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Topic: Impoverished/Poor Heroes

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Subject: Impoverished/Poor Heroes
Date Posted: 6/10/2009 4:56 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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I just discovered that I have a new "kink" in romance novels--impoverished or poor heroes. I just finished reading Jo Davis' Under Fire and the hero, while employed, is struggling to pay off some debts.

 

Are there any romances out there with this premise? Poor or impoverished hero? I prefer historicals but do read contemporary too. I've read a lot of stories where the heroine is in impoverished circumstances but I can't remember reading many with a hero in the same situation.

Date Posted: 6/10/2009 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Karen Ranney's After the Kiss is the bomb.  Hero is a nobleman who needs to marry an heiress to support his family, but falls in love with a heroine who has even less than he does.  And there's no fairy godmother showing up at the 11th hour to pave the road for them either.   And there's also Once in a Blue Moon by Penelope Williamson - another awesome book.  A similar situation & no easy fixes in that one either, but they manage in the end.  I highly recommend both of them.

Date Posted: 6/10/2009 6:08 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,545
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I enjoyed Secrets of Surrender by Madeline Hunter.  The main characters in the book both have money problems in large part due to the woman's brothers.  The hero comes from a poor mining family and has made all his own money unlike the rich gentry of the time.   It has a great love story and the two books that came before it are really great, too.  Lots of interesting info about banking practices in the Regency period. 



Last Edited on: 6/10/09 6:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/10/2009 8:57 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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Thank you both for your replies. I thought I'd read all of Karen Ranney's books--how on earth did I miss that one?! I've only ever read one other Williamson book so I think I'd enjoy the one suggested. The Madeline Hunter book sounds great too! Sigh. Better get cracking on TBR pile so I have an excuse to order some more :)

Date Posted: 6/10/2009 9:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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River of Fire by Mary Jo Putney has a hero who comes back to find the estate broke by his father and his stepmom (she took the  jewelry and sold off everything with any value whatsoever) It's part of a series but I was able to follow  it ok(read it for a reading challenge that needed a title word of earth, fire, water, or air).

Date Posted: 6/10/2009 9:34 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 376
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Have you read LaVyrle Spencer's Morning Glory? Hero is a homeless drifter ex-con, and he's one of my favorite heroes ever. It takes place in the 1940s.

Date Posted: 6/11/2009 12:09 AM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2006
Posts: 673
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I wish authors would do poor heroes more often and keep them poor. They are so afraid that not being filthy rich is somehow emasculating.

 

Lorraine Heath's R & Roses Series that she never finished. The first 2 books have 2 improvished lords.

 

SLEEPLESS AT MIDNIGHT - improvished Marquess

THE RAINBOW SEASON - ex-con from the wrong side of the tracks

ONE SUMMER - Karen Robards - ex-con. contemp.

Date Posted: 6/11/2009 6:35 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
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I'm having fun putting these books on my RL and putting notes on them so I remember why I want to read them. I have Morning Glory--got it for my mom for Christmas. I've read part of it, haven't finished it yet.

 

Are there any contemporaries with poor heroes? Or at least struggling to make ends meet heroes? I agree with being able to keep the heroes poor--maybe not so poor that they can't eat but at least that they aren't filthy rich by the end.

Date Posted: 6/11/2009 11:08 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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In Outlander, Jamie is just a poor young man serving his Uncles and also on the run from the English.   Arnette Lamb's Maiden of Inverness has a hero who has grown up poor.  That's one of my all time favorite books.

Date Posted: 6/11/2009 12:01 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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poorness isn't emphasized in this one but a short silhouette The Nights Before Christmas by Vicki Lewis Thompson(think this is the author!) is set in NY I think and the woman has a professional job and the hero lives free in the apartment building as the super/handyman/janitor type position. the emphasis isn't on money though I can't imagine him being rich but more on it's the type of working with his hands that  he likes and thinks he's beneath her or worries that she thinks he's beneath her.

Date Posted: 6/11/2009 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Seems to me like Kit from My Seduction by Connie Brockway is a man of modest means, but it's been a long time since I read it.  I don't think he's poor, but the heroine blows off a pretty wealthy guy for him.  And he's a muffin, which is always a plus:P  There's also Christina Dodd's Once a Knight - one of her better efforts, IMO.  Not so much that it's a fantastically well-written book, but I loved the premise.  He's a broken down has-been champion knight (it's a medieval), and she hires him to protect her & her estate - she's wealthy, a widow, & needs protection.  Not literary perfection, but it's a cute & unique little story, and I really enjoyed it.  I'm like Jess in that I think it makes the story more interesting if the hero doesn't have a pot to piss in, and there isn't some unknown rich relative who dies and leaves him a dukedom in Chapter 30, and there's a strong likelihood that the H&H aren't going to live the remainder of their days in scandalous luxury.  I'm also fine with it if she's wealthy and marrying beneath her.  Either premise is more romantic to me than the poor girl meets rich Mr. Wonderful scenario, although there are plenty of those that work well too.



Last Edited on: 6/11/09 1:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/11/2009 2:34 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2006
Posts: 2,463
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is about a, well, fortune hunter lol. It's an emotional read and is much better than what the blurb says about it. Here's the blurb...

Desperate and destitute, the devilish Lord Rival has drawn up a list of wealthy women who might be willing to wed-and Lady Olivia Fairfax is one of them. But when he finally meets the mysterious spinster, she is hardly the lonely naïf he expected.



Last Edited on: 6/11/09 3:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/11/2009 6:58 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,545
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KIm,   I am very partial to the romances where the Woman finds herself marrying "beneath" her station.  I get tired of the Dukes that are not only handsome, over 6 feet tall, well muscled and only sometimes act like the filthy rich snobs they really are.  I like the stories of the self-made man who marries a woman from the gentry and proves that real men are men, too.  I loved Madeline Hunter's by Design, by Arrangment and by Possession for that reason, althought the last is about a commoner woman who a gentry man falls in love with and marries.

I also loved The Leopard Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt and Three Nights of Sin by Anne Mallory. 

 

Date Posted: 6/12/2009 10:30 AM ET
Member Since: 3/24/2008
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I automatically thought of The Leopard Prince by Hoyt as well.  Harry is my kind of man . Wowza 

Date Posted: 6/12/2009 10:03 PM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2007
Posts: 1,028
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always to remember by Lorraine Heath -- you'll have to buy it because it's a long wishlist but it is soooo worth it.

Date Posted: 6/12/2009 10:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Ooh, cool.  I just got that one yesterday.  I'll have to start on it tonight.

Subject: her
Date Posted: 6/13/2009 12:31 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2009
Posts: 49
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I just finished The Duchess Diaries by Mia Ryan. It was a great, strong character who made a bad choice when he was younger, and was working to find a way to regain all the money he lost, and his place in society. Well written with great characters. I was surprised to find myself enjoying it.

Date Posted: 6/17/2009 1:07 PM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2009
Posts: 4,591
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"The Proposition" by Judith Ivory was one of my favorites of hers. An upper-class linguist takes a poor, low-class Englishman under her wing to prove that she can make him appear a distinguished gentleman just by changing his speech. Mick has always been one of my favorite male heroes.
Date Posted: 6/17/2009 1:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I adore that book too, but he ends up rich at the end - a Cinderfella story - so I didn't think it was fair to count it:P  Heroine doesn't know that until after she falls in love with him though...