UPDATED May 13th 2020!! Just scroll down to the UPDATED DATE section for all the new additions. 😀
ALSO!! Don’t forget to check out these lists for even more:
- Book recommendations with an alpha male and unrequited love… AND
- Looking for book recommendations where the husband rejected his wife, and is now trying to repent…
- Bullies to Love – Ultimate List of Bully Romance Books! and Looking for more Bully Romance Books?
- Recommendations for heroes that treat her bad because he doesn’t know how to handle his feelings…
- Reader Favorites – Marital Strife Romance Book Recommendations
- Reader Recommendations – Looking for book recommendations featuring cruel, abusive yet redeemable book heroes…
- all of the posts that we’ve categorized “Unrequited Love” <— (everything from reader questions to book reviews, to series recommendations). 😀 !!!
Carla: Ahhh I love some unrequited love stories. But I want something very real and deep like experiment in terror, fever series, Heller… You know when she’s pining for him but he just doesn’t see her that way or he doesn’t see her at all… He can even be an ass. I want that deep ache. I haven’t read one like this in ages… Oh I really miss them!
YES!!!! He doesn’t want her… “The Unrequited Love Book Recommendations List”. But actually… it’s more than that. Here’s a REALLY great reader request that I wasn’t really able to answer. But I KNOW where she’s coming from with this.
Do you remember my first and favorite from Kristen Ashley? Tate from “Sweet Dreams“? Do you remember that *oomph* when we (I mean… she) first saw him. And do you remember that punch to the gut when she overhead him… disgruntled about her being around?
Gah!!! I was HOOKED. How DARE HE!!??? And oh boy, I wanted her to so prove a point. Prove him wrong. And every step of the way, I loved every moment of them. I didn’t expect his nonchalance and in fact, so obvious disinterest in her, and I didn’t expect that pain right off that bat. After all. Screw him! Who is he?!! He doesn’t know us! I mean her. Right? But we hurt anyway, didn’t we?
And so did Fatima. There was a certain “feel” to the book she’s using as a suggestion (Sweet Dreams), that had me addicted AT ONCE, and I want more like this, too. That feel of being attracted to somebody, that instant infatuation, he takes your breath away, and… he doesn’t even notice you. Or worse. He notices you, and doesn’t pay you any attention. Or worse yet. He notices you, pays you attention but it’s… not the good kind. And there was that burning sort of… “jealousy” too.
I get exactly what she’s asking. If you’ve read this, you know what we’re wanting.
For this list, we want the reality of unrequited crushes (and even better… books that have a more mature feel than just “unrequited crushes”). We want the one where the guy had no real interest in the heroine at first. We want books that have that initial punch to the gut. The hurt. We want the personal growth. The resistance, and the insistence. And then maybe… HIS chase. Or our chase.
And Fatima? I actually have another from Kristen Ashley where the guy at first… barely notices the girl. It’s called RAID. YEARS of it. And YEARS of her “being” where he usually is… just in case he stops by. Just in case he *might* notice her this time. It had that same realistic edge:
It was silly but I couldn’t let go of the hope that one day, he’d walk in, look at me, and maybe pop by my table to have a chat where I would boggle his mind with my brilliance. I’d charm him with my manner. Then he’d ask me out on a date. At the end of which, maybe, hopefully, I’d finally be able to touch his hair (amongst other things).
This never happened.
We want more!! We wanna work for it! 😀
Here’s Fatima’s request:
Fatima: Hiiiii!!!! Maryse, and whoever else.. Help?! – well – this is crazy.. But I’m looking for books. Where, the lead female is in love / likes a guy who has another woman / love interest in his life … AND books similar to, say, kristen ashleys – sweet dreams… As we know, Tate called L Fat…, so I’m also looking for books where the guy has been particularly mean / jerky / a$$holish / insulting to the heroin.. Please please help with titles!
Maryse’s Book Blog: Oh I like this!!!! I want to know them too. They are kind of few and far between….
