Rowena: I freaking LOVE office romances. I love boss/secretary romances, the battle for promotion between co-workers romances, hate to love coworker romances, and really, any kind of romance that takes place in an office. Sure, in real life, office romances aren’t my thing but in fiction? I can’t get enough so we’re going to be sharing our Top 10 favorite office romances with you lovely readers today.
While putting this list together, we realized that we all have different thoughts on what makes a romance, an office romance. For me, an office romance is set in an office between two people who work together so those are the kinds of office romances you’ll see in this post.
Here’s our list given in true Book Binge fashion. Since we couldn’t agree on a set ten because reading is subjective and Holly hated all of the books Casee and I chose, each of us took turns listing our favorite books with comments from the peanut gallery. Enjoy! (H: Hey! I didn’t hate them all…just most of them) (C: Uh-huh)
Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James
Behind closed doors, they’re laying down the law.
When it comes to the laws of attraction…
Payton Kendall and J.D. Jameson are lawyers who know the meaning of objection. A feminist to the bone, Payton has fought hard to succeed in a profession dominated by men. Born wealthy, privileged, and cocky, J.D. has fought hard to ignore her. Face-to-face, they’re perfectly civil. They have to be. For eight years they have kept a safe distance and tolerated each other as coworkers for one reason: to make partner at the firm.
…There are no rules.
But all bets are off when they’re asked to join forces on a major case. Though apprehensive at first, they begin to appreciate each other’s dedication to the law—and the sparks between them quickly turn into attraction. But the increasingly hot connection does not last long when they discover that only one of them will be named partner. Now it’s an all-out war. And the battle between the sexes is bound to make these lawyers hot under the collar…
Rowena: Man do I miss Julie James books. Practice Makes Perfect is the second book that Julie James released and it’s one that I adore so much. The competition between Peyton and J.D., the sizzling chemistry between the two of them made for such a fabulous romance. Julie James does excellent office romance and this one is top notch.
Holly: It’s funny, because everyone always raves about this book, but I’m not a huge fan. I didn’t hate the book, but it certainly isn’t my favorite by James. Still, I can see why Rowena included it on this list.
Double Standards by Judith McNaught
In the exclusive, glittering world of business superstars, Nick Sinclair was a legend…
The ruggedly handsome president of Global Industries handled his business the way he handled his women — with charm, daring and ruthless self-control. A man used to the very best, Nick hired Lauren Danner, and assumed the proud beauty would soon be another easy conquest. But Lauren’s flashing wit and rare spirit dazzled him — and slowly, against his will, he was intrigued, challenged — and in love.
Yet Lauren was living a lie, a charade that became more dangerous with every passing moment. Trapped in a web of deceit, she fought her growing love for Nick. Her secret could destroy his fragile trust — and the promise of life with the most compelling man she had ever met!
Rowena: Is this book problematic? Sure….but that doesn’t stop me from loving the hell out of this book anyway. Double Standards is one of those books that shouldn’t have held up because my reading tastes have changed and a lot of things that happen in this book would piss me off in real life and in other books but for some reason, I absolutely love this one and I probably always will. Don’t listen to Holly. Don’t listen to Casee either.
Holly: Y’all. Sometimes I think Rowena should be committed. This book isn’t just problematic. It’s downright awful. He sent her outside in Chicago in the middle of winter without a coat. She literally got on her knees and begged him to listen to her and he just sent her away. My blood boils every time I think about it. There’s a whole lot of nope from me on this one.
Casee: For once I agree with Holly (go buy a lottery ticket!). This book wasn’t just problematic. It’s horrendously bad. As stated above, she got down on her knees and begged him. Then sent her away into a storm without a coat. I know I’m just repeating what Holly has said, but these were all the things that bothered me as well. Including the fact that Lauren actually forgave him. Ugh.
Rowena: She was sent to spy on him and cripple his entire life’s work. She never came clean and he found out about her betrayal and reacted. Considering his past and who she was working for? I would have kicked her ass to the curb too. She was fired. She was escorted out. It just happened to be winter. Give me a break.
Huge Deal (21 Wall Street #3) by Lauren Layne
Even for a top-gun banker, temptation this hot is quite a gamble, in a sexy Wall Street romp from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.
An alpha among the wolves of Wall Street, Kennedy Dawson rose to the top of the pack by striking the right contracts at the right times. But there’s one deal that’s been giving him a run for his money—a pact to never again let his assistant, Kate, get under his skin. She may be smart, gorgeous, and sharp as a whip, but she’s definitely off-limits.
Kate Henley isn’t a banker, but she knows a thing or two about risk management—specifically, about managing her attraction to her smolderingly sexy boss. She already fell once, and Kennedy showed no sign of paying a return on her investment. So when Kennedy’s brother starts pursuing her, Kate figures she has the best of both worlds. Jack is charming, rich, very attentive, and the spitting image of his older brother.
