Friday, June 28, 2013

Another Billionaire in Fiction

I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because ain't nobody got time to check their own grammar.*

*N.B. This sentence was not checked by Grammarly, but the rest of the post was.

But seriously. Billionaires.

Maybe I'm jealous. A billionaire has never tried to sweep me off my feet. I'd wager a guess it's never happened to you, either. One thing is almost universally true, though: when you fall in love with a billionaire (or if you are one) in a novel, by the end of the story, the person with all the money has to become humble and admit there's more to life than riches. You get the boy or girl, and there's your happy, satisfying ending.

Sometimes I have a hard time feeling sorry for someone with gobs of money. Yes, maybe it's a much harder life than I realize, but you know what? I don't know. I earn tens of dollars doing what I do ... I don't want to hear about your difficult decision to pick the black or red Manolo Blahniks.

Gah. Who can decide?
I enjoy the occasional fantastical escape from my everyday life, and read about a faraway land or a job I wish I had (or even living life without a job). But jeez, reading about someone who can't find a good enough tiara cleaner is frankly not something I'm going to finish. 

Maybe it has to do with me living in New York. I have worked at some pretty classy places and served some rich people. My favorite comment from a client was, "I don't know why people have such a problem buying tailored clothing. Once you do it, you'll never wear anything else." Me, being a good customer service person, didn't hold her head underwater and shout, "I make minimum wage! Who the hell is going to tailor make me anything?" Then, she told me about some exquisite $3000 bedsheets that she only paid $300 for. SUCH A BARGAIN! She made me and my colleague promise to go check it out. When she left earshot, he turned to me and whispered, "I don't even have a bed!"

I don't like to write a bad review, especially for one of my fellow indies. This novella -- Uptown Girl by Holly Kinsella -- got me going, though. Emma is rich. She's a fashion model. A gorgeous, rich guy has a crush on her. Everything is perfect, and she's also kind of a bitch.

The story is basically this: Emma's car breaks down, so she takes it to a mechanic her dad recommends. That SOB mechanic wouldn't do a rush job on her car because he'd given his word to fix other people's first. I mean, what an all-out selfish, oafish a*****e! Well, she told him off. After that, that f*****g mechanic shows up at a family party. Everyone else thinks he's charming and smart, not seeing what a villain he really is. Emma gave him a piece of her mind all night -- and then her dad called her out on it! Turns out, the mechanic had once saved her dad's life, so in an instant, Emma changes her whole outlook on life. Money isn't as important. Her shallow friends aren't interesting anymore. And (fanfare, please) she falls madly in love with the mechanic because of his sparkling personality!

The whole story was too transparent, too easy. I didn't feel sympathy for the main character and didn't trust her change. Also, this novella could have been a novel if the author had "shown" instead of "told" the whole thing. Sorry, Holly.

The richness theme also pervaded Kyra Davis' Just One Night trilogy. The sexy hero is filthy rich and has so much power; he can't help flaunting it around.

A novel dealing with riches that I did enjoy (Worth Lying For by Lisa Cheney and Lisa Craig) involves a middle-aged woman finding a bag of money and having fun with it. Sure, we get some of the same brand name oggling, but it also involves regular life.

Maybe every reader likes to stick with something relatable to them. After all, if I find a book set in Memphis, or about someone having trouble on the subway, I'm more likely to enjoy the story.

Now, if only I could find a romance book about two people who have jobs I understand (no more "finding solace in the rigidity of numbers" BS) and daily problems I might also have, then I'll be happy.

1 comment:

  1. I thought the choice between red & black was going to be simple. I was wrong. #needboth #withasideof$3000sheets