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Colleen Hoover has taken over the NY Times Best Seller, Tiktok, and everything. Even though Colleen’s books are sometimes categorized as romance because there may be sex in them, to be honest, her books are more Women’s Fiction with a secondary love story as a plot.
If you are looking for a high-stakes, emotional book that features a marriage in crisis, then you must add All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover.
In this post, we are doing a deep dive on marriage in trouble romance tropes, and we will share 20 book recommendations on books like All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover. These twenty book recommendations feature emotionally angsty books that will satiate your needs to have your heart torn apart by witnessing these couples’ journeys.
ABOUT MARRIAGE IN TROUBLE ROMANCE TROPE
Marriage in trouble romance books features a high-stakes emotional rollercoaster. The couple has a shared history. However, due to issues within the relationship, their happily ever after is on the rocks, and they are on the verge of divorce.
COMMON THEMES WITHIN MARRIAGE IN TROUBLE TROPE
When an author needs to up the emotional stakes in a book, there is nothing quite like marriage in crisis to do the trick. The emotional fallout from infidelity is devastating and can lead to broken relationships or at least broken trust.
This trope can come in the form of a love triangle, where one of the main characters may not k know who they will pick up in the end.
Sometimes the couple struggles to conceive, which causes stress in the relationship. There are quite a few books that feature infertility issues.
The couple may have fallen out of love, whether they grew apart or had some sort of miscommunication. As they are on the verge of divorce, a situation arises that they may come together, and in the process, they end up falling in love again.
Their imperfect marriage threatens Quinn and Graham’s, perfect love. The memories, mistakes, and secrets they have built up over the years are tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair.
All Your Perfects is a profound novel about a damaged couple whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. This heartbreaking page-turner asks: Can a deep love with a perfect beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?
BOOKS LIKE ALL YOUR PERFECTS BY COLLEEN HOOVER I MARRIAGE IN TROUBLE RECOMMENDATIONS
Trope: Cheating, Amnesia
This book is available on Kindle Unlimited
Forget Me Not features a couple about to get divorced because the male main character cheated. An accident leaves the male main character in the hospital with amnesia. He only remembers their marriage and love for each other. The male main character doesn’t understand what happened. This is an angsty book that will rip your heart apart.
The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club.
Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw in their strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better.
Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.
Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coached Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back his wife’s trust.
The Bromance Book Club features strong male friendships as they work through their relationship problems by reading romance novels.
Rosie and Dominic Vega are the perfect couple: high school sweethearts, best friends, and madly in love. Well, they used to be, anyway. Now Rosie’s lucky to get a caveman grunt from the ex-soldier every time she walks in the door. Dom is faithful and a great provider, but the man she fell in love with ten years ago is nowhere to be found. When her girlfriends encourage Rosie to demand more out of life and pursue her dream of opening a restaurant, she decides to demand more out of love, too. Three words: marriage boot camp.
Never in a million years did Rosie believe her stoic, too-manly-to-emote husband would agree to relationship rehab with a weed-smoking hippie. Is Dom talking about feelings? Sitting on pillows? Communing with nature? Learning love languages? Nope. But to her surprise, he’s all in, and it forces her to admit her role in their cracked foundation. As they complete one ridiculous—yet surprisingly helpful—assignment after another, their remodeled relationship gets stronger. Except just as they’re getting back on track, Rosie discovers Dom has a secret… and it could demolish everything.
Buckle up for an emotional journey of hijinks, heartache, and a hot slow-burn in this marriage-in-crisis romance about going the distance to make love last.
I’ve spent twelve years loving Freya Bergman, and twelve lifetimes won’t be enough to give her everything she deserves. She’s my passionate, tender-hearted wife, and my best friend, and all I want is to make her happy. But the one thing that will make her happiest is the one thing I’m not sure I can give her: a baby.
With the pressure of providing and planning for a family, my anxiety’s at an all-time high, and I find myself pulling away, terrified to tell my wife how I’m struggling. But when Freya kicks me out, I realize that pulling back has turned into pushing too far. Now it’s the fight of a lifetime to save our marriage.
I love my cautious, hard-working husband. He’s my partner and best friend, the person I know I can count on most. Until one day, I realized the man I married was nowhere to be found. Now Aiden is quiet and withdrawn, and as the months wear on, the pain of our growing distance becomes too much.