Fatima: *sigh* I know!! And as much as I like reading books with teens and the younger gen … I prefer books with characters that are a little older.. Love them.. For some reason they seem way way, more.. – call me nuts but I totally dig the whole get jealous scenes.. *shrugs* & oh well.. To whoever reads this and helps, thanks!
Maryse’s Book Blog: Me too!!!! Let’s hope we get some bites.
Fatima: *prays and hopes like hell* & yes I know that’s sorta contradictory haha
Claudia: I don’t know if you read any one of these (they are very good):”Reaper’s Property”, “Undeniable”, “Consequences” ..?
Fatima: Thanks jeannie! I’m definitely gonna check it out. I started consequences (maryse I checked your review out on it) and OMG! – I want to kill him!!.. (I’m only like in the 3rd chapter) I assumed that maybe his like Caleb from the dark duet.. But, but.. *sputters* argh!
Traci: Have you read Broken by Megan Hart? I don’t think it’s exactly what you’re looking for, but definitely a twist on what you’re looking for. I really enjoyed it!
All good suggestions. So… does anyone have any more?
UNREQUITED LOVE ROMANCE BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS (updated 05-13-2020):
Najwa: Empire by Rachel Van Dyken is also an awesome book and it’s definitely unrequited love .. I loved this one more than unbreak my heart which is one of my all time favorites. P.S. this is book 7 from Eagle Elite series and its best to be read after Elude book 6 from the series. However it can be read as stand alone
Zandy: I just read Ravishing the Heiress by Sherry Thomas last night and it is unrequited love at its finest! The heroine had a one sided love for his husband for 8 years!!! It is a slow burn historical romance and beautifully written.
Shreyasi: Try Kiss an Angel guys. It has good grovel too.
Margie: This probably can also go under What to Read after KA – Hero by Samantha Young. Some of her books are better than others. But just finished this and it’s terrific. Great strong heroine and alpha hero. Lots of angst. But a good story. Has HEA and no cliffhanger. Hope this is a series.
Lauren B: Not that aren’t enough Kristen Ashley books on the list (if you can have too many) but what about Own the Wind: A Chaos Novel (The Chaos Series Book 1)? Shy was kind of a jerk to teenage Tabby who had a huge crush on him. That’s one of my favorites!
Leslie M: I finished Timid (Lark Cove Book 2) by Devey Perry last night. I actually liked it better than book 1 – 4****! I enjoyed the “unrequited love” storyline. Although this is about diff couple than 1st book, to me it is not a standalone.
DeAnna: I would say that my fav unrequited love book would probably be Jagged (Colorado Mountain Series Book 5) by Kristen Ashley.
Grey: My favorite unrequited love… would have to be The Unrequited by Saffron Kent.
Nicole: devoured The Unrequited, it was intense, but oh so good!!
Katharine: You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me by Sara Manning was a deeper story but definitely had that “mean” quality.
Terry: I don’t know if you like historical romance but Romancing Mister Bridgerton With 2nd Epilogue (Bridgertons Book 4) fits the bill for unrequited love. He isn’t super mean to her but she over hears him say something bad about her and it is wrenching. I highly recommend it! New to your site and I love it!
MichelleS: Romancing Mr. bridgerton? With Colin & Penelope Featherington? My absolute fave of that whole series!!! Loved that one. Slow burns are best.
Maryse: Unbreak My Heart (Fostering Love Book 1) is one of my absolute FAVORITE unrequited love stories. Oh the pining and the hurt that came with his reactions to her. UGHHHH!!!! That book makes SO many of my favorite trope lists, but unrequited love is my all-time favorite of them all, and THIS BOOK DID IT for me!!! Ahhhhhhh my heart!!!! …this is as unrequited as it gets. I couldn’t have asked for more. 😉 P.S. Here’s my Book Review. …
Robyn: I’m glad to see you read Unbreak My Heart. It is my most favorite books of all time. I have read it so many times. Just thinking about it gives me butterflies. GAH!
