And two that might fall out of category as the hero and heroine are already divorced: “Fallen” by Leslie Tentler where the cop hero and trauma surgeon heroine divorced after the death of their child but are still drawn to each other and via their jobs also come in contact again when someone starts targeting cops. This DIK read is an emotional triumph of realism, emotion, and a relationship so right it may ruin you for all characters who have just met. Just as a happily-ever-after marriage is really only one possible positive ending for a romance, escaping an arranged marriage to find true love outside of … Yes We Can! If you want to vote for the Marriage in Trouble Romance, go to the Goodreads list. There is as much sex in most romance novels as there is in Jerry Maguire, Titanic, Match Point, etc. She did just seem to vanish. Seconding this! But when Sean returns to duty and suffers a brain injury, he stops contacting Jenna. He wants to prove he’s changed and win back his family; she’s skeptical and wants to avoid raising false hopes in their two kids. The Fourth Child by C. J. Carmichael 3. (This book was also featured in our Seasoned Romances list). Rend is heart-breaking and deeply emotional but also uplifting, and quite, quite beautiful. Time for a re-read, I think. They lived on a ranch and before the story starts, there young son died in an accident which precipitated the demise of their marriage. Fitz is a particularly interesting character. Unfinished Seductions: A billionaire bad boy marriage in trouble romance (Bad Boy Capital Book 2) 4.5 out of 5 stars (13) Kindle Edition . He’s a Blueblood, she’s a human and, when the novel begins, he wishes he never gave her a second thought. Cheating is a big turn off for me. The list sounds really interesting and I was all set to buy it – then I looked it up at Amazon and they want 10 quid for the Kindle version. I love this series. A fifteen year committed relationship for Evan and Paul is on the rocks as they’ve fallen into a rut (as many couples do) with no clear sense of how to get out of it. Be inspired by this great Christian romance about spouses turning their hearts and focus back to God. Jenna, a midwife on location in a transit camp in Turkey, meets Canadian soldier Sean. With themes of PTSD, courage, resilience and deep abiding love, this is a marriage in trouble story with a realistic and hopeful happy ending. It’s not hero/heroine meets hero/heroine, flirt, court, say I love you. A whirlwind romance ends in a marriage that goes badly wrong in this novel, and the eventual HEA is hard-won. My favorite is also Earth Bound which is just amazing. Like delicate flowers, relationships have a way of dying if not cared for properly. What happens when a quickie marriage gets to the ‘for worse’ part of the vows? In a troubled marriage or troubled relationship story, these characters were in love at some point in the past, but now they’ve hit rough waters. Matt and Rhys have been married for eighteen months and are blissfully happy, but when Rhys – a musician – goes away on tour for a few months, Matt’s deep seated insecurities – never far away – come back to haunt him in full force, and he starts to fall apart. The Greek's Christmas Baby by Lucy Monroe, 11. —Second-Chance Family by Karina Bliss. This lovely Valentine’s themed novella by Kelly Jensen explores the changes that happen naturally in long term partnerships and how to rekindle the romance that brings people together in the first place. Some other troubled marriages that I thought were good: —Play by Karina Bliss, a novella in her Rock Solid series. She’s up against a stubborn Sean, who wants nothing to do with her anymore if he can’t be the happy-go-lucky guy she married. Gunner Sergeant Gunther Duchene and Special Ops Sergeant Macalister Jones have spent twenty-two years keeping their relationship secret. What will they do to keep busy? What’s great about the marriage-in-trouble trope is that is shows people that those problems don’t necessarily mean the end of being in love or the end of a romance. Thirding/fourthing the recs for His at Night as well! This post was originally titled, "Master List of Romantic Conflicts,"… It has been awhile since I read it. ) A very realistic look at how outside family pressures, along with internal issues (such as infertility), can tear down what appears to be a strong, stable partnership. Over the course of the book, the couple’s dreams — of fulfilling jobs, moving to Paris, or simply having a life filled with passion — remain ever out of reach. Separated for a year and on the verge of divorce, Connor and Victoria get a kick-start to their marriage when a night at a party they both attend reveals hidden desires and shatters their illusions of each other. It was very well written. Read 2 299 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Trusting Him To Lead is an inspirational Christian romance about a struggling marriage. To get technical, dark romance books are not romances in the strictest sense of the word. I thought of another one—also by Zoe York and also part of the same Pine Harbor series as LOVE IN A SANDSTORM (mentioned above): LOVE IN A SMALL TOWN. I like reading about what happens when the first blush of excitement and “getting together” fades/has faded. They don’t have to be read in order but I do think Midnight Feast is more enjoyable if you’ve read the others first, because Margie is such an intriguing character. What they aren’t is a couple, at least not in the conventional sense. The readers decide! 