spouse was indeed like hiring for a position–these are the qualifications, here is the be candidate. IIRC in LORD WRAYBOURNE’S BETROTHED, the hero chose the heroine not just because she was well born and well brought up, but he found her lush figure appealing and promising. *G* So there was some emotion mixed in with the check list.

  114. Artemesia–arranging a spouse was indeed like hiring for a position–these are the qualifications, here is the be candidate. IIRC in LORD WRAYBOURNE’S BETROTHED, the hero chose the heroine not just because she was well born and well brought up, but he found her lush figure appealing and promising. *G* So there was some emotion mixed in with the check list.

  115. Artemesia–arranging a spouse was indeed like hiring for a position–these are the qualifications, here is the be candidate. IIRC in LORD WRAYBOURNE’S BETROTHED, the hero chose the heroine not just because she was well born and well brought up, but he found her lush figure appealing and promising. *G* So there was some emotion mixed in with the check list.

  116. Don’t know if it’s too late to comment. I personally don’t like too much money in romance. I find Roarke’s wealth (In Death) frightening. I don’t one person should have that much. I like books where people live more simply. I have read some romances it feels like the greater catch for the heroine is the hero’s fortune and not the hero (meaning he is not that great a guy in my opinion). I would rather see my heroine independent able to make choices based on character rather than finance.
    That being said I don’t want the hero and heroine to be struggling with money at least in the end. Towards the beginning I could see that as a major plot point. How much is enough? Enough to pay all the bills, enough for a few little luxuries, but not much more that.

  117. Don’t know if it’s too late to comment. I personally don’t like too much money in romance. I find Roarke’s wealth (In Death) frightening. I don’t one person should have that much. I like books where people live more simply. I have read some romances it feels like the greater catch for the heroine is the hero’s fortune and not the hero (meaning he is not that great a guy in my opinion). I would rather see my heroine independent able to make choices based on character rather than finance.
    That being said I don’t want the hero and heroine to be struggling with money at least in the end. Towards the beginning I could see that as a major plot point. How much is enough? Enough to pay all the bills, enough for a few little luxuries, but not much more that.

  118. Don’t know if it’s too late to comment. I personally don’t like too much money in romance. I find Roarke’s wealth (In Death) frightening. I don’t one person should have that much. I like books where people live more simply. I have read some romances it feels like the greater catch for the heroine is the hero’s fortune and not the hero (meaning he is not that great a guy in my opinion). I would rather see my heroine independent able to make choices based on character rather than finance.
    That being said I don’t want the hero and heroine to be struggling with money at least in the end. Towards the beginning I could see that as a major plot point. How much is enough? Enough to pay all the bills, enough for a few little luxuries, but not much more that.

  119. Don’t know if it’s too late to comment. I personally don’t like too much money in romance. I find Roarke’s wealth (In Death) frightening. I don’t one person should have that much. I like books where people live more simply. I have read some romances it feels like the greater catch for the heroine is the hero’s fortune and not the hero (meaning he is not that great a guy in my opinion). I would rather see my heroine independent able to make choices based on character rather than finance.
    That being said I don’t want the hero and heroine to be struggling with money at least in the end. Towards the beginning I could see that as a major plot point. How much is enough? Enough to pay all the bills, enough for a few little luxuries, but not much more that.

  120. Don’t know if it’s too late to comment. I personally don’t like too much money in romance. I find Roarke’s wealth (In Death) frightening. I don’t one person should have that much. I like books where people live more simply. I have read some romances it feels like the greater catch for the heroine is the hero’s fortune and not the hero (meaning he is not that great a guy in my opinion). I would rather see my heroine independent able to make choices based on character rather than finance.
    That being said I don’t want the hero and heroine to be struggling with money at least in the end. Towards the beginning I could see that as a major plot point. How much is enough? Enough to pay all the bills, enough for a few little luxuries, but not much more that.

  121. Amy–it’s never too late to comment. *G* I imagine the immensity of Roarke’s wealth is part of the conflict for those books, but for most of us, the idea is pretty scary. I think your definition of ‘enough’ is good–be able to pay the bills and have some luxury. That’s enough for most of us, really.

  122. Amy–it’s never too late to comment. *G* I imagine the immensity of Roarke’s wealth is part of the conflict for those books, but for most of us, the idea is pretty scary. I think your definition of ‘enough’ is good–be able to pay the bills and have some luxury. That’s enough for most of us, really.

  123. Amy–it’s never too late to comment. *G* I imagine the immensity of Roarke’s wealth is part of the conflict for those books, but for most of us, the idea is pretty scary. I think your definition of ‘enough’ is good–be able to pay the bills and have some luxury. That’s enough for most of us, really.

  124. Amy–it’s never too late to comment. *G* I imagine the immensity of Roarke’s wealth is part of the conflict for those books, but for most of us, the idea is pretty scary. I think your definition of ‘enough’ is good–be able to pay the bills and have some luxury. That’s enough for most of us, really.

  125. Amy–it’s never too late to comment. *G* I imagine the immensity of Roarke’s wealth is part of the conflict for those books, but for most of us, the idea is pretty scary. I think your definition of ‘enough’ is good–be able to pay the bills and have some luxury. That’s enough for most of us, really.

Comments are closed.