Reader Favorites – Marital Strife Romance Book Recommendations

by Maryse on April 18, 2018 · 20 comments

in Book Recommendations

READER REQUEST: MARITAL STRIFE BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS PLEASE!! One of my favorite heartbreak-y subjects that I LOVE to read and cry over (and fume over). And now, due to popular demand, we’re going to make a dedicated list. We had a few “mini lists” going, but this is our MEGA list!!!

Alyssa: Hi Maryse! Could you still make the marital strife list? I’ve been craving this kind of books! Thank you

Amy: I think a marital strife list is brilliant! :D

Nay: Ooooh, marital strife! One of my favorites!! I was just looking over the Spiral of Bliss series yesterday!

Kandace: Oh my favorite book is Arouse by Nina Lane! Her Spiral of Bliss series is amazing.

Maryse: OMG YES!! I read that one a few years ago and was hooked and so stressed out for them. LOVED!! Here’s my review of book #1.

P.S. Another one of my favorites is “Every Wrong Reason” by Rachel Higginson. It made me UGLY CRY!!! HARD. Here’s my review.

Cheryl: I’ve read Every Wrong Reason. It’s a well-written, “real-feel” look at a broken marriage and decision to divorce. Angsty, sad, although maybe not as angsty as After I Do. Still I really liked it.

Anyone have a favorite?

The Road Back to Us by K. Webster <— Oh!! I want to read this one badly, and Jessica recommends it too!

Jessica: The Road Back to Us by K Webster is amazing. … A couple on the verge of divorce get stuck in a snowstorm together and have to survive!

So good.

Dane’s Storm by Mia Sheridan <— Another divorced couple stuck in a catastrophe together and yet another one HIGH on my TBR list!

Arsen. A broken love story by Mia Asher <— Rebecca has some of our more “uncomfortable-yet-unputtdownable” favorites (but DEFINITELY marital strife!)

Rebecca: Does it make it ok if the wife has the affair? Eeeeek, not really, but I loved the following three controversial stories that were written so well, you could understand it:

Maryse: If it’s causing strife, it’s meant for this list!! :D I’m adding them! And P.S. I read and reviewed ALL of them!!! LOL! Book Review – Slip of the Tongue, and Book Review – Arsen and Book Review – 53 Letters For My Lover

Tracie: Did anyone rec Slip of the Tongue? Major strife and drama. Love that one!

The Unwanted Wife and A Husband’s Regret by Natasha Anders <— Tessa recommends these!

Tessa: Both hurt my heart so much.

Amy: I really, really liked that one! My heart just hurt for her, and I wanted to be mad at Sandro but he won me over. I actually read the previous version (different cover) where the blurb was a little more vague so I went into it pretty blind…which made it that much more fun angst wise. ;)

Tessa: A Husband’s Regret. So many feels! It literally broke my heart more than once. It’d be heartbreak, then repair, then sad, then repair, then devastating, then resignation, then… AGH It’s by the same author as An Unwanted Wife, and it’s part two of the series, though the two books have nothing to do with one another. It was just pure emotional roller-coaster. *sighs*

Georgina Kincaid series by Richelle Mead <— Monique highly recommends it!

Monique: I am reading Richelle Mead’s Georgina Kincaid series. It fits your theme, but is also paranormal.

Maryse: YES!! Thank you! I need to read this series but I read that there was an absolutely devastating scene in the middle of the series. I don’t know WHAT the scene entails, but my friend was FURIOUS!!! Tee hee!!

Monique: I agree! It hurt my heart. I have 2 books left to read. I keep hoping for a happy ending! Awesome series!

Monique: I finished the series. I highly recommend it!!!

From the Ground Up by Jennifer Van Wyk <— Another Jessica recommendation!

Jessica: Ohhh! And From The Ground Up by Jennifer Van Wyk is also amazing. …An amazing book about a married couple that lost their spark and go away to try to get it back. Plus it’s older characters. Totally amazing!

