It’s time for the second category of the Sapphic Reading Challenge. This one features sapphic books with main characters who have an everyday job.
As you probably know, a lot of books—especially in WLW and lesbian romance—feature characters who are actresses, famous musicians, surgeons, or CEOs of big companies. That’s why I’d like to spotlight protagonists who don’t have glamorous jobs. Instead, they make a living as a waitress, cashier, mechanic, massage therapist, or work in another everyday job.
Read up on the rules of the Sapphic Reading Challenge
Before you pick a book for the “character with an everyday job” category, read up on the rules of the Sapphic Reading Challenge and download your PDF so you can keep track of the books you read this year.
Remember that you can either read one of the 15 books listed below or pick another sapphic book featuring a protagonist with an everyday job.
15 sapphic novels featuring characters with an everyday job
I put together a list of 15 novels featuring characters with an everyday job. I hope you’ll find one you enjoy.
Wrong Number, Right Woman by Jae (cashier & crafter)
Flirting has never been Denny’s strong suit, but so what if she’s too shy to ask women out? She’s content with her simple life, working as a cashier and helping her sister raise her niece.
But then she gets a wrong-number text message from a stranger named Eliza, asking her of all people for dating advice!
Eliza is Denny’s total opposite: witty, outgoing—and straight. Despite their differences, the accidental text sparks an unlikely friendship. Soon, Eliza—self-proclaimed queen of disastrous first dates—would rather banter back and forth with Denny than to keep trying her luck at online dating.
When they meet in person, there’s an instant connection. But what Eliza is feeling can’t be attraction, right? It doesn’t mean a thing that she’s starting to wish the guys she dates would be more like Denny. Or does it?
Can the wrong number lead to the right woman after all?
Wrong Number, Right Woman is a light-hearted, slow-burn lesbian romance that embraces likable characters without all the drama.
Worthy of Love by Quinn Ivins (retail)
Nadine Bayani was at the top of her game. The brilliant, ruthless lawyer was in line to be White House chief of staff—until she confessed to campaign finance crimes that cost her party the election.
Now Nadine’s out of prison, broke, hated by millions, and stuck doing a menial retail job in rural Virginia where she barely earns enough to survive.
Bella Clarke has worked at Overstock Oasis since she flunked college. She wants to go back to school, but secretly doubts she’s smart enough. At least she’s not as clueless as her boss, who just accidentally hired the woman responsible for a national scandal.
However, Nadine seems to be nothing like the crook portrayed in the media, and Bella is drawn to her troubled, standoffish co-worker. As they grow closer, Nadine introduces Bella to the delights of Filipino food and opens Bella’s eyes to her own possibilities.
Before long, about the only thing harder to make sense of than Nadine’s past is their powerful chemistry together. Is Bella really falling for a woman who caused so much harm? And even if she is, how can two such different people ever be a match?
On the Square by Brenda Murphy (contractor)
Dropped from her television show after a very public split with her cheating ex, celebrity chef Mai Li wants nothing more than to reopen her parents’ shuttered restaurant and make a fresh start in her former hometown. So what if twenty years of neglect has left the building in need of a major renovation?
Seduced by Mai’s charm and determination, hard-edged contractor Dale Miller agrees to take on her renovation project.
After a spring storm causes significant damage to the building and renovation costs exceed Mai’s budget, Dale offers her a deal, but is it a price Mai is willing to pay?
Contract for Love by Alison Grey (waitress)
Single mom Sherry lives in a trailer park with her six-year-old son Jake, trying to make ends meet as a waitress.
Madison’s life couldn’t be more different. She’s been raised by her rich grandmother, and her only goals are partying and bedding women.
When her grandmother threatens to disinherit her if she doesn’t clean up her act, Madison has to find a way to convince her she’s changed.
After a chance encounter with Sherry, Madison comes up with a crazy idea that will rock both of their worlds: she wants to hire Sherry to play her fake girlfriend.
Valerie by Kit Eyre (taxi driver)
A taxi driver saves a damsel in distress with car trouble only to find there’s a spark between them.
But with a General Election on the horizon and a whole host of secrets ready to implode, the scene is set for a bruising campaign where political capital and love collide.
