15 Angsty Romance Books In Best-Seller List

Angsty Love Stories

Angsty romance books feature emotional drama and conflict between the protagonists. The term “angst” originates from German, meaning “fear” or “anxiety.” In the context of literature, especially in romance, it denotes a deep emotional tension, turmoil, or internal conflict.

Angsty romance books contain elements like:

  • Misunderstandings or miscommunications between the main characters.
  • External forces (e.g., societal norms and familial expectations) that keep the lovers apart.
  • Past traumas that influence the characters’ current relationships.
  • Forbidden or taboo relationships.
  • Love triangles or complex relationship dynamics.
  • Emotional roller-coasters where characters undergo significant personal growth.

These books can be both emotionally draining and satisfying for you. They engage deeply with the characters’ struggles and root for their eventual happiness. The heightened emotions and tension make the eventual resolution— a happy or hopeful ending—all the more rewarding.

Every relationship has some angsty moments and memories because humans are different, and the opposite gender has many clashes. So, in love or romance, without angsty, it seems unfinished or unsatisfaction. Love creates our insecurity to lose our partner, and we sometimes feel unsafe. As a result, an angsty situation occurs, and sometimes it makes a breakup or creates more romance, which is called angsty romance.

15 Angsty Romance Books

Angsty romance fits various sub-genres, from historical to contemporary, paranormal to science fiction. This means we can enjoy emotional depth while exploring a variety of settings and time periods. Like all fiction, angsty romance provides an escape from the real world. The emotional intensity can be a way for you to temporarily immerse yourself in another world and forget about daily stresses.

Every couple or relationship passes through rough and tough ways. It is like a mental war between two couples. In this situation, anger, depression, anxiety, insecurity, and other negative emotions feel painful and sad. I am going to talk about 15 angsty romance books for you. The trials and tribulations faced by characters in these books usually lead to significant personal growth and development. This evolution is inspiring for us and provides hope for overcoming personal challenges. Let’s go!

A Love Letter to Whiskey by Kandi SteinerA tumultuous journey of love, pain, and longing spanning years.Friends to lovers, unrequited love, love triangle, second chance romance, coming of age.
Paper Princess by Erin WattA young girl’s life changes dramatically when she’s thrust into a world of privilege, secrets, and complex relationships.Enemies to lovers, rags to riches, high school drama, forbidden romance, family secrets.
Bully by Penelope DouglasA tale of love-hate romance between childhood friends in a high school setting.Enemies-to-lovers, high school drama, childhood friends, rich kid/poor kid dynamics, redemption arc, complicated pasts, love triangle, dark romance, alpha male, misunderstood bad boy.
Punk 57 by Penelope DouglasAn intense romance that blossoms between two pen pals after they discover each other’s true identities in a twist-filled high school setting.Mistaken identity, enemies-to-lovers, high school drama, dark secrets, online friendship, emotional baggage, misunderstood individuals, bad boy/good girl dynamic, hidden pasts, and the power of letters.
Something in the Way by Jessica HawkinsA forbidden love story that unfolds amidst societal expectations, family pressures, and an irresistible attraction.Forbidden romance, age gap, love triangle, coming-of-age, family drama, societal norms, slow burn, angst, emotional turmoil, star-crossed lovers.
Birthday Girl by Penelope DouglasA taboo romance blossoms between a young woman and her boyfriend’s significantly older father, challenging societal norms and personal boundaries.Age gap romance, forbidden love, domestic drama, love triangle, step-parent romance, slow burn, moral dilemmas, societal judgment, emotional tension, evolving relationships.
Destroy Me by Tahereh MafiA novella providing insight into Warner’s perspective, revealing his vulnerabilities and complexities amidst the dystopian backdrop of the “Shatter Me” series.Anti-hero point of view, dystopian setting, internal conflict, unrequited love, morally gray character, insight into the enemy, hidden vulnerabilities, power dynamics, forbidden attraction, emotional turmoil.
Addicted to You by Krista RitchieTwo best friends, both battling their own addictions, pretend to be in a romantic relationship to hide their destructive behaviors, only to find their bond tested and evolving.Friends-to-lovers, fake relationship, addiction, codependency, family drama, rich kid problems, dark secrets, emotional baggage, dual point of view, character growth.
Pretty Reckless by L.J. ShenA high school enemies-to-lovers tale of Daria, the queen bee with a tarnished crown, and Penn, the boy from the wrong side of the tracks, as they navigate revenge, love, and past mistakes.Enemies-to-lovers, high school drama, alpha male, rich girl/poor boy dynamics, family feuds, revenge plot, redemption arc, dark romance, complicated relationships, broken hero.
Blind Kiss by Renée CarlinoTwo college friends, Penny and Gavin, share a profound connection from a blindfolded kiss during an experiment, leading them on a journey of missed opportunities, life choices, and the complexities of love over the years.Friends-to-lovers, missed opportunities, time skips, second chances, life-altering decisions, angst, emotional turmoil, unspoken feelings, fateful encounters, slow burn romance.
Manhattan by Kandi SteinerA story of love, loss, and new beginnings, set against the backdrop of the city that never sleeps, as two souls grapple with past hurts and the uncertainty of the future.Second chance romance, city romance, emotional healing, past traumas, love vs. career, complicated relationships, self-discovery, friends-to-lovers, slow burn, overcoming adversity.
Something That Could Last by Ashley CadeA summer romance unexpectedly deepens between two people from different worlds, leading them to question their futures, their pasts, and the possibility of a love that could endure.Summer romance, class differences, secrets and revelations, age gap, forbidden attraction, emotional baggage, small-town setting, family dynamics, overcoming odds, love against the odds.
Disgrace by Brittainy C. CherryA deep and emotional journey of healing and redemption, where two broken souls in a small town come together and find solace in each other amidst personal tragedies and societal judgment.Small-town romance, emotional healing, tragic pasts, forbidden love, societal judgment, second chances, grief and loss, redemption arc, opposites attract, internal growth.
Drive by Kate StewartAn emotional rollercoaster of a romance that chronicles the protagonist’s tumultuous journey through love, heartbreak, and self-discovery, all set to the backdrop of music.Rockstar romance, love triangle, flashback storytelling, coming-of-age, angst, emotional turmoil, power of music, character growth, passion vs. comfort, chase for dreams.
Turbulence by Whitney G.An intense, steamy romance that unravels between a confident pilot and a fiery woman, exploring their no-strings-attached trysts in the air and on the ground, and the unexpected emotions that emerge.Enemies-to-lovers, workplace romance, no-strings-attached, alpha male, strong-willed heroine, steamy encounters, commitment issues, emotional walls, passionate clashes, evolving relationships.
Angsty Romance Books List