1. And finally, Jennifer Crusie’s “Maybe This Time” where the hero and heroine reunite 10 years after their divorce when she seeks him out to return all the alimony checks he’s sent, and ends up taking the job he offers as caretaker of two orphaned children living in a haunted house. Also, as opposed to the couple in Cara McKenna’s WILLING VICTIM/BRUTAL GAME duet (always my benchmark for consensual rape role-play scenarios) who are crystal-clear about the line between fantasy and reality, the couple in HARD WAY don’t always know where one ends and the other begins, sometimes reality provokes fantasy. There’s no such thing as too much recommending Sherry Thomas. Are you tired of epilogues in which couple blissfully picnic surrounded by tooth-meltingly cute offspring, gazing into each other’s eyes as if they’re in that Doctor Who episode where statues will get you if you blink? Kai and Kurt have been driven apart by miscarriages and depression. Are you an author? They’re brought back together when they become guardians of the children of hero’s brother. Here’s a place to discuss it! Bridgerton on Netflix. I love the great differences between the couple, the interference of parents on both sides, particularly hers, and the way that they both mature and develop and eventually finding happiness in a marriage that is loving and strong and not so overly passionate that you can’t take it seriously. My very favorite in the series is Earth Bound and this is probably my #2. The Marriage in Trouble Trope. I was reading the review for the book after it (Sarah McLean’s) and mistook it for Ruthie Knox’s book. The final tale in a fabulous long-running series was completely worth the wait. 2. I think it’s her best book. Their reunion is filled with angry words and bitterness, but soon they have to turn their attention to defeating a larger threat – and as they do so, they rediscover the strength of their feelings for one another. If you want a book that doesn’t ask “How can we get together” but rather “How can we stay together,” this list of relationships and marriages in trouble is for you! Stranded With Her Ex by Jill Sorenson 4. Fictional or not it doesn't matter. Most romance novels are about characters falling in love with each other for the first time. I highly recommend this series if you have not read it. But when their daughter announces she’s getting married, they agree to keep the situation quiet so as not to spoil her big day, and to act the happy, loving couple they have always been – and along the way they start to remember why they fell for each other in the first place. Yes, it’s true – I have a history as a voracious romance novel reader. Sherry Thomas has written some wonderful romances with the theme of troubled marriages. I miss her too. In short, this novel isn’t just about a failing marriage, it’s the OG portrait of the failure of the midcentury American Dream. Although he’s loved her for years, Helena discovers her own love for him after a bout of amnesia. This kind of romance always makes me ache and even though I know there will be a happily ever after again and love that has been tested is sweeter. Mr. and Mrs. Wrong by … Harlequin romance novels. Seconding Zoe York’s “Love in a Small Town” and would recommend these as well (sorry if they’re already on one of the lists and I just missed them): “Back to You” by Jessica Scott where the Army wife heroine files for divorce because she discovers that the hero lied and voluntarily signed up for continued deployment, leaving her home alone with two small children. General Sir John Armstrong couldn’t deny his best friend’s deathbed request to marry and care for his widow, but he deployed to Canada a week after their wedding and has not been home since. Turning Up the Heat and Snow-Kissed by Laura Florand, 5. I finally had a chance to read this & was wondering when someone would bring up His at Night – and really, most of Thomas’s catalog!. The resolution, which takes place over the last 25% of the book, is one of the best endings to a romance I’ve read. Bonus for well-written kids. The book is interesting because it makes it clear that no amount of faux-kidnapping and assault is going to repair the marriage—hard emotional work is going to be required. 2. I can’t believe I forgot one of my favorite books of this year: Molly O’Keefe’s ONE LAST CHANCE: a beautifully-written and melancholy story of a married couple who have been apart more than together during their ten-year marriage. I found myself not knowing who I wanted Mirella to end up with, her husband or the guy she was having an affair with. More romance novels are tackling arranged marriage in South Asian, Muslim cultures The new books are dismantling … He suggests a marriage in name only to solve both problems—one of the oldest romance tropes in the book! Dear Streaming Services: What to do after Bridgerton. 