Then it hit me - these are Cinderella stories for adults. In Cinderella, a rich and handsome prince rides into town and sweeps a young woman off her feet and into his palace. In the version that we all learn as kids, they "live happily ever after." In the adult version, well, that "happiness" is more explicitly defined.
This desire to be swept away is clearly not universal, but common enough that one can make a lot of money catering to it. Tomorrow, my thoughts on another story I bounced hard off of, Diana Gabaldon's series Outlander.
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