1. A Love Letter to Whiskey

This is about a girl and a guy who meets, and instantly, the guy starts dating her best friend. They become good friends with this guy. But this whole book is about them not being able to be together. They have this undeniable chemistry. But it’s so angsty that they are never in the right moment to be with each other, making you want to throw the book across the room.

They’re so toxic for each other because they can’t be together, and it’s always the wrong time. It starts in high school when they meet, and then it goes on later.

A Love Letter to Whiskey

Author: Kandi Steiner
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: College Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle

2. Paper Princess (The Royals)

The main character, Ella, is uprooted from her life by some mysterious guy who says he is her father’s best friend. She’s never met before, and she moves in with the royal brothers and instantly is ostracized by them. There’s insane chemistry between Ella and Reed. This is a hate-to-love romance where you get so much angst. But they wanted to be together, and it was hard for them to deal with.

Reed has his brothers gang up against Ella, but they start breaking down their walls and accepting her. So Reed is losing control of his hate for her. It does occur in their senior year of high school, but it’s a note.

Paper Princess

Author: Erin Watt
Average Rating: 4.4/5
Category: Contemporary Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

3. Bully (Fall Away)

This is Jared and Tate’s story, and it’s bullying because Jared is Tate’s bully. He bullies her so much in high school. They were close when they were younger, but then Tate goes away. One of them goes away and comes back. Then Jared hates Tate. We understand why. So, we get much of Jared’s perspective in this book and why he is so angsty.

There’s another hate-to-love romance because Jared bullies Tate, and Tate is finally like him. Then, they find themselves in situations together and end up falling for each other.


Author: Penelope Douglas
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Contemporary College Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

4. Punk 57

Punk 57 is a story about a guy and a girl with gender-neutral names, Misha and Ryen. Misha is the guy, and Ryen is the girl. Their teachers paired them up, thinking that they were the same gender. Also, they keep writing to each other, but they agree never to meet and never look each other up.

Misha shows up at Ryen’s school, and Misha knows Ryen. Ryen has no idea who she is because he has a different name and is shocked to find out who she is. Ryen feels this angsty need to be with Misha and that animalistic chemistry you need to be with someone, and he hates her. It is so mean to her, and she is drawn to him and doesn’t understand why he hates her. She is different than she is in person, and Misha is mad about her letters. So, she’s dealing with who she is as a person. Why didn’t you stop writing her back and who is this mysterious man?

