A couple of weeks ago I was e-strolling through Amazon and a book, [insert holiday themed billionaire romance title] was on my list of recommendations…the shirtless cover model in a Santa hat caught my eye. I’m always here for a quickie with a hot chocolate hero which this looked to be from the tiny thumbnail. When I opened up the book page, turned out cover dude wasn’t of the chocolate variety, just spray tanned to a dark hue to play up his muscles. Oh well…
So it led me on a hunt…
…after about a 45 minutes and many keyword searches I found one lone multicultural billionaire who was Asian.
When I mentioned this in a Facebook group I’m part of, members quickly pointed out that über rich heroes are the staple of romance and that multicultural billionaire romance heroes do indeed exist. And they are right…believe me, I’ve read a few or ten. Specifically within multicultural romance, Brenda Jackson and Maureen Smith write super rich Black heroes, and so do many other authors, very well. Demonstrations of their billionaire status ranges from subtle to OTT/in your face, with all sorts of lavish happenings to demonstrate the hero’s wealth. Real talk though — they make up a tiny smattering of heroes in this billion dollar industry (pun intended!).
What I’m talking about here are the books with “Billionaire” in the title. These books are so popular that they’ve become their own genre of romance. Go ahead…type in “billionaire romance” into the search bar on Amazon. You’re going to find literally thousands of novellas, full-lengths, standalones, serials, trilogies, anthologies…
If you’re looking for your multicultural billionaire hero in the oh so popular (cough…overdone!) genre within the likes of, The Billionaire’s Nanny, The Alpha Billionaire Stepbrother, The Billionaire’s Secret Love Child and so on and so forth…
(I made those titles up, btw…don’t go searching Amazon for these)
…good luck finding him. My research gave me 99.99999% Caucasian heroes. I will say their heroines cover the gamut of races and ethnicities — the only thing the heroines share is that the majority are “regular” from more modest, even humble, circumstances.
To be totally transparent, I’m not even the biggest fan of this genre/trope. There are definitely issues with believability in many cases; with storylines that can be, shall we say, far-fetched.
I’ve just noticed that the heroes are only comprised of a certain “type”. Maybe that’s because authors (particularly authors who are POC) just aren’t interested in depicting their heroes that way because there’s no demand for it by readers…it could be as simple as that! And I’m not mad at that.
I’m a conspiracy theorist deep down; I feel that it’s bigger than that. More like the majority of readers (regardless of race/ethnicity) don’t see us [aka POC] as super rich; thus not writing it because, “who’s gonna believe that a Black or Latino man (who isn’t an athlete or entertainer) could reach that level of wealth”? Like the time I read a review of a book where the heroine was a size 16 and the reviewer said she didn’t like the book because it wasn’t realistic, “there’s no way a rich and handsome hero would fall in love with a woman that big!”
Oh, and before I forget, where are the self-made über rich heroines — who aren’t spending daddy dearest’s money? But that’s a discussion for another Thursday.
If we can read about shape shifters, and vampires falling in love, we can read about a Black man (or woman) who makes more than $100k. After all, it is fiction.
Speak on it! Share your thoughts in the comments.