I love reading romance epilogues. I adore the cozy feeling of everything settling into its place, the sureness of the couple having overcome the challenges standing in their way. In the epilogue the characters have figured out their life together. Oftentimes epilogues are where you can find the true happily ever after. There’s always some kind of lasting commitment: a new house together, marriage, or, perhaps, even a baby.
When I started writing The Secret Ingredient, I wanted to write a character who already had a very full life. A life that maybe even felt a little too full. A character who didn’t necessarily need that epilogue, but comes to realize how much she wants it. Adah Campbell is a classically trained chef navigating a move to a new town and an intimidating new job. She also has a nine-year-old son who is the light of her life and her number one priority. I was drawn to the idea of writing an enemies-to-lovers book where the competitiveness between the two heroines wasn’t the only obstacle. Sure, Adah is jealous of Beth Summers and her restaurant’s success. But Adah also has to make sure the woman she falls reluctantly in love with can fit into her son’s life, not just her own.
Additionally, I wanted to write a queer romance that highlighted a caring and attentive queer parent. I haven’t read many queer romances with heroes or heroines who are parents, much less single parents.
There are, however, some fantastic romances starring single parents. Here are a few of my favorites.
Maid for Love by Marie Force was one of the first novels I stumbled upon when I started getting seriously into reading and writing romance. I was so drawn to the dynamic between Maddie Chester, a struggling single mom, and wealthy golden boy Mac McCarthy. He doesn’t simply sweep her off her feet. Mac needs to show up and prove to Maddie that he’s worthy of a spot in her family. This is the first in a sprawling family series and the relationship is fun to revisit in subsequent books.
Rafe: A Buff Male Nanny (Loose Ends Book 1) by Rebekah Weatherspoon is an outrageously fun and fluffy read. In the wake of a rough divorce, Dr. Sloan Copeland and her daughters are working to adjust to their new life in LA. When Sloan has to scramble to find a nanny, she ends up with sexy, tattooed, and sensitive Rafe Whitcomb. This book is such a joyful, steamy read with complex and wonderfully likable characters.
Love, All (Camp Firefly Falls) by Tamsen Parker features one of my favorite, carefully rendered depictions of a single parent. When engineer turned tennis instructor Nate Carter and single mom Ruby Hudson share a steamy chance encounter, Ruby doesn’t think she has time for a man in her life. But Nate wants more. I love that Chloe, Ruby’s young daughter, is a fully-realized character in her own right, not simply an afterthought or obstacle.
Untouchable (Ravenswood #2) by Talia Hibbert shines because of the characters. Widowed single father Nate Davis hires Hannah Kabbah, a woman haunted by a past mistake, to work as a live-in nanny for his two children. Naturally, the two of them fall in love. Hannah is relatable and complex and I love the mental health representation in this book.
Title: The Secret Ingredient
Author: KD Fisher
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Imprint: Carina Press (Carina Adores)
On Sale: October 27, 2020
Book Description: Two amazing chefs. Two very different restaurants. One undeniable love.
For single mom Adah Campbell, the executive chef job at a posh restaurant in tiny North Port, Maine is a dream come true—and the perfect opportunity to start over, far away from a home that’s never felt entirely hers. But fitting in has never been easy, and between a new town, a new boss, and the unexpectedly attractive owner of a rival café, things get off to a rocky start.
Never did free-spirited Beth Summers think she’d still be in North Port. Travel the world gathering delicious recipes and finding friends and lovers? Absolutely. Step in to run her family’s small-town café? Not so much. However, once Beth commits to something, that’s it. Soon, The Yellow House is the hottest spot in town, but Beth’s out of energy—and out of ideas for moving forward.
Until Adah Campbell walks into her life, and moving forward suddenly includes making room for a whole new family.
KD Fisher is a queer New England-based writer of authentic, heartfelt LGBTQ+ narratives. KD grew up all over the United States, bouncing from North Carolina to Hawaii to Illinois, and finally settling in Maine where they spend far too much time at the beach.
When KD isn’t writing they can usually be found hiking with their overly enthusiastic dog, obsessing over plants, or cooking elaborate meals. KD loves classic country, perfectly ripe tomatoes, and falling asleep in the sun.
Connect with KD Fisher