Punk 57

Author: Penelope Douglas
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: New Adult & College Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | MP3 CD

5. Something in the Way

This book is about a girl named Lake, who is 16 years old. She gets older as the series goes on. Moreover, she meets a guy working at the next-door construction site, and her sister is like him (Manning). So her sister is super annoying. She’s not even in college but out of high school, mooching off her parents and being a horrible sister.

Lake sets the side when it comes to her sister being with that guy, and she’s longingly looking at them and hanging out with operating a lot. But she’s too young. There’s a significant age gap; Lake goes off to a camp, and Manning becomes a counselor there. So, the ending of this huge cliffhanger. It is a super angsty romance, and you will feel obsessed.

Something in the Way

Author: Jessica Hawkins
Average Rating: 4.4/5
Category: Fiction Sagas, Contemporary Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle

6. Birthday Girl

Birthday Girl is about Jordan dating a guy (Pike). Pike does not take his life seriously. He likes to party and doesn’t care about money. Jordan is working hard at the restaurant she works at and still goes to school in college. It’s the night of her birthday, and she goes to the movies alone after work because her boyfriend bailed on her again.

Jordan meets this hot guy, and they spend the evening watching this movie together, an eighties movie. She loves eighties culture, and they click so well. She likes him, and he seems a little older, but she has a boyfriend. She doesn’t do anything about it. Then she figures out that the guy is her boyfriend’s father. So this is super angsty love because there’s a huge age gap that can’t be together. After all, it’s her boyfriend’s father.

Birthday Girl

Author: Penelope Douglas
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Contemporary Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | MP3 CD

7. Destroy Me (Shatter Me)

Destroy Me is about Juliette and Warner. Warner brings the angst, and everyone loves Warner. You get that angst if you read this novella from Warner’s perspective. The romance goes through the roof, and you’ll love Warner.

So this is about a dystopian society, and Warner is the leader of their sector. He is a super macho man who shoots people in the head because he can. He tries to show that he’s a dominating man, so he captures Juliette. It is because she cannot touch people or kill them.

Destroy Me

Author: Tahereh Mafi
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Science Fiction Action & Adventure
Available: Paperback | Kindle

8. Addicted to You

We have Loren and Lily, and they have been best friends, and they are dating. But they are dating to throw their parents off because they each have an addiction. Lily is a sex addict, and Loren is an alcoholic. They are drawing a line, which is a fine line between their friendship and their fake romance and real romance. So they’ve been doing a lot together, but it’s an act. So this is angsty in that sense where they’re selfish but fall in love with each other.

Addicted to You

Author: Krista Ritchie
Average Rating: 4.3/5
Category: Billionaire Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | MP3 CD

9. Pretty Reckless (All Saints High)

This angsty romance is about Daria and Penn. Daria is a very careless protagonist. But Penn isn’t an angel, either. They both have very terrible pasts. Especially Daria has a very complicated family and doesn’t have friends. She’s the popular girl at school, but they’re so much going on with their life. Penn is so fricking broken, and there is a meaning to everything in this book.

A few years back, Penn saw this girl, and she was very frustrated and sad because her mom was bad. Then he kisses Daria, asking her to save all her first times with him. But Penn is not a random person. So what he did was twist his future, and not in an excellent way. After that, he doesn’t see her but is looking for revenge. Her mom feels guilty about his situation, so she decides to do a charity case and take him to live with her.

So this is filled with high school angsty drama in general. All the friendships are fake, with many dramatic and realistic moments.

Pretty Reckless

Author: L.J. Shen
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Sports Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | Mp3 CD

10. Blind Kiss

This is about two people who met in college because they were doing a psychology experiment where two people were supposed to kiss with blindfolds and see if the chemistry was still there. Our hero and heroine were paired together. They had the blindfolds on; it was the best kiss of their life, and there was a ton of passion. But the heroine was focused on school and didn’t want to date, so she friendzone the hero and continued being friends.

There was always a spark there, and each of them dated people, and when one of them was single, the other person wasn’t. Further, something was always getting in the way of their possible relationship. We follow them over the years in college and at least ten years after college ended, and they’re dealing with as many things in life that are keeping them apart. So this one is a very angsty relationship. You want them to get together, but something keeps them apart.