As if weathering marriage counseling wasn’t enough, we’re thrown together for an island getaway to celebrate my parents’ many years of perfect marriage while ours is on the brink of collapse. Despite my meddling siblings and a week in each other’s constant company, this trip somehow gets us working through the trouble in paradise. I just can’t help worrying, when we leave paradise and return to the real world, will trouble to find us again?
Ever After Always is a marriage-in-crisis, opposites-attract romance about a sensitive, fierce-loving woman and her resilient husband with anxiety disorder. Complete with island vacation antics, a sibling prank gone wrong, and a steamy slow burn, this standalone is the third in a series of novels about a Swedish-American family of five brothers and two sisters, and their wild adventures each find happily ever after.
What He Doesn’t Know by Kandi Steiner (Best Kept Secrets Duet)
Trope: Love Triangle
My husband doesn’t want me anymore.
The first man I ever loved is back in town and would do anything to have me.
Torn apart by grief, my marriage has been slowly crumbling for years now. I know my caring, loving husband is still there somewhere, but he’s hidden by the shell of a man who has replaced him since the day our lives were turned upside down.
I can handle the lack of affection.
I can hold onto our vows even as he breaks them one by one.
But when Reese comes back into town to teach at the school I work at, I find I can’t hide my pain from the boy I grew up with.
He sees right through me, down to the bone, and he won’t accept my pathetic attempts to tell him that I’m fine.
He won’t accept anything but having me for his own.
The man I married, or the man I lost.
That’s the choice I have to make.
And if I can’t decide, I’ll lose them both.
What He Doesn’t Know is an intoxicating love triangle with heart-stopping angst and unexpected turns that will leave you riveted.
The Best Kept Secrets series is composed of three books. Here is a list of books in the series:
Their love was supposed to last forever. But when life delivered blow after devastating blow, Yasmen and Josiah Wade found that love alone couldn’t solve or save everything.
It couldn’t save their marriage.
Yasmen wasn’t prepared for how her life fell apart, but she is finally starting to find joy again. She and Josiah have found a new rhythm, co-parenting their two kids and running a thriving business together. Yet like magnets, they’re always drawn back to each other, and now they’re beginning to wonder if they’re truly ready to let go of everything they once had.
Soon, one stolen kiss leads to another…and then more. It’s hot. It’s illicit. It’s all good—until old wounds reopen. Is it too late for them to find forever? Or could they even be better the second time around?
Trope: After years of marriage, this couple is taking a break. This book is more about Women’s Fiction rather than romance.
When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they devise an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.
Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, her healing process, and the challenges of living apart from Ryan change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: What do you value when you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage when love and lust are no longer tied together? What are you willing to fight for?
This is a love story about what happens when love fades. It’s about staying in love, seizing, forsaking, and committing to love with everything you’ve got. And above all, After I Do is the story of a couple caught up in an old game—and searching for a new road to happily ever after.
Trope: Rockstar romance after a whirlwind marriage
After a whirlwind romance, a man with a painful past learns to trust the musician who makes him believe in happy endings.
Matt Argento knows what it feels like to be alone. After a childhood of abandonment, he never imagined someone might love him—much less someone like Rhys Nyland, who has the voice of an angel, the looks of a god, and the worship of his fans.
Matt and Rhys come from different worlds, but their chemistry is incendiary when they meet. Their romance is unexpected, intense, and forever—at least, that’s what their vows promise. Suddenly, Matt lives a life he never thought possible: safe and secure in the arms of a man who feels at home. But when Rhys leaves to go on tour for his new album, Matt finds himself haunted by the ghosts of his past.
When Rhys returns, he finds Matt twisted by doubt. But Rhys loves Matt fiercely, and he’ll go to hell and back to triumph over Matt’s fears. After secrets are revealed and desires are confessed, Rhys and Matt must learn to trust each other if they make it. That means they have to fall in love all over again—and this time, it will be forever.
Trope: In a Rut
Nate and Liv have a great life together, but they miss the spontaneity and freedom they enjoy early in their romance. Careers and their children have inevitably kept them busy, so when Nate discovers Liv is feeling disconnected from him, he plans an anniversary trip to the idyllic seaside town of Hartwell, Delaware. He hopes they will have the opportunity they’ve been craving–a chance to reinvent themselves and fall in love all over again.
