8 of the Best Romance Books Starring a Married Couple
While most romance novels focus on two characters who fall in love over the course of the story, the “marriage in trouble” trope is quickly gaining traction. This refers to books about an already-married couple who overcome their differences and reignite the “spark” in their relationship. In some cases, this trope can also cover divorced or separated couples who fall back in love.
Ever since I came across the trope, I’ve had a soft spot for it — more so since I got married and sought fictional couples to relate with and look to for better understanding of my own marriage. To me, they’re a reminder that marriage is never a static relationship. It changes and grows just as individuals change over time. You never stop deepening your relationship and finding new reasons to love each other, even when life gets hard.
These eight romance books star couples who grow closer and fall in love with each other all over again. Some are romantic comedies, with a more lighthearted tone, and others are more serious and contemplative.
Before I Let Go by Kennedy Ryan
Following the end of their marriage, which was torn apart by trauma and grief, Yasmen and Josiah Wade continue to co-parent and run a business together. But as they continue to spend time together and heal from the past, they question whether letting go is worth losing the love they still have for each other.
The Captain’s Midwinter Bride (The Daltons #1) by Liana De la Rosa
Although Annalise and Phillip Dalton have been married for years and have two children, the two hardly know each other. For the majority of their relationship, Phillip has pursued a career as a naval captain.
But now, 25 years after he and Annalise first met, his military service is up. As he returns home to retire, he and Annalise must adjust to life together and finally get to know the person they married.
Do I Know You? by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka
Although they’ve just left for their five-year wedding anniversary at a California resort, Eliza and Graham have never felt more like strangers. After a misunderstanding while checking in, they come up with an unusual way to become close again: pretend like they really are strangers for the weekend getting to know each other for the first time.
If You Love Something by Jayce Ellis
When executive chef DeShawn Franklin receives a call from his grandma, she shares shocking news. First, that she has cancer and has chosen not to seek treatment. And second, that she is leaving half of her estate to DeShawn’s ex-husband Malik in her will.
As DeShawn and Malik navigate the ensuing chaos of this announcement together, they discover that the spark between them hasn’t quite gone out.
Cherish Me (Holmes Brothers #7) by Farrah Rochon
Worried that he’s losing the most important part of his life — his marriage to his wife Willow — Harrison Holmes plans a trip to Rome for their anniversary. This becomes an opportunity to reevaluate their relationship, but it also brings up a difficult truth: if they want to save their marriage, it will take more work than just one vacation.
Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
Although the couple in Honey Girl are not married until a few pages in, I’m including it because the conflict of the novel is less “deciding whether or not to get married” and more “I accidentally married this person…now what?” In other words, they are already married for the majority of the book.
While celebrating her recent PhD in astronomy with her friends, Morgan Rogers wakes up after a particularly wild night to discover she married a stranger. Though she’s shocked by this turn of events, Morgan follows her wife Yuki Yamamoto — a radio show host who is also willing to see where their accidental marriage goes — to New York to get to know her and better understand herself along the way.
Know You by Heart by Tif Marcelo
Four years after agreeing to a marriage of convenience, romance author Emily Puso reevaluates her relationship to her husband Chris. Though their marriage began as a way for Chris to financially protect his family resort and Emily to fund her career, is it possible that real love has blossomed between them through the years?
Murder Most Actual by Alexis Hall
This is a bit of a cheat, but Although Murder Most Actual is a cozy mystery, at its heart is a story of love and reconciliation. When true crime podcast host Liza books a weekend stay in the Scottish Highlands, she hopes it will be a chance to reconcile with her wife Hannah. But when a guest is murdered and everyone else becomes a suspect, Liza must navigate solving a murder while working through uncertainties she and Hannah share about their marriage.
Interested in more books about marriage? In this round-up of the 15 best marriage books of all time, Book Riot contributor Giovanna Centero recommends fiction and nonfiction books that explore marriage and its complexities, including the graphic memoir Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride by Lucy Knisley.
For more romance book recs, check out this list of the best romance books of all time, including A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole.