The secret baby romance trope is one of my favourites. Ever since I first read the trope in a random romance book pick, I've been a little obsessed with it. I regularly look for new books with the trope.

Unfortunately, there aren't very many book lists with recommendations for this trope. At this point, I've read tons of secret baby romance books so I think it is time for me to make my own recommendation list for it.

This list contains books with the trope that are quite different from each other. No matter what vibe you're looking for, you'll find it here. Along with the steam levels so you can pick your next read wisely!

Steam levels explanation:

? None – no explicit scenes.
? Low – one or two steamy scenes.
? Average – few detailed explicit scenes.
? High – good amount of/regular detailed steamy scenes (and it takes over the plot)

what is the secret baby trope?

A book is considered to have the secret baby AKA secret child romance plot if it has the following plotline: Two people (generally man and woman*) date and/or have sex and split. The woman finds out that she is pregnant but does not tell the father due to some reason. After the baby (or babies) is born, the father finds out somehow and a love story ensues.

It is not a single parent romance trope because in these books the parents of the child are falling in love with each other.

This is one of my favourite romance tropes because it is like forced proximity with a second chance romance. Plus, the main characters have to be mature and responsible because of this entire human being that they have to take care of.

The surprise baby romance trope is much more because the books also have to navigate the father's feelings with respect to suddenly being a dad and realizing that he missed out on time with his child. He has to newly introduce himself and bond with the child.

The trope has a fine line to walk because the reason for the baby being a secret has to be valid but not problematic or shouldn't be a huge betrayal on the woman's part. It has to be something that the main characters can get through and fall back in love with each other.

While this plotline comes under the accidental pregnancy trope, it's more specific as the father finds out way later.

*I haven't yet read any romance books with this trope where the main characters are of other genders, and hence am generalizing as man and woman for now.

romance book illustration art. a book is open and a light is beaming out of the open pages, highlighting silhouette of a couple about to kiss

1. Back in the Texan's Bed by Naima Simone

back in the texan's bed by naima simone book cover

He’s going to claim his child and the woman who got away…

Will they ever learn…
that giving in to desire is playing with fire?

After discovering he has a secret son, oil heir Ross Edmond isn’t letting Charlotte Jarrett walk away again. He proposes they move in together—to share their son…and a bed. But Charlotte has secrets, and Ross doesn’t know the real reason his family’s former chef left town three years ago—and they still have a powerful enemy who could bring them both down…

This is a quick and steamy read by Naima Simone that ticks all the boxes. There is tension between the main characters, a nefarious underlying reason for the separation and hidden pregnancy, and great chemistry.

Its pace is a little fast because the book is shorter than the average length, and the main characters jump in bed together faster than I would have liked, but it's good.

Steam level: Average.

2. A Redo by C. M. Owens

A Redo by C. M. Owens book cover

Allie Thrash
Wren Prize is the asshole who got me pregnant seven years ago. And gave me a false name. And walked out of the hotel without a backward glance. Sure, I know I wanted to have sex just as much as he did, but I didn't want to be tossed aside like garbage the second it was done. I also wasn't planning to get pregnant.

Now, after seven years of hating the jerk, I'm living in his city, because it's a small world and I found him by accident. Yes, I realize how crazy that must sound, but my luck is just that bad. The problem is, the Wren Prize of today is not the Wren Prize I've envisioned castrating all this time. And I hate that I can't hate him the way he deserves to be hated. In fact, I'm terrified I might just be stupid enough to be falling for him.

Wren Prize
A daughter. I have a daughter. And I've missed over six years of her life because I decided to go for the world's biggest jerk award. I'm supposed to be the cool-headed one, the mature one, the one everyone goes to for advice. Yet I'm the one who fucked up the most. Sadly, I don't even remember that night. Too much fun, too much sun, and way too much booze.

It's hard to ask for a second chance when you don't even remember the first chance you had. And every time I'm around Allie, even when she's casting me glares that prove she wants me dead, I can't help but wonder what that night was like. Well, what it was like before I ruined her.

This is honestly one of the best secret baby romance books that I've read. It has also become a comfort read for me.

There is the betrayal that can be overcome. The father struggles with bonding with the unexpected child and with the thought that he has missed years of her life. The mother struggles with suddenly letting him in and sharing parental responsibilities. They have good chemistry and maturely work through their problems to be good parents.

Another thing I love is the supporting cast. I absolutely love the friend group in this book and the support they extend towards each other.

Content warnings (for only one scene towards the end): car crash, stalker, violence.

Steam level: Average.

3. Fumbled by Alexa Martin

Fumbled by Alexa Martin book cover

Single-mother Poppy Patterson moved across the country when she was sixteen and pregnant to find a new normal. After years of hard work, she's built a life she loves. It may include a job at a nightclub, weekend soccer games, and more stretch marks than she anticipated, but it's all hers, and nobody can take that away. Well, except for one person.

