Looking for the best sad romance novels that will make you cry?
You’re in the right place. Let’s get to the list…
See our newest picks for the month in the chart below:
Author: Kelly Rimmer
Callum and Lilah are complete opposites, but they are madly in love. Yet Lilah lets him know from the beginning that their relationship won’t be a “forever” kind. She is keeping a secret, and as much as Callum wants to know what it is, he prefers instead to enjoy his luscious time with Lilah because when they get together, sparks fly. This story makes you cry, feel, become emotional, and laugh, and even when you do get the ending figured out, you are still going to love it.
Author: Hannah Ellis
After Libby’s mother dies, she heads off to Australia after finding an old photograph of someone she assumes is her father. She wants to retrace the steps her mum took decades earlier to experience what she did, but the trip produces several surprises. First, she finds love with Andrew, who helps her continue to look for her father. Second, she finds out a heartbreaking fact about her father that she never knew, and in the process she learns about loss, friendship, and of course, love.
Author: Pam Howes
Alice and Millie are best friends who work at a munitions factory during World War II. When Alice marries Terry, her sweetheart from high school, she then has to let him go back to fighting the war. When there’s an explosion at the factory and Millie gets devastating news, the war hits close to him. But, Alice continues to believe that Terry will come home. In fact, it is the only thing that gets her through her lonely days at the factory. She has to believe that. Otherwise she will curl up and die.
Author: Michelle Sullivan
Mason and Scotti are young and in love. When they first meet, Mason falls instantly in love with this young woman crying on the beach. But, when he tries to get closer to Scotti, she tells him that she’s dying. Don’t love me, she says, you will only get your heart broken. But, Mason can’t help it. He’s already in over his head. He knows they won’t grow old together, but he wants to make her final moments on earth filled with the love that she’s always deserved, but never gotten.
Author: Diane Demetre
Would you kill someone to protect your past? Jessie is a ballerina with a stalker who is getting bolder each and every day, and Brad is an ex-sniper with secrets and the task of protecting Jessie. As the stalker becomes more and more dangerous, Brad becomes more determined to protect Jessie so she doesn’t lose her life. Along with his best friend, his dog Whiskey, he fights hard not only because he wants to do a good job, but also because he is so in love with his client. But, will it be enough for a happy ending?
Author: Mia Sheridan
Callen and Jessica both have troubled childhoods and steal a kiss from one another as kids. Then Callen disappears. Years later, they meet up with one another in France, where he is a famous composer who is drinking his way through life. But, things have changed. They want to rekindle their relationship, but is it really possible when there are so many secrets, too many mistakes, and so many regrets? They plunge forward anyway, not knowing what will happen in the end – and it ends up being something neither of them expected.
Author: Roseanne Beck
Love sometimes hurts. Paige is a doctor who is fulfilling every goal she ever set for herself, but there is one thing missing from her life. When she goes to her hometown to fulfill a request from her late grandmother, she meets Nick, and then she realizes what that missing piece is. With Nana’s help, Nick tries to convince this hard-working over-achiever that all work and no play makes for a sorry existence, and he’s the one who can help her change that.
Author: Hamid Baig
Saadiq is a doctor headed back to his native India, and along the way he meets Anne, an investigative journalist who decides to tag along with him for a good story. Although, he is there for a specific reason, Saadiq meets and falls in love with Maryam, then takes her back to the States to marry her. But, their love story may not have a happy ending. After two decades of trying to forget numerous secrets, Anne then learns that Maryam is in the hospital. Worse yet, she may not make it out alive.
Author: Wendy Owens
Mac is a widow with a young child by the time she is 21, and people keep telling her how lucky she is just to be alive, but she doesn’t see it that way. She knows the world can’t stop turning just because of her bad luck, but that’s what she wants to happen. Unfortunately, her demons from the past won’t let her move forward, even though she is nowhere near ready to deal with them so that she can move forward from here.
Author: Callie Langridge
When a history teacher in the present goes to live in Hill House, an old mansion whose history inspired her to choose the career that she did, she gets transformed to a period 100 years earlier. She becomes the houseguest of the Mandeville family and befriends the oldest son, Thomas, whom she already knows is going to die in World War I. Even though her stay there is pleasant, she works hard to protect her new friends from their fates so that the past isn’t as heartbreaking as it was the first time.
Author: Danica Chandler
When Alice meets Jack on a girls’ night out, the sparks immediately fly, and pretty soon they are inseparable. But, along the way of their happily ever after, fate throws them a curveball that they are not prepared for, and suddenly their future is not a guarantee. Afterwards, they both realize that every moment they spend together is special, and they are determined not to let what happens in the future steal any of their joy today.