4.7 out of 5 stars 5 ratings. Discovering her pregnancy sends her back to him. Do they even want to? Carrie Aarons’s DOWN WE’LL COME, BABY involves a married but separated couple who have struggled with infertility (CW/TW) and miscarriage, along with the fact that the heroine is from a very wealthy family and the hero is a Nantucket “townie” construction worker. A Perfect Marriage by Laurey Bright 6. It made my personal Top 100 list. Love it? The husband has multiple jobs and a difficult mother; the wife feels lost in her husband’s home town and at loose ends job- and family-wise. Mr. In Shana Galen’s extremely charming spy drama, Lord Adrian Smythe’s cover as the world’s most proper, boring gentleman is blown when his wife, the adventure-seeking fellow spy Lady Sophia, discovers that her dull husband is actually anything but. Our hero has, for much of this series, been engaged to a young woman he feels trapped him into marriage, and in the previous book, married her. It’s a short novella, but one of the best-handled versions of this trope I’ve ever read is “A Midnight Feast” by Emma Barry and Genevieve Turner. You really do believe that these two have done what it takes to make things work. Read 3 580 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Thanks for the recommendation! A lot of this book has a retro fifties vibe – the working husbands and secretary mistresses, the ‘be a lady’ sexual mores drilled into Vicki by her grandmother, Caleb’s dark secret that really isn’t a big deal – but in a way that works. Anyway, back to the question here, one of my favourite tales of a marriage that is troubled – and arranged – is the great Georgette Heyer’s A Civil Contract which is one of my favourite books by her. You know the ones: with the cover featuring a scantily clad lady and a Greek god slowly tearing her dress off her shoulder. The difference, I believe, is that romance novels are only dangerous if you’re looking for something in them that you can’t get in your marriage, but I can’t say there’s any case when a husband can look at porn and claim it’s not causing any difficulties to his marriage. Lawyers Nate and Live Sawyer were happily married, but are hitting a major rut in their relationship and decide to take a second honeymoon to recharge their batteries. I love, love, love a marriage in trouble trope in a romance book. A lovely book. This is a story that doesn’t underplay the difficulties of a broken relationship, nor does it rush its characters into resolving it. A fun as heck take on True Lies in which our – formerly retired – hero and heroine spies unite (and compete) to foil the bad-guys while at the same time starting to forge a new appreciation for each other. There was no magic fix (as there shouldn’t be) to their problems but a willingness to communicate and try again leads them in the right direction. Books to Read if your Marriage is in Trouble Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links from Amazon and other networks which means I earn from qualifying purchases. They have, if I remember correctly, six kids together, but this story takes place over a Thanksgiving where (due to a sequence of events) their guests can’t make it and their children are at their grandparents’, and the couple are left fully alone together for the first time in years — and so are forced to deal with all of their hidden resentments and problems at once and see if there’s anything joyful left. Cyrus refuses, unless she agrees to conceive a child with him to carry on the family business. A Marriage Worth Fighting For by Lilian Darcy, 6. I highly recommend." Amber and Tony have ten, eight, and six year old boys, financial troubles, and not enough time for each other. Amazon Price New from Used from Kindle "Please retry" $3.99 — — Paperback "Please retry" --Sheri Meyers, a marriage and family therapist in Los Angeles Get "Make Love Last A Lifetime" by Barbara De Angelis It definitely had a lot of angst. Most romance novels are about characters falling in love with each other for the first time. Both have been keeping secrets that kept them at arm’s length in their marriage and Connor won’t sign any divorce papers until they explore them at length. The Best Book of 2020? It’s a real tearjerker, and the author wisely intersperses the darker moments with a series of flashbacks that tell the story of how the couple met and fell in love. A couple split apart by years of lies and betrayal have to find their way back together in this sexy,  action-packed instalment in the Darkest London series. Despite thinking I don’t really have favorite tropes (see other blog post), I think this might be one of mine. Kira Weston left Ethan Rourke because their relationship had plenty of physical intimacy, but Ethan kept himself emotionally closed off and distracted with work. There were a few things to recommend it: the working-class ethos, that stays working-class, and the marriage-in-trouble trope, which is a rarity and yet should appear more often in contemporary romance. Do you want your troubled marriage story to also feature sky pirates, a kidnapping, explosions, and enormous mechanical sharks? Not sure if this qualifies – the marriage doesn’t take place until a while into the story, but The Duke I Tempted certainly features a troubled marriage and is in my Top 5 all-time favorites. First in the Marriage to a Billionaire series, this book features a bookstore owner in financial peril and an unromantic billionaire who needs a wife in order to inherit his fortune. No problem! I too hope is doing well. Both Vicki and Caleb are nice people,they work maturely and methodically through their issues and seek to become more honest and open with each other. ... Read about the Marriage in Trouble Romance. I think it’s a great book—well-written and emotionally-nuanced—but the role-play is extremely intense, very violent, with filthy name-calling, so CW/TW. