12 Romance Novels About Sex Workers Finding Love
Because love and sex work are not mutually exclusive!
Romance Novels Featuring Sex Workers
In April, the Chicago Tribune published an article by Darcel Rockett about diversity in romance, stating that "everyone deserves a happily ever after, regardless of race, cultural background, sexual identity or physical ability." This includes sex workers in romance.
We live in a society that doesn't believe sex workers deserve the same happily-ever-after as non-sex workers, both in real life and books, because sex work isn't thought of as real work.
Eva Leigh, author of Dare to Love a Duke and number six on our list, makes a poignant point in the Chicago Tribue article. After her book was released, some readers stated that happily-ever-afters aren't realistic for sex workers. Leigh stated, "that kind of coded, dog-whistle kind of language where we can go this far, but no further, should have people questioning their bias as to why you can have a wallflower, dairy maid marry a duke, but somebody who was a former sex worker couldn’t."
I couldn't agree with Leigh more. We live in a world in which hitmen and assassins--actual murderers--are allowed to have a happy ending when sex workers aren't. Obviously, being a sex worker and an assassin aren't comparable by any means given that one job literally hurts people (i.e. the hitman) and one doesn't.
Sex workers deserve their own romance stories. Here are 12 (well, technically 16) romance novels about sex workers getting that happily-ever-after.
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1. Lingus by Mariana Zapata
Most people don't know this about elementary school teacher Kat Berger: she loves porn. So her best friend takes her to a porn convention. She's nervous to go, but is glad she goes when she meets porn star Tristan. The novel also prominently features other characters who do porn and find love.
2. Dirty Job by Nicolette Dane
Mallory Hunt's job as a professional cam girl is both lucrative and fun. However, she's looking to spice things up by bringing another woman into the mix. She meets Jessi Chappell at the gym and asks her if she'd like to make videos with her. Jessi is intrigued and agrees. It doesn't take long for her for fall for Mallory.
3. The Jade Temptress by Jeannie Lin
Jeannie Lin's Pingkang Li Mysteries is a series that is centered around the courtesans of the Lotus Palace. In the second book in the series, Mingyu is a popular hostess and able have any man she wants eating out of her hand. Except one, and he's the man she wants more than anything.
4. Unclaimed by Courtney Milan
In Unclaimed, Sir Mark Turner was known for being a moral and virtuous man. However, he has a passionate side that he must keep hidden. His enemies hire courtesan Jessica Farleigh to bring him down, the money providing her much-needed security. Things get complicated when feelings get involved.
5. Hot Head by Damon Suede
Firefighter Griff Muir has had feelings for his best friend work partner, Dante Anastagio, for ages. Dante is a ladies' man and Griff lives a closeted life thanks to a homophobic workplace. When Dante gets into financial trouble, he asks Griff to star in porn videos with him, complicating Griff's feelings even more so.
6. Dare to Love a Duke by Eva Leigh
As the new Duke of Northfield, Thomas Powell is supposed to a proper man, giving up his carousing. He isn't ready to just yet and frequents the Orchid Club, which is managed by former sex worker Lucia. She's intrigued by a masked stranger and before long, they give in to their desires. Then things get complicated.
7. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Stella Lane has a job that allows her to utilize math to make a lot of money. At thirty, she hasn't had much dating experience so, ever the practical woman, she decides to hire a professional to help her out. Michael Phan agrees to help Stella check off the items on her sexual bucket list. It doesn't take long before the lines begin to blur.
8. Rowan House series by Brenda Murphy
Brenda Murphy's Rowan House five book series centers around the Rowan House, an exclusive pleasure house. Unable to choose just one, I decided to include them all because, both sexy and romantic, they're worth the read!
9. Treasure by Rebekah Weatherspoon
Alexis Chambers meets a gorgeous stripped called Treasure. They share a moment and go on with their lives. But when school starts back up, they discover they have a class together, and Treasure is really Trisha. They begin a friendship that soon grows into more.
10. The Heart As He Hears It by A.M. Arthur
Porn star and part-time waiter, Jon Buchanan got out of a bad relationship and decides to focus on a friend who is dying of cancer. Henry has just discovered he has a grandson, so Jon makes it his mission for Henry to meet him. Isaac has locked himself inside for the last year and is shocked when Jon and Henry show up at his door. As Henry's health gets worse, they discover that fate may have "brought them together for a reason."
11. The Hookup Handbook by Kendall Ryan
Case is an escort with a good reputation because he's very good at what he does. But after a rather personal mishap, he decides to take a break. He's had a thing for his BFF's nerdy younger sister for awhile, and now, with her basically in charge of his life, things are about to get a lot more interesting.
12. The Night Off by Meghan O'Brien
For too long, Emily Parker has kept her life regimented, taking care of everyone else's needs before her own. At long last, she's ready to give in and hires Nat Swayne to help her out. Nat is both good at and enjoys her job, but Emily is different than anyone else she's ever know, and love steps in.
Let's Keep the Conversation Going
Do you have a great romance you would add to the list?