Emotional romance books are one of my favorite type of books to read. I want that intense roller coaster of emotion, the steal your heart, stomp on it, shatter it into a million pieces and then put it back together just a little different romance.
Of course all this drama can’t be for drama’s sake. I need it to tell a story, further the plot, and growth of the character.
I have a couple hard lines for this: no cheating, abuse by the hero/heroine.
Honestly, I love an emotional story that will leave you so affected after reading that you can’t adjust to real life right away. An emotional romance novel that makes you look at the world just a little differently, usually through more empathy.
Best emotional romance books that will make you cry
Below is my list of ten of the most emotional romances I’ve read and absolutely fallen apart with, only to be put back together in the most beautiful ways. I’ve also included a free romance book you check out at the end.
1. Defying Gravity by A. M. Kusi
Yes, this steamy contemporary romance novel is one of our own. It broke both Marcus and me while even plotting it. There were tears. We had to take a break.
Because weaved into this powerful and beautiful love story is the reality of what it’s like to be Black in America. And how seemingly small “Micro” aggressions have a tremendous impact on human lives.
Bently and Belle are two people with a horrible past. Bently chose to shut himself off to love and the risks of being vulnerable. Belle chooses to not take for granted the happiness available to her despite surviving a dark past. They both have room to grow. And that is exactly what happens.
One of our favorite quotes from this romance book is: “Because when everything in this world tried to break you and tear you down, you defied gravity.”
2. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
This novel will forever be a favorite emotional romance for me.
I love when romance books take you beyond the love story into an important issue or theme. This novel triggered me. It taught me. And it changed me.
We have a heroine who witnesses her father abuse her mother again and again. She swears she will never be with someone like that. But then she meets a man who is mysterious and handsome after she moves to a new city to try to locate her childhood love.
This book had me inside out and up and down. I couldn’t put it down.
Trigger warning for this as it deals with domestic abuse. It was such an emotional read because it shows the reality of how a woman can get stuck in situations that leave so many questioning, “Why didn’t she just leave?”.
It Ends With Us is a novel will forever be one I recommend.
3. The Air He Breathes by Brittainy Cherry
Brittainy takes the cake for stories that move you and make you reach for the tissues.
This emotional romance book is a story of a man who’s lost everything and a woman who’s lost her way.
Two grieving people who find respite with each other. Their way of connecting isn’t conventional, and that makes me love it that much more.
But somewhere along the way, they fall in love and get a second chance neither of them thought they would find. A truly exceptionally moving story.
Buy on: Amazon
4. In The Grey by A. M. Kusi
Okay, yes, all our books in the Shattered Cove series and world are emotional, but the two listed in this post take the cake.
In The Grey is one of the most emotional romances we’ve ever published because the story was so personal to me.
Emma has it all. She’s a rock star making it big, yet still she struggles with not being happy. Not feeling as much as she should. She struggles with depression and fights self-harm urges. The man who raised her dies, and she’s brought back to Shattered Cove to deal with his affairs along with his son, whom she has loved for as long as she can remember. But he seems to want nothing to do with her.
They get stuck going on a cross-country road trip together to dump their father’s ashes in the Pacific ocean, and along the way Emma reaches for the one thing she thinks is missing to make her happy. But true happiness isn’t external. And sometimes you need a little help just to get through the day.
This spicy romance novel is heavy, and it’s emotional. But there are parts that will make you laugh and swoon.
In The Grey is truly a story of fighting for your life in a battle with mental illness. An emotional read that will have you reaching for the tissues a few times.
Here is one of our favorite quote from the book: “I will dance with you in the light, carry you in the dark and love you in the grey.”
5. Hook Shot by Kennedy Ryan
This steamy book is another emotional romance. Trigger warning for sexual abuse. It takes on some hard to talk about topics—this entire series is amazing.
Lotus is one strong woman who has had a lot to overcome. She’s sworn a year of celibacy to work on herself, and of course that’s when she meets single dad and perfect hero Kenan.
It was a beautiful and emotional story of strength and healing. Highly recommend this series.
Buy on: Amazon
6. Most Of All You by Mia Sheridan
A story of two broken people who had given up on anything remotely close to love. I am a sucker for a wounded character and this story has two. Because I love to see how they grow and overcome their pasts.
Mia is a storyteller. She weaves such a gorgeous and emotional romance that is realistic and beautiful. This story also takes on some really dark topics.
When I say our main characters are wounded, I mean, these are life altering scars. And that makes a story like this so inspirational and beautiful because despite the ugliness of their pasts, they find healing and happiness.
Bring the tissues, grab a beverage, and snuggle up with this emotional romance novel.
7. The Law Of Moses by Amy Harmon
This is another author who will pull at your heartstrings and tear it to pieces before attempting to put it back together. I listened to the audio version of this book and I highly recommend. The narrator was fantastic.
This emotional read is a second chance romance with some pretty big secrets that come to life that I can’t share because it would be a spoiler.
An unwanted baby boy, grown into a man who isn’t sure where he fits in, especially with his gift. Our heroine was warned to stay away from him, but of course she sees something in Moses that she can’t stay away from.
Moses is an artist that creates breathtaking pieces, but those paintings often result in him getting into trouble because of what they represent. Instead of facing his feelings, Moses shuts our heroine, Georgia, out. Fate brings them together again, but their reunion is raw and super emotional.
Georgia is a strong heroine who has had to face a lot and overcome it on her own. If you want an ugly cry, this book is it.
Buy on: Amazon
8. Kiss The Stars by A.L. Jackson
When A.L. Jackson releases a new book, I have to mentally prepare to have my heart torn to shreds, but I know she’ll put it back together in the end. It’s always worth it.
This book is one of my favorite emotional reads from her. It hits the romance tropes I love like single mom, wounded hero, and romantic suspense.
Honestly, Jackson’s writing style is so raw and emotional you’d literally have to be a psychopath and incapable of certain emotions to not get emotional over her books.
If you like bad boys, secrets, and emotional reads, definitely read this emotional romance book, or add it to your TBR.
Buy on: Amazon
9. Watch Over Me by Mila Gray
I love stories where the heroine is on the run and the hero falls into a protector role, but also one that balances a strong heroine who can take care of herself and/or loved ones. And this romance book has all of that.
The heroine is on the run with her mother and siblings from her abusive father, who just got out of prison after their house caught fire and they highly suspect it could be him.
Enter the most patient and caring hero. These two don’t have an easy road, but that’s what makes this story so enjoyable and emotional.
10. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
I mean come on, emotional romance is basically Colleen’s middle name. Or, you know, it should be, because WOW. This emotionally intense book destroyed me.
When the average person thinks of love, we think of pink hearts and rainbows and passion and beauty. But Colleen highlights the ugly sides of love—losing that love. Grief. And how it can make you think you’re too broken to ever risk opening yourself up to love again.
If you always want a tear jerker, then Colleen’s your woman.
Bonus: A FREE emotional romance novel
If you are looking for a free emotional romance book to read, check our FREE romance novel A Fallen Star. It’s available to download from any of the retailers below.
I could list an entire library of emotional novels because I love reading them. 🙂
So if you’re like me, and love reading emotional romance books that will make you cry, laugh, sob, and then swoon, get one of the emotional romances above to read today.
Even though some of these romance books are sad, they all have a happy ending.
I hope you love them.
What emotional romances would you add to this list? Which ones wrecked you, or made you sob like a baby?
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