After I Do: A Novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid <— OMG YES!!!!!!! Chris suggested this one and HOLY MOLY how could I have NOT added this right to the very top. LOL!! This is one of my all time favorite books ever. In fact, here’s my review.

Chris: After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Tore my heart out. So good!

Melanie: Finally reading After I Do. Not even at 25% and I’m crying… How can books be horrible and so beautiful at the same time? I’m a sucker for tearjerkers. Thanks to everyone for all of the recommendations!!

Renee: I love love love TJR’s books. She could write a sneeze and make me cry. I bawled through After I Do also!

Tasha: I saw After I Do mentioned up there and it made me think to mention What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. If you loved After I Do you will love WAF! I still think of this book all the time, it’s one of my top faves for sure!

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty <— YES!!! Another awesome read that I read and loved and is PERFECT for this list!!! In fact, here’s my review! :D

Amy: How can I sum up the end of What Alice Forgot…

Whiplash.

I feel like my head is spinning. Maybe the wine isn’t helping.

Yep, wine was a bad idea with how this book finished up. I just went through a whirlwind of emotions in the last few chapters, from giddy to anxious to “WHAT?!?” to glorious relief.

Claudia: This author is so good, I just finished reading “What Alice Forgot”, amazing!

Strong Silent Type (Rough Riders) by Lorelei James <— Natasha suggested this one!!

Strong Silent Type by Lorelei James. It’s a quickie read, but it’s great. They’ve been married for 10 years, each other’s firsts, but communication is not his strong suit, so they’ve grown apart. Until he realizes he’ll lose her if he doesn’t change his ways. So he asks for one weekend to prove to her he’s all in.

Moments in Time by Mariah Stewart <— Doretta’s recommendation

Doretta: Moments in Time by Mariah Stewart (1995). Older but good.

The Games Duet by C.D. Reiss <— THIS ONE came up as a reader question (when Taneesha was looking for it) and fits this list PERFECTLY!

Cheryl: The Marriage Games and Separation Games were one of my fav January reads. Angsty, crazy, steamy read. …loved them. It kept me on edge wondering how this would end. Dominant H and ? submissive h.

Escapades (Trident Ink Book 1) by Lily Atlas

Diann: Love this idea! Definitely need to include Escapades, by Lily Atlas, I’m still not over it. Grab your tissue box, you will need it!

Wrecking Ball by B.N. Toler

Megan: Wrecking Ball by BN Toler is one of my favorites.

Cicely: Wrecking Ball by B.N Toler is a good one too!!! Made me cry buckets :(

Just The Way You Are by Barbara Freethy

Chante’: Just the Way You Are by Barbara Freethy is a oldie but a major goodie. I fell in love with all of the characters.

Neighborly: A Novel by Ellie Monago <— ALL SORTS OF MARTIAL strife in this one!!! Oh my my my… ;) I was furious for quite a while… (here’s my review).

Maryse: Our main character is already over-taxed emotionally (secretly stressed the heck out!!!), raising a new baby, drowning in debt, with a happy-go-lucky husband that seems purely… oblivious. He doesn’t understand her. He doesn’t even really know her. And they just moved into the “perfect” neighborhood. A little too… perfect. And stuff. ;)

Ashley recommends these:

Jenn: I just finished Written In the Scars” by Adrian Locke-Beautifully written story and I was sucked in from the beginning-absolutely loved it!!!
Fiona: Have just read one of the recommendations Bad Husband by Shey Stahl & its totally from the mans perspective; very funny & their kids especially the youngest one when he ran over the neighbours cat! Have not read many books purely from the man’s perspective but this is so good, funny, sad, a mixture of emotions; defo recommend it!!
Cheryl: Just finished Take Me Back. I went in knowing both the H and h had “secrets” but it also had some twists and suspense. Enjoyed it.

Danette has a MASSIVE list for us. ;) YAY US!!

