Too Wicked to Wed, out today, is the first book in Cara Elliott’s new series, the Lords of Midnight. Its hero is the owner of a gambling den and brothel, which got us to thinking about our recent post It’s Hard Out There for a Mage: Professions in Urban Fantasy, and what professions are frequent for heroes and heroines in historicals; usually the hero and heroine are titled, but usually at least one of them is impoverished, leading to some desperate measures. And sometimes those measures lead them to own or work in houses of ill repute, whether gambling or prostitution.
Probably the most famous of these heroes is Derek Craven from Lisa Kleypas’s Dreaming of You. Derek is fabulously wealthy, due to his owning a gambling house, but he’s also the son of a prostitute. Then there’s Mary Jo Putney’s recent release, Nowhere Near Respectable, whose hero is also both illegitimate and a gambling den owner. Too Wicked to Wed’s hero is aristocractic, but is driven to his lower-class profession due to poverty.
Do you like it when your heroes (and much less frequently, the heroines) engage in less-than-honorable pursuits? What other books feature gamblers?