Ashley: I read Unbreak My Heart because it kept popping up on the blog and OH BOY that was amazing.
Robyn: Maryse and everyone, I’m soooo excited to tell you about a book I just finished! It’s called IF | A Novel by Randi Cooley Wilson. This is the first book I’ve read by this author, and OMG what a book. It reminds me a little of the Avoiding series by KA Linde. The main characters meet freshman year of college. Oh the angst with these two! Eeek! It’s never the right time for them. I don’t want to give anything away, it’s that good.
This book is right up there with Unbreak My Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn. Now if you know anything about me, that is one of my all time favorite books and nothing can top it. If is giving it a run for the money. You guys have to read this glorious book!
Robyn: All My Life sounds so much like my favorite book Unbreak My Heart!! She’s known him and loved him since childhood, marriage, a child and divorce and he doesn’t know or realize this. This sounds like some angsty unrequited love to moi.
Maryse: Right Robyn??? I LOVED Unbreak My Heart so All My Life sounds like exactly my thing!!!
- Beautiful Bastard (The Beautiful Series Book 1) by Christina Lauren &
- Tangled (The Tangled Book 1) by Emma Chase an also be on this list…
- I know u guys might not like YA…but I would also recommend Vampire Academy…so sooooo good!!
Maryse: OMG YESSSSS!! I was hooked on that series BIG TIME. It GUTTED ME!!!! Here are my reviews.
Margie: Suggest reading Beyond Repair by Susie Tate. Great heroine who overhears hero bad mouthing her to friends. Ms. Tate has other books in this same theme.
Margie: Just finished Under Locke by Mariana Zapata (released Jan 2914). It has it all. Unrequited love, overhearing H insult h, alpha H, feisty h – great read.
Margie: I can suggest one more that’s a fun read and has great characters with snappy dialog. It’s Here for the Cake by Emily Poule. A great first author book. Smart heroine is encouraged to attend destination wedding of her ex to break up the wedding. One of those books to keep and re-read.
Yvette: Oh and I don’t know how you feel about historical romances but I read one that made me cry with how much the heroine was feeling and how badly the hero was hurting her by not loving her. It’s called The Chief: A Highland Guard Novel (The Highland Guard Book 1) by Monica McCarty.
Vivian: When it comes to the “King of All Assh*oles”…the crown definitely goes to Bastian in “Surviving Raine: Surviving Raine Book 1”…by Shay Savage
Julie O: You are so right Vivian! Like I have said before, I couldn’t stand him for the first half of the book and then didn’t think I could live without him for the second. Just goes to show who you can fall in love with!
Maryse: AGREEEEED!! One of my favorite books ever, and had me feeling furious and swooning. SOOOO GOOOD!! Here’s my 5 star Book Review.
Robyn: Undo Me: The Good Ol’ Boys by M. Robinson! This book! God, it was so angsty. This book could go into the unrequited love and books that made me cry categories. This is the third book in the series and by far the best! The H/h went through years of torment to finally get to where they were at the end of the book. Please read these books, you won’t be disappointed!
Robyn: Complicate Me: The Good Ol’ Boys. It’s full of angst and unrequited love. Our favorite! Alexandra has known these 4 boys basically since birth. As they grow up together her bond with Lucas gets stronger and of course they love each other. They have to deny this love because the rest of the boys and their parents don’t want them together. They go through their trials and tribulations throughout their lives until they finally realize the can’t not be together! I fell in love with Alex and her Boys and can’t wait for the next boy, Jacobs book!
Christine: Eternally North by Tillie Cole. He is a jerk to her since first meeting. VERY funny book.
Amy: Maryse! Every Ugly Word has unrequited love and WORSE is that she has to see him dating one of the girls who hates her and makes her life miserable…and he just won’t see it or believe it. UGH!!
Maryse: Amy I love unrequited love!! Well I mean… in BOOKS. Only in books.
Amy: …my lord but that was crazy. Just to clarify, there was no ugly crying involved, no death, no love triangles (more like just unrequited love), and it had a slight supernatural twist to it because she can communicate with her older self in the mirror.
