From the #1 bestselling author of the beloved Calendar Girl books comes the first in a witty, wise and emotionally compelling new series, where coming home is just the beginning… “Fly free.” For ten years those words, written on pink parchment paper in her mother’s...
The first time I read a secret baby book I became addicted. I can still remember which one it was: Dirty Secret by Emma Hart. The storyline pulled me in and the myriad of emotions washed over me like the most beautiful waterfall. I often get asked what draws me to this trope. What has me searching for the hidden gems I’ve yet to read. And now, as a writer, what has me wanting to write so many of them. It’s a combination of several factors: the first being the kids. An author can do so much when they add a child into the mix. Whether it’s the estranged parent creating a relationship with their son or daughter, or the parents bonding over the child they created together. Kids can add humor and emotions to a book without even meaning to. A three-year-old who speaks his mind, or the pre-teen who falls in love with the dad she never knew. While the trope may appear like it’s simple, the plots can be diverse and complex. A one-night stand that leaves more than just memories. The woman who searches for the father for her child but can’t find him. A misunderstanding that leads to months or even years apart. The moment a couple has unprotected sex my first thought is: will she get pregnant? It gets me giddy inside, just knowing it’s a possibility, and when it’s confirmed, I know I’m in for a bumpy ride. I have read hundreds of these stories, and I would love to discuss them all, but the ones I’m including today are the ones that stuck with me the most.
Poles Apart by Kirsty Mosely is a story I have read no less than a dozen times. Carson Mathews is a wealthy MotoGP driver. Emma Bancroft is a single mom who is working at a gentleman’s club to make ends meet while working her way through college. They meet at the gentleman’s club and instantly fall for each other. But then Emma disappears. Years later, she reappears and sparks reignite, only Emma is hiding a secret, one that will change Carson’s life. While some stories give off a fiction vibe, this story reads with a more realistic feel. The heroine was flawed and imperfect, and because of that, I felt like I could relate to her that much more.
Justice by KC Lynn is a story that will have you crying while squeezing your thighs together because you can’t help but be turned on. Justice Creed is the definition of bad boy—or I should say man, because when he returns six years later, he is all man. He will have you swooning and salivating while clutching your chest. This is a story of young love and the consequences that come with decisions we make when we’re young. Can you tell I love me some imperfect love stories?
Craving Constellations by Nicole Jacquelyn is a sexy, dirty, gritty, and raw romance. Brenna was raised in the MC life (motorcycle club). She didn’t want that life, though. She wanted the white picket fence, straight-laced life, so she takes off—your typical “the grass is always greener on the other side” scenario. While visiting one weekend, she hooks up with Dragon, who doesn’t know who she is. Years later she shows up needing the club’s help and Dragon learns when she skipped out the next morning, she left with several secrets in tow. This book is not for the faint of heart as it has some dark scenes. It is filled with raw emotions, and the little girl will have you swooning page after page.
My love of the secret baby trope is what led me to writing several of my own. The first book I ever wrote is Fighting For a Second Chance. Liz and Cooper meet in Miami. Both on vacation before they take the next step in their futures. They spend the weekend falling hard, but agree after the weekend is over they will go their separate ways. Only when they say goodbye, they have no idea Liz will be walking away with more than just memories from their time together. Four years later, they run into each other. Sparks fly and Cooper learns what Liz has been up to for the last several years: raising their daughter, Bella. Readers fell in love with not only this couple but with their daughter, which led me to write Tapping Out, a secret baby romance about Bella, who is a female fighter, and Marco, who is not only one of her best friend’s growing up, but the man she’s fallen in love with. Only the older they get, the more he keeps her at arm’s length. Until one day he needs her and she’s there to comfort him. They spend the night together, only when he wakes up the next day, he doesn’t remember any of it. This story is raw and emotional, the perfect imperfect love story, filled with flawed, real characters who mess up and need our forgiveness.
Some more of my favorites that are sure to give you all the feels include:
Seduction and Snacks by Tara Sivec
Until Lilly by Aurora Rose Reynolds
Truths and Lies duet by K Webster and Nikki Ash
Reed’s Reckoning by Ahren Sanders
Stuck-up Suit by Vi Keeland
A Lie for a Lie by Helena Hunting
Thin Love by Eden Butler
A Redo by CM Owens
Take this Regret by AL Jackson
Ghosted by J.M. Darhower
Before We Were by Renee Carlino
Stoned by Mandi Beck
I could go on and on, sharing with you my favorites, but I’m going to stop here. If you’re interested in finding recommendations, make sure you check out the Single Parents and Secret Babies are My Jam reader group on Facebook. It’s the perfect group to discuss all things secret baby and single parents, and find a ton more recommendations.
Nikki Ash is a mom and teacher by day, and a reader and writer by night. She writes all types of romance, including secret baby, single parent, mafia romance, and MFM/MM. She’s been writing for three years and has published eighteen novels.
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