14 Best Romance Books With The Marriage In Trouble Trope

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Love is complicated, and so are marriages. Breakdown in communication, unmet expectations, and outside forces can all contribute to a relationship in trouble. If you need a reminder that ‘for better or worse’ still stands true, look no further than the best romance books with the marriage in trouble trope. 

From emotional reads like the New York Times Bestseller All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover to heartbreakingly honest stories like Before I Let Go by Kennedy Ryan, these books show that sometimes a little bit of soul-searching and understanding can help reignite the spark and make a marriage better than ever. 

Let’s take a look at some of the top titles and explore the beauty of facing marriage difficulties head-on. So get ready to curl up with a good read as we dive into the fourteen best romance books with the marriage-in-trouble trope.

Before I Let Go by Kennedy Ryan

Yasmen and Josiah had a perfect life together until tragedy came in and destroyed everything. Even though their love for each other had not waned, Yasmen knew she needed to part from Josiah to heal and, ultimately, learn to love herself again. 

Despite divorcing, Yasmen and Josiah remain deeply intertwined. As they co-parent their two children and continue to work together in their business, their bond is undeniable, and it soon becomes impossible to ignore. 

Before I Let Go is an emotionally charged story of second chances and self-healing following the heartbreaking journey of two people who must part ways to find themselves – and each other – anew. 

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Retrieval by Aly Martinez

When Elisabeth and Roman’s marriage took a turn for the worse, the couple’s heartbreaks compounded until their relationship finally reached its breaking point — divorce. But two years later, the pain of their split still lingers, and neither has been able to find closure. 

Then their paths cross again, this time with a different dynamic. Their conversations are not mired by the conflict and tension that plagued their marriage, and both come to realize that it may not be too late for them. To make things work a second time, though, they must confront their issues head-on and learn how to deal with the obstacles life throws their way.

Love and loss, redemption and second chances – Retrieval has it all! If you’re searching for a heart-wrenching romance novel that will leave you teary-eyed and moved, this is the perfect book for you. Get ready for a roller coaster of emotions!

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For Lucy by Jewel E. Ann

Tatum Bradshaw’s life took an unexpected turn when a case of mistaken identity led her on a blind date with the wrong man—but that mistake soon became anything but. Nearly twelve years later, the once happily married couple is no more after a series of tragedies shattered the foundation of their marriage and left behind irreparable damage. 

Now Emmett must put his daughter first—Even if that means watching as his wife falls into the arms of another.

Prepare to be emotionally gutted with For Lucy, a second-chance romance that will make your heart ache in the best way. Whether you are a hopeless romantic or a sucker for tragedy, this heartbreakingly beautiful story won’t let you down.

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After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Falling in love is easy, but staying in love isn’t always a breeze. For Lauren and Ryan, the challenge of maintaining the spark in their marriage proves too great, pushing them to take an unconventional step and live separately with zero contact and the ability to seek out relationships with others for a year. 

But the question remains: Will this break save their marriage—or will it be the final goodbye? 

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s After I Do is a stunning novel that delves into the complex realities of marriage. Following a couple who have reached a point in their relationship where they must separate and rediscover themselves to save their marriage, this gripping romance is a must-read for anyone looking to explore the troubles that can arise in a marriage. With its breathtakingly honest portrayal, this is one of the best books on marriage trouble to add to your bookshelf.

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All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

Quinn and Graham never expected to find love in the midst of their struggles. But fate had other plans, and soon their lives were intertwined in an unlikely tale of happily-ever-after. Though their love story seems too perfect to be real, it’s ultimately put to the test – threatening to unravel their perfect love and tear them apart.

Colleen Hoover’s All Your Perfects is a beautifully heartbreaking story of love, self-destruction, pain and hope. Emotionally honest and utterly captivating, this heart-wrenching novel is sure to be remembered as one of Hoover’s finest works. Readers who indulge in this powerful journey of healing and redemption will not be disappointed.

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Method by Kate Stewart

Mila’s life changed in an instant when she met Hollywood A-lister Lucas Walker. They fell in love, married, and enjoyed six blissful years together. But the news of Lucas’s best friend’s untimely death sent their lives into a tailspin. Grief-stricken, Lucas threw himself into his latest role, unaware of the difficulties it would cause him, Mila, and their marriage. 

Mila always knew the sacrifices Lucas made for his craft and the time he dedicated to it. But nothing could have prepared her for the hardships that came with his new project.

Method is an intense, raw, and highly readable celebrity romance. It exquisitely captures the complexities of friendship, love, and marriage, with a heartbreaking portrayal of the struggles that can arise. Readers won’t be able to put down this beautiful story.

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Marriage Next Time by Christina C. Jones

When Denver and Kensa said, “I do,” they thought their vows would last a lifetime. But somewhere along the way, the cracks in their relationship started to become irreparable. Now, Kensa has determined that divorce is her only option – only Denver is refusing to accept it. His solution? Kidnapping Kensa and hauling her away to an island where they can try to fix their marriage.