So, final verdict? YES! Read it! Just know going into it that it’s intense and heavy on the whole bullying thing, which is what was making me freak out through most of it. Not knowing what was coming next from those stupid meanies is what caused all the apprehension and anxiety for me. And her mother is AWFUL. Now, if that sort of thing (bullying in books) doesn’t affect you that way when you read it, then you probably won’t lose your sh!t the way I did. 😛
Christine: I cant believe I forgot about ‘Fallen Crest High (Fallen Crest Series, Book 1)’ and ‘Fallen Crest Family (Fallen Crest Series, Book 2)’ by Tijan. Dysfunctional family, jerks galore. One of the darker reads. Read this – you are missing out BIG TIME!!!
Hollie: I love books like this as well. If you haven’t tried The Fall From Grace (Mad World Book 1) (Mad World) Series by Christine Zolendz its definately worth the read. The hero and heroine start out being quite hurtful to one another.
Janet: Lead: A Stage Dive Novel (Stage Dive Series Book 3) was great! Unrequited love, ultra-steamy, tear-jerking, funny… contains my new favorite, loved-hated-loved, flawed hot-man.
Cheryl: Just finished Boy In A Band (Morgan Mallory Series Book 1). It was SO good. A LONG drawn-out angst filled, seemingly unrequited love relationship. I am sitting here with tears running down my face still in shock at not only how it ended but at the events leading up to the end. The *way* I was broadsided with an *event* made me think it couldn’t possibly be real, even though I have finished the book and know it is. Amy I so need your manatee!!
I know there is a sequel, but not sure I’m going to read it. It somehow seems to take place prior to the ending of BIAB. Ugh, now I have to re-think what I want to read next. I wanted a gut-punch and I so got that!! *sniffle, ugly cry*
Tessa: Boy in a Band. I swear, BiaB is a train wreck. The girl just can’t say no to this guy…
Amy: …with this one? I just feel sad for her. Every time he ropes her back in (ooooooh he’s a JERKFACE, Maryse!!!!) I keep thinking, don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t– *throws up hands* Way to go, dumba$$.
Carla: I just read a book (Precarious (Jokers’ Wrath, Book 1) by Bella Jewel) that gave me this same KA feel that I was looking for Maryse. It’s not as good as KA, but… Plus there are enough of push and pull, romantic, pining and unrequited love and even some “oh no he didn’t” moments just like you said. But it’s a short story (just 192 pages) but this book gave me just what I wanted.
Angela: Just finished Precarious and it was so good. I haven’t had that heart dropping Travis like squeee in a long time but this book gave it to me and there are some sexy sexy scenes in it that shocked me! If it is in not on your TBR list you need to add it!
Julie O: Nobody writes the “alpha male” like Kristen Ashley. For those of you who haven’t read the Burg series, you are missing out. I would definitely start on the first one, “For You”. The next is “At Peace” which is one of my all time favorite books. I absolutely love Joe (Cal), in fact would pick him for a husband if I could! I love Travis, Kellen, Tate, and Tack but Joe is at the top of my list.
I wish all authors would write like Kristen, she writes long books you can really get lost in. Most of her books are series, where you will see characters that you loved from other books repeated and she is the greatest epilogue writer ever. She could teach classes on writing epilogues. She wraps it all up in one book, no waiting months on a sequel to come out and when you finish one of her books you feel fulfilled and there is a HEA. Just wish she could write faster or clone herself!
Maryse: Agreed! She’s one of my forever #1 favorites!!! And a writing machine at that, and yet, we still can’t get enough. LOL!!
Julie O: Maryse, If a book comes out by Kristen Ashley I automatically click it for my kindle, don’t even look to see what it is about. I shouldn’t complain that she doesn’t write enough, she is like you say a “writing machine”.
Megan: 20% into Sweet Dreams and I shot out of bed saying only to myself I love this man…. why haven’t I read this a long time ago? Thank you Maryse for yet another great read!!!!!