For some strange and unexplainable reason, marital strife is my jam. Some of my favs you haven’t listed yet:

R: I second Frayed Silk! … It’s not TJR’s writing style, but it has the same feel her books have–the way your stomach rises in your throat and just sits there. Ugh the angst. It’s awesome. I loved Frayed Silk but ended up giving it 4 stars. There were a few parts that I just had to “go” with, but that wasn’t hard to do because the angst was fantastic.

Amy: Finished Fisher’s Light and loved it! Like, REALLY loved it. I had a few minor annoyances but those were more because of personal reading taste sort of things. Other than that it was heartbreakingly wonderful. Did I mention that I loved it? ;)

MichelleS: lordy lordy…. this stuff is so intense and full of emotion. I am going to choke on the lump that is stuck in my throat. Such an easy book to read. No wasted words. Just pure emotion. “Congratulations. You did it. You made me hate you.” I hate him right now too….. okay, back to the story…

Carla: Maryse, I just read a book that is totally unrequited and I love it! I had to tell you! I never heard about this one before, probably because it’s from 1996. Anyway, this is about a convenience marriage, but with time she falls in love with him, even though he treats her like shit. God! He’s such a jerk, actually he can be even cruel sometimes… but I love it! Oh of course, I’m talking about Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Have you read it?

bev: Kiss an Angel is very very good. Have re-read it a few times. Great setting, grumpy hero, and humor. …Daisy and Alex are forced to wed by her father. Both, but especially Alex, are upset by this. Oh, and Alex is working for a circus and Daisy must go with him. She writes great rom com that still has a lot of emotion.

Leilani: Kiss An Angel. The copy I have and find myself going back to re-read has torn and yellow pages. And I can’t seem to make myself purchase an e-reader copy because it just wouldn’t be the same as holding the actual book.

Amy: Lily of the Springs is SO freaking great, Bev! Five stars for me. What’s funny is that normally I would be furious at a storyline like that if it was set in modern-day times and would probably DNF it, but because of it being in the 1950′s when women were so limited in options and restricted by what was expected of them, I was able to fall in love with the story. Even though she faces all kinds of frustration and heartache because of her husband (it was literally a shot gun wedding complete with the town sheriff, LOL!), she never comes across as whiny. More like long-suffering. And the ending…BAM! So satisfying. *props chin in hand and sighs* I loved it.

Paula: The first line had me hooked – ‘I knew my marriage was in trouble the night my husband brought home a streetwalker to teach me how to satisfy him’ – I am really enjoying it and would recommend it. …loved it.

Michelle: I loved Lily of the Springs and I think I said before that reading a book set in that period was refreshing.

Anne: Oh my – just finished Feral Sins and the lead male character – Trey – is completely swoon worthy! Fantastic read – lots of humour, great plot line and a lusty dose of hot romance. Who could ask for more. Drop everything and read this now – you won’t be sorry!!

Lori: Trey Coleman from Feral Sins by Suzanne Wright. He was huge A-hole at first, loved him by midway through.

Amy: you have to read Suzanne Wrights “Feral Sins” It is the wittiest sexy book i have read in a long time. If you haven’t read it, get on it..it is gripping from the first page!

Amy: My Biggest Mistake. It was really good and pretty heavy emotionally in the first 40% or so. It’s in her POV, and I couldn’t help but feel for Donnie (the hubby) and her as well. He (understandably) puts up a fight, and she has to deal with the consequences of what she did.One of my only complaints is the time span of the book…the entire thing takes place in a period of a couple of weeks, and things happened way too fast for that sort of situation. Also, the crying. Oh lawd the crying. All the time. She cried. She cried again. She cried some more. Then HE cried. And then, you guessed it…she’s STILL effing crying. Save the tears in a book for when they will have the most impact.

BUT, the tummy-twisting, heart-aching drama with some angst thrown in made up for it, and it was a great emotional ride! :D

Penny: I love Marie Force she writes really well, my fave of all time was Line of Scrimmage… For me nothing has touched Line of Scrimmage, i don’t know if it is because it was the first book of hers I read or the fact the the H is a big bad NFL player but it was a not able to put down book for me.

