As you would have gathered from my Naughty Ninja name, I love dukes. So much so that I have been known to buy any historical romance novel featuring the word ‘duke’ in the title, never mind what the blurb says. Nowadays however, my kindle has such a ridiculous number of unread items on it that common sense (plus some vague sense of financial responsibility – I do have three children after all) dictates that I should be somewhat more judicious in choosing books.
But why do you love dukes, Elyse, I hear you say. There really isn’t any need to delve deep into my psyche for the answer. The plain truth is that I love reading about heroes who are alpha males. The more alpha they are, the better. So it’s not enough that they are a member of the aristocracy, they have to be the highest member of the aristocracy next to the royal family. They also have to be wealthy, fit and extraordinarily attractive, at least to the heroine. There are of course many, many wonderful historical romances dedicated to heroes and heroines from the lower classes; I am only telling you about the types of heroes I particularly enjoy reading about.
I love being able to escape the toils and cares of ordinary life to a world where money is no object, where my imagination can run rampant about the gorgeous gowns my heroine wears, the extravagant balls the couple attend and the lavish homes that they inhabit; where the obstacle to their happily-ever-after is not a lack of funds. Portraying my hero as a wealthy duke also goes towards showing his supreme ability in managing his finances and the tenants and employees under his care.
Of course, wealth can pose an obstacle too, which could lead to the marriage of convenience trope or the hero and heroine being from different classes trope. Then there is the trope where the entitled hero, who has always been able to have what he wants, suddenly finds the heroine saying no to him. The cheek! I must admit that it is tremendously exciting to have all these stories I have yet to explore.
But you never know. Perhaps one day I’ll write about a poor, untitled gentleman with a heart of gold and the beauty of Apollo. As for my heroine, she can be a widowed duchess who falls head over heels in lust with the hero. That sounds like a fun romp, doesn’t it? Stay tuned!