Lauren: The Untouchable series by Lindsay Delagair. Not only does he not return her feelings, he is a hit man hired to kill her!! Maybe try…
- Forever Black (Forever Trilogy Book 1) by Sandi Lynn or
- Broken At Love (Whitman University Book 1) by Lyla Payne.
- Oooooo, Take this Regret (The Regret Series Book 2) by A.L. Jackson. Young couple in love, both in law school. She gets pregnant, he gives her an ultimatum- him or the baby. 6yrs pass before he sees either of them again.
- Chasing Beautiful [Chasing Series] series by Pamela Ann (1st book is free).
- 1 of my all time favorite books, Disastrous by E.L Montes. Love, Love it!! And the sequel.
Megan: I agree with Lauren about the Untouchable series!! Those books are one of my favorite unrequited love stories!!
Recommendations from 2013 (original list)
- Reaper’s Property by Joanna Wylde (see Book Review)
- Undeniable by Madeline Sheehan <— Yes ’cause he was so much older and she had a cute girl-crush. (see my Book Review)
- Unbeautifully (Undeniable: Book Two) by Madeline Sheehan <— definite resistance ’cause she was the prez’s daughter. No way a brother of his status should *be* with her. 😉 (see Book Review)
- Unattainable (Undeniable: Book Three) by Madeline Sheehan <— He was def. not into her AT all. “It’s not like that for me…” GAH! (see my review)
- The Nature of Cruelty by L.H. Cosway <— I think I heard that he’s her “bully”…
- Broken by Megan Hart <— kind of… yes. He shares his *exploits* with her… and she crushes on him privately. (see my Book Review)
- Bully (Fall Away #) by Penelope Douglas (see my Book Review) <— Nicole suggest this one: “Another book that might fit into this list is maybe the Bully by Penelope Douglas (I mean they were friends and he bullies her for most of her high school years)”
- Perfection (A Neighbor From Hell) by R.L. Mathewson <— Nicole suggests this one, and I must agree. They are neighbors and she’s not really his type… (my review)”
Kim: anyone who hasn’t tried R L Mathewsons ‘neighbour from hell series’ needs to do that.. Right now. I think Playing for keeps is the first, but it’s fun and beautiful and I reeeeally want to marry a Bradford.
- Breathe (Colorado Mountain) by Kristen Ashley <— Lori suggests this one!
Lori: I do love it when it just settles into the 2 main characters. Breathe kinda has that going on. The h is in love with the H for years, and doesn’t think he notices her, though he’s not an a-hole to her. I loved the nature of cruelty, it’s probably in my top 25 this year, and I’ve read about 700 books this year, so that’s saying something.
- For You (The ‘Burg Series) by Kristen Ashley <— suggested by Amber “For You also by Kristen Ashley would fit the bill as well”
- At Peace (The ‘Burg Series) by Kristen Ashley (see my review) <— Jennifer suggests this one
Jennifer: I fell so hard for Joe in At Peace” – YES!! I remember… he was kind of a “one-nighter” type with her (see my Book Review)
- Motorcycle Man (Dream Man) by Kristen Ashley <— Jennifer also suggests
Jennifer: Tack in Motorcycle Man … They all had a “jerk” mentality. I just love an intense book jerk, especially one that eventually comes around in a big way!” – but of course! Total player… sort of. Another “one night stand” heart-break… and his reasoning for it *ooof!!!* (see my Book Review)
- Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain) by Kristen Ashley <— Jennifer and Rebecka suggest this one, Rebecka saying:
“Or when Ty told Lexi that all p*ssy comes with chains. Actually I think it’s worse becaus it IS a series so we get to live and breathe the characters longer. I love me some KA so I feel confident in the comparison. If that’s the feeling she’s looking for this series will totally work.” (see my Book Review)
- Law Man (Dream Man) by Kristen Ashley <— suggested by Paula.
- Rock Chick Revenge by Kristen Ashley <— suggested by Paula.