Trisha: I agree with Penny, I loved Line of Scrimmage.

Seriously, I could go on and on.

Maryse: Oh Danette!! You have thrilled me and I will add EACH AND EVERY ONE!!! If you come up with more, add them to the list. :D

Danette: You asked.

Jen: Maryse- Have you read the KGI series by Maya Banks? It centers around the six Kelly Brothers. All have a military background and now run an elite ops “family business”. The Kelly men are ALPHA males with a capital A! Maya has written the first 3 (The Darkest Hour, No Place to Run, and Hidden Away).

Kendra: I LOVE the Embrace series by Jessica Shirvington! It’s a YA read but angst and action a plenty with very powerful feelings. One of my favs. I cried for over half the last book (Endless) and can’t wait for the next one to come out! Gotta read this series people!!!!!

Theresa: I enjoyed this entire paranormal series….fun, exciting, and enthralling!

Maryse: YES!!! OF COURSE SPARROW!!!!!!! In fact, here’s my review!

D.G. Maryse …Sparrow was one of my five stars!!! I just LOVED it! It got the emotions going!!!

Carla: I just read Sparrow by L.J. Shen and believe me, you are going to love this book! It turned out to be so much more than I had expected. The heroine is the best thing about this book. She has a backbone and gives as good as she gets. And the hero is that jerk that you are going to hate to love. And there is no insta love here, there connection formed over time. it was the perfect mix.;)

Maryse: YES!!! Another one that I know and love (here’s my book review) and should have thought of for this list!! Thank you Danette! :P

Amy: The Ground Rules…damn that 5-star book that STILL stirs up the worst emotions in me every time I think about it and even at the most random times, like when I’m driving on the freeway. Then road rage kicks in and lord help the poor souls in my lane. :?

JulieO: I truly loved the Ground Rules series and especially the ending. I thought it was perfect.

Leslie M: You know what gave me MAJOR angst and tons of feels? The Ground Rules. I loved that series. It’s not for everyone, but since you mentioned Drive, the h is in love with two men in this one too. …Julie o, The Ground Rules series was unputdownable for me. One of those where I was kicking myself for waiting so long to read it.

Amy: WHOA…As It Seems sounds right up my book alley. Hmmmm, I might just have to guinea-pig it. ;)

Maryse: AND ANOTHER ONE of my favorites!!! YES!!! :D (my review of book #1 & #2).

Anne: Just finished Retrieval and freakin’ loved it!!! I can’t wait for the next one. I read it in one sitting. 5 stars for sure.

Kim: Retrieval completed snapped me out of my book funk. So well written and very unique. I’ve enjoyed several books this year but this is the 1st legitimate, didn’t have to think about the rating, 5 star read.

D.G.: I have to agree with the majority on here Aly Martinez duet is a 5 star read for me! I LOVED it! There was some very emotional parts with eyes watering and stomach dropping but she brought it full circle. Even went on to read her Retrieval duet too…loved it as well!

Jaime: I devoured Grayson’s Vow in one sitting last night. I was so tired but could not put it down! Now I’m sad because I read it too fast and I want more! It had just the right amount of humor, angst, romance, and drama. I loved Grayson but I loved Kira just as much. definitely a must read!

Anne: Finished Grayson’s Vow and loved it!! Highly recommend it!

Jean: Finished Grayson’s Vow yesterday too and loved it! Mia’s books are an automatic 1-click for me!

Maryse: AND ANOTHER YESSSSS!!! But of course, this one put me through the ringer. Oooooof!!! I had no clue the title changed, but no matter what, if you’re into exhausting drama and bad decisions and repercussions. This one! Here’s my review.

Kooloo: OH BOY I just fished Author Anonymous by EK Blair. This is one of those Love to hate it – Hate to love it types for me for sure!!! Also, the hype around it being a “true story” was unnecessary me thinks. Do NOT want to give anything away as the book should be read going in blind (deaf and dumb for some part….. kidding!) :) In the end, the character that felt most real to me was the best friend and so it is to Brooke and the superb writing of Blair that I give it 4 stars.