Blind Kiss

Author: Renée Carlino
Average Rating: 4.2/5
Category: Contemporary Romance Fiction
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle

11. Manhattan (Becker Brothers)

Manhattan is the third book in the Becker Brothers series, but you could read it alone. It is about two childhood best friends who have graduated high school. Their names are Kylie and Mikey. Mikey is the youngest Becker’s brother, and Kylie has been secretly in love with Mikey for years, but he has no idea he’s been oblivious. He’s dated other girls, and he’s completely friends with Kylie and has never seen her as a woman. After high school, he announced to his family that he would move to Manhattan at the end of the summer.

This heart breaks Kylie because she’s never had a chance to tell him how she feels. So she vows to tell him her feelings by the end of the summer and create this adventure list for them to do before the summer is over. Also, this one had so much angst because it was unrequited love, and he didn’t see what was sitting right in front of him all along. Then, even once they figured out the feelings between them, there was a lot of tension, and Mikey was making many stupid decisions.


Author: Kandi Steiner
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: College Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

12. Something That Could Last (Wild Hearts)

This is the first book in a duet. It is about the rich, privileged hero (Jacob). He’s in college. He and his best friend decided to go away to the small town for the summer. It’s a beach town, and they need to get away. He ends up meeting a girl (Abby) there who is a waitress at a restaurant that he goes to. Moreover, he and she could not be more different.

Jacob is very privileged, and Abby works hard for everything she has. She’s struggled verses, he’s had a lot handed to him, and she feels she’s not good enough for him. So it’s angsty romance, and the story does leave off on a cliffhanger.

Something That Could Last

Author: Ashley Cade
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Small Town & Rural Fiction Romance
Available: Paperback | Kindle

13. Disgrace

Disgrace is about a woman who was recently divorced. She discovers her husband has been cheating on her with her best friend. So, she moves back to her hometown to be closer to her family and start fresh. Moreover, she ends up meeting a guy who is the town pariah. He owns a mechanic shop. He’s very brooding, and you can tell he’s unhappy. Also, she and his family are rivals and do not get along.

So it’s a Romeo and Juliet situation, with instant sparks between them. They decide to have this sexual relationship with no feelings involved. But feelings do develop, and there is a lot of angst because they know they shouldn’t be together. They both have things from their past affecting them that make them not want to open up to love. If you love a Romeo and Juliet situation book, you would love this one.


Author: Brittainy C. Cherry
Average Rating: 4.7/5
Category: Contemporary Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | MP3 CD

14. Drive

This is a love triangle book. It is about a girl (Stella) who’s in college and goes to stay with her older sister one summer. She ends up developing feelings for her sister’s best friend. Also, he doesn’t want to like her because she is his best friend’s little sister, but they can’t help but like each other. There’s a lot of angst there, but she also wants to work as a music journalist for this one magazine. In addition, the boss who owns it wants to have a relationship with her.

So, It is a love triangle, but Stella doesn’t date the two guys. At the same time, you’re trying to figure out who she will choose because she dates them at different times. It doesn’t overlap, but she struggles with choosing who to choose. The whole time, you don’t know who is the right choice.

Author: Kate Stewart
Average Rating: 4.7/5
Category: Contemporary Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

15. Turbulence

Turbulence is about Gillian Taylor, who is broke and works cleaning apartments. She sees that there’s one luxury apartment that the guy is never there. Also, she found a way to go through security so she couldn’t be detected. This guy has been noticing a few different things. He doesn’t know if someone is entering his apartment or not.

One night, Taylor goes to a party. She sees this super cute guy. He is very straightforward. She doesn’t know that he owns her apartment, and he is completely pissed at her with reason. She did break into his apartment, so he’s not very forgiven at first. Anyway, they argue and sleep that night, but they don’t intend to see them again after that. He does see her working at his building a few times, and they have this very public sex scene.

Then, after that, she decides to get a new job as a stewardess in a fancy company, but she doesn’t know what the guy works with. When she’s going for her first flight, she’s super excited about it. She sees him, and he’s the pilot. They make a deal that they have a few rules, like they’re exclusive, and he doesn’t want to get involved with her at all. So, it’s interesting to see him falling in love with angsty moments.


Author: Whitney G.
Average Rating: 4.8/5
Category: Contemporary Erotica Romance
Available: Audiobook | Kindle

5 Angsty YA Romance Books

Angsty young adult romance books tug at the heartstrings, drawing readers into tumultuous relationships and emotional roller-coasters. Here are five angsty YA romance books:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: The heart-wrenching story of Hazel and Gus, two teenagers with cancer. They struggle with love, loss, