So with my experience as a single parent, I love seeing it in romance novels. I love so much about this trope. I love seeing how the single parent balances parenting and dating and then falling in love. How the new person falls in love with not just their new love match, but the kids as well. And how the kids have to at least accept the new partner. How the other biological parent might get portrayed in the story. Do both partners have children, how will they blend the family? Will the partner that doesn’t already have a child get stuck with a sick baby and how will they care for it. Is the child in the story just a plot moppet or a fully formed character that actually serves purpose? But most important with all of this is how will these things bring the two main characters together. How will the childless single hero cope when he has to care for sick kids. How will the tired and overworked heroine see this and will it deepen her already growing feelings for the hero?
For me, romance is full of hope. I love to see a character with whom I relate to in such a personal way get their HEA.
Here are some of my very favorite Single Parent romance novels. I read contemporary almost exclusively, but I have no doubt that romance Twitter will pitch in and rec some from other sub-genres.
Kristen Ashley- So many KA books contain a single parent, but one of my favorites has to be Golden Trail, The “Burg #3. The relationship that Tanner builds with his boys was great. It was realistic, as teenage children can sometimes be the worst. But as he builds his relationship with Rocky, his kids are too. His kids are important to him. Rocky is important to him. I can’t not mention that KA has a nasty habit of vilifying the other biological parent, and this book was no exception, but I loved everything else about this book.
Within Reach by Sarah Mayberry is a beautiful story of a widower who falls in love with his deceased wife’s best friend. Angie comes around occasionally to check on Michael and the baby. Over time they act on their attraction. It’s been a while since I read this, but it is my go-to recommendation for widower falling in love with spouse’s friend. It also solidified my love for Mayberry’s SuperRomances. Mayberry has another SP romance called Suddenly You- single mom heroine named Pippa and hero named Harry. This definitely falls into the category of a hero who is befuddled on what to do with children.
Getting Hotter (Out of Uniform #8) by Elle Kennedy might be one of the HOTTEST books on this list. Single mom Miranda meets tough Seth and instant chemistry. Miranda is the mother of twins and they end up having to move in with Seth for reasons that only exist in romancelandia. Seth is the type with no experience with kids but he slowly stops treating them like annoyances and grows to love them and Miranda. I should so note that Seth gets blow-job by his male BFF and Miranda watches. In case that is something that appeals to you. You’re welcome.
Emma Chase’s Sustained, Legal Briefs #2 is kind of a cheat because the kids are the heroine’s nieces and nephews, but this is my list and I’ll do what I want. But also this book was so good. At one point the heroine gets sick and the hero has to wrangle six children who are also sick. He did such a wonderful job. The follow-up novella, Sidebarred made me cry.
Tempest by Beverly Jenkins the hero is a widower with a young daughter who gets a mail order bride. They have a meet-shoot instead of a meet-cute and it was a great start to the book. I loved the connection that Regan built with her new daughter. She also worked hard to incorporate the birth mother into the family and let the daughter know that it was okay to love her birth mother too.
Maggie Wells has a whole series featuring single dads. The Play Date Series features a trio of men that run a business together, their children, and the women they fall in love with. I have read and enjoyed the first two in this series and I look forward to the third one.
Worth the Fall by Claudia Connor was so good. The heroine has four young children and is pregnant when she meets the hero while on vacation. The heroine has recently lost her husband and isn’t looking for love. The hero definitely isn’t looking for love with a woman with five children, but well sometimes things happen when least expected. He spends time with the family and might fall in love with the kids first and then the heroine. I really enjoyed this book.
Molly O’Keefe is one of my favorite authors for gritty stories with fucked up characters. Enter Tiffany and Blake from Wait for It. Tiffany is a single mother and Blake is actually her brother in law. But he is a jerk, but not irredeemably so. Tiffany is tough as nails. This is a take on enemies to lovers and one of my favorites from 2017. I recommend this whole series, but especially this one and Burn Down the Night featuring the epitome of cactus heroine Joan.
Priscilla Oliveras’s debut novel, His Perfect Partner got an A review from me last year. I loved every moment of this book. The hero Tomas wants very hard to be a good father. Yaz, our heroine, meets him as she is a teacher at the dance school his daughter goes to. Yaz then agrees to help out with babysitting and a love story begins. This book is very family-centric, but also has some sadness.
Priscilla Glenn’s Back to You is a second chance romance with a single dad. The heroine is a teacher at the child’s daycare. The hero and heroine reconnect and it is just beautiful. This book helped me fall in love with the second-chance romance trope.
Here are a few more that I have read and enjoyed.
Wait for It by Mariana Zapata- Single parent adjacent as the heroine is the aunt.
Seduction and Snacks by Tara Sivec- Be prepared to laugh, a lot. The heroine is a single mom.
Nuts by Alice Clayton- Hero is a single dad. Lots of laughs here too
Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie- Hero is a single dad. And there is bad sex!
North to You by Tif Marcelo- SP adjacent, the heroine is raising her younger sister
Some Sort of Love by Melanie Harlow- Hero is a single dad
Wrong to Need You by Alisha Rai- Heroine is a single mom
Called Out by Jen Doyle- Heroine is a single mom
Before I Ever Met You by Karina Halle- The heroine a single mom
Mack Daddy by Penelope Ward- The hero is a single dad
Of course this list isn’t every single parent romance out there. There are tons. And probably lots that I have read that I missed.
I did find three great lists that have more books with this trope.
One from #rombklove participant, Sil from The Book Voyagers- http://thebookvoyagers.blogspot.com/2017/06/single-parents-in-romance-books.html
WOC in Romance also has a great list.
BookBub has a pretty robust list as well.
I hope that you have enjoyed my post on Single Parents in romance. I hope to get many recs from this post.
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