Max Jarvis has never been one for falling hard, especially when a woman as vibrant as Valerie Smythe crosses her path. Yet she can’t deny they work as a couple, even if she’s skittish about going all-in.
As the election draws closer and loyalties are tested, will Max and Valerie make the right choices?
Love by Design by S.W. Andersen (interior designer)
Cassie Carl believes she has it all. On the cusp of achieving her professional goals and soon to marry the man of her dreams—the handsome, kind and loving Stefan Van Allen—it seems she’s found the life every woman dreams of.
What else could a girl want?
Peyton Kingston is a beautiful, talented interior designer on the rise, whose sole focus is building her business. She loves what she does and has little time or patience for relationships. She’s happy with her life.
What else could a girl need?
When Cassie’s wealthy fiancé brings Peyton in to do a renovation on their home before the big engagement party, sparks fly, leaving both Cassie and Peyton to question everything they thought they already had.
What happens when the thin veil of perfection becomes riddled with holes?
Playing Catch-Up by Zoey Lennox (youth counsellor)
Twenty-three-year-old Alexis Lenz’s life is a mess: she hates her job, has lost touch with most of her friends, and her love life is non-existent.
When she meets LGBTQ youth counsellor Ramie Ramirez at a dinner party, sparks fly. But Ramie is still putting herself back together after an acrimonious split from her long-term girlfriend and is only looking for something casual. If living with the repercussions of her ex’s lies has taught her one thing, it’s to keep her heart locked up tight.
As the two women begin to date, Alexis finds herself in a predicament. She’s never dated a woman before and is afraid Ramie will dump her sorry arse once she finds out.
What’s a girl to do? A little white lie can’t hurt, can it? It’s not like they’re going to do something stupid like fall in love…
Tailor-Made by Yolanda Wallace (tailor)
Before Grace Henderson began working as a tailor in her father’s bespoke suit shop in Wiliamsburg, Brooklyn, she established a hard and fast rule about not dating clients. The edict is an easy one for her to follow, considering the overwhelming majority of the shop’s clients are men. But when Dakota Lane contacts her to commission a suit to wear to her sister’s wedding, Grace finds herself tempted to throw all the rules out the window.
Dakota Lane works as a bicycle messenger by day and moonlights as a male model. Her high-profile career, gender-bending looks, and hard-partying ways garner her plenty of romantic attention, but she would rather play the field than settle down. When she meets sexy tailor Grace Henderson, however, she suddenly finds herself in the market for much more than a custom suit.
Lost For Words by Andrea Bramhall (massage therapist)
Sasha Adams has it all. Fulfilling career, loving family, great friends, and… Who’s she kidding? She lives at home with her aging mother, Fleur. She works as a massage therapist, and spends all her time with her best friend, Bobbi. But damn it, she’s happy. Well, okay, maybe not happy, but she’s content. It’s enough. Until the well-meaning but meddlesome women in her life, Fleur and Bobbi, team up and enter Sasha into a writing competition with the potential to change her life.
Film producer and director Jac Kensington has the career she’s spent thirty years honing to perfection, with little thought to her personal life. She helps run an annual scriptwriting competition in search of new talent and projects for her company to produce.
Meddling might have brought Jac and Sasha together, but fate has plans of its own. Sasha’s life is on the brink of changing beyond all recognition in this bittersweet lesbian romantic comedy.
Reverie by Eliza Andrews (hairdresser & auto shop owner)
Lucinda Hamilton settles down in sleepy Reverie, South Carolina, because she’s running from the troubles of her past. But when her dangerous ex-husband evades law enforcement, she fears that no amount of running will ever make her safe again.
Two women are determined to keep Lucinda’s past at bay — the mysterious young nurse living on the other side of Lucinda’s duplex, who won’t even tell Lucinda her name, and Ardie Brown, an ex-marine who’s recently moved back to Reverie herself. It’s hard for Lucinda to trust either one of them; it’s even harder to admit to herself that she’s falling for both of them.
What will happen when Lucinda’s ex-husband finally catches up to her? Will the girl next door or Ardie have the power to stop him?
Or will Lucinda finally have to face her past all by herself?
