I tend to like my romances on the sad side; tortured, emotional characters, high stakes drama, and of course, passion that seeks to defy the obstacles. If you’re in the mood for a good cry and need a romance novel to help that process along, here are five to try:
Roses, by Leila Meacham
What makes this a tragic romance? It’s simple: the main characters, Mary Toliver, heiress to a Texas cotton empire, and Percy Warwick, king of timber, should have gotten married. But they did not, and the tragedy stems across the 20th century as their children and children’s children deal with secrets, manipulation, and heartbreaking ramifications of a love that should have been. Historical, beautifully written, and definitely worth a few tears.
The Time Traveller’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
This is a standard on my “Must Read For a Good Cry” list. When Henry DeTamble meets Clare Abshire, it isn’t the first time they’ve meet—or the second, or the twentieth, for that matter; Henry is a time-traveler and has been going back to Clare’s childhood for her entire life. She has grown up falling in love with him, and now, it is younger-Henry’s turn to learn to love the woman he has seemingly been pre-destined to marry. But Henry’s gift is a strain on their marriage, and their passion for one another is often stymied by time itself. With passion that leaps off the page and an ending that will stain a few of the pages with your tears, this book is a perennial classic.
The Tea-Rose, by Jennifer Donnelly
In 1888 London, Fiona Finnegan works in a tea factory, but has big dreams: she wants to own a shop with the love of her life, Joe Bristow. Their plans seem to be coming to fruition when tragedy strikes, and Fiona flees London for New York City. Separated by an ocean, Fiona and Joe must fight for the love—and the dreams—they once had, before the modern age sweeps them further from one another.
To Beguile a Beast (Legend of the Four Soliders #3), by Elizabeth Hoyt
A romantic Beauty and the Beast retelling with a historical twist! Alistair Munroe has become a recluse since returning from the Colonies, injured and scarred both inside and out. But when Helen Fitzwilliam shows up at his decrepit Scottish castle to keep house (with secrets and a past of her own), and is unafraid of him, love begins to bloom between them. Alistair’s physical wounds cannot be healed, but Elizabeth’s love for him begins to soften the emotional ones.
Yours Until Dawn (Fairleigh Sisters #3), by Teresa Medeiros
Gabriel Fairchild may be a hero, but the costs of valor are more than he can bear: has lost his sight, and the woman he loved. Darkness has descended on every part of his life, a darkness that even nurse Samantha Wickersham can’t lift. The nurse charged with caring for him, Samantha may be a woman, but she is no doormat, and refuses to let Gabriel wallow in self-pity. Eventually, Samantha determines that the key to healing Gabriel may not be trying to bring him into the light, but meeting him halfway, in the shadows, where their love begins to grow.
What are your favorite romances when you need a good cry?