Amy: Author Anonymous was so…so…*OOMPH!!*

Leslie M: I loved Author Anonymous…well, I loved that it was un-putdownable for me. However, LOTS of people hated it.

Melinda:  I too loved Author Anonymous. Really well written great story. Hated the characters.

Linda: Read all three in series. Outstanding story!!!

Kelly P: I have just finished the Underestimated Series and OMG my emotions where all over I loved all the twist and turns

Ela: OMG I forgot Underestimated by Jettie Woodruff!!!!!!! Total cheaters!!!!!!

renee: Drew from Underestimated is my hate/love hero…

Cheryl:  I mostly loved it and it had the “feels” I love. It made my tummy hurt from the beginning- wondering how it would end and for all the miscommunications and bad timing that the MC’s experienced.  I mostly loved it and it had the “feels” I love. It made my tummy hurt from the beginning- wondering how it would end and for all the miscommunications and bad timing that the MC’s experienced. It did get a little redundant with the MC’s gripes/issues and it was somewhat confusing because the chapters were not in chronological order. (I had more parts highlighted and notes than I generally do trying to keep everything straight). It is in dual pov, but I didn’t think it took away from the angst level. FYI it does have cheating.

Maryse: Another perfect recommendation!!!!! Quite the reveals too. Multiple POV’s but they were SO warranted, since they all culminate into the WHOLE story once the end is revealed… even the strangers. Here’s my 5-star review.

Jean: Just finished The Husband’s secret and loved it.

Andee: My friends have raved about this book.

Jennifer: Falling for My Husband has characters from the Torn and Chasing series!!!! They are all awesome books!

Becca: My favorite book has to be Whatever It Takes by L. Marietta. Such heartbreak and hope. I love and hate Gavin…especially for how he made us see how desperately sorry he was. Amazing.

Victoria: I think “Whatever it Takes” by L. Marietta was one of my most satisfying books on marital problems. Gavin sure did work for it! :)

Manduh: …it still has all of that back and forth, angst-y arguing with emotional highs and lows that I seem to gravitate towards. Their tension just pops off the page and I couldn’t put it down.

Danette: Told you this was my jam. :)

Fiona: Danette you rock with your list; you go girl!

                                                                                                                  

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol April 18, 2018 at 8:19 PM

I can’t believe you haven’t read the Georgina Kincaid series!! You would love it.

Ashley April 18, 2018 at 9:10 PM

The Scars Between Us by Adriana Locke is really good.
Bad Husband by Shey Stahl.
Take Me Back by Meghan March.

Chris April 19, 2018 at 5:15 AM

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Tore my heart out. So good!

Doretta April 19, 2018 at 5:32 AM

Moments in Time by Mariah Stewart (1995)
Older but good.

Tracie Tate April 19, 2018 at 7:26 AM

Did anyone rec Slip of the Tongue? Major strife and drama. Love that one!

Maryse April 19, 2018 at 9:25 AM

I know it Carol. Especially since I LOVE that author. My friend Jackie wanted to throttle a certain character in that one. ;)

Maryse April 19, 2018 at 9:26 AM

OMG Chris!!!! YES!!! How could I possibly forget that one??!! GASP!!!

My FAVORITE.

Thank you for reminding me. :D

Maryse April 19, 2018 at 9:28 AM

Excellent recommendations. I just added ‘em all. Keep them coming. :D This is going to be one of my favorite lists.

R. Renee April 19, 2018 at 9:42 AM

I love this list!! After I Do is just wahhhhhhhhhh!!!