- Back to You by Priscilla Glenn <— suggested by Paula. (Here is my review)
- Rock Me by Cherrie Lynn <— Also recommended by Paula. Actually a pretty good suggestion… long-time crush on this tattooed hottie. One of my ALL time favorite books, and while he wasn’t a jerk to her, there was some incredible pining here. LOVE LOVE LOVE! (See my Book Review)
- Heller by J.D. Nixon <— Rebecka also suggests this:
“Have you read the Heller series. It’s hard to compare because it’s not one thing he says to her but there’s definitely a pattern of assh*le over the course of the series that beaks my heart the way Tate did when he called Laurie fat.” (see the Heller Series Reading Order)
- Tempting the Best Man (A Gamble Brothers Novel) (Entangled Brazen) by J. Lynn <— another recommendation from Paula.
- Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines <— suggested by Catherine (Yep! This one’s a “new adult” novel but he’s a jerk and she’s made to feel very badly. Hurt! So fun! – see Book Review)
- Into the Deep by Samantha Young <— Catherine suggests this one, too.
- Avoiding Commitment (Avoiding Series) by K.A. Linde <— recommended by Kelsey. Oh I must agree. My heart was torn out a million times in this one! (my Book Review)
- Groupie by Ginger Voight <— Kelsey also suggests this “”How about Groupie/ Rockstar/Mogul by Ginger Voight? Fits right into this category”. ABSOLUTELY!! Talk about disappointment and pain! (my Book Review)
- Man of My Dreams by Faith Andrews <— Juana suggests this one: “Man of my Dreams by Faith Andrews fits into this category, I’m really enjoying the read u may want to add it to your TBR”
- Hostile Takeover (Knights of the Board Room) by Joey W. Hill <— another suggestion by Catherine
- Everything I’ve Never Had by Lynetta Halat <— Bobbie recommends this one!
Bobbie: “You must read Everything I’ve Never Had by Lynetta Halat. This book it’s your mood perfectly!! Adrian and Celeste have just the cure for you!!!” (ohhh look! “…a forbidden attraction between the widow and her husband’s bad boy cousin, Adrian.“
- Paradise by Judith Mcnaught <— Kristina recommends this one: “One of my all time favorites is Paradise by Judith McNaught. 4.3 rating over 13,000 votes on Goodreads.”
- Captive in the Dark (The Dark Duet: Book 1) by CJ Roberts <— Kristina recommends this series (and while I’ve seen this more as a super-dark series, he definitely was a jerk for a very looong time. Yes!
- Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips <— Amy recommends this one: “…As humorless as he is deadly handsome, he drags the irrepressible Daisy away from her uptown life and sets out to tame her.“
- Georgina Kincaid Series by Richelle Mead <– Kristina recommends this one for this list, too.
- Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins <— and Kristina recommends this one.
- What Price Paradise by Katherine Allred <— recommended by Erica, saying:
“…not the ultimate a$$hole but he loves someone else…” – just read the synopsis and OMG this sounds angsty!
- Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren <— Lindsay suggests this one and…
- Accidentally on Purpose by L.D. Davis <— this one, saying, “Those two had some a$$holish men in them.”
- Me Before You: A Novel by JoJo Moyes <— suggested by Day (see my review) and she also suggests:
- Rock and Roll Never Forgets (The Rock and Roll Trilogy) by Barbara Stewart
- The Unwanted Wife (The Unwanted Series Book 1) by Natasha Anders <— Kim said: “Hey Maryse how about Unwanted wife that was a good one.”
Yvette: Have you read The Unwanted Wife by Natasha Anders? It’s about a husband trying to win his wife’s love again after she asks for a divorce and he realizes, ‘oh shit she actually means it’. It gave me a few sucker punches to the heart.
Rebecka: I totally forgot about The Unwanted Wife by Natasha Anders. Unrequited love at its finest.
- Until Fountain Bridge: (InterMix) by Samantha Young <— suggested by Laura
- The DUFF: (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) by Kody Keplinger <— sneumann says “very good book”