This suggestions comes from Rebecca in the comments of our Submit Your Rec League post:
Heroes and heroines with unsexy jobs- e.g. administrators, accountants, city clerk. No lawyer/doctor/architect/owner of charming small business. HR professionals fall in love too!
Carrie: Both the upcoming A Princess for Christmas ( A | BN | K | AB ) and Get a Life, Chloe Brown have heroes who are apartment building supervisors/maintenance workers and the hero of Take a Hint, Dani Brown is a security worker at a university campus. Rose Lerner’s Listen to the Moon is about a valet and a maid.
Hoosier Daddy by Ann McMan and Salem West also has a line supervisor at a car factory and a union agitator who comes to town.
Beautiful by Christina Lauren has (I think) ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) an accountant. It’s the last book in the series, but I totally read it and enjoyed it without having read the rest of the books in the series.
In A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole, the heroine has a bunch of part-time jobs to get her through grad school.
Carrie: In Rafe, the heroine is a surgeon but the hero is a nanny.
Shana: I think what’s even rarer than main characters in unsexy jobs, is stories where they stay in those jobs, and don’t become a musician/artist/princess. Zuri Day’s Driving Heat and Packing Heat have bus driver and postal worker heroes.
Sarah: Which is the Victoria Dahl novella where they’re forensic accountants stuck at the same hotel doing an investigation?
Amanda: You all are CRUSHING it.
Tara: Is fitness trainer a sexy or not sexy profession?
Shana: Not sexy to me, but I think probably sexy to others given how often they pop up?
Also, About a Rogue by Caroline Linden ( A | BN | K | AB ) has a middle-class heroine. She is the heart and soul of her family’s pottery business and I thought that was an interesting (and perhaps a bit sexy? She mostly deals with paint and glaze formulas). The book is also set in Georgian times for a bit more variety.
Sneezy: In Man vs Durian by Jackie Lau, the hero is a landscaper and the heroine was working in her friend’s ice cream shop when the story starts, but switches back to software engineer by the end of the book.
I’m not sure if farming and cattle driving counts as sexy either, but The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) is very good. It takes place in Wales, so it’s not the same flavour as cowboys
Susan: My judgement of sexy jobs is skewed, but Knit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman has a protagonist who works in a theatre box office by day and hand-dyes yarn by night.
Cat Sebastian’s A Little Light Mischief ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) is a romance between a maid (who admittedly used to be a burglar) and a lady’s companion who’s desperate for something useful to do (Although caution warning for backstory sexual assault).
Oh, and Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku by Fujita, ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) where there’s a mild level of drama from all of the protagonists being hardcore nerds and trying to keep that a secret at their boring office job…I don’t know if I could tell you off the top of my head what work any of them actually DO in that office, now I think about it.
Ellen: I think Whiteout by Adriana Anders actually fits this although they spend pretty minimal time actually working in their unsexy jobs…heroine is a cook on an antarctic science station and hero is a scientist but i thought the book did a good job showing that most field science is actually really boring.A | BN | K | G | AB | Au ) may kinda fit this too—the actual day job of the heroine is basically as a postal worker…
Shana: Am I the only one who has “scientist” at the top of their list of most sexy professions?
Amanda: I think this could make an interesting discussion about what “sexy romance jobs” mean to you.
Some readers like a man who wears a suit for work. If you’re a barbarian, like myself, the dirtier, the better.Roller Girl, because one of the heroines is a plumber, but woman plumber is such my catnip that I didn’t think it would work on an unsexy jobs list.
For unsexy desk jobs, André by Jayce Ellis is a m/m where both heroes work in financial management, and make goo-goo eyes over bank statements.
Sarah: I mean, if a person is competent then any job can be sexy. Competence is effin hot.
Catherine: I can’t possibly answer that question without getting in trouble!
Ellen: Yeah I mean I have to be honest I was thrown by the idea of lawyer being a sexy job. When it’s portrayed accurately lawyering is really unsexy.
Amanda: I think sexy in the request is shorthand for “glamorized” because running a quaint small business seems stressful as fuck.
Sarah: As a runner of a quaint small business, can confirm.
Claudia: Yeah I took ‘unsexy’ to mean a bit of drudgery/repetitive work but if you really think about it… there’s a lot, a lot of dull parts in any profession!
Catherine: Definitely plenty of drudgery in science.
What are your thoughts on unsexy jobs? Which romances would you recommend?