TK Moore, the starting wide receiver for the Denver Mustangs, dreamt his entire life about being in the NFL. His world is football, parties, and women. Maybe at one point he thought his future would play out with his high school sweetheart by his side, but Poppy is long gone and he's moved on.  

When Poppy and TK cross paths in the most unlikely of places, emotions they've suppressed for years come rushing back. But with all the secrets they never told each other lying between them, they'll need more than a dating playbook to help them navigate their relationship.

Another comfort favourite of mine and one for sports romance lovers! Fumbled made its way to my top books by having great chemistry, great execution of the secret child plot, and a great girl group which makes me envious.

The characters are also very charming and lovable. This book is the first one that I had seen that tackled CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) in football and got respect from me for that.

Steam level: Average.

4. Rock Solid by Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde

rock solid book cover

Connor Prescott doesn’t do one night stands (yes, ladies, he’s an anomaly) so when he meets a beautiful woman during a snowed-in night at the airport who wants to forget her heartache, he makes an exception. Their night together is incendiary, and by morning Connor wants more . . . except his sexy stranger is gone. He’s pretty sure he’ll never see her again, until three and a half years later she finds him, and changes his entire world with three little words . . . You’re a daddy. 

Rock Solid does a great job with the second chance romance with a surprise baby trope. It's an underrated romance book that deserves more attention, honestly.

It doesn't have the tension of betrayal but there is general tension because the woman is afraid of love. The chemistry between the characters is A+. They have issues that they go through but they communicate and act like adults.

Steam level: A little above average.

5. Seduction & Snacks by Tara Sivec

seduction and snacks book cover

Claire is a twenty-something, single mom that grudgingly helps her best friend sell sex toys while she attempts to make enough money to start her own business to give her foul-mouthed, but extremely loveable (when he's asleep) toddler a better life. 

When Carter, the one-night-stand from her past that changed her life forever, shows up in her hometown bar without any recollection of her besides her unique chocolate scent, Claire will make it a point that he remembers her this time. 

With Carter's undisguised shock at suddenly finding out he has a four-year-old son and Claire's panic that her stretch marks and slim to none bedroom experience will send the man of her dreams heading for the hills, the pair will do whatever they can to get their happily ever after.

This was my first ever romance with a secret baby plot and it got me hooked onto the trope.

Seduction & Snacks is a hilarious, addicting, swoony romance where the male main character doesn't remember the woman other than her chocolate scent. Packed with sarcasm, comedy, and more, this book will have you in a chokehold until you finish it.

Steam level: Low.

6. The Tycoon's Toddler Surprise by Elizabeth Lennox

the tycoon's toddler surprise by elizabeth lennox

Ignoring or avoiding Mikhail Benovich was not an option. When he wanted something, he went after it with everything. Seeing Kristen across the room, he decided he wanted her. A month after their first meeting, they were married. Two months later, Kristen found herself pregnant. And two months after that, her unborn baby girl was fighting for her life.

Kristen left the stressful lifestyle, but never meant to leave Mikhail. Diligently, she sent him a letter each month detailing the progress of her pregnancy, the birth of their beautiful baby girl, and all the milestones of her young life.

Three years later, Mikhail finds one of those letters and is furious, unaware until that moment that he is a father! He immediately goes to find his daughter, determined to win custody, only to find that, not only does his daughter recognize him, but his three year old daughter is barreling towards him, throwing herself into his arms in her excitement that he’d finally arrived.

Something doesn’t add up and he’s determined to get to the bottom of the issue. And get his family back, even if his estranged wife is opposed.

This book doesn't have the betrayal element but instead is based on the miscommunication trope. It has an unintentionally hidden pregnancy scenario. The man feels betrayed while the woman is clueless because she has been sending him updates about the child.

The book is a quick read which almost ends too soon. You can read it in one sitting to get a dose of HEA before getting on with your day. If you like brooding, possessive men, you will like this book.

Steam level: Average.

7. The Cowboy's Secret Twins by Carla Cassidy

the cowboy's secret twins by carla cassidy book cover

One cold December night, Henry James Randolf III wanted to escape. His money, his heritage, his lonely life. But when the blizzard drove the sexy Melissa Monroe into his arms he made sure to avoid that trap, too.

A year later, when she shows up at his Texas ranch with adorable twin boys, he can't believe his eyes. The boys look just like him. Was their night of passion a premeditated snare or a Christmas surprise? But when shots ring out, his instincts take over. He'll stop at nothing to keep Melissa and the boys safe. And he just may recognize where his true wealth lies, if it isn't too late for them all.

The two main characters have a one-night stand and move on but Melissa becomes pregnant. A year later, assuming she's meeting a Mystery Mom who has been helping her online, she instead ends up at Henry's doorstep.

There's a little bit of danger, good chemistry, and a nice love story. It's a quick and cute second chance romance with surprise babies. I especially loved the setting of the book with the supporting characters.