It’s also making Kennedy think twice. But to win Kate’s heart, he’ll have to broker the deal of a lifetime…and prove he’s worth the risk.
Rowena: The lead up to this book was fantastic. We meet these two in book 1. The heroine is the hero’s administrative assistant but there’s a history that’s hinted in the previous books that had me thirsty to get their story. Lauren Layne does not disappoint. This book was everything that I wanted Kennedy and Kate’s story to be and I can’t wait to re-read it…it was that good for me.
Brooklynaire (Brooklyn Bruisers #4) by Sarina Bowen
A sexy new standalone from USA Today bestseller Sarina Bowen.
You’d think a billion dollars, a professional hockey team and a six-bedroom mansion on the Promenade would satisfy a guy. You’d be wrong.
For seven years Rebecca has brightened my office with her wit and her smile. She manages both my hockey team and my sanity. I don’t know when I started waking in the night, craving her. All I know is that one whiff of her perfume ruins my concentration. And her laugh makes me hard.
When Rebecca gets hurt, I step in to help. It’s what friends do. But what friends don’t do is rip off each others’ clothes for a single, wild night together.
Now she’s avoiding me. She says we’re too different, and it can never happen again. So why can’t we keep our hands off each other?
Rowena: Nate and Becca’s book was such a sweet romance and it’s got a spin on the old boss and secretary office romance trope. This time around, the boss is mad for the secretary and seeing him try to win her over at every turn while trying to give her the world made for such a fantastic romance. Sarina Bowen hit it out of the park for me with this one. I loved it!
Holly: I loved this one, too. Bowen teased us with Becca and Nate’s flirty little romance for ages and I wasn’t disappointed when we finally got the real deal.
Hate Notes by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward
From New York Times bestselling authors Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward comes an unexpected love story of secondhand hearts and second chances…
It all started with a mysterious blue note sewn into a wedding dress.
I’d gone to sell my own unworn bridal gown at a vintage clothing store. That’s when I found another bride’s “something old.”
Stitched into the lining of a fabulously feathered design was the loveliest message I’d ever read: Thank you for making all of my dreams come true.
The name embossed on the blue stationery: Reed Eastwood, obviously the most romantic man who ever lived. I also discovered he’s the most gorgeous. If only my true-love fantasies had stopped there. Because I’ve since found out something else about Mr. Starry-Eyed.
He’s arrogant, cynical, and demanding. I should know. Thanks to a twist of fate, he’s my new boss. But that’s not going to stop me from discovering the story behind his last love letter. A love letter that did not result in a happily ever after.
But that story is nothing compared to the one unfolding between us. It’s getting hotter, sweeter, and more surprising than anything I could have imagined.
But I have no idea how this one is going to end…
Casee: I actually enjoyed this book until Holly started picking it apart. Reed was a jerk, but what hero isn’t?
Holly: Ugh. No. Reed, the hero, was such a jerk. For the entire book he was a jerk. Did I say no?
Rowena: I didn’t hate this book though I do agree that Reed was a dickhead. This isn’t a favorite of mine by any means but in the end, Reed’s character came around for me.
Rock Hard (Rock Kiss #2) by Nalini Singh
In New York Times Bestselling author Nalini Singh’s newest contemporary romance, passion ignites between a gorgeous, sinfully sexy man who built himself up from nothing and a shy woman who has a terrible secret in her past…
Wealthy businessman Gabriel Bishop rules the boardroom with the same determination and ruthlessness that made him a rock star on the rugby field. He knows what he wants, and he’ll go after it no-holds-barred.
And what he wants is Charlotte Baird.
Charlotte knows she’s a mouse. Emotionally scarred and painfully shy, she just wants to do her job and remain as invisible as possible. But the new CEO—a brilliant, broad-shouldered T-Rex of a man who growls and storms through the office, leaving carnage in his wake—clearly has other plans. Plans that may be equal parts business and bedroom.
If Charlotte intends to survive this battle of wits and hearts, the mouse will have to learn to wrangle the T-Rex. Game on.
Rowena: This is another fabulous boss/secretary office romance. I loved seeing Gabriel and Charlie battle wits and I especially loved seeing Charlie grow strong over the course of the book and Gabriel win her over. Nalini Singh really killed it with this one and I so adored every minute of this book.
Casee: While this isn’t my favorite book of the Rock Kiss series, I really did enjoy seeing Charlie come out of her shell.
Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella
Meet Emma Corrigan, a young woman with a huge heart, an irrepressible spirit, and a few little secrets.
Secrets from her boyfriend: I’ve always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken. Secrets from her mother: I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom with Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben-Hur.
Secrets she wouldn’t share with anyone in the world: I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is.