Each day comes to a new adventure, from a wedding crashing at the five-star boardwalk hotel to pretending they are two strangers having a chance encounter at the boardwalk bar. During this daring, sexually-charged game of romantic rediscovery, Nate and Liv discover the only constant they need is each other.
Want to see how this couple gets together? Then you must read Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha Young. This is my favorite book in the series, featuring lessons in seductions among best friends.
Trope: Loveless marriage
This book is available on Kindle Unlimited
\Delicate, titian-haired Theresa Noble has met her father’s associates in the past, but the gorgeous, Italian-born Sandro De Lucci leaves her speechless. Eighteen months into their marriage, however, Sandro has turned to ice. Desperate to escape a relationship that has proven to be as stubbornly passionate as it is cold and hateful, Theresa summons up the courage to ask for a divorce. But before he grants her request, Sandro demands something from Theresa: a son.
The stalemate sickens her. Never mind that Sandro has yet to introduce Theresa to the large family that means so much to him. Or that Theresa overhears her husband on the phone with a mystery woman. Most damning is that Theresa senses, in Sandro’s treatment of her, the behind-the-scenes machinations of Jackson Noble, her cruel father. From the depths of her anxiety, Theresa must seek an empowering truth about the husband who calls her, with such cold affection, his cara, his beloved.
Trope: Marriage of Convenience, and they choose to get divorced.
This book is only available via Paperback or Audio.
Ten years ago, I married my brother’s best friend. I haven’t seen him since.
Charlotte Spencer grew up on the blue-blooded Upper East Side of Manhattan, but she never wanted the sit-still-look-pretty future her parents dictated. Enter Colin Walsh, her brother’s quiet, brooding, man-bun-sporting best friend, and with him, a chance to escape. He’s far from Charlotte’s dream guy, but they need each other for one thing: marriage. One courthouse wedding later, Charlotte’s inheritance is hers to start a business in San Francisco, and Irish-born Colin has a green card.
Ten years later, Colin drops a bombshell: The terms of their prenup state that they have to live under the same roof for three months before they can file for divorce.
Suddenly, this match made in practicality is about to take on a whole new meaning…
Trope: Second Chance Romance, Miscommunication
Sometimes it’s what you don’t say that can change everything…
Isabel Winton had planned to spend the last few days of her marriage at her vacation home, intending to reflect, regroup…or maybe just do some solitary sulking. Instead, she collides with her almost-ex, Paul, who has the same idea. Too stubborn to leave, Isabel figures this is a chance for them to get some closure. But she’s astonished that months apart have transformed her emotionally aloof husband into “Paul 2.0,” more open than ever before.
Paul was blindsided when Isabel left him. He had no idea she felt he was more committed to his career than to their marriage. With his new, hard-won self-awareness, he blames himself for letting her walk away. But winning her back will take more than simple words. It’ll mean finding the courage to grow, to trust, and grab a second chance at life by each other’s side.
Unspoken is part of the Start-Up in the City series by Kelly Rimmer. The three books in the series are as follows:
Trope: Amnesia. The unspeakable tragedy shakes the relationship to the core.
This book series is available on Kindle Unlimited.
Carian Cole unapologetically pulls out all the feels in this romance! Reading this book will ask yourself if you would stay committed to your spouse in the face of unspeakable tragedy. And would they stay committed to you?
I should have died.
I should have forgotten.
But I didn’t, and I wasn’t.
Living the life most women only dream about, I was madly in love with my soulmate—Asher Valentine—amazing husband, loving father, and rock’s favorite kick-ass frontman. A man who loved me every day, in every way, since we first met as teens. We were blessed with a beautiful daughter who was the light of our life. My all-female rock band was tearing up the charts.
Then tragedy struck, and I lost it all.
Now I have a stack of journals, an antique key, and a big black void where my memories should be.
Used to be.
And I have him—this man with wild hair, tattoos from head to toe, a soft voice, and an even softer touch that gives me butterflies. He’s hopelessly in love with his wife.
I’m told that’s me.