Author: Sandy Taylor
This is a heart-wrenching and intense story about love and loss, centering on three friends – Nelson, Jack, and Maureen. As adults, Maureen finds she is carrying a torch for Jack and there might be a chance for them to be together, but then war breaks out and he and Nelson are sent overseas. This is one story you’ll be shedding tears over, both tears of happiness and tears of sadness. Read about the power of hope and love, and join these three individuals as they muddle through life’s challenges.
Author: Taylor Sullivan
A woman falls in love with her brother’s best friend, but when they kiss she realizes he still thinks of her as a little sister. So, she leaves to avoid the heartache and embarrassment of that moment, but when she returns three years later, fate steps in and she finds herself intertwined in his life once again. This time, are things going to be different, or is time unable to heal all wounds when you press the “pause” button?
Author: Sarah Winman
Ellis and Michael have been best friends their entire lives, until their friendship grows into something more. But years later, Ellis is married to Annie and Michael has disappeared. Just what happened in that decade or so to each of these men, and what is going to happen next? This novel is beautiful, heartbreaking, and absolutely unforgettable, with characters so real you will never know they were developed by a writer.
Author: Kelly Rimmer
Leo and Molly are happily married until Leo has an accident that erases his memory. Heartbroken, Molly rushes to his side and helps nurse him back to health. Unfortunately, there is one problem looming – Molly has a secret and isn’t sure if she wants her husband to regain all of his memory. Her secret is big, and she doesn’t want Leo to remember it. Eventually, Leo’s memory starts to come back a little at a time, and Molly is working hard not to lose him a second time.
Author: Willow Aster
Is love really enough to keep two people with different lives together? Follow Sparrow, a college student, and Ian, a member of a band, as they meet up at different times in their lives and are attracted to one another every time. Eventually, something happens so tragic that it challenges their entire relationship, and though the angst, happiness, and pain that they’ve been experiencing is a challenge neither of them is positive they can get through unscathed.
Author: Kelly Rimmer
When Olivia’s husband, David, commits suicide, she works hard to plunge forward and help her family move on from the tragedy. Her mother-in-law, Ivy, is a big help, except that unbeknownst to either women, they both have secrets about David that could change their lives from then on. Olivia’s secrets center around her and David’s marriage, and Ivy’s center on the desire to protect him. Will both secrets ever come out, and if so, what will be the results?
Author: Jaxson Kidman
Boy meets girl. Boy kisses girl, then moves away. Boy and girl have sex, then boy admits it isn’t his first time. Boy buys girl a drink, then admits he’s already got a girlfriend, but he really loves girl. Finally, girl sees two pink stripes on a pregnancy test and knows immediately who the father is – this aloof, hard-to-decipher young man she can’t stop thinking about. Heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time, the story keeps you guessing until the very end.
Author: Nicholas Sparks
This is the beautiful and enduring story of two couples. Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Ruth is an angel now, but appears to Ira when her husband is in a car accident and needs help staying alert until help arrives. Sophia is a college student who has certain plans for her future until she meets Luke, then she decides to let him rewrite her future. Both couples share heartaches and happiness, pain and love, until death does them part.
Author: James Patterson
This is a love story that is both full of hope and heartbreaking. Katie thinks she has found the perfect man, and their love grows with each passing day. However, when he leaves suddenly and without explanation, leaving behind nothing, but a diary, Katie begins devouring the book to make some sense out of what he’s done. It is the story of a woman who has a child she loves dearly and the man she hopes will come back into her life – the same man who just left Katie.
Author: Jeanette Oke
This is the story of Belinda, who leaves her small prairie town for the fast pace of Boston, which results in less satisfaction than she was hoping for. But, along the way, she is faced with choices and decisions, some of which allow her to experience happiness and others that give her pain and sadness. When she is faced with an unexpected responsibility, her choices become even harder, until she decides to see what God has planned for her life.
Author: Sandy Taylor
Dottie’s life in London is perfect. She has everything she’s ever wanted, including a great boyfriend named Joe. But, when she goes back to Brighton for a family celebration, one of the first people she runs into is her ex-boyfriend Ralph. She and Ralph have a past filled with tragedy and pain, so why is she experiencing all these emotions and thinking about going back to him? She owes it to Joe not to let anything happen between her and Ralph, but is she able to do that?
Author: Emma Nichols
Charlie and her daughter, Olivia, are living a nightmare. Only six years old, Olivia has leukemia and the treatments aren’t going so well. She wants Ben to help her make a film for her mother, and at first he is hesitant. He doesn’t feel comfortable around children and is hesitant he can keep it together. The film seems to be going well until Olivia’s father shows up – the father she’s never met. The story is both heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time, with an ending you never will forget.
Author: Jennifer Sivec
Maggie and Sam meet and fall madly in love with one another instantly. Sam has endured some rough spots in his life, but he is fully committed to Maggie – until he gets into a horrible accident that changes everything. Maggie knows she can’t completely erase Sam from her memory, but she tries her best to move on with her life. Eventually she meets Dylan, and right when their relationship seems to be moving forward, something happens that makes her question everything.
