The circumstances where I can accept not telling the father about a child are really limited and don't often come up in Romance Novels. The secret baby isn't my favorite trope but none the less there are some really good books out there with this theme.
I am defining the Secret Baby Trope as the hero and the heroine had a baby or became pregnant, but, due to circumstances, the hero only found out about the child some time later. The couple is the heroine who became pregnant and the hero who fathered the child.
Since the Series/Category Romance (Mills and Boon, Harlequin) has made an art from out of this theme, I thought it would be fun to look at the Best Secret Baby in Series Romance.
Here we go!
1. Rodeo Daddy by Marin Thomas
The day Hallie Sutton dreaded has finally come. Drew Rawlins has found out the secret she's been keeping—and he's spitting mad! But the rodeo is Drew's whole world and Hallie needs a full-time dad for their boy. Still, how can she deny the injured bronc rider the chance to get to know his son?
All Drew wants is to carve out a place in his son's life. Sorting out his feelings for Hallie isn't as simple. The emotion simmering between them is just as strong—so's the red-hot desire that got them into trouble five years ago. Winning the world championship is still number one on Drew's list. But he figures he can have it all. The title and the chance to prove he's the man Hallie and Nick need.
2. Marriage Material by Ruth Wind
Lance Forrest was the sexiest thing Tamara Flynn ever laid eyes on. Once, he'd hightailed it out of Red Creek, Colorado, on his wild reputation, leaving behind a string of broken hearts and a son he never knew about. A son Tamara raised as her own.
When he walked back into her life five years later, Tamara knew she could no longer deny Lance the knowledge of his son, or the joy of his company. But the more time the three of them spent together, the more Lance started to feel like family. Tamara had always thought Lance and marriage didn't mix…until now.
3. Everyday, Average Jones by Suzanne Brockmann
All her life Melody Evans has wanted to marry a plain, average man who didn't take risks. But when the foreign embassy where she works as an aide is taken over by terrorists and she's rescued by a daring navy SEAL, Melody blames the extreme circumstances for their ensuing passion. When it comes to ordinary, Harlan "Cowboy" Jones is anything but, and their encounter leaves Melody with a little more than just memories . . .
Seven months later when Cowboy pays Melody a visit, he's surprised to find her pregnant -- with his child. Now all he has to do is convince her that they are meant to be together. That he can be as ordinary as the next guy. The only problem is, once a hero, always a hero . . .
4. The Bride's Baby by Liz Fielding
The moment she first saw her best friend's fiancé, Tom, Sylvie could feel her heart rate rising. She quells those feelings and focuses on preparing her friend's wedding as the professional event planner that she is, but then the bride disappears right before the wedding! Sylvie ends up spending a passionate night with Tom, to comfort him during his time of loss. She then sends him a letter telling him that she's pregnant with his child, but when she doesn't hear back from him, Sylvie feels betrayed and unwanted. What are the chances that they'd be reunited by a magazine project to design her "dream wedding," which lands her in the role of the bride and him as the groom?
5. Hold on Tight by Serena Bell
Fighting for his country gave Jake Taylor’s life shape and meaning. Now as an injured war hero he struggles to find purpose, until he runs into the gorgeous woman he dated briefly—and disastrously—before being deployed eight years ago. Turns out Jake doesn’t just need to figure out how to be a civilian . . . he also needs to learn how to be a dad.
Eighteen, pregnant, and totally lost, Mira Shipley couldn’t track down the soldier who fathered her child, so she put college on hold and focused on making a good life for her son. Now she’s determined to be something more than Sam’s mom, her parents’ daughter, or Jake’s girl—as hot as she finds her old flame’s take-charge attitude in and out of bed. Soon Mira and Jake realize that their passion didn’t disappear when Sam was conceived—and that instead of running away, sometimes it’s better to hold on tight.
6. Her Secret, His Surprise by Paula Altenburg
Since being disowned by her strict father, Cass Stone has spent her adulthood trying to prove him wrong. Her drive has led to more success than her family ever thought she’d achieve, and life is looking great. Not even an incredible and mysterious one night stand that leaves her a single mom can trip her up...until the father of her baby stumbles back into her life, as sexy and unreliable as ever.
Logan Alexander hasn’t forgotten the night he spent with Cass two years ago, but he never expects to end up undercover as her assistant. His job saves lives—like it should have saved his brother—and he can’t afford complications. It’s difficult enough to maintain his cover as a carefree wanderer when he realizes his attraction to Cass hasn’t faded...and then he meets Cass’s daughter.
7. Their Newborn Gift by Nikki Logan
When Lea became accidentally pregnant she decided that she would go it alone. Rodeo star Reilly wasn't the sort of man who'd want to be tied down. But five years later she needs to tell him her secret....
Learning he's a daddy is bittersweet for Reilly, because his little girl is fighting to survive. Her only hope is a new brother or sister. Can he and Lea create a newborn miracle--and a future together?
8. The Billionaire's Baby by Leanne Banks
Garrett Winslow wants a woman to love him for himself, not for his family's money. So when he meets Haley Turner while on vacation in Mexico, he keeps his real name a secret. A family crisis abruptly ends their spring fling, and Garrett heads home, never knowing the night he spent with Haley has changed both of their lives forever...
9. The Secret Baby Bond by Cindy Gerard
But much had changed in the two years Michael Paige had been presumed dead. Though he still loved her, his wife now wore another man's diamond--and Michael had a son. A beautiful boy he'd never seen before. That changed everything.
Tara Connelly Paige thought she'd seen a ghost. But her husband was a flesh-and-blood male. One touch of his hands still stirred her desire.... But when he'd regained his memory, would he recall she'd asked for a divorce the day he'd disappeared? Tara wouldn't keep him from his son, but could they be the family Michael claimed he now wanted?
10. Marrying the Marshal by Laura Marie Altom
U.S. Marshal Caleb Logue walks into Judge Allie Hayworth's office to find the woman who wouldn't marry him—and the son he didn't know he had. Protecting them is his latest assignment, but Allie soon discovers Caleb's main priority is getting to know his little boy—and making her agree to his proposal.
After all these years, nothing has changed—she refuses to marry a man whose idea of fun is dodging bullets. Not after she lost her own cop father when she was just a girl. Allie would do anything to protect her son from that type of pain. Marrying the marshal is definitely out of the question…but how can Allie refuse, when two identical pairs of green eyes look up at her, wanting her to say yes?
Whatcha got? Let me know your favorite Secret Baby Romance in Series Romance!