astronomer ... rat catcher ... owns a hockey team
January 9, 2019 11:39 AM   Subscribe

 
Typically, Necromancers are left out in the cold... again.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:15 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


As I'm sure you know, Necromancers have no problems in the romance department, as they can always dig up their own...

Right, I'll show myself out.
posted by evilDoug at 12:21 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


Their Regency list seems to be missing a lot of titles. I can think of half a dozen offhand (would have to dive into my Goodreads shelf to confirm) that would fit.
posted by Lexica at 12:25 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


As I'm sure you know, Necromancers have no problems in the romance department, as they can always dig up their own...

Dating at work is just a bad idea, even without considering the HR ramifications.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:35 PM on January 9


Dating at work is just a bad idea, even without considering the HR ramifications.

You're assuming that these are ... human ... resources.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:43 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


More on point:

Zahirah is on a mission to kill King Richard I

This is a very specific career path....

In Gillian Bradshaw’s London in Chains and A Corruptible Crown, Lucy Wentor is a printer and in Render Unto Caesar, Cantabra is an ex-gladiator. These might be considered historical thrillers, but they are certainly romance-adjacent.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:45 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


HR = Hermetic Revivisectionists
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:46 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


The rat catcher book is really good - and the heroine is both older and larger (and no wilting flower - can't stand those).

I would love a whole genre of working class historical romance novels, but with no whipping out secret noble births at the end (which is how too many end). I just want to read about two people in love, who don't have a mansion and fancy clothes and servants, but who have to work for a living. And there's tons of scope for drama without needing to look for something exotic, like what happens when the 3-life lease on the cottage ends with the death of the last person? Or what happens when your first husband gets drunk and offers you up for sale?

Basically I want Thomas Hardy novels, but with happy endings.

Their Regency list seems to be missing a lot of titles. I can think of half a dozen offhand (would have to dive into my Goodreads shelf to confirm) that would fit.

Start with Amanda Quick. The formula for every, single book I've read by her is: bookish but still pretty female scholar in [archaeology/medieval studies/mathematics/astronomy, ad naseum] is trying to [find a lost artifact/translate a manuscript/solve an equation/view the Transit of Venus, etc.], meets a dashing, indolent noble rake who just happens to also be an amateur [archaeologist/medievalist/mathematician/ astronomer, ad naseum], they hate each other. Then they don't.

(Not saying they are awful: I read a 1/2 dozen or so until the formula just became way, way too tired).
posted by jb at 12:47 PM on January 9 [8 favorites]


To add to the list, here are two of my favorites, both by Courtney Milan.

The Countess Conspiracy is a Regency romance about a man-about-town whose research into evolutionary theories is scandalous. The twist is, they're not his theories, but those of his friend, a widowed Countess. She's the scientist and researcher, but launders her discoveries and theories through him since her scientific work isn't Proper.

Hold Me is a contemporary romance between a physicist and a blogger. It's one of the few I've seen that gets at the feel of doing science, and I love how the heroine takes the snobby physicist hero down when he's dismissive of her love of feminine-coded activities.
posted by sgranade at 12:56 PM on January 9 [6 favorites]


I assume the only reason there's no phrenologists in there is because how normal phrenology is.
posted by ckape at 1:08 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


My first thought was “But astronomer isn’t an unusual profession?”.

A sign perhaps that I have lived too much of my life in proximity to Universities with Observatories and Planetariums?
posted by Secret Sparrow at 1:13 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


jb: I would love a whole genre of working class historical romance novels

No love for Billionaires and Babies?
posted by filthy light thief at 1:15 PM on January 9


In my college dorm, I found a romance called The Mermaid, with a sexy mermaid's tail on the cover. I expected something paranormal, but it was about a nineteenth-century lady marine biologist who refused to be confined to Victorian swimming garments, receiving the eponymous nickname. That sounds like a great premise, but I couldn't hang. I found it anachronistic, plus I don't care for romances in which the heroine has to singlehandedly cure male chauvinism in the hero. But it was memorable enough that I can tell you all this today.
posted by Countess Elena at 1:28 PM on January 9 [6 favorites]


I would love a whole genre of working class historical romance novels

It's not a category romance, but I think you'd enjoy Jo Baker's Longbourn. It's a parallel fiction to Pride and Prejudice about the lives of the Bennetts' servants, and there is definitely romance.