Author: Emma Heatherington
Years ago, Maggie was given a second chance at life when she had a heart transplant from a little girl named Lucy. Maggie has loved and experienced a lifetime of emotions with that heart, and now she finds a letter that was written to her from the donor and realizes that she owes not just Lucy, but herself the promise to live her life to the fullest – even if it means allowing herself to experience heartbreak.
Author: Renee Carlino
Charlotte feels her life is going in the wrong direction – the wrong career, the wrong men, the wrong everything. When she meets Adam and has a glorious one-night stand with him, he acts like he wants something more until the next morning. Then he’s out of her life just as quickly as he appeared in it. When Charlotte starts a relationship with Seth, things are going well until she realizes she still has feelings for Adam. What should she do, continue to write her story with Seth or go back and finish the one with Adam? She will experience heartbreak and love in the process of finding out.
Author: Sharon Maas
Caroline and Kamal set up house together in his native India, and even though both of their families are against the marriage, Caroline hopes things will change once she gives birth to her daughter. Asha brings both of her parents immense joy, but soon Caroline is fed up with the remote village that they live in and heads back to the United States. Ten years later, she reunites to find Kamal so they can search together for their daughter, but first they must face a terrible secret that has been a part of their lives since the very beginning.
Author: K.B. Andrews
A second-chance love story. A woman with secrets that are very deeply rooted inside of her, who is hoping she will never have to reveal them. After six years, she is reunited with a past love and given a second chance. But, secrets have a way of always being revealed eventually, and this particular woman hopes her second chance at love doesn’t result in a heartbreak once her secrets are out.
Author: Nicholas Sparks
John is an angry young man who joins the army, hoping one day that he will return and marry Savannah, the girl of his dreams. Things start to happen for them when 9/11 happens, and it changes both of their lives forever. Soon, John is getting a letter from Savannah saying she is about to marry another man, but when John returns home he is determined to get her back. Between hope and heartbreak, a lot of love stories are worth fighting for, but will this be one of them?
Author: Treasure Hernandez
From Flint, Michigan comes the story of Halleigh and Malek as they struggle with both the good and bad parts of living in Flint. They try to rise above it all and get out of the Hood, but soon Malek is in a Northside gang while Halleigh belongs to one on the south side. North and south, lies and truth. They both have a chance to make the right choice and to be together again, but it isn’t as simple as it sounds, and they have to go through a lot of heartache to get there.
Author: Nellie L’Amour
Ryan’s late wife always told him, with love there are no goodbyes. But, he is having trouble moving on, so when he meets Willow, a fiery ex-ballerina, he is surprised by what he feels for her. Slowly, he moves into a relationship with this woman, even though he’s never forgotten his wife. However, when Willow’s secret past comes to light, he is heartbroken and wants to retreat back into his loneliness. Will his heart be broken once again, or will his growing love for Willow be enough to move forward with a new life?
Author: Nesly Clerge
Chelsea looks like she has the perfect marriage, but she doesn’t. Her husband, Garrett, is constantly fooling around, breaking his wife’s heart over and over again. When she decides to find solace in another man’s arms, it wreaks even more havoc on their marriage. This story is about lust, betrayal, and deception, and the outcomes that result from each. Can Chelsea and Garrett finally mend their marriage and start all over, or are they destined to be miserable forever?
Author: Jo Knowles
Ellie and Josh. Caleb and Corinne. Two couples. One pregnancy. One requirement that they all need to grow up very fast to be able to handle the adult-like situations around them. This story describes four points of view and the highs and lows of being a teenager in America. It is filled with love, heartbreak, excitement, and surprises, and it is one story you will never forget.
Author: Carmel Harrington
A story that will have you both laughing and crying at almost every page, this is the story of a lady from Dublin named Grace and her young son, Jack. When Grace is diagnosed with cancer she goes on a self-discovery mission and discovers secrets from the past that are several decades old. Her ex-husband, Liam, even comes back into the picture, giving her more hope for the future. Stay with Grace while she discovers herself, secrets from the past, and her relationships with both Jack and Liam.
Author: Jan Drexler
Naomi is an Amish woman who is living with her parents and her adopted son, Davie. She decides she wants a certain future, but when Cap shows up displaying an interest in her, she feels like she is being led down a different path. When Davie’s biological parents show up and want to reclaim him, she is heartbroken, but will Cap stay around long enough to help her fight these people, or should she just let go and accept God’s will – whatever that is?
Author: Melissa Foster
Nate has been in love with the sister of his best friend, Rick, for as long as he can remember, but he can’t seem to make a move on her out of respect for Rick. When the two men go off to war together, only Nate comes back alive, and even though Rick’s sister, Jewel, is now all grown up, he is very hesitant to start a relationship with her. Will the heartbreak ever end so that he can move forward with his life – hopefully a life with Jewel?