Steam level: Low.

8. Then, Now, Always by Mona Shroff

then, now, always by mona shroff book cover

Maya Rao has made her own dreams come true: she’s the owner of a bustling café and bakery in New York and the mother of a beautiful teenage daughter, Samantha. But when Samantha lands in legal trouble over a misdemeanor she didn’t commit, Maya is desperate. Desperate enough to call Samantha’s dad, Sam Hutcherson, whom Maya left abruptly many years ago, and who is now a successful lawyer. The problem? Sam doesn’t know he has a daughter.

Sam has put Maya firmly in his past, despite how shattered he was when she broke his heart. So he’s both dumbfounded and furious to find Maya outside his office asking for his help—with a picture of a girl who looks just like him. But as Sam reconnects with Maya, those old sparks begin to fly. Can he even picture a future with the woman who wrecked his past?

I read this only recently and am furious that I didn't know of it before. It's a secret child romance with the largest time gap compared to other books on this list.

I'm Indian so of course, I have a soft spot for Indian characters. This was my first desi book with the secret baby trope so it means more to me. Family is much more involved in this compared to other books because that's how Asian families are.

This story does really well with tension and the secret twist at the end which I totally expected because it's a little like Indian TV serials. But it was good with many types of relationships, good chemistry between the main two, and the epilogue. I love a good HEA epilogue.

Steam level: Low.

9. Tattered by Devney Perry

tattered by devney perry book cover

Thea Landry has always known her place in modern-day society. It’s somewhere just above the trash can her mother dumped her in as a newborn but below the class where much comes easy. With her tattered shoes and bargain-bin clothes, her life has never been full of glamour.

So when a rich and charismatic man takes interest, she doesn’t fool herself into thinking their encounter is anything more than a one-night stand. Months later, she’s kicking herself for not getting his phone number. Or his last name. She’s given up hope of seeing him ever again.

Until one day, years later, Logan Kendrick waltzes into her life once more and turns everything she’s built upside down. This time around, she won’t make the same mistake. She’s going to fight to keep him in her life—not for herself.

But for their daughter.

This is the most popular book on this list, and that is for a reason. It's a really good secret baby romance where the couple part ways after a one night stand and the woman can't contact the man when she finds out that she is pregnant.

I liked it so much! Especially the characters. Logan and Thea were such good characters. I loved seeing them bond and grow and put themselves first, after their child of course. This book is romance but I liked that it included small bits of other themes as well such as family, loving oneself and making selfish (but good) decisions.

Steam level: Average.

10. The Cad and the Co-Ed by L. H. Cosway and Penny Reid

The Cad and the Co-ed by L. H. Cosway and Penny Reid book cover

Keeping a secret this big is going to take lots of balls. Specifically, rugby balls.

Bryan Leech is a cad.
Or, he *was* a cad.
No one is quite certain.
Once the quintessential playboy, Bryan claims he’s done with wild parties and weekend benders. No more one night stands leading to mornings he can’t remember; no more binges and blackouts; no more exploits plastered all over the tabloids and rag sheets. According to Bryan, he’s cleaning up his act.
The only problem is, no one believes him.

Eilish Cassidy never thought she’d be a mother at nineteen or still in college at twenty-four. Cut off from every member of her family except her favorite cousin, she’s finally managed to put her life back together. Stronger and wiser, Eilish enters her last semester of university determined to stand on her own. Now she just needs to find an internship.
The only problem is, her best option—by far—places her directly in the path of her son’s father, and he doesn’t remember her at all.

Bryan is determined to prove he’s changed. Eager to settle down with the right woman, he’s got his sights set on the gorgeous redhead who seems terribly familiar. Eilish is determined to hide her secret. She’ll do anything to keep her child safe, even if that means ignoring her own wishes and desires. But what happens when Bryan starts to remember? And what will it take for Bryan to convince the girl he forgot that she’s unforgettable?

It's a staple secret baby trope romance book and is the second most popular one on this list. The main characters have to reconnect and get through their differences but also they each have their individual issues to work through.

If you haven't read it yet, do give it a go.

Steam level: Average.

some more secret baby romance books

Since I've read a ton of books with this trope, of course, I have more than 10 recommendations! Here are a few more that you can check out:

  • A Lie for a Lie by Helena Hunting
  • Bountiful by Sarina Bowen
  • Destiny's Surrender by Beverly Jenkins
  • A Baby Bargain by Jennifer Apodaca

want more romance book recommendations?

Check out my other romance book lists!

10 secret baby romance books pinterest image

let's chat!

Do you have a favourite romance trope? Have you read any other good secret baby romance books which aren't mentioned in this list? Recommend them to me!

stay wordy, Sumedha
photo of Sumedha

Sumedha spends her days reading books, bingeing Kdramas, drawing illustrations, and blogging while listening to Lo-Fi music. Read more ➔

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