The Grim Assistant by Jodi Hutchins (postal carrier)
Postal carrier and amateur surfer, Samantha Diaz, lives an uncomplicated life. Well, other than helping her sister with childcare, crushing on her unavailable customer, Lauren Brennan, and catching as many waves as possible before hurricane season begins. Suffice to say, she isn’t looking for much more, but when Lauren invites her to a monthly game night at her house, Sam happily agrees.
When Sam sets out on an early morning surf, the last thing she expects to do is die, but a sudden thunderstorm thrashes offshore, creating a riptide that steals Sam’s life. She awakens to a snarky woman named Margo speaking cryptic nonsense. Not only does she claim to be one of the many Grim Reapers, or Grims, in the world, Margo makes Sam an offer: she’ll bring Sam back from the dead, as long as she becomes Margo’s temporary assistant. Sam accepts but soon realizes the deal was too good to be true, and the consequences she faces may be worse than the death she dodged.
Rules of the Road by K. Aten (dental assistant & engineer)
Jamie is an engineer who keeps humor close to her heart and people at arm’s length. Kelsey is a dental assistant who deals with everything from the hilarious to the disgusting on a daily basis. What happens when a driving app brings them together as friends? The nerd car and the rainbow car both know a thing or two about hazard avoidance. When a flat tire brings them together in person, Jamie immediately realizes that Kelsey isn’t just another woman on her radar. Both of them have struggled to break free from stereotypes while they navigate the road of life. As their friendship deepens they realize that sometimes you have to break the rules to get where you need to go.
Ticket to Love by Donna Jay (mechanic & office manager)
When Tara’s mother catches her in a compromising position, she’s given an ultimatum – A therapist to help her get over her issues or a one-way ticket to New Zealand.
From the moment Tara walks through her door, Kathryn’s orderly life is knocked off-kilter. The sassy Australian, ten years her junior, is as charming as she is off-limits.
When lines are crossed, fireworks explode, and not all of them good. Emotions run high, loyalties are tested, bonds are made, and bonds are broken.
Just when Tara thinks life has settled into a comfortable routine, a door to her past looms ahead. Taking a giant leap of faith, with Kathryn by her side, she steps through.
Temptation by Kris Bryant (nanny)
Cassie Miller is broke. Her parents cut off all funding when she dropped out of medical school, and graduate school is expensive. A full-time nanny job at the Wellington estate is the answer to her problems, except working for beautiful, successful Brook Wellington wasn’t in the job description.
Brook has always had a head for business. Born into a global shipping empire, she sits at the helm running it with skill and savvy. But success comes at a cost. Her priority is her six-year-old son, but she can’t be in two places at once. Hiring a nanny isn’t the perfect solution, but it would certainly help, and Cassie came highly recommended. If only she wasn’t so damn attractive.
Can Cassie and Brook deny their growing attraction and keep things professional? Or will they sidestep propriety and give in to temptation?
Up on the Roof by A.L. Brooks (accountant)
Book-loving Lena likes order, cleanliness, peace, and quiet. When Megan, a loud and clumsy young woman, moves into the flat below hers, chaos ensues, and Lena’s already-high anxiety rockets. It gets even worse when a devastating storm leaves Lena needing a place to live.
Against her better judgment, Megan offers her a spare room, and they both know it’s a terrible idea. After all, they’ve clashed from the first moment they met. It can surely only end in disaster.
As time passes, Lena and Megan realize that, underneath their differences, there’s an inexplicable pull between them that seems hard to resist. Can they learn to deal with their clashing personalities and let the attraction blossom? Or will what divides them be too much to overcome?
Just One Taste by CJ Birch (cook & waitress at a diner)
Frustrated with small-town life, Hayley moves to the city only to get fired and lose her apartment all in the same day. Desperate, she takes a job as a short order cook in a quaint diner. Now she just has to find a place to live and learn how to cook.
Lauren manages Greta’s Diner the same way she manages everything in her life, with calm and order. All that changes the moment Hayley walks through the door. She’s loud, opinionated, wild, and completely alluring. When Lauren finds out that Hayley’s been sleeping in the diner, she makes a decision that will change both their lives forever.
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