Father’s Day is Sunday, so it feels right to make today’s #TBT post all about the dads. There’s a whole trope of books filed under “Single Dads” in my reading log naturally, I’ll share some of those with you. But, I would be remiss if I left out the other types of dads, you know the ones…Daddys and Fathers. Oh yeah, I’m totally going there!
Kristen Ashley has a way with nicknames, her particular brand of alpha men have sent the term “Babe” to sky-high levels of sexy. I mean, only Kristen Ashley can have a man call his woman “Buddy” and get away with it. (Full disclosure, she did not get away with “Buddy” for me, nothing kills a lady boner faster than the man making your toes curl calling you Buddy…I have very few hard limits in reading. but buddy talk is unacceptable – I said what I said, Joe Callahan.) Alas, this is a post about Daddys and no one demands a Daddy moniker like Knight Sebring. Knight is the first book in her Unfinished Hero series, and as the series title implies, these guys are the ultimate in anti-hero goodness. The man is a pimp, and yet, we are all okay with that! He is very, ummm, exacting in the bedroom and the first time he made our heroine Anya call him Daddy, I am pretty sure my eyebrows climbed up well into my hairline. Knight, like every “Unfinished Hero” deftly skirts the line between good and evil, he is as ruthless as he is devoted to the women in his life. He’s a pimp for a reason, the poor man comes to the table with enough baggage to impress the finest Louis Vuitton hoarder. This was my first experience with the “Daddy” phenomenon, and I didn’t hate it.
One of my all-time favorite series is Janet Chapman’s Highlanders. This series has everything I love in a romance. Hello, Highlanders, time travel, a magical Druid priest that’s crazy like a fox, strong, intelligent women, stick a fork in me, I’m done! The Highlander series starts with Charming the Highlander. In a fabulous twist on time travel, a warring band of Highlanders are transported by a magical priest from the battlefield of medieval yore, to present (early 2000s) on a lightning bolt. Yeah, there’s going to be some serious jetlag and catch up to contend with for these unsuspecting fellas. Book one sets the stage and introduces us to the child that is the core of my single dad recommendation. “Baby” as he’s called through this book, is the child of one of our relocated Highlanders. No spoilers, I’m not telling you who the daddy is but you’ll get his full story in book three, Wedding the Highlander. Wedding the Highlander is one of my faves in this series because we understand the gamut of emotions, the shock of being thrust forward in time, falling in love, losing that love, experiencing the pain of that loss all over again when you discover your child and eventually allowing love back into your life. I love it so much, our hero genuinely feels all alone in his single dad journey. Chapman will break your heart and build it back stronger.
In a stroke of single dad co-parenting relationship genius, Karen Booth tosses the old acrimonious clichés away with Eamon MacWard. Secrets of a [Somewhat] Sunny Girl is a second chance romance between Eamon and Katherine – they had a brief, but passionate affair in their early 20s but ended up going their separate ways. More than a decade later, and with plenty of life experiences under their belts, they meet again. Eamon is a divorced, single dad that co-parents with a kind and understanding ex. In true Karen Booth form, Eamon is a rockstar, there are many instances where she could’ve taken this story into the tried and true cliché of rockstar indiscretions and ego volatility. Eamon and his ex-wife do a remarkable job parenting this wonderfully well-adjusted child. Our second chance heroine, Katherine has to navigate her new role in this child’s world as well. The story is the stuff of fantasy but is so well done, it rings with realistic hope.
Someone to Love is the second book in Donna Alward’s Darling, VT series. Ethan Gallagher is a taciturn and oh so damaged widower with two sweet but very busy little boys. Ethan pledged his love on the famous Kissing Bridge the Darling, VT series is built around. Lore says kissing your special someone on this bridge promises a lifetime of love and happiness. Ethan has been there, trusted that and lost in the most final of ways so to say he’s closed off to all emotions except anger is an understatement. The poor man is helplessly lost in the dark until a bright light of goodness and joy named Willow. One of the reasons this book works so well for me is, both main characters are equally damaged from their pasts. They both struggle to trust and to move on from deeply scarring incidents that irrevocably altered their souls. I think Alward does a remarkable job portraying the grief and loneliness Ethan experiences as he raises his boys. Loneliness, even though he is surrounded by a large, loud, and loving family that supports him unconditionally. This book is trope heavy: small town, single dad, opposites attract, enemies to lovers – it’s all in there, and it is glorious.
A #TBT list centered around the different types of Dads would be a sad list if it neglected to mention the Father of all Fathers, Father Marcus Stearns…Soren if you’re nasty. Tiffany Reisz’s Original Sinners series isn’t just a story, it’s a journey, a strange and twisted ride that will leave an indelible mark on your soul. Soren isn’t just a priest – the Father to his flock of parishioners, he’s a scary af Dom, he’s a sadist, he’s the smartest, tallest, most wintery scented man in the room. He also becomes a secret dad as the journey plays out. The man is a walking, talking, piano playing dichotomy that defies explanation. Soren is the most unconventional but ultimate father figure if you’re willing to take a crazy ride through the Original Sinner series of Tiffany Reisz.