Love on the Rocks: 6 Marriage in Trouble Romance Books

by Theja Pk
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Last updated on March 14th, 2024

Illustrated book cover for The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams showing a man holding a bouquet of white flowers with a romance book in his back pocket
illustrated book cover of Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey, showing a couple leaning on opposites sides of a brick wall

If you’re a fan of romance novels, you’ll know that stories about marriages in trouble can be some of the most gripping and emotionally intense reads out there. These books explore the trials and tribulations that can come with marriage and the strength of love that can overcome even the toughest obstacles.

In this blog post, we’re gonna take a closer look at some of the best marriage in trouble romance books that are sure to make you feel all the feels.

Whether you’re in a relationship, single, or just looking for a good read, these novels are a must-read for anyone who loves a good love story.

NOTE: If infidelity is a sensitive issue for you, don’t worry, this theme is NOT present in these books.

marriage in trouble romance books overview

The Bromance Book Club

Illustrated book cover for The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

RATING: ★★★★★/5

MARRIAGE ISSUE: Physical intimacy

A unique, inventive take on saving a relationship, by using romance novels as manuals. 

Told from dual POVs, Lyssa Kay Adams’ first novel is a delightful romantic comedy that will have you laughing out loud and holding onto your heart in anticipation of their happy ending. 

Synopsis

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 on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him. 

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 coach 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 the trust of his wife. 

If you’re wondering if this book is worth a read, be sure to check out the full review of Gavin and Thea’s story.

After I Do – Taylor Jenkins Reid

RATING: ★★★★/5

MARRIAGE ISSUE: Resentment, lack of honesty

An emotional and heart-wrenching story about daring to navigate love and relationships in a way that’s true to who you are, even if this goes against what society dictates you should do. 

It’s about fighting for your marriage and redefining what a marriage should be like. But most of all, it’s a story about rediscovering your truths. 

Synopsis

When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with 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 own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for?

This is a love story about what happens when the love fades. It’s about staying in love, seizing love, forsaking love, 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.

To get the full story on Ryan and Lauren’s marriage troubles, check out the After I Do review.

Love Her or Lose Her – Tessa Bailey

illustrated book cover of Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey, showing a couple leaning on opposites sides of a brick wall

RATING: ★★★★/5

MARRIAGE ISSUE: Different love languages

This Tessa Bailey story details the rocky marriage between Rosie and Dominic Vega, high school sweethearts who have been married for 10 years. 

What ensues is a heartbreakingly emotional tale of rediscovering love and falling for your soulmate again. Brimming with feels, Tessa Bailey delivers another home run that is poignant, funny, and undeniably relatable. 

Synopsis

Rosie and Dominic Vega are the perfect couple: high school sweethearts, best friends, 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 10 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 actually agree to relationship rehab with a weed-smoking hippie. 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 own role in their cracked foundation. As they complete one ridiculous – yet surprisingly helpful – assignment after another, their remodeled relationship gets stronger than ever. Except just as they’re getting back on track, Rosie discovers Dom has a secret…and it could demolish everything.

Dive into the review of Love Her or Lose Her to find out why this wasn’t a 5-star read.

Ever After Always – Chloe Liese

RATING: ★★★★/5

MARRIAGE ISSUE: mental health issues

This emotional story focuses on the marital struggles of Freya Bergman, the oldest of the siblings, and Aiden McCormack. 

Chloe Liese explores mental health and sexual dysfunction in ways that will break your heart wide open. Ever After Always is genuinely one of the most touching books I have read, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a captivating read.

Synopsis

Aiden

I’ve spent 12 years loving Freya Bergman, and 12 lifetimes won’t be enough to give her everything she deserves. 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.

Freya

I love my cautious, hard-working husband. 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 find us again?

This is one of my favorite reads from this list, despite not being 5 stars. Find out why in this review.

Before I Let Go – Kennedy Ryan

RATING: ★★★/5

MARRIAGE ISSUE: pregnancy loss, depression, grief

Ryan details the story of a couple who has spent their life getting to know all the nooks and crannies of each other’s hearts, only to be torn apart by the overwhelming force of grief. 

As they try to navigate their new reality, Josiah and Yasmen must balance their co-parenting duties with the undeniable spark between them.

Synopsis

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?

For more information on why the passionate marriage of Yasmen and Josiah didn’t stand the test of time, dive into this Before I Let Go review.

Do I Know You? – Emily Wibberley

RATING: ★★★/5

MARRIAGE ISSUE: Complacency

Do I Know You? surrounds the story of a married couple who start to feel like strangers to each other and their desperate attempt to reconnect through a flirtatious game of pretend.

Synopsis

Eliza and Graham are anticipating an anything-but-sexy, weeklong getaway to celebrate their five-year anniversary. Nestled on the Northern California coastline, the resort prides itself on being a destination for those in love and those looking to find it. For Eliza and Graham, it might as well be a vacation with a roommate. 

When a well-meaning guest mistakes Eliza and Graham for being single and introduces them at the hotel bar, they don’t correct him. Suddenly, they’re pretending to be perfect strangers, and it’s unexpectedly…fun? Eliza and Graham find themselves flirting like it’s their first date and waiting with butterflies in their stomachs for the other to text back. 

Everyone at the retreat can sense the electric chemistry between Eliza and Graham’s alter egos. But when their scintillating game of roleplaying ends, will they still feel the heat?

For more book lists, check out the best books of 2023.

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