Monday, November 23, 2015

The Billionaire: Christian Grey, Gideon Cross

You can find dozens of romance books with a billionaire mogul as hero, never mind that most billionaire moguls aren’t young, handsome, or looking for romance.

But here is where the rubber meets the road, if you’ll excuse the expression. There isn’t one of you reading this blog who hasn’t at least heard of E.L. James’ Christian Grey; there may be fewer of you who have heard of Sylvia Day’s Gideon Cross.  Nevertheless, there are multiple books written telling their stories and the characters have captured the imaginations of readers who desire more than a sweet romance with the boy next door.
     Christian Grey
Gideon Cross 
The men share similarities beyond handsomeness and money. Both are the products of traumatic abuse in their childhoods. Both are the heads of large companies with worldwide reach. Both fund charitable activities with their wealth. Both are tortured by nightmare dreams stemming from past horrors, dreams that threaten their relationships with the heroines. 

But the authors portray the heroes in different lights; there is a disparity in their behavior. Christian seeks out women with certain physical characteristics, and the heroine Anastasia Steele fits that mold. Gideon has always been attracted and had affairs with tall, brunette women, but the heroine, Eve Trammel, is petite and blond.

Grey reveals his Dom/sub lifestyle to Ana almost immediately; Cross seduces Eve and holds back the information of his dominant behavior until she has fallen for him. Christian’s desires drive Ana away from him in the first book, and in subsequent novels he is ever anxious that she will leave him if he goes further than their agreed upon “kinky f***ery”. It is another man, a past lover, who Gideon fears will tempt Eve from his side. 

Who is the more appealing romantic hero? Christian evolves into a protective, caring lover by the end of the series, while Gideon accepts the fact that he will continue to battle his demons while loving Eve deeply. Have you read both series? Which character do you prefer?