Today, I’m highlighting fathers in romance books. But more specifically, single dads. For many, a father has different meanings. A dad doesn’t always mean that he is someone who is biologically related to their kid. Everyone can put a different meaning to the word “dad,” and that’s okay. Overall, a dad is always there for you when you need him the most, and, in this list, you’ll be able to find some of the best single dads in romances.
Nowadays, the single dad trope is very popular in the romance genre. There’s just something about a single dad and his kid falling for someone who complements them so perfectly. One popular dynamic right now is when the single dad hires a nanny to care for his kid. Maybe it’s the forbidden aspect of the relationship or the forced proximity that it creates, but it’s not a surprise that authors and readers can’t get enough of it.
Maybe part of the reason single dad romances are so popular has to do with Pedro Pascal’s career. With his current roles in shows like The Mandalorian (2019-) and The Last of Us (2023-), the word “dad” has taken on a whole different meaning. Pascal has starred as characters, often charmingly grumpy, who have crossed paths with a lonely kid on a journey of their own. And through the episodes, we see him breaking down those walls and caring for these kids. As I mentioned before, a dad can be someone who takes on the role of caretaker, regardless of whether they are related by blood. And Pascal shows this in these timely stories that we can’t help but adore.
In this article, I wanted to give you a little bit of everything — books that range from nannies working for the summer to brothers who take on the parent role for their siblings.
The Brightest Light of Sunshine by Lisina Coney
This is an enchanting slow-burn romance between a ballet teacher and the tattoo shop owner she can’t stop thinking about.
The Brightest Light of Sunshine is, well… rays of sunshine in book form. It’s heartwarming, sweet, and reaches the deepest part of your heart. It follows Grace who is trying to walk away from a traumatic experience, but that’s easier said than done. During this process, she meets Cal, a tattooed, but sweet man who is currently taking care of his 4-year-old sister.
You Had Me At Hola by Alexis Daria
Soap opera darling Jasmine has just been dumped in a very public way. This creates a chain of events — more specifically, her whole face is suddenly everywhere. She’s on every cover of a magazine, but not in a good way.
Now she has the opportunity of a lifetime to star in a new TV show that could catapult her to stardom. All she has to do is avoid bad publicity. When she meets her co-star, telenovela star and single father Ashton Suárez, everything quickly changes. Their chemistry is off the charts and it’s impossible to deny what they’re currently feeling.
The Bombshell Effect by Karla Sorensen
For fans of Ted Lasso and It Happened One Summer, The Bombshell Effect will provide a magnificent sports romance about an influencer who returns home after her estranged father has passed. She finds out he has left the ownership of his professional football team to her.
But Allie and Luke don’t start on the right foot when they meet. Her being his new neighbor and his new boss definitely makes this single father have some complicated feelings. Especially because, in between, he finds that he is badly attracted to her.
The Replacements by Shae Sanders
The Replacements is a workplace romance that will instantly enchant you with its characters and story arc. Shae Sanders introduces soon-to-be-divorced Savannah, who is looking for a job, and grumpy CEO Taurus, who needs an assistant. You can guess what will happen next…Taurus is also recently divorced and has a daughter.
Funny Feelings by Tarah DeWitt (October 17)
DeWitt initially released her sophomore novel in 2022. Right now, you’ll have to wait until October to get a republished paperback, but you can read the ebook right away.
This book is about a stand-up comedian who wants to make it big, but when an opportunity to work alongside some of her idols comes along, she must pretend to date her manager — who also happens to be a very famous stand-up comedian himself — in order to create excitement around the new TV special. The love interest, Meyer, retired from stand-up to raise his young Deaf daughter.
The Lights on Knockbridge Lane by Roan Parrish
This is a touching, sweet holiday romance filled with new beginnings and a chance at love. The Lights on Knockbridge Lane follows single dad Adam Mills who only wants to make his daughter happy. Right now, what would make her happy is to have all the Christmas lights this season. So, Adam quickly gets to work on it. Their cute neighbor might be able to help them out as well, transforming this season into something wonderful.
Heartless by Elsie Silver
When you need a nanny for the summer, what do you do? Ask your brother’s fiancé for help. And when her best friend walks through your doors, the only thing left to do is to fall in love.
Get ready to completely adore Heartless, a small-town romance that has heart and depth but also a little bit of steam. Elsie Silver continues to make us fall in love with these cowboys and their happily-ever-afters.
Match With the Demon by Chace Verity
Do you want to read a cozy monster romance? Verity resumes their Loved by the Demon series with this third little novella, and I’m pretty sure that when you’re done, you will want to reread them all.
Harisson has just become an empty nester, so he’s decided to get back into the dating scene. When he matches with a handsome guy, Harrison believes he’s getting catfished. And he is, in a way. But not as he thought. Because Lazlo is handsome, but he’s actually not human at all.
Single Dads Club by Therese Beharrie
When an ex-heiress and a single dad meet, sparks fly!
This adorable read is ideal for summer days. Beharrie returns with a fantastic, timely read about a single dad who’s searching for a safe place for his kid and a former heiress who wants to help them in any way that she can. Soon, single dad Rowan starts to wonder if maybe Delilah might take a chance on him and his little family too.
Someone Seeking Someone Else by Nicole Falls
Find an old-school romance in this wholesome title about a woman who tries her hand at dating, but instead of using a dating app, she puts an ad in her hometown newspaper, hoping for a chance at love. She never expected a charming single dad to answer her call.
What starts as an ad in a paper soon turns into a pen pal relationship between two people who find themselves falling for the unexpected.
These single dad romances are going to make you immediately swoon from the very first page. And if you’re looking for more trope-tastic romance novels, like marriage of convenience, enemies to lovers, or bodyguard romances, there are so many swoony books out there that can fit your current mood.