Sep 2 2011 9:11am

Working Stiff: Workplace Romance

Maggie Gyllenhaal in Secretary

On Monday, the United States celebrates Labor Day, which was originally instituted as a way to recognize America’s workers. Today Americans use it to celebrate the barbecue grill, the deck, and beers in a bucket (and Morning Coffee will be on hiatus, too).

And of course romance novels recognize the importance of the worker: How many office romance books have you read (especially if you are a category reader)? Of course we’ve all seen, if not read, titles such as Taming Her Billionaire Boss and My Tall Dark Greek Boss. Those situations all sound so...illicit.

If you think about it, perhaps Jane Eyre was the first workplace romance novel. Jane did, after all, fall in love with her boss (and for a real-life example, read a column I wrote for Marie Claire a few years ago called I Was the Boss of Him detailing how my husband and I got together).

Do you like reading workplace romance? What’s your favorite?

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Heather Waters
1. HeatherWaters
I'd heard part of the story, but, um, how had I never read that column before?!

Also, I like workplace-romance novels (Linda Howard's are a guilty pleasure...though actually, the women usually quit after they hook up with the hero--sigh), but way too often in the ones I've read, the heroine is the secretary. Anyone have more modern recommendations, where they're at least equals?
ms bookjunkie
2. ms bookjunkie
@redline_ How about one where they're after the same job? :) Julie James' Practice Makes Perfect.
ms bookjunkie
3. BoxyFrown
It drove me nuts all day trying to remember which book I read with this subject matter - getting all my lycanthropes and breeds mixed up!

Lora Leigh's Breeds - Jonas Wyatt. Deliciously deceptive and sexy as hell, his destined mate is his secretary - who has some tricks of her own. Loved that book, loved seeing him fall in love.
Heather Waters
4. HeatherWaters
@ms bookjunkie -- Oooh, now that sounds like great fun! Adding that to my list, thank you.
ms bookjunkie
5. eejje
Jill Mansnell's latest "Too the Moon and Back" has a workplace romance and all of Mansell's usual charm. The only drawback is it's obvious parallels to Marian Keyes' amazing "Anybody Out There?" I would give Mansell's the benefit of the doubt and say she was only inspired by Keyes as this is an actual romance where as Keyes deals with the grieving process of losing a husband so young, but there is a close call when Ellie (Moon/Back)) calls her late husbands cell phone and leaves a message asking when he'll be back, much as Anna does in anybody.
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