Author: Wendy Owens
A woman has to make a very difficult choice between two men – Henry, who makes her feel comfortable and safe; or Colin, who lives every day as if it’s his last. Faced with love for both of them, she realizes she is about to make the most difficult and heartbreaking choice of her life. Which one will win in the end?
Author: Nicholas Sparks
A heartfelt romance based on the story of Taylor, a fireman who has rescued hundreds of people, and his next patient, Denise. He finds Denise unconscious in her car after an accident, but when she comes to and asks where her son Kyle is, they both realize that Kyle is gone. A heartbreaking, touching story that centers on the relationship between Taylor and Denise and their quest to find her disabled son before it is too late.
Author: J.L. Berg
Can two people who have had their hearts broken reach out to one another in order to heal? This is the dilemma faced by Cora and Dean. She is the nurse who saw him at his worst. He is a broken man who has lost everything. Years have gone by since the accident and Dean still thinks about her all the time. He sees pain in her eyes, but he has pain, too. If only he can get to her before his heart is irreparably broken.
Author: Elicia Hyder
This is a feel-good romance with a happy ending, even though the main characters have to suffer heartbreak first. Journey is a reformed bad girl waiting for her ex-boyfriend to be released from prison. Most of the town has already forgiven her in her involvement that put him there in the first place, and now she has settled down and even gotten married. But, even old mistakes can come back to haunt you, and to find love and redemption, you often have to go through pain and heartbreak first.
Author: Amy Miller
This story tells of the lives of several women during war time. Audrey’s husband is fighting in the war and she is fighting to keep her bakery alive. Audrey’s brother, William, came home a changed man, but his fiancée, Elsie, still wants to marry him. Maggie works at the bakery and wants to marry George, but he may feel differently after he finds out her family’s secret. Lily has to live in a town that chastises her for having an illegitimate child, and all of these families suffer heartbreak and loss of hope before coming through their struggles with dignity.
Author: Tiffanie DeBartolo
When Beatrice is 12 years old, she is told she will meet the love of her life, but he will die young. Now she is an adult and has a great relationship with Jacob, whom she considers her soulmate. Both of them have insecurities, raw spirit, and a lot of secrets. Can they escape into each other’s lives without these things interrupting their plans, or will those things tear them apart in the end?
Author: Colleen Oakley
This is a heart-wrenching and at times, humorous story that tugs at the heartstrings. It revolves around a librarian named Jubilee, who is kept back from enjoying life to the fullest because of a rare skin condition that makes skin-to-skin contact potentially fatal, and the young man who shows up at her desk one day, a man named Eric who has enough problems of his own. The two form a friendship that turns into much more, but their challenges could end their relationship before it has a chance to begin.
Author: Priya Grey
Love should get stronger over the years, and this novel tells the story of Emily and Sebastian, whose relationship lasts for 40 years. A heartfelt romance that will allow you to shed tears of both joy and sadness, it goes into detail about everything they’ve gone through since their relationship began. Funny, poignant, moving, and engrossing, this book will require at least one box of tissues to get through it.
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Two high-school sweethearts, one a minister’s daughter and the other a rebel, form a bond they feel will last forever. But, Landon and Jamie aren’t just two ordinary people. Without realizing it, Landon learns he has been missing out on the best parts of life, and Jamie is determined to help him learn how deep love and pain can be, and now the two are much more intertwined than Landon ever thought.
Author: Jaxson Kidman
Evan and Dena have a rocky relationship, but their story ends well. In the meantime, however, they go through a lot to be together, and their up-and-down relationship seems to always need a break. Their story is raw, heart-wrenching, uplifting, sad, and funny all at the same time. They are both troubled and complicated, and right when you think their future has been ripped away from them for the last time, you find yourself cheering for them again and praying for their relationship to move forward.
Author: Phil M. Williams
Jon’s ex-wife and ex-best friend have run off together, leaving him to concentrate on his fledgling construction business. Then he meets Morgan, who is engaged, but is willing to be friends with him. Over time, however, their relationship becomes much more, but while he is willing to share his secrets with her, she keeps hers tight to the vest, afraid that letting it be heard will ruin what she has with Jon. But, sharing joy and heartbreak can be good for the soul, and hopefully Morgan will learn this before it is too late.
Author: M.J. Fields
Tessa and Lucas are now in college, which challenges their already budding relationship. They go through pain, joy, heartache, and some very important decisions that directly affect their future. They even split up for a bit, but will they eventually get back together, or is the past making that desire impossible?
Author: Jaxson Kidman
Boy meets girl, then finds out he saved her. Boy takes girl home and never wants her to leave, but she does. Boy falls in love with girl, but she is on the run from a previous chapter in her life. Boy decides to give his whole heart to girl, but it isn’t reciprocated. Now, boy has to find out why, and he will stop at nothing to find out the answer.