In The Lawrence Browne Affair, the hero is an agoraphobic scientist, and it's strongly implied that he is on the autism spectrum. For some mysterious reason, it isn't on this list.
posted by Countess Elena at 1:41 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


I would love a whole genre of working class historical romance novels, but with no whipping out secret noble births at the end (which is how too many end).

Right? Right!!!!

I'd even settle for ones where the schoolteacher lands the local baronet and not the local hot, brooding Duke.

Do read Courtney Milan's Her Every Wish if you haven't. It's a novella, and there's some involvement of the peerage, but it stands alone from the main series pretty well.

Maybe I'll submit that to the Smart Bitches as a Rec League request and see what the Bitchery can come up with.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:42 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


It wasn't that unusual for a woman to brew ale in the Middle Ages, or for a man to work in insurance in Regency England.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:42 PM on January 9


This is not strictly relevant, but after a while the professions in the Contemporary Romances section started reading like the alumni newsletter from my university.
posted by zoetrope at 1:43 PM on January 9 [6 favorites]


The Countess Conspiracy is my #1 fave among m/f romances. Emphatic seconding on that one. Courtney Milan's work in general is so refreshing.

The contemporaries list veers between unusual-for-romance (trucker) and not at all (literally-anything-designer). Less useful as a filter IMO, but still fun to skim.
posted by cage and aquarium at 1:55 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


It wasn't that unusual for a woman to brew ale in the Middle Ages

There's even a specific name for it: Alewife.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:03 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


People should write romances about the couples on House Hunters so we get the stories about how the 25 year old artisinal pencil sharpener met the 19 year old dog vajazzler.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 2:04 PM on January 9 [5 favorites]


And more importantly, how big their trust fund is such that they can afford to buy a $1.2M house with granite countertops on their current income.

Most House Hunters fanfic is crossover fic about characters from other fandoms appearing on House Hunters. If someone is writing RPF about the actual guests on the show, they aren't submitting it to AO3 that I can find.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:42 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


I was on a quest for working class regency romance novels a while back and only found a few. Rose Lerner has a couple: http://www.roselerner.com/books.html. (Try to get past the bad covers.)

It was easier to find more about sort of middle class people like a money lender and a draper. Or all those Carla Kelly novels about naval officers/doctors and impoverished ladies companions/illegitimate daughters of earls who work in taverns.
posted by interplanetjanet at 2:45 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


For my purposes, I'd be fine with even middle class people. I read a *lot* of historical romance novels and I like Dukes well enough, but I'm getting a bit tired of the really obvious "I can't possibly marry this common woman, I have a duty to my bloodlines and my distant father but I really have pants feelings about her" tropes that wouldn't come into play if all regencies didn't involve the aristocracy.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:05 PM on January 9 [5 favorites]


Blow Me Down by Katie MacAlister features a romance with a lightly fictionalised version of Daniel James, a game designer who worked on Avalon and Puzzle Pirates, with a heavily fictionalised version of Puzzle Pirates as a key element of the novel.

I was playing Puzzle Pirates at the time, and was tickled pink at the idea a romance novel existed based on a game I was playing.
posted by Merus at 3:05 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


Seriously? That's hilariously awesome.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:12 PM on January 9


So THAT's where Hallmark Channel got its ideas for its 4000 Romance Movies.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:26 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


I didn’t see Send In The Clown; this list is invalid.

(Really I’m just happy the lady gets to be the clown.)
posted by schadenfrau at 3:47 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Director of the Sunshine Sanctuary For Sick Dragons.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 3:57 PM on January 9 [8 favorites]


See also: Smart Bitches, Trashy Books’ listing of unusual occupations.

But don’t take my word for it: I’m just one of the top five least sexy occupations for a protagonist. (Second survey result from the bottom. Both links probably not strictly SFW. I am not YOUR accountant.)
posted by armeowda at 5:27 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Not limited to mainstream romance - the Harry/Draco Career Fair is a fanfic fest that requires both characters to have a non-standard career (for HP fandom). Neither is allowed to be an Auror, healer, or professor; Harry is not allowed to be a curse-breaker or quidditch player; Draco is not allowed to be an Unspeakable or a potions master.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 5:50 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


After all of these couples and their jobs listed I am mentally adding "together, they fight crime"
posted by pointystick at 6:02 PM on January 9 [7 favorites]


People might like the no longer updated Unusual Historicals blog and the continuing monthly round-up of Unusual Historicals from Wendy the Super Librarian.
posted by paduasoy at 2:23 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


(Really I’m just happy the lady gets to be the clown.)

