Did you hear the one about the tree surgeon?

Image via Pixabay

A tree surgeon got stood up on a date…

No, this isn’t the start of a joke — it’s part of the premise of the new audiobook I just started (The No-Show by Beth O’Leary). And while the book itself seems like it’s going to be really enjoyable, what has struck me the most forcefully so far is the thought:

Wow! I’ve never read a book about a tree surgeon before!

Side note: If you’re wondering why the image above is of a male tree surgeon… it’s because I couldn’t find an images of women doing this work!

And that got me thinking about the women of contemporary romances and their jobs. There are plenty I’ve read where the main character’s work falls into the generic something-or-other-in-an-office variety (marketing seems to be an especially popular catch-all for characters, as does publishing, especially entry-level jobs for those secretly-aspiring-to-be-writers young professionals).

Other super common jobs in contemporary romance include:

  • Book store owners/managers/booksellers
  • Bakers/chefs/restaurant owners
  • Writers/bloggers
  • Teachers
  • Librarians
  • Doctors/medical students

But there are also some characters with more eye-popping job descriptions, so I thought I’d highlight a few here:

  • Tree surgeon (The No-Show by Beth O’Leary)
  • Knitting store manager (Real Men Don’t Knit by Kwana Jackson)
  • Stamp collage artist (Home Fires by Luanne Rice)
  • Firefighter (Things You Save In A Fire by Katherine Center)
  • Geologist (Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade)
  • Escape room manager (Not Your Average Hot Guy by Gwenda Bond)
  • Astrologist (okay, she’s an astrology blogger, but still…) (Written In the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur)
  • Treasure hunt tour guide (Something Wilder by Christina Lauren)
  • Bodyguard (ummm, I mean Executive Protection professional) (The Bodyguard by Katherine Center)
  • Calligrapher/lettering specialist (Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn
  • Porn star/sex educator (The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan)

What are the most unusual jobs you’ve come across for women in romance fiction?

Can you beat a tree surgeon???

7 thoughts on “Did you hear the one about the tree surgeon?

  1. I think tree surgeon definitely wins. All the professions I can think of you’ve pretty much named except for Susannah Nix’s romances; her female characters are all some kind of scientist from engineers to a marine biologist. 🙂

  2. My son is not yet certified, but works for a tree service and is now certified for climbing. I’ll show him this. He agrees with me that everyone is always something really hot shot in books like a doctor or politician or hedge fund manager or actor!

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