Why do I now have a thing for single-parent romance?

I am not a parent. I am very far off from being a parent and yet I’ve been reading single-parent romance books. I’m talking one-after-another, can’t get enough as if they’re M&Ms and I just need to devour them all.

I seriously need to chill, for the sake of my sleep schedule and my bank account, never mind the fact that I have a shit-ton of other books I should be reading instead!

The single-parent romance trope is a sweet one. I like seeing that outside person step in and be a parent to a child that isn’t biologically their’s, probably because that’s the relationship I have with my dad who got with my mum when I was one.

Here are my thoughts on the one’s I’ve read recently :))

Juniper Hill by Devney Perry

Juniper Hill is the one that kicked it all off for me. After seeing it all over Tik-Tok recently (because Tik-Tok is always the cause of my trope-related cravings) I finally picked it up one night when I just wanted to lay in bed and read something quick and easy.

This book is actually the second in a series. I very rarely start a companion series with any book besides the first but this book was calling to me, and to be fair, I really didn’t feel like I didn’t understand something from not reading the first. This second book follows twenty-five year old Memphis who moves to the small town in Montana with her newborn son where she ends up living in the apartment above Knox Eden’s garage.

I was so hooked on this book that I read it in one night. Yes, that was my plan in the first place anyways, but then I got on the phone with my friends and my plans for an early night went out the window. I stayed up til past 2am to finish this book because I just couldn’t help myself.

Considering that I’d not read the first book I quickly fell in love with all the characters. With it being set in a small town with following one main family through the books it has a real close knit feel to it.

Of course I loved Knox and Memphis together too. I feel like this book did a great job at exploring Memphis’ character, showing how her past trauma and experience shaped her and drives her. It doesn’t glamorise single-motherhood or the reality of having a newborn. We see her struggle and doubt herself but then we see her pull herself up and learn to lean on people *cough* Knox *cough*. Knox himself was super grumpy. Communicated through grunt and glares but when he fell, he fell hard!! And I can appreciate that.

There was a whole lot more to this then just “single mum moves to a new town and falls in love” though. I’m talking family drama, the FBI get involved at one point. Totally crazy but made for an entertaining read.

Really, there was only one thing that irked me about this book and it was the epilogue. Don’t get me wrong it was super sweet and I loved it … but I wish it had been set a bit further then just one year in the future. I’m being super vague because *spoilers* but from how I viewed the characters, Memphis specifically, it would have made more sense to be set two years in the future. It’s a stupid thing to be hung up on and I know the author did it like that to set up the third book but that’s just my opinion.

All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata

Was nobody going to tell me that this was a 500 page slow-burn?? I mean I enjoyed it, but I could have saved a lot of time and energy by not mumbling “okay now kiss” every 50 pages when we were still a ways out from that happening!

As much as I grumbled about this book being slow going in the beginning, I actually think the slow-burn was a good thing. I wasn’t totally into the romance to begin with, but the relationship between Aurora and Rhodes built and built until the chemistry was undeniable.

I should probably back-track a bit and say what this book is about: we follow Aurora following her divorce when, after a year of travelling, she returns to her home town to re-connect with her deceased mother by revisiting the hikes she used to like. Aurora thinks she’s renting a garage-apartment but when she shows up her new landlord knows nothing about it and thinks she’s breaking in. Turns out his teenage son listed the apartment to make a little extra money.

There’s a fair few similarities between this and Juniper Hill: woman moves to small town, grumpy land-lord. This time around however it follows a single-dad with a teenage son, Amos, as opposed to a baby.

I really liked that Amos was older. We get to see Aurora building a relationship not only with his dad but with him too. If anything they become friends first which was super cute.

This is random but I liked the overall aesthetics of this book. There’s a lot of nature and hiking, most of the drama revolved around Aurora getting lost while hiking with Rhodes having to save her. I say “most of the drama” because the third act conflict was stupid in my opinion. Obviously no drama but I was annoyed at Rhodes and Amos, it was not a big deal, they very much overreacted.

All in all I really liked this one. I’ve heard a lot about Mariana Zapata and I guess I’m just gonna have to go into her future books with more patience.

One Percent of You by Michelle Gross

My sleep schedule is really suffering for the sake of these books. Stayed up til 2am to read Juniper Hill … and stayed up til 4am to read One Percent of You. In my defence I don’t have uni this week.

For the third and final time these characters meet because they’re neighbours, with the guy, Elijah, being super grumpy. In this instance it’s Hadley who is a single-mum to a little girl called Lucy, and at the start of the book, pregnant with her son.

Not gonna lie, I didn’t think I was going to like this when I started because Elijah was an arsehole. He wasn’t just grumpy but cute, like this guy was just rude and I didn’t think I was in for a good time. Thankfully that wasn’t the case.

I feel like I don’t have much to say about this one compared to the other two. I will say that I loved Hadley and seeing her journey as a single mum. She has a lot of shit to deal with in this book, mainly navigating the relationship with her ex/baby-daddy who cheated on her. He’s barely involved in his kids lives but still manipulated that to blame Aurora. I feel like that’s gonna hit close to home for a fair few people.

Just because I complained about it with Juniper Hill, I think it’s worth mentioning that the epilogue was set a perfect amount of time after the ending of the book. Made me very happy.

So there we go. The thing is that I’m now either going to go and read a bunch more single-parent romances … or I’m not gonna pick up this trope for a long ass time. Who knows which one will win out.

I’d love to know your thoughts and feelings: do you like this trope? have you read any decent books with this trope? Thanks for reading :))

Elli xx

7 thoughts on “Why do I now have a thing for single-parent romance?”

  1. The first two books are on my TBR! I’ve heard really good things about them (and I’m a sucker for Zapata’s romances) so I’m excited to check this out. 😍 I just finished Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score and it has the single parent trope and I really enjoyed it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This was my first Zapata book, her others have since been bumped up the list. The next book of hers I want to read is probably Wall of Winnipeg and Me. They were both super good!
      I’ll have to check out Things We Never Got Over!


  2. All Rhodes Lead Her is amazing in every single except that conflict. It didnt matter that much to me in the overall enjoyment of the book but I also thought it waa super dumb the way they overracted esp because they knew it had been a toxic relationship and she didnt like talking about it.

    Anyway… I don’t read that much of this trope but two really good ones that I read last year were Wait For It by Mariana Zapata (also slow burn and super emotional, but hilarious and sweeeeet) and Life’s Too Short by Abby Jimenez.

    Liked by 1 person

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