Well, if the lady was dating the clown, who would find that unusual?
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:32 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


This makes me think of Mike Myers' 90s romcom, So I Married an Axe Murderer, where the heroine is a butcher/?axe murderer and the hero is a beat poet.
posted by low_horrible_immoral at 5:39 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


For my purposes, I'd be fine with even middle class people. I read a *lot* of historical romance novels and I like Dukes well enough, but I'm getting a bit tired of the really obvious "I can't possibly marry this common woman, I have a duty to my bloodlines and my distant father but I really have pants feelings about her" tropes that wouldn't come into play if all regencies didn't involve the aristocracy.

You are so not alone in this.

One of the ideas that I keep on coming back to as a writer is branching out into historical romance and writing a series of books about revolutionaries and activists in the 1800s. Why can't union activists fall in love? Or a romance between folks deeply involved in the Revolutions of 1848? Socialists deserve love too. There are a few great books about abolitionists and even more about suffragettes, but I would still prefer a lot more of those than yet another Duke.

I'm still reading a plethora of books about dukes. I just want a little less upper ton and a little more social justice in my comfort reading. And we can't be the only ones.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 5:58 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I hate to say it, but I tried to read a book recently about a union activist falling in love with the boss. But when he started yelling at her, threatening her, and bruising her, I was all NOPE.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:17 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


I haven't read the Regency novel Hello Stranger by Kleypas, but SMTB calls the characters "working-class" (she is a doctor, he is a former police detective, now spy), so that might be worth trying.
posted by paduasoy at 6:23 AM on January 10


I read Hello Stranger a couple of weeks ago. I liked it well enough, though it has some stalkery moments. There is a pretty strong aristocracy connection, though the characters are both gainfully employed and remain that way.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:45 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


KJ Charles writes historical fiction set in the early 19th century, usually. Some of it has paranormal elements, and a lot of it does include the super-wealthy, but some of her books also have characters who are things like: a radical bookshop owner and pamphleteer; a taxidermist; acrobats; owner of a rooming house; a "rag and bone" man; the owner of a "lonely hearts" newspaper. They are all m/m. Some of them are excellent; all are at least pretty good. I always appreciate her going beyond the fantasy of being super-rich and waited on hand and foot etc that is often an element of historical romance.
posted by Orlop at 6:54 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


There is Sarah Waters’ Tipping the Velvet, where a working class young woman tries to find love with a variety of women, Some of them also working class. I’m not sure people would necessarily classify it as a romance novel, but there are romantic moments.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:25 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


It wasn't that unusual for a woman to brew ale in the Middle Ages

There's even a specific name for it: Alewife.

Or brewster.
posted by LizardBreath at 7:48 AM on January 10


The people in this Business of Marriage series by Georgie Lee where mostly merchants/shopkeepers of some sort.
posted by interplanetjanet at 8:32 AM on January 10


I'll never remember the title or author, but when I was a kid I read a romance novel in which the hero was a revolutionary in some Eastern European country in the nineteenth century. But there was also a fairly offensive sobplot about some shady Romany people, so overall it wasn't that progressive.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:46 AM on January 10


I’ve spent like the past 15 minutes trying to figure out whether the list is supposed to be professions that are objectively rare (in which case why are insurance agent, mailman, trucker, and janitor on there?) or just rare for romance novels (in which case why are there like five paleontologists, based just on this list alone paleontology might be the most overrepresented profession in all of romance) and it’s making my head hurt,
posted by phoenixy at 9:33 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Or, to be more precise about it, based on the list, jobs that involve travel to exotic locations (paleontologist, archaeologist, field biologist, travel writer, bounty hunter) or love/marriage (wedding planner, matchmaker, wedding dress designer) or working with animals (animal trainer, animal rehabilitation, farmer) seem to be super, super common on this list. I like the one about the rival bike messenger companies, though!
posted by phoenixy at 10:00 AM on January 10


I wouldn't mind reading a whole series based on the professions from the Onion's "American Voices" series.

The Tantric Architect and the Pencil Industry Disruptor, f'rex.

or The Unit Standardizer's Apprentice

or The Tattoo Forger's Midwife

etc. etc.
posted by aspersioncast at 1:32 PM on January 10


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