I was fortunate enough to spend yesterday, Mother’s Day, with my mom–truly the best mom and grandmother I could imagine. Until she retired at 79, she was a children’s librarian. We were talking about moms in books for kids–both of us think the best mothering is done by the mom in The Runaway Bunny–and it got me thinking about moms in romance.

There are, especially in contemporary romance, a lot of mom heroines, often single, but I can’t think of any that stand out to me right now. The moms I recall with pleasure are almost always secondary leads, often in historical romance or in Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ novels.

Tessa, the mom of Ainsley, the hero in Lorraine Heath’s Waking Up With The Duke, is wonderful. Not only does she help her son and the woman he loves find their way to happiness, she has her own poignant love story that concludes with her proposing to her much younger lover. She’s divine.

In Sherry Thomas’ Private Arrangements, Victoria Roland, the heroine’s (Gigi) mom, is the bomb. She successfully wins a Duke of her own and her relationship with her estranged son-in-law Camden is wonderful. I adore this scene where the Duke of Perrin has proposed to her:

You want me to exert myself further. Well then, seducing a woman should be right up my alley, if only I could remember how. Now, do I kiss you before I lie with you or only afterward?”

She summoned a pinch of mock outrage. “As I said before, what a sheltered life you’ve led, Your Grace. It is both. I’m shocked—shocked, I say—that you do not know better.”

We should all be so quick on our feet!

Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ books often have stand-out moms. My favorites are April from Natural Born Charmer and Lilly from This Heart of Mine. Both begin the book alienated from their adult sons, the heroes, and both earn the respect and love of their boys–and this reader–in moving ways. And both get their own hard fought HEAs.

What moms in romance do you love? And why?