There are some professions that will automatically make me pick up a book and take a second look, and the ones that will immediately put me off. I know it combines two of the most successful romance hero types, but I just can’t see myself falling in love with a vampire cowboy. Nope, no blood sucking rodeo rider for me. Obviously billionaires are popular, entire series’ are built around the billionaire-creates-then-solves-all-heroine’s-problems trope, but I just can’t get into it. The billionaires I see in the media don’t tend to be gorgeous, generous folk and it colours my liking of billionaire heroes in fiction. That might not be fair but it is what it is.
Don’t get me wrong. Nobody wants to read about a destitute hero. You can’t go on a first date in a shopping trolley full of old shoes and cat food. I like my guy to have a job, something stable that says he’s going to be a good bet as a husband or long term partner by the end of the book. It’s a bonus if his job is interesting but that’s not necessary. It’s much more important for the man himself to be interesting.
It probably goes without saying that I seem to be drawn to chef heroes. I don’t know why. I worked for many years in restaurants and bars and most of the chefs I had to work with were complete a$$holes. Really, the stories I could tell you would make Gordon Ramsay look like a pussycat. If you’ve ever had to take a meal back to a kitchen full of busy chefs because the customer said it was flawed, you’ll know what I mean.
Maybe it’s all about the food for me. Highly likely.
I also like bar owners, bodyguards, journalists, photographers and anyone who can build something with his bare hands—like a house, or even a chest of draws. I like mechanics (because I have old cars and needs someone to be on the spot when I break down perhaps?). I enjoy cop stories but not as much as I used to. I gorged on every story featuring a PI hero back in the 90’s and I haven’t touched one since (I’ve always wanted to write one myself but I think my PI is a woman). I actually enjoy reading about sports stars even though industry speak has always insisted they are a hard sell (I don’t know that Rachel Gibson, queen of the ice-hocky tough guy, or Susan Elizabeth Phillips who sells a gazillion book based around football players would attest to that). There are rarely any books with actor heroes but the ones I have read I’ve enjoyed (e.g. Sarah Mayberry’s Burning Up. An actor AND a chef in that one, you know I was gonna pick it up).
All these are contemporary jobs, because that’s my interest area. If you’re preference is for historical or paranormal romance I’m sure the professions would differ widely. So tell me what’s a turn off or turn on for you as far as the hero’s job is concerned?