Oh, don’t worry. This isn’t about the current economic conditions of the world (or at least the USA). C’mon, you know I wouldn’t do something like that, esp. since I wanna leave politics by the wayside for you lovely people.
No, the topic this week is about employment in novels, or more specifically, what sort of jobs do you find the most believable in novels? For the sake of this post, I’m only talking novels set in the modern (whether an Urban Fantasy/Paranormal version of Earth or just plain, contemporary Earth) world.
Now, as I’ve mentioned, I’m a Harlequin Presents girl deep down, and those books pretty universally either have the man be a royal of some sort, or a powerful, rich entrepreneur (though the industry can vary occasionally). Heroines are usually secretaries or have some lower-echelon employment (waitressing, musician, etc.) that they could give up on a whim if/when they fall in love (which they almost universally seem to). That’s HP’s schtick (alpha/rich hero, young/innocentish heroine) and it works for them.
I like to shake things up though with employment. I’d love to find more books where it’s the woman who’s the rich one, though a wealthy man in and of himself isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I like when they’re both independent and successful in their own arenas. For example, and I’ll be up front here that I’m touting a friend’s book, in Tory Michaels’ Prophecy of Blood, both the heroine and hero are rich (both are vampires). He’s an internationally-acclaimed jewelry designer with his own company, and she secretly owns a multi-national conglomerate (though she doesn’t personally run it, she put the pieces together over several decades). They’re both wealthy (though her wealth leaves his in the dust), but they find their own balance that doesn’t revolve around one or the other’s lifestyle but rather blends the two together.
In Kim Harrison’s The Hallows series, the heroine is a Runner – she does supernatural investigations and the like, along with her pixie and living vampire partners. The potential love interests have included a living-vampire pizza-parlor manager (sigh, I still miss Kisten), a ghost wich brought back to life and now trapped in the Ever After with a demon who owns his soul, and (her current) a multi-billionaire industrialist elf.
In a book I was reviewing for another site, the heroine was some sort of designer of … stuff. It didn’t play a very prominent role in the book, just got mentioned as to how she had her own place, etc. Personally, I didn’t find it very believable, but then again the focus of the book was … well … on other stuff. The hero was a waiter, or at least that’s how he was presented though it turned out he had a secret profession (no, not a millionaire industrialist). Didn’t care for the book much.
Sometimes I wish I could just find a good paranormal where both are whatever supernatural creatures and they work normal, humdrum jobs (like a secretary and janitor maybe…a real janitor, not the boss posing as a janitor). I’d love to find that in a contemporary as well. Granted, jobs aren’t the point of romance novels, but I feel they help round out a character and they can certainly throw curveballs into a relationship.
How about you? What sort of jobs do you find most believable in your romance (or otherwise) novels?