Have you noticed the trend in romances? The shelves, virtual as well as physical, are filled with titles and covers featuring two hot commodities as heroes—the billionaire and the chef. I haven’t yet come across a hero that is both a billionaire and a chef, since I guess that would really push the envelope. But these male heroes are already rolling in the dough, so to speak! The female heroes are often restaurateurs or bakers, but they aren’t the billionaires, which I think is terribly unfair. According to Forbes, there are 138 women on the 2013 billionaires list, and some of them are even under the age of 50. Prime heroine material! And since very few of these billionaire are self-made, with much of their wealth being inherited, this allows for some juicy conflict among families. I think our fantasies about wealthy-beyond-measure characters should be equal opportunity and include both sexes. Just an observation.
Then there are the cooking romances. Apparently the reality shows featuring chefs and bakers competing against each other have spawned a whole subset of romances. It’s hard not to find a cover without at least one stray cupcake. Maybe the founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes, a woman, will keep moving upward and become a billionaire soon—then we’ll be able to have my dream book involving a billionaire foodie! Wouldn’t that be perfect? And probably delicious. It’s a fantasy after all!
I’m not knocking the trend, especially since I managed to consume a few billionaires and one bakery owner this week. I’m just learning that there are all these billionaires outside of the erotic-romance genre. Sometimes, I think I’m a bit slow on the uptake. So here are two series I suggest you try. I do warn you that they are both addictive.
Jessica Clare’s Billionaire Boys Club series involves a club of male billionaires who met in college and helped each other become billionaires by the age of 30. They didn’t all inherit their wealth, and those of them that did added to their net value with hard work. So, as they are now all in their 30s, they are each ready to settle down with the woman of their dreams, or at least with a woman who has the sexual stamina to keep up. As Napoleon Hill says, the most successful men are those with a strong and active sex drive and a woman to “show off” for. I’m not kidding, check out Think and Grow Rich! But back to Clare’s Billionaire Boys Club series, featuring six men who are “incredibly wealthy but not so lucky in love” until….
First out of the gate is Logan Hawkings, who had a rocky start in life with a not-to-be-envied father and lousy mother. But, since then, he’s been busy building his fortune. So busy, in fact, that not only has he been missing out on finding a woman to trust, but he’s also in desperate need of a vacation to the Caribbean. So off he goes to a tropical paradise to check out a hotel he’s considering buying. Unfortunately, nature has other plans. Mix a hurricane with a woman and you get a perfect storm for a romance. Stranded with the Billionaire (Intermix, April 2013) kicks of the Billionaire Boys Club series with a bang, including great descriptions of what it’s like to be caught in a hurricane while on vacation: the wind, the rain, the destruction. But while Logan is stranded, he has a hot romance to focus on. A perfect fantasy.
The second billionaire is the badly scarred Hunter Buchanan in Beauty and the Billionaire (InterMix, July 2013). The book is a take on the Beauty and the Beast trope. Hunter’s wealth is in real estate and his scars keep him out of the public eye and also away from prospective female partners until his friend Logan finds what could Hunter’s soul mate. She’s a feisty redhead who catches his eye and pumps up the libido. But thinking he doesn’t stand a chance, Hunter plots an elaborate scheme to meet her and, well, the rest is in the pudding. I started the whole series with this book and it set me off on a glomming search to find the first book. A sign of great storytelling.
The third billionaire doesn’t take competition well. He is a charmer and uses women to further his own ambitions. Reese Durham is close to making his first billion and just needs the investment of a socialite to seal the deal. This is when he encounters the uptight executive assistant Audrey in The Wrong Billionaire’s Bed (InterMix, October 2013). She thinks she’s spending a month in a mountain cabin with her rock-star twin sister (who desperately needs to “dry out”) and her superrich and superhot childhood friend, Cade. But Reese is at the cabin, too. The sexual tension and clashing between Audrey and Reese makes for delightful reading. Don’t miss this wrong bed tale; it’s fun and oh-so-hot!
If you want a little baking in your billionaire fantasy, then check out Monica Murphy’s Torn (Avon Impulse, November 2013), the second in her Billionaire Bachelors Club series. Marina Knight is the manager of the family bakery in a small town in California wine country. Her family owns a lot of property, but they are cash poor, and her father needs to unload some property to keep the family afloat. Unfortunately, the best part to sell contains Marina’s bakery—which is barely breaking even. Throw in billionaire investor Gage Emerson, who’s looking for a good deal, and you get a combustible situation, especially when Gage can’t keep his eyes or hands or mouth off Marina. And there are cupcakes. And elaborate cakes that sound delicious.
So, here are two series (both are e-book only) that you may want to try out to satisfy both your sweet tooth and billionaire longings. And both are hot reads, so be prepared, and have a cold beverage on hand.
Sara Reyes is the founder and partner at FreshFiction.com, a popular fiction web site for today's reader with new titles, contests, over 50,000 genre fiction author profiles with backlists, and permanently archived reviews, plus all the industry buzz. Fresh Fiction has a biweekly segment (Buy the Book) on WFAA Channel 8 Good Morning Texas to talk about new books not to miss. Believing face-to-face interaction is as important as virtual communities, Fresh Fiction sponsors an annual author reader tea in June, a readers conference in November, monthly literary events, and book clubs. Follow Sara at @FreshFiction on Twitter or Facebook.com/FreshFiction.