Until she spills them all to a handsome stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger.…Until Emma comes face-to-face with Jack Harper, the company’s elusive CEO, a man who knows every single humiliating detail about her…
Rowena: This book cracked me up from beginning to end. I loved getting to know both Emma and Jack. Emma was such a delightful character and Jack was a total babe. Sophie Kinsella delivered a charming rom com that had me laughing at every turn….it’s one of my favorites to re-read.
Holly: You guys, I love this book. SO much. Kinsella definitely delivered with this book. I haven’t read it in ages, but I remember it fondly.
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman
Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.
Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.
If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth-shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.
Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.
Rowena: Gah, I love this one. Josh and Lucy are coworkers who hate each other. They do things that annoy each other every single day and when they’re both up for a promotion, the one-upmanship kicks into high gear. This book was so much fun and I adored both Josh and Lucy so much. Sally Thorne did her thing with this one and I ate it all up. So good!
The Trouble with Love (Sex, Love & Stilettos #4) by Lauren Layne
As Lauren Layne’s salacious Sex, Love & Stiletto series returns, a jaded columnist discovers a steamy way to get over an old flame: falling for him all over again.
As Stiletto magazine’s authority on all things breakup-and-heartache, Emma Sinclair writes from personal experience. Five years ago, Emma was Charlotte, North Carolina’s darling debutante and a blushing bride-to-be. Now she’s the ice queen of the Manhattan dating scene. Emma left her sultry Southern drawl behind, but not even her closest friends know that with it she left her heart. Now Emma’s latest article forces her to face her demons—namely, the devilishly sexy guy who ditched her at the altar.
After giving up everything for a pro-soccer career, Alex Cassidy watches his dreams crumble as a knee injury sidelines him for good. Now he’s hanging up his cleats and giving journalism a shot. It’s just a coincidence that he happens to pick a job in the same field, and the same city, as his former fiancée . . . right? But when Emma moves in next door, it’s no accident. It’s research. And Alex can’t help wondering what might have been. Unlike the innocent girl he remembers, this Emma is chic, sophisticated, and assertive—and she wants absolutely nothing to do with him. The trouble is, Alex has never wanted her more.
Rowena: Lauren Layne is my favorite author right now. She writes office romances like a champ! Alex and Emma’s story began before they worked together and the chemistry between these two was super steamy. I loved this book to pieces and will always, always pimp it out at every turn.
Holly: I haven’t read many books by Layne, but this was a great office romance. I loved the dynamic between the two and how much chemistry they had.
Casee: I really need to read this one. I loved the Oxford series.
A charming British hero, the woman who tempts him, and a hands-off arrangement that’s oh-so-hard to maintain.
My bags are packed and I’m ready to go. All I have to do is board a plane, and I’ll be on my way to fulfilling a promise I made long ago. Bonus points — my last week in Paris looks to be even better when I meet a gorgeous, clever American woman and make plans to take her back to my flat that night.
But before we can get together for what would surely be a fantastic final fling, my boss hits me with a double whammy. My previous client didn’t pay, so there’s no trip, and the new client I now desperately need is none other than the tempting American I’m about to take home.
Have I mentioned this timing bloody sucks?
I’ll admit it — I have a big weakness for a hot British accent. As in, they make me swoon, sigh, and want to toss my panties. Good thing I can avoid that kind of temptation in Paris. So it’s just my luck that the man who’s the key to success in my new job is the man whose voice makes me melt. Oh, and we have to spend all our days together for work.
Thanks a lot, fate.
To top it off, I quickly learn he’s witty, kind and has a heart and mind I’m falling for fast.
All I have to do is resist him every single freaking day. That’s so easy. Not.
But then I learn that’s nothing compared to the real hurdle we face.
What could go wrong with falling in love in Paris? Nearly everything, it seems…
Casee: I absolutely adored this book. I loved Joy and Griffin. I loved how there was none of the usual drama between the characters, but their love came through loud and clear. It’s one of the best books that I’ve listened to this year.
Holly: This is one of the best books I read in 2018. I absolutely loved both Joy and Griffin, and bonus! Richard Armitage narrated the audio. ::swoon::
What do you consider office romances?
One of my very favorite books in the last couple of years HANDS DOWN is The Hating Game. I’m glad to see this post, it’s giving me a few books for my 2019 tbr pile.
Isn’t it such a great, angsty romance that packs the humor? I freaking loved it too!
I like Julie James’ books, too; however, Practice Makes Perfect is my least favorite of her books. JD did something so reprehensible that I’m surprised Peyton forgave him.
I felt the same way, Kareni. Everyone always goes on about how wonderful that book was, but I didn’t understand how she let things go with JD.
I hear you!
I red two of the mentioned books. Hate Notes and Rock Hard. While I give hate notes a 7 out of 10 it is a straight 10 for Rock Hard. The development of Charlotte is just wonderful. In many office romances the guy has to be a jerk but no it doesn’t have to be. Gabriel is the proof. He is strict but not a spoiled jerk. I like them. Did I mention that this is my favorite Nalini Singh book ever and I have a signed copy?