Danette April 19, 2018 at 11:59 AM

For some strange and unexplainable reason, marital strife is my jam. Some of my favs you haven’t listed yet:
The Goddesses of Kitchen Avenue
Frayed Silk
Locked In
Goalie
Starting from Scratch
A Life Made of Lava
Fisher’s Light
Ryker by Cheryl Douglas
Silver Lining
The Divorce by Nicole Strycharz
Man of My Dreams
Kiss an Angel by SEP
Lily of the Springs
Feral Sins
Gravity by L. D. Evergreen
A Cry for Hope
Mistakes by Amanda Wilhelm
My Biggest Mistake
Line of Scrimmage
400 First Kisses, 325 First Fights, 218 First Hugs
Never Over You

Seriously, I could go on and on.

R. Renee April 19, 2018 at 1:19 PM

I second Frayed Silk!

Megan April 19, 2018 at 5:13 PM

Wrecking Ball by BN Toler is one of my favorites.

Chante' April 19, 2018 at 5:44 PM

Just the Way You Are by Barbara Freethy is a oldie but a major goodie. I fell in love with all of the characters.

Maryse April 19, 2018 at 7:23 PM

Oh Danette!! You have thrilled me and I will add EACH AND EVERY ONE!!!

If you come up with more, add them to the list. :D

Diann Miller April 19, 2018 at 10:14 PM

Love this idea! Definitely need to include Escapades, by Lily Atlas, I’m still not over it. Grab your tissue box, you will need it! I found it here, http://www.lilyatlas.com.

Danette April 20, 2018 at 1:47 AM

You asked.

Wrecking Ball by B. N. Toler for sure!
Be My Baby
Obligation
Beyond by Chantal Fernando
Bereft ( any of the Seven Year Itch books actually)
The Darkest Hour
Moral Infidelity
Entice, Embrace, Enflame
Sparrow
The Woman He Married
Pieces of Us
Dry As Rain
Like Broken China
What Price Paradise
The Ground Rules
Til Death
Back in Soldiers Arms
As it Seems
Retrieval, Transfer
You, Me and Other People
True (The Story of Us), Forever True
Grayson’s Bow
Reason to Believe
Author Anonymous
From This Day Forward, Forsaking All Others
Rainfall
Seventy-two Hours
The Torn Up Marriage
The Sweet Spot
Leaving Haven
Lady Gallant
The Sidelined Wife
Underestimated
Between Me and You
Christopher and Jaime
The Fourth Child
The Husband’s Secret
Unwrapping a Marriage
Tiny Threads
Falling for My Husband
Heartstrings by Kate Vale
Homesteads
Code Triage
A Corner of Her Heart
Promises to Keep
For Nick
The Affair
A Little Bit of Crazy, A Little Bit of Is
Hope Street
Whatever It Takes
On Grace
Windswept
Jessie Belle
The Outlaw of Cedar Ridge
To Honor
Devotion
The Unraveling of Us
A Price Worth Paying
Family Affair
The Long Way Home, There’s No Place Like Home
Ditch Flowers
Out With the Old, In With the New
Monday Morning Blues
Love In a Small Town
The Way We Were by Kathryn Shay
Shattered Vows
The Girl in 24B
Three Loving Words
8 Weeks

Told you this was my jam. :)

Fiona April 20, 2018 at 5:40 AM

Have just read one of the recommendations Bad Husband by Shey Stahl & its totally from the mans perspective; very funny & their kids especially the youngest one when he ran over the neighbours cat! Have not read many books purely from the man’s perspective but this is so good, funny, sad, a mixture of emotions; defo recommend it!!

Danette you rock with your list; you go girl!

Ashley April 21, 2018 at 8:24 PM

Yes to Fisher’s Light by Tara Sivic!!! I loved that one!

Maryse April 22, 2018 at 7:42 AM

I just added them ALL Danette!!!! :D

This is awesome.

Victoria April 28, 2018 at 8:56 AM

This trope is like catnip to me! Going through the list. Of course Nina Lane’s Spiral of Bliss is a favorite. Who can forget the hunky Professor Dean and Liv.

I also love Frayed Silk.

I think “Whatever it Takes” by L. Marietta was one of my most satisfying books on marital problems. Gavin sure did work for it! :)

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