One thing I discovered when I started reading Christian romance novels was the almost overwhelming presence of heroines with specific careers. You know the ones I’m talking about: bakers/chefs, restaurant owners, bed and breakfast renovators, teachers… I’m probably missing a few, but I can easily rattle off a dozen or more books with the female main character in these roles. In fact, I’m as guilty of it as anyone. I’ve got a baker (Summer to Remember), a bed and breakfast owner (A Date for Daisy), and a daycare teacher (Spring Fever)!
There isn’t anything wrong with writing these characters! But, since I had my own “unique” career as a manufacturing engineer before becoming a writer, I love to read about women who have jobs beyond the usual. So here are a few for you to check out if you are looking for a little something different.
Elizabeth Maddrey always makes an effort to include interesting careers for her heroines – including an alpaca farmer who spins yarn from their wool (Hope for Freedom) and a landscape architect (A Heart Reclaimed). Plus, pulling from her background in computer programming – Elizabeth has several heroines in the IT sector (A Handful of Hope, Muffins and Moonbeams, and Operation Valentine).
Janine Rosche’s most recent release (Glory Falls) features a screenwriter, which is a fun twist I haven’t read before.
If you haven’t read K Leah’s books yet, you should check them out. When I Found You features a graphic designer on a temporary assignment in Atlanta… but her heart finds some very permanent attachments!
In Mandi Blake’s book, The Billionaire’s Destined Bride, the hero might be a billionaire, but the heroine is a millionaire in her own right–and the Chief Operating Officer of a power tool company!
Heather Gray has some really interesting characters in her Informal Romance series, starting with book one: An Informal Christmas, where the heroine is a Child Life Specialist at the hospital. I actually have a good friend with this real-life job, so it was interesting to read a story with it featured!
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t include a few of my own titles with unusual careers. Charlotte in Falling on Main Street is an executive recruiter (well, she was before she was framed and fired). Avery is a chemical engineering professor in Hoping for Hawthorne, and Lavender is a social media consultant and influencer in Lavender and Lace.
Isn’t it fun to escape into another world through books?
What are some of your favorite books that feature heroines with unusual careers? Or, what is a career you think would make for an entertaining read?
Mandi Blake says
I love this! I will say that I loved Danielle in A Summer to Remember. I learned a LOT about baking.
Melanie D Snitker says
These are all such fun examples – thank you! I, too, enjoy reading books where the heroines have different or unusual careers.
Paula Marie says
What fun examples! I love unusual careers , Valerie Comer has had few interesting ones!
I would love to see my dream career – the chick on the field! That would be NFL, btw! A female analyst would be awesome too. My hubs jokes that the NFL gas microphones in our house, because I will say something and 30 seconds later they are repeating me word for word in TV!
I love books with heroines having unusual careers! In one of Marion Ueckermann’s, her heroine owns a stable of horses, and Joy Avery Melville has a book with a therapist who specializes with veterans with PTSD and other disabilities.
Paula Marie says
Oh yeah! And what about the Marine Biologist? That was good too!
Ok, I’m missing something! What book had a marine biologist??
Alicia Haney says
Good morning, I read “A Small Voice” by Anne Greene and the heroine was a Fragrance Chemist which was a big asset to this story. This is a very good book, I truly enjoyed it and it really makes you think. Have a Great week and stay safe.
Tina R says
All the stories listed sound very interesting. One of my favorite books featuring a heroine with an unusual/different career is “Montana Cowboy” by Debra Salonen.
Amy J says
How fun to contemplate – I guess I have read of a lot of bakers and yarn store owners when I stop to think about it.
Hi Tara! Fun blog. As a retired teacher, who has worked retail and corporate, I enjoy reading stories with unusual occupations or unique businesses. In today’s world entrepreneurs – some of which you mentioned. Enjoy Valerie Comer, Elizabeth Maddrey and Heather Gray’s stories. Great comments.
The romance high profile careers appear to share the trait that they are nurturers and carers. Being a man who scores high on the nurturing assessments, I like it when the guys get recognized for their caring as well. You’ll find them, too, being teachers, chefs and protectors like EMTs and firefighters. I had a career as an aerospace engineer but I found ways to teach others as part of that. I mentored new-hires, taught colleagues about new technology and made sure visitors knew where to find the restrooms. Okay, yeah, that last one, while true, is stretching it a little bit. :-)
I think Carol Moncado’s “Discovering Home” is a great example of a hero with a desire to nurture and protect and some genuine romantic conflict that arises not from different mindsets or professions but from different cultures and communities in their growing up (being from “different sides of the tracks”, so to speak).
Based on my own experience (I married a fellow computer person), the common ground can be found in intersecting life paths (like careers) and in emotional bonds (like desires to care for one another). I still think it’s fun to discover characters that we can identify with in our careers. The more the merrier!
Debra J Pruss says
I have not thought about the actual careers. I love the romance of the story itself. Their careers are just something that is in the background for me. God bless you.
Mary Preston says
Anthropology and archaeology – two careers I read about recently. Each time the heroine was very interesting.
mechanic and construction contractor are out of the box professions I’ve seen women have in a romance novel.
Lacy Williams used a Virtual Assistant in a Christmas novella set in Australia.
Its nice to see different occupations. Like seeing a male childcare worker or nanny and a female surgeon. Now adays there are more Lady Tradies, (plumber, builder, electrician, handyperson) so good to see that in a book too. (Like vets most here in my town are female)
I admit it would be fun to read heroines with careers / occupations like …
– The armed forces so far I have seen more of the hero in the armed forces. – Mechanics.
– Race driver.
– Astronomy at NASA.
– I don’t know if there is but a fashion designer would be great … a Christian girl trying to fit into that industry.
– Cartoonist / animator in a Disney-type company.
– Commercial flight pilot. How much fun would it be to see a heroine as a pilot and a hero type flight attendant.
They are some fun ideas.
Natalya Lakhno says
Interesting topic! I’d love to see more “marine” or “ocean” related careers for heroines. Like a lifeguard, marine scientist, coast guard, commercial diver….
I read Carolyn Miller’s “Restoring Fairhaven” where her heroine is taking over her ailing father’s gardening business. I really enjoyed reading a different kind of career for our heroine. I’ve also read about a house flipper (she did most of the work), a historical genealogical researcher, and someone who started a Christian dating website with an app.
It’s not often I run into a story with an unusual career choice and it’s a real treat when I do!