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Unfinished Seductions: A billionaire bad boy marriage in trouble romance (Bad Boy Capital Book 2) at The author balances this rediscovery with the story of their romance, told in a series of flashbacks, while in the present of the novel, they come to a new appreciation and understanding for and of each other. It’s a low angst yet emotional and satisfying story. Making It Last is the actual, realistic epilogue, a novella sequel to How to Misbehave (which you should read first). I’ve read Ruthie Knox’s ‘Making It Last’ years ago and it’s a good story, and very realistic. There’s no cheating – did someone say there was? What Peterson sets up is the interplay between two men who’ve had decades to reconcile their differing personalities to the daily grind of military life and who now face a new frontier. Sounds like a good one, so I’ll give it a try. Once a Ferrara Wife... by Sarah Morgan, 10. Laura Drake’s, The Sweet Spot, is about a couple already divorced. It was a really, really sweet story — I love that whole series! The Santangeli Marriage by Sara Craven 2. Six months after their breakup, Ethan tries to win Kira back by asking for help with a harassing female boss, by asking for work advice, and by playing off their intense chemistry – but not by opening up, the one thing Kira asks for. This novella is very nice exploration of both their romance and the connection that has kept it alive and stable for so long, but this short sequel is definitely better if read after the couple’s first story, Before Jamaica Lane. A romance novel is just a 300pg answer to such a question. I read romance novels and many other genres. I am a total sucker for marriage in trouble trope in romance books. @JenniferRNN @mharvey816 @PennyRomance @SOSchmieg @LauraFlorand (threw a few amnesia ones in there for your pleasure). The author does a great job of showing the effect of betrayal on a relationship and of painting a portrait of a marriage in trouble – and then showing the work needed to fix it and make it work long-term. Rend is a superbly crafted portrait of a marriage in trouble that encompasses incredible highs and incredible lows as it charts the downward spiral of one of its protagonists and the way it affects his marriage. A struggling wife who is battling insecurities and a husband who had lost his way. I reviewed a book recently that reminded me a little of that – The Landowner’s Secret by Sonya Heaney – two people who find themselves conveniently married and a past love interest in the picture – with the wife not at the same social level as the husband. No. I’m the one who put it on the list and I was momentarily panicked that I misrepresented it. @Blackjack: one of the things I find so interesting about THE LIST is that you can almost feel Calhoun fighting against the conventions of the romance genre—and I say this as someone who loves romance and thinks THE LIST is one of Calhoun’s best books. That’s also why some great books, like the legendary Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas, don’t appear here – they’re on the original list. Her best in this trope (IMO) is still Not Quite a Husband. To me, this book was essentially the hero’s journey to understanding the role he has played in the mess his marriage has become and the steps he must take to repair it. Off to look for it! We like those stories. North American Wordcat: Romance Reader Reviewer, Romance List Maker.Twitter @Catsbookrom, Cat's Books Romance Novel Theme Park Facebook There is so much angst! The supporting cast is a nice touch, especially because Kira and Ethan’s relationships with their friends reflect back some of the same mistakes and bad habits they have with each other. Erm… I think I’ll be waiting for it to go on sale. Learning that her food-and-beverage magnate husband Cyrus bought off her then-boyfriend so he could ask her out is the final straw for Daniella Johnson, and she demands a divorce. It’s topical and true, after all, and way more believable than ye olde fake relationship. This is the ultimate love story because it isn’t about immediate attraction or falling in lust with the good-looking stranger across the room, but is about the real happily ever after. Never Let Go: A Marriage In Trouble Romance (The Storm Inside Book 4) - Kindle edition by Anne, Alexis. Kora Oliver, Tony-winning actress turned director, and Tariq Evans, NFL star turned financial advisor, have known each other for over two decades. Writing to a Soundtrack: A Guest Post by Alexandra Y. Caluen. Thanks for all the interesting recs – both blog and comments. $4.99 . It’s an excellent example of this trope; I also think all of the Fitzhugh books fit nicely into this category too! Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples by Harville Hendricks, PhD This is arguably the … Another book that I liked, was Anne Calhoun’s, The List. They’ve been separated for a year and a half when Kurt surprises Kai by arriving at her cabin just as snow starts to fall. After years of infertility and misunderstandings, Libby McKay sought a trial separation from her husband Quinn. She is an author I don’t know.

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