Author: Jaxson Kidman
A man meets someone who is just like himself – a little broken, involved in a forbidden relationship, and desperate to make sure there’s a future ahead. They’ve both made a ton of mistakes, but the more their relationship develops, the more right they feel it is. Things are going smoothly until a pregnancy test changes things, but even though she has promised him a future, all of a sudden he isn’t so sure. A heartwarming story with an ending you can only get to via a roller-coaster ride.
Author: Ann H. Gabhart
At the beginning of World War II, Kate is watching her sister marry a man she’s been in love with for years, and even the good-looking best man, Jay, can’t turn Kate’s attention the other way. When Pearl Harbor happens and the U.S. is drawn into the war, she finds herself unexpectedly drawn toward Jay, even after he marches off to war. This is a story of sacrifice, longing, and of course, love that will draw in the reader and not let go until the end.
Author: Caroline Tate
Rachel and Garrett share a tragic past. Ten years earlier, a lakeside tragedy occurred that changed both of them, but especially Garrett. He is now shut off from the world and has closed off his heart. Rachel’s goal then becomes to “fix” Garrett because she wants him to start enjoying life. However, it is proving much more difficult than she ever believed it would be, yet she is determined to help him work through his pain so he can become whole again.
Author: Heather Bentley
Christina is an heiress whose mother was killed in a terrible crime, and C.J. is a blue-collar worker who is smitten with her. Rich girl, poor boy – can it ever work? But, it isn’t long before C.J. realizes that Christina has a big heart and even bigger secrets. In fact, he truly believes that the only thing that will make her heart break for good is just one more lie, which is why he is working so hard to hide his own. With a combination of tragedy, nerve-wracking plots, and a ton of emotions, you’ll be rooting for this couple until the very last page.
Author: Stephanie Brother
When a stripper gets offered $50,000 to be a billionaire’s companion for a while, she jumps at the chance because after all, who could possibly resist this offer? But, even before the fairy tale ends, she finds herself falling in love with him. After it’s over, a positive pregnancy test changes things, but she decides to keep it a secret for fear that he may think she did it on purpose. However, when he calls her out of the blue, she realizes he has a secret and needs her help. And this time, she doesn’t just need to fight for his love, she needs to fight for his life.
Author: Mary Jane Hathaway
Roxie is happy living in Philadelphia and has no desire to go back to her Louisiana hometown, but when her family needs her, she goes back temporarily. Andy just moved to Louisiana from New York City and couldn’t be happier, except for one thing – his mentally disabled brother, Mark, is still in a group home in New York, and he is determined to move him to Louisiana. Along the way, Roxie and Andy form a relationship that promises to go further, but with their different plans for the future, is there any way this relationship will work? An absolutely heartwarming story.
Author: London Casey et al.
Axel and Shelby just got divorced, and it was heartbreaking for both of them. At first, all Shelby wants is to get out of the marriage, but once the papers are signed, she starts to have second thoughts. After all the pain and heartbreak they’ve been through, can this couple possibly rekindle their love for one another, or do these two strong-willed people have too much baggage to make it work?
Author: Claudia Burgoa
Abby left Colorado to heal from almost being killed, but before then her life was filled with both a broken spirit and a wounded body. Wes has always enjoyed protecting Abby, but he now realizes that maybe, just maybe, it is better for her to be away from him. But what about him? When their paths cross again, will their souls recognize one another, or will the secrets they both have keep them apart before their relationship has a chance to mend?
Author: Linda Cousine
Savannah has a best friend, Birdy, and the perfect life as a wealthy socialite, until an accident leaves her without a memory of the past seven years. When this happens it is her friend Birdy, a man who has been in love with her for several decades, and not her husband that helps her get her memory back. Two people from opposite sides of the track, who are both determined to see Savannah get healthy again and go on with her life – but with whom?
Author: Marina Adair
Darcy is a runaway bride who left Gage at the altar, but years later she has a wedding planning business, and her first customer just happens to be Gage’s brother. Darcy also has Gage’s child, and when he meets the two of them he falls in love all over again. Despite the fact that Gage cheated on her, Darcy gives him a chance to get to know his daughter, but it is very possible that the child could end up bringing her parents together in the end – if the tumultuous relationship can handle it.
Author: Kathryn Hughes
A book that will make you both laugh and cry, it tells two different stories many years apart. In the 1970s, Tina is working overtime to save money to leave her abusive husband. When she finds an unopened letter in an old jacket pocket that was written during World War II, she becomes determined to bring it to its rightful owner, whose name is Chrissie. Eventually, Tina and Chrissie’s worlds collide due to mysterious circumstances. The story is tragic and sweet all at the same time.
