Why Secret Baby might be the best Romance Trope.
Let’s start with my all-time favorite trope and that is secret baby! Now while I say it is my all-time favorite there are some pieces I don’t like about it. Most Secret Baby tropes are Second chance which is high up on my list of tropes I don’t like. But there are instances where Secret Baby isn’t really a Second Chance.
First example, the hockey romance Scoring Off the Ice by Stacey Lynn, has a secret baby but the baby isn’t from the female love interest in the book, instead it is from a hook up the guy had. While it is a surprise/secret baby it is the perfect catalyst to bring these two together. Stuck Up Suit by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward is another example of a secret baby that is not the female love interest but instead causes issues within the relationship adding some drama and levity to the relationship. While in Scoring, the baby is left on the doorstep so to speak, causing a very naive hockey player to pull himself together and care for a baby. In Stuck Up the male lead finds out that his ex-fiancé, who left him for his best friend, was pregnant with his child. This causes the Male lead to rethink him pursuing any romantic relationship period.
Wrong by Jana Aston is another great example of a secret baby that isn’t really a second chance. In the story college student Sophia has a one-night stand with a guy who she has been flirting with that comes into the coffee shop she works at. She never really has a relationship or learns much about her one-night stand, but she comes face to face with him at a doctor’s appointment at the student health center when she thinks she might be pregnant.
Dirty Secret from Emma Hart is another well done Secret Baby but is in fact a second chance. Life and circumstance are what kept the love interests a part. While the female lead to keep the baby a secret it wasn’t because the guy had done something to hurt her or anything. She kept the baby a secret because his life was no longer his own as he had become a Rockstar and she didn’t want to be a part of a scandal.
Secret Baby doesn’t always have to be the main trope of the book, such as the Duke and I by Julia Quinn. Daphne keeps her pregnancy a secret knowing that it is going to upset Simon. Whitney’s pregnancy in Whitney, My Love, causes Clayton to doubt his wife and creates stress within their marriage.
I always feel like the added drama from a secret baby brings another perspective to look at life and relationship. It can sometimes be life affirming or the catalyst needed to push the relationship. Sometimes a pregnancy or secret baby can be impactful to the story line even when a pregnancy ends in miscarriage. I think that for me these scenarios humanize the characters. Their responses are automatic and sometimes thought provoking. I think more than anything I feel like babies/kids can bring out the best and the worst in the characters. I think that sometimes it shows their fierce protective instinct or the softer side of themselves, especially the overtly alpha males.
All Tropes have a downside and my friend Sadie over at https://sadiehope7.wixsite.com/literaryillusions will share all her thoughts on why Secret baby is the worst, in her opinion.