But that wife is gone; she took everything they once had, leaving me in her place. A broken replacement. A new version that doesn’t quite fit. I’m slowly falling in love with him, but will he ever truly love me? Or will he forever be in love with her, the phantom woman who haunts us?
Asher is part of the Ashes and Embers series. This is a six-book series, and here is the list as follows:
Trope: Miscommunication, Hate to Lovers
When your nemesis is also your fiancé, happily ever after becomes much more complicated in this wickedly funny, lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy debut.
Naomi Westfield has the perfect fiancé: Nicholas Rose holds doors open for her, remembers her restaurant orders, and comes from the kind of upstanding society family any bride would love to be a part of. They never fight. They’re preparing for their lavish wedding that’s three months away. And she is miserably and utterly sick of him.
Naomi wants out, but there’s a catch: whoever ends the engagement will have to foot the nonrefundable wedding bill. When Naomi discovers that Nicholas has been feigning contentment, the two go head-to-head in a battle of pranks, sabotage, and all-out emotional warfare.
But with the countdown looming to the wedding that may or may not come to pass, Naomi finds her resolve to slip. Because now that they have nothing to lose, they’re finally being themselves—and having fun with the last person they expect: each other.
This book is best to go blind but let’s just say it will take you on an emotional rollercoaster.
This book is available on Kindle Unlimited.
I’m the wrong guy in the right place the night I steal Tatum Bradshaw from another man. When she mistakes me for her blind date, I decide she deserves a man who shows up on time … like me. Emmett Riley, Mr. Punctual.
Once I confess my true identity and convince her I’m not a creep—just a thief—it’s only a matter of time before my sexy smile and quick wit claim her heart, her hand in marriage, and the perfect life.
Unfortunately, perfection is an illusion, like the promises of our wedding vows. No one can prepare for the unimaginable—the heartbreaking exception to all the rules in life.
When thirty seconds destroys everything, I have to find a new existence and keep my promise always to love our daughter, Lucy, the most.
For Lucy, I will keep a secret and watch my wife drift into the arms of another man.
Given a chance… can I reclaim my wife and the pieces of our life?
Trope: Hockey Romance, Second Chance romance among a divorced couple
This book is available on Kindle Unlimited.
They call me the Bad*ss of Hockey.
The Beast of the Northeast.
And I’m not just referring to my stick play on the ice.
As Captain for the Boston Blades, I’ve spent years working toward bringing home the Stanley Cup.
But when the owners sell us out to Hollywood, we’re not just playing for thousands of fans; we’re cracking open our lives on a new reality show, Getting Pucked. They want all the dirty details, and I’d take a puck to the gonads rather than peel back the curtains on my life.
Not when it could take me out of the game for good.
I agree to sign the contract on one condition: they hire New England’s reigning queen of media to call the shots.
Holly Belliveaux Carter.
The woman drives me to insanity and turns me on with nothing but a quirk of her lips and the sound of her laugh. The only woman I’ve ever loved.
She’s my ex-wife.
The Blades Hockey series consists of four books. Here is a list of the books in the series:
Trope: Miscommunication, Historical Romance
In this fresh and hilarious historical rom-com, an estranged husband and wife in Regency England feign accidents and illness in an attempt to gain attention—and maybe just win each other back in the process.
Five years ago, Lady Violet Grey and Lord James Audley met, fell in love, and got married. Four years ago, they had a fight to end all fights, and have barely spoken since.
Their once-passionate love match has been reduced to one of cold, detached politeness. But when Violet receives a letter that James has been thrown from his horse and rendered unconscious at their country estate, she races to be by his side—only to discover him alive and well at a tavern, and completely unaware of her concern. She’s outraged. He’s confused. And the distance between them has never been more apparent.
Wanting to teach her estranged husband a lesson, Violet decides to feign an illness of her own. James quickly sees through it, but he decides to play along in an ever-escalating game of manipulation, featuring actors masquerading as doctors, threats of Swiss sanitariums, faux mistresses—and a lot of flirtation between a husband and wife who might not hate each other as much as they thought. Will the two be able to overcome four years of hurt or will they continue to deny the spark between them?
The Regency Vows series consists of 4 books. Here is a list of books in the series:
Are you a fan of marriage-in-trouble romances? If so, let us know some of your favorite romances within this trope.