Author: Amelia Wilde
Dayton and Summer were meant to be together, but Dayton wasn’t allowed near her for a long time because she was his best friend’s little sister. When Dayton returns from war, broken in both body and soul, he realizes he’s got deadly secrets that directly affect his life and his future, but he still wants Summer. Even after he broke her heart. Even after he left her behind. He goes after her anyway, and the result is a tragic and heartbreaking, with a very emotional ending.
Author: Amelia Wilde
Eva and Bennett were each satisfied to be in their own worlds, broken and without a lot of love in their lives, until they meet one another. You’ll go through a lot of different emotions as their love story progresses, and between guilt, closely guarded secrets, and the need to get answers from the other one, this couple is bound to make their relationship work in the end once they get past all of the challenges they face.
Author: Jeanette Oke
Part of her Canadian West series of books, Ms. Oke tells us the story of Elizabeth and Wynn and their move to a very secluded area of the wilderness. It is so isolated that even the Indian women are afraid to talk to Elizabeth, and even though the couple is convinced their hardest days are behind them, they find out there is still plenty of heartache ahead.
Author: Leslie Gould
Molly likes being in control, so she resents it when her parents think she ought to marry Mervin. There are two things wrong with this – first, she doesn’t love him. And second, she is interested in Leon. So, Molly sets out to push a relationship between her best friend Hannah and Mervin, but it doesn’t quite go as planned. The next thing she knows, Hannah and Leon seem to be headed towards a relationship, but the thing is, Molly isn’t quite ready to give up control over the situation just yet.
Author: Ella Harper
Rosie and Nate are happily married until they receive some devastating news – their daughter Emmie has cancer. Devastated by the news, they concentrate so much on Emmie that their marriage starts to suffer. However, Emmie has a plan to make it all better. She has a mission, and it involves allowing her parents to see what brought them together in the first place, so they can fall in love all over again. But, how will her illness affect her plans? A roller-coaster ride that will leave you crying tears of joy and sadness the entire time.
Author: Charles Martin
Dylan is a man whose wife is in a coma, but when she finally opens her eyes after 17 months, he suddenly feels hope for the future. Even though the coma was caused by the childbirth that resulted in their son’s death, Dylan is determined to make life better from then on. But first, he has to confront their demons and their past, because this is the only way to ensure their future will be bright.
Author: Emily Ruben
When Damon, her childhood friend admits he has cancer and is only expected to live another year, Leah decides they need an adventure. They create a bucket list for Damon and head out into the unknown. One by one, the items on his list are crossed out and their friendship deepens, but will they be able to complete all of the tasks on Damon’s bucket list before it’s too late?
Author: Carmen Jenner
Rose has been in love with Harley since they were kids, and when Harley’s fiancée leaves him at the altar, Rose does her best to step in instead. A complex relationship ensues, and even though they were more than friends once a long time ago, Rose is convinced it could happen again. Okay, so it’s complicated, but Rose isn’t giving up on Harley until he convinces her there is absolutely zero chance of them getting back together once again. Come laugh and cry with this couple and the rest of the gang so you can see where it all ends.
Author: Sandy Taylor
When Mary and Dottie were just eight years old, they shared a bag of penny candy. Since then, they have each gone through a fair share of turmoil. Join the two heroines as they roller coaster past love, heartbreak, and the complexities that always come to those who live long enough. Set in a bygone area, it is charming and uplifting in the end, but along the way they each have their fair share of challenges, which only makes them stronger when it’s all said and done.
Author: Roseanne Beck
This is the story of Austin, who is suffering with a bad leg after a car accident, as well as voices in his head that he’d rather not be there, and Laura, who has been hurt so many times she’s closed off her heart to everyone. Oh, and Aunt Marge, who works hard to bring them together in between baking her sugar-free desserts. Austin and Laura have a lot to take care of before they can get together, but it will be worth it in the end.
Author: Erica Marselas
Violet and Cooper were childhood sweethearts until people who were supposed to know better separated them. Now they’re adults and Cooper is a rock star, and when they meet up in Vegas sparks immediately fly. They decide to get married, but it is their mothers who are trying to keep them apart this time. But, they have a history that cannot be erased, and they are in it for the long haul, despite what their families think about it.
Author: Michelle Sullivan
Karalyn and Dez have an on-again, off-again romance and they are at a crossroads. With each breakup and separation, their relationship suffers a little bit more. But, when they finally decide to give it their all, will the complexities of the past get in the way, or is this just one more obstacle that fate puts in their way? Or, is it time to call it quits forever?
Author: Kate Hewitt
Tessa rents a small beach house for the summer with her two children, and she lands next door to Rebecca and her family. Tessa intends for it to be a peaceful, quiet summer with no one to bother them, but Rebecca is slowly working her way into Tessa’s life. Tessa has a huge secret that has the power to destroy people, and as summer comes to an end, one family will pay a grave price for this secret. With heartbreak and tragedy, however, come hope and redemption.
