Who knew it could be a plot point, but she’s on the run and she’s pregnant. It’s a complication that not even Dr. Spock could have foreseen. But it’s a situation that sometimes pops up (along with that little pink plus sign) in romantic suspense. And since there’s a guidebook for everything, it seems appropriate that there should be one for us readers before we embark on a tale of a heroine with a baby in belly. Without further ado, I present: What to Expect When She’s Expecting in Romantic Suspense.
She's Most Likely on the Run
If it’s a romantic suspense, our heroine is most likely in danger. Not only is her life on the line, but so is the life of the baby that has most recently come on board. Talk about high stress situations! Just when she should living it up and experiencing that pregnancy glow, she’s instead dodging bullets and involved in high-speed car chases. Who needs Lamaze when the mother-to-be has more cause to be hyperventilating?
She Might Have Amnesia
A pregnant amnesiac who’s stumbled into some kind of trouble? Hey, it could happen. Maybe she saw something unbelievably traumatizing and now has a mental block. Or she might have hit her head after fleeing a crime scene she accidentally stumbled upon. If she is operating without the memories of her former life, she’s probably in the dark as to another important matter. Which leads us to all to ask ...
Who's the Daddy?
Now here’s the (belly) rub: The hero of the book may or may not be the father. But don’t worry; it’s not a situation that requires Maury Povich and a paternity test. There are some simple solutions to the baby-daddy dilemma:
1. The hero of the book is the father. He and the heroine had a steamy affair, but they somehow fell out of touch. Now she’s running to him for protection (*ahem* obviously after the other “protection” had failed).
2. The hero is not the father, but as the story progresses he really wants to be. And that’s what really counts! In these cases, bio-dad is just not in the picture because [insert random reason].
She’s Sporting a Bump
Chances are you’ll come across this scene:
Hero: “Oh my god! They were shooting at you! You’re covered in blood!”
[Eyes drift downward; sees obviously rounded stomach]
Hero: “And oh my god! You’re pregnant!”
A visible baby bump ups the drama. And if the mom is an amnesiac, this will help her remember that she is, in fact, eating for two. Advanced stages of pregnancy are the norm.
Those Bad Guys are Really Bad
We turn to suspense when we want a little thrill with our romance, but in these stories you can’t deny that these bad guys are the baddest of the bad. Not only would they probably deny the mom-to-be a seat on the bus (how rude!), but they are actively seeking her demise. They’re just all-around awful people, and that’s putting it mildly.
While pregnancies on the run usually come up more often in Harlequin series titles, there are two novel-length suggestions that feature this fascinating phenomenon:
So, how do you feel about pregnant heroines in romantic suspense novels? Yay or nay? And if you have a title to suggest, please do so in the comments. For more romance check out RT's Everything Romance Page.