Inflation affects everything–even the net worth of romance novel heroes. Remember when a girl married a rich guy, and he was a millionaire? That’s not good enough anymore. Now the hero has to be a billionaire.
With some rationale: in reality, millionaires are a dime a dozen. According to Fortune, there are 16.5 million millionaires in the world — 4.8 million millionaires in the U.S. And with inflation, a million just doesn’t buy what it used to. If you had a million dollars in 1967 (fifty years ago), you’d need more than $7 million today to have the same buying power.
So, to be really, really rich you should be a billionaire, and you pretty much have to be to make it in Romance Novel Land.
How many billionaires are there?
According to Forbes, this year there are 2,043 billionaires in the world.
I ran a search for “billionaire” in Amazon’s romance novel category (FYI Amazon’s Jeff Bezos ranks No. 3 among the world’s richest people) and got 48,080 responses.
There are more billionaires in Romance Novel Land than there are on the entire planet.
A shortlist of titles: Billionaire Boss’s Unexpected Child (Romance Novel Land billionaires are having a lot of kids these days and usually secretly), Billionaire Untamed (Is this like billionaires gone wild?), The Billionaire Takes All (I’ll bet he does), Shopping for a Billionaire (Billionaires must be real hard to buy for. I suggest home baked goodies), and No Ordinary Billionaire (well, I don’t know, there are 48,000 of them).
So how does this affect me? If you know me, you know I’ve been writing Hunted by the Cyborg, Carter Aymes’s story. Carter has been a secondary character in the previous five Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance series books. He finally gets his own book in Hunted. It turns out the man is filthy rich. Who knew? Not me. I’m just the author, and he waited until book six to tell me.
So how rich is he? Well, here’s the thing: the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance series takes place about 400 years in the future, so I’m thinking that with 400 years of inflation, a billion dollars won’t be worth that much. So, after adjusting for inflation, I decided that Carter is probably a quadrillionaire.
How much money is a quadrillion? It looks like this:
- Million – 6 zeroes
- Billion – 9 zeroes
- Trillion – 12 zeroes
- Quadrillion – 15 zeroes
However, quadrillionaire heroes are not yet a trope in Romance Novel Land. So, for marketing purposes, in the story blurb, I’ve made Carter a billionaire. But, you have the secret inside information that Carter has waaaay more “credits”than billions.
Hunted by the Cyborg blurb
Are the secrets that bind, the secrets that will destroy?
Billionaire Carter Aymes, director of Cyber Operations, a covert cyborg force, devotes his wealth and life to saving others, rescuing hostages and other victims from desperate situations. His ultimate mission is to hunt down and eliminate Lamani, the alien terrorist mastermind, before he conquers the galaxy.
When Carter hires Beth O’Shea, a vulnerable but courageous woman with connections to his past, their attraction is immediate and strong, but he knows getting involved with her is a bad idea. He’s her boss, and he has way too many classified projects to protect to risk letting someone get close.
Rejected by the progenitors who cloned her, Beth is determined to live a normal human life, beginning by getting an ordinary job with a security firm. But, from the start, she questions the extraordinary secrecy surrounding the organization. She can’t help but wonder about the tall, muscled, larger-than-life director who gave her a chance when she desperately needed one. Could he ever be romantically interested in a woman like her, in a clone?
When Beth is attacked, they both realize how short and tenuous life is, and their mutual attraction becomes too powerful to resist.
As their relationship heats up, so does the urgency to capture Lamani before he can unleash a stealth weapon at a critical planetary Summit meeting. With time running out, Carter discovers that stopping Lamani may require sacrificing Beth’s life.
Will Carter be able to rescue her, or will his new love be the one person he can’t save?
* * *
Hunted by the Cyborg (Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance 6) will be released in January 2018, with a preorder later this month.
If you’d like to notified of the preorder/release AND get a free Cy-Ops book to read now (yes, Carter is in it!), click here. Oh, and the first book, Stranded with the Cyborg is free at all online booksellers.