Marriage Next Time is the perfect blend of romance and emotion for readers who adore the ‘marriage in trouble’ trope. With its captivating plot and complex characters, this novella will keep readers turning the pages until the very last sentence. 

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Heartbreak Warfare by Heather M. Orgeron and Kate Stewart

Deploying for her second tour in Afghanistan, medic Katy Scott dreads leaving her husband and four-year-old son behind. But when she meets the charismatic, witty infantryman Chris Briggs, she never suspects the terror that awaits: captivity. Together the two form an unbreakable bond as they bravely endure their imprisonment. Yet challenges still lie ahead – for when the two return home, their greatest battle begins.

Heartbreak Warfare is an unforgettable masterpiece from Heather M. Orgeron and Kate Stewart, sure to break your heart and scatter the pieces on a battlefield of emotion. An intense and mesmerizing tale, this book will captivate readers with its unforgettable characters and story.

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Marriage Games by C.D. Reiss

Diana Steinbeck, heiress and President of a publishing house, just asked her husband for a divorce. Little did she know that this decision would set in motion a game she never expected to play—one that will test her boundaries and force her to let go of her inhibitions.

Adam Steinbeck’s marriage is quickly unraveling and he’s determined not to let it crumble. To give himself and his wife, Diana, a chance at salvaging their relationship, he’s taking her to a secluded cabin for 30 days to shed the persona he has been wearing for the past five years and reveal what’s underneath. 

The only problem? 

It may be too late. 

Marriage Games is a tantalizing second-chance erotic romance with sultry BDSM scenes, powerful emotional moments, and unforgettable characters. Get ready for an unforgettable ride of passionate, intense love.

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Letters to Molly by Devney Perry

Molly and Finn were head-over-heels in love once—six years ago. Now they are divorced and living separate lives, connected only by their kids. But when Molly discovers a letter in her mailbox, written during the early days of their romance, she is left questioning Finn’s intentions. To her surprise, it was not from Finn at all. But then another arrives, leaving her and Finn wondering who is unearthing their past. 

Experience the breathtaking journey of forgiveness, unconditional love, and healing in Devney Perry’s poignant romance novel, Letters to Molly. A stunning second-chance love story, this masterpiece will captivate readers and paint a vivid portrait of the transformative power of love.

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You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

With mere months to go until her nuptials, Naomi Westfield has a problem: she can’t stand her fiancé! Between the $10,000 wedding dress nightmare and her hostile future mother-in-law, Naomi’s at her wit’s end. Despite the strong desire to call off the wedding, she has a plan to drive her soon-to-be husband away—a prank so outrageous that he won’t be able to take it. 

It’s a battle of wills and Naomi refuses to be the losing party in this game of marital chicken.

You’ll be in stitches with Sarah Hogle’s debut standalone, You Deserve Each Other! This enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy, brimming with hilarious dialogue and a snarky heroine, is one of the best books you could add to your list.

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Written in the Scars by Adriana Locke

Once upon a time, Elin and Ty Whitt were hopelessly in love—but now, they’re miles apart. Read their story to learn how they got there.

Heartbreaking, honest, and emotional, Written in the Scars is a powerful romance from Adriana Locke that revolves around the tumultuous journey of a couple on the brink of walking away from their marriage and each other. As one of the best second-chance romance books with the marriage in trouble trope, you cannot go wrong with this poignant masterpiece. 

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Ghosted by J.M. Darhower

Kennedy Garfield, a single mother struggling to make ends meet, never expected A-list Hollywood star Jonathan Cunningham – the father of her daughter – to come back into her life. That all changes with his next job. Set to film in New York, Kennedy is torn between apprehension and hope. 

As the king of the tabloids, Jonathan is no stranger to controversy and scandal. But when he finds out where the next film in the superhero franchise will be shot, he knows it is time to revisit the girl he left behind. What he soon discovers is that he left behind not just one girl, but two. 

Ah, second chance romance…the stuff of heart-thumping dreams! If you’re a hopeless romantic looking for a swoon-worthy story with children in the mix, add Ghosted to your list. This small town romance book is the perfect choice for readers who crave relationships in trouble, surprise kids, and happily ever afters. Get ready to be swept away!

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Happy Place by Emily Henry

In Emily Henry’s highly-anticipated new release Happy Place, a group of friends return to their happy place for one last hoorah but unbeknownst to all but two, the trip will be far from happy. 

Harriet and Wyn are doing their best to keep their break-up a secret from their best friends, even if it means continuing their decade-long tradition of vacationing in the Maine cottage while pretending they’re still together. It’s a brilliant plan—or so they think. After all, who would suspect that the seemingly perfect couple would be anything different?

Happy Place may not revolve around a marriage on the rocks, but it undoubtedly encapsulates the trope, especially when considering Harriet and Wyn’s deteriorating relationship and decision to break up. 

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