Author: Jaxson Kidman
Aiden and Lily’s long-term relationship is a story that is filled with angst and happiness, heartbreak and redemption. In their late 20s, Aiden breaks Lily’s heart, but that isn’t the end of the story, because years later he shows up at her doorstep – although he isn’t alone. What does the future hold for this interesting, strong-willed couple?
Author: Charlotte Blake
Grace is still recuperating from the loss of her sister and a failed engagement. Luke is tired of not being able to find Miss Right and has almost given up on love. But, when the two spot each other in a bar, they are both immediately smitten. When they take a vacation together at Thanksgiving, it cements their relationship. A heartwarming story that will make you laugh and cry – and you’ll enjoy the ending as well.
Why Are Sad Romance Novels Popular?
You might be overwhelmed by the vast selection of novels we have shared above, but believe us when we tell you we haven’t even explored the very tip of the iceberg yet. There are hundreds (if not thousands) more sad romance novels out there, with dozens getting published each month.
So, why are sad romance novels popular?
Reading sad stories provides a strange yet profound sense of satisfaction. They can leave you feeling devastated, sure, but they also give a depth you simply can’t get from a feel-good or rom-com type of story.
In fact, we’ve found that watching overly positive movies is more depressing at times, depending on one’s current struggles and mental state. Yet, at the same time, they also give us some relief. There’s something weirdly relaxing about having a good cry, especially when under extreme pressure or stress.
Sad romance novels also have a way of taking you on a journey inward, without the consequences of experiencing such events in real life. As such, it can evoke a myriad of emotions, uncover meanings, and face harsh truths, turning you into (hopefully) a better person afterward.
The Importance of Reading Tragic Romance Stories
Aside from the points we’ve already stated, here are the added benefits of reading tragic romance stories:
It will help you overcome feelings of isolation.
One of the most important benefits that come with reading any sad story, even romantic ones, is that it tells you that you are not alone in facing life struggles.
There are a lot of times when you can feel isolated. This is especially true if you’re the first among your friends and family to undergo certain hardships such as bad health, bankruptcy, grief, and loss. Reading about other people going through the same thing (or even something worse) can help dissipate such feelings.
It can prepare you for the harsh possibilities of life.
Reading sad romance stories, even if you’re not undergoing tragic circumstances in life at the moment, can help you in the future. It can give you an idea of potential problems, solutions, and other possibilities before you even face such issues.
After all, life is life. It can and will be harsh at times.
At the very least, these sad romance novels can help you emotionally prepare to handle such situations in advance. Hopefully, you’d be able to gain strength and inspiration when the worst does happen. This is especially true when it comes to romantic relationships.
No one wants to experience heartbreak, nor can one predict and prepare for them. However, reading about heart aches in sad love stories can serve as a way of emotional practice.
It will guide you to become aware of important issues.
While we’re not saying there’s anything wrong with living a good life, it can make you unaware of the hardships of other people. Reading about them will make you realize such issues exist and even empower you to take steps toward your betterment.
More importantly, such circumstances might already be happening in the relationship you have with your special someone. It’s not uncommon for people to overlook these problems, especially if you’re in love and think your relationship is in a good place.
Sure, it might not feel good to suddenly recognize that there are problematic things present in your love life. Even so, it’s still a good thing to catch them before they turn into something more serious.
It can inspire you to be a better person.
Finally, making yourself vulnerable to the emotions that sad stories stir will teach you empathy and compassion. In other words, it will help you be in touch with your humanity. At the very least, sad romance stories can make you understand other people’s plights better. As a bonus, they can potentially make forging relationships with other people easier.
The Risks of Reading Tragic Romance Stories
Indeed, reading about sad love stories has a lot of benefits. However, it also comes with certain risks, such as:
It may trigger a negative mental state.
The most common risk is that they can make you feel sad. Tragic stories have a way of reminding readers of past negative experiences that you are probably not too keen to revisit. This is especially true for those you haven’t fully resolved yet, which is quite common for past heartaches.
For this reason, we don’t always recommend reading sad love stories if you have just undergone a tough breakup unless they offer some sort of resolution or respite in the end.
It can linger and make you feel depressed.
One can still prove to be vulnerable to sad stories even without past negative experiences. In addition, these tragic tales have a way of lingering in our memories. If you’re not careful in “consuming” them, you might find yourself depressed for extended periods of time.
If you do end up in this state, we highly recommend moving on to the next book. This time, though, it would help to choose a lighter, happier read.
It may make you feel hopeless.
You need to be aware that not all sad love stories end on a positive note. Some end in a tragic state that can make one feel utterly hopeless. It can hurt even more if you’ve seen the protagonists do their best, explore all options, hold on to every last shred of hope, and still have their love lives end in tragedy.
If you think that these stories might not be good for your mental health, it’s important that you be highly selective of your sad romances.
Different Tragic Romance Tropes
Not all sad romances have the same theme. In fact, they come in a wide variety of tropes and themes. Here are the ones that are most popular:
One of the most popular tragic romance tropes is destructive romance. These are love stories where the people involved have the tendency to bring out the worst aspects of each other. One or both can break down as a result. Sadly, a lot of these stories seem like romanticized abuse.
This is probably the most common tragic romance trope, thanks to the popularity of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It has been told and reinterpreted more than a hundred times and will probably be retold for over a hundred times more.
The characters involved don’t have to belong to warring families, but they do have certain conditions that make them unfit from the start. These can be due to severe health conditions, conflicting interests, differing social class, and other circumstances usually close to impossible to overcome, even with love.
Never Got To Say Goodbye
Here’s another popular sad romance trope. It tells of love stories filled with regret, usually due to things left unsaid or actions left undone. They can also be expressed through guilt after hurtful words or actions were left unresolved.
Unfortunately, these love stories rarely end in a satisfying fashion. After all, the main point of these stories is to serve as a warning against doing (or failing to do) regrettable or irredeemable words and actions.
Finally, a lineup of the top sad romance tropes won’t be complete without unrequited love. It’s a love story where only one person feels strongly about the other. Meanwhile, the other may or may not be aware of the other’s feelings.
Regardless, it seeks to teach readers that love simply cannot be forced. Even if one party sincerely tries, it rarely ends well for both parties.
That’s not to say there aren’t unrequited love stories that end up successfully, both in fiction and in real life. They are simply more uncommon and, thus, can seem unrealistic and oddly unsatisfying when written as a love story, even if they do end with a “happy ending.”
The Most Popular Sad Romance Authors
Finding the right book can be challenging, especially since you’re exploring such a popular genre. While the list we shared gives you some titles to consider, you might want to take a look at the following authors, as well.
These writers are the most popular sad romance authors these days. We guarantee that their work will almost always break your heart and give you a good cry.
A lot of Adam Silvera’s critics say that his books aren’t for everyone, but maybe they should be. He writes about various minority groups you will rarely find represented elsewhere. His work also explores harsh yet timely issues that can inspire, awaken, or give readers a fresh perspective on the unexplored regions of LGBTQIA+ among young adults.
Some of his works include:
- More Happy Than Not – A coming-of-age story about a 16-year-old struggling with gender, suicide, grief, and the possibility of memory alteration
- They Both Die at the End – A tale of two people finding the meaning of friendship and life on the last day of their lives
- History Is All You Left Me – A story that tackles loss, mental health issues, destructive choices, and confronting both the past and the future
You have probably heard about the movies adapted from Jojo Moyes’ books. Yet, as they say about movie adaptations, the books are always better.
Here’s an idea: Read her books, grab a box of tissues, pop some corn, and watch the movies back-to-back. You’re welcome. Among our top recommendations are:
- Me Before You – A story about an ordinary girl who just wants to show a man she loves that life is still worth living
- The Last Letter From Your Lover – A great love story to read if you’re interested in amnesia and breaking free from the struggles of society
Here’s an author who needs no further introduction. Unless you’ve been living (and reading your favorite books) under a rock these past few years, we’re sure you’ve already stumbled upon John Green.
He’s the brilliant mind behind The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns, both excellent reads when you’re craving star-crossed lovers and unrequited love tropes.
We highly recommend his work to those who want to get started on reading sad romances but don’t necessarily enjoy getting tragic endings. While his works do end on a somber note, they still present a silver lining that can bring some form of hope and joy at the end of their equally dark tunnels.
Finally, we will be remiss if we fail to mention the king of sad romances himself. We have already featured some of his best works in our collection of books. However, he certainly has other works you can explore.
We particularly recommend The Notebook, an absolute classic whether you’re a sad romance fan or not. The movie is great, too, especially with its brilliant casting of Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams.
You might want to check out some of his most recent works, such as The Return, published in 2020. It deals with loss, PTSD, forgiveness, and, of course, romance.
Reading Sad Love Stories
Are you a fan of sad love stories? So are we! We hope you enjoyed our lineup of over 70 sad romance book suggestions. If you find tragic love stories compelling and deeply pleasurable, know that you are not alone. In fact, this genre is one of the oldest fictional themes dating back to even older than Shakespeare himself.
We invite you to explore the different tropes connected to this genre, as well. Not only will doing so help you further understand the underlying aspects of your favorite stories, but it can also make your reading experience more enjoyable.
It is nice to appreciate the benefits you can get from reading tragic romances, as they can definitely help in your personal development. Just keep in mind that there are risks involved, too. After all, sad stories have a tendency to linger in one’s memory for an extended period of time.
Finally, don’t limit yourself to the selections we shared. There are hundreds of equally heartbreaking books out there waiting for you to turn the page. You can start by checking out the works of the authors we listed.
Have fun reading!