The money angle makes sense to me. Romance novels are about how one person finds the person of his or her (generally her) dreams. The object of affection is therefore practically perfect (one or two endearing foibles aside) by the end of the book, though he is definitely imperfect prior to that end (See secret wives, a penchant for sadism, supposed “pride,” the inability to open up to anyone about his troubled past, etc.). However, once the core issues have been dealt with, the heroine is left with perfection. Her love object is handsome, sexy, understanding, fantastic in bed (only presumably in Mr. Rochester’s and Darcy’s cases since neither Charlotte Bronte nor Jane Austen see fit to provide those details, though I think it’s noteworthy that Mr. Darcy’s sexual talents are made clear in the dozens of erotic P & P sequels out there). Why wouldn’t the ideal romantic partner also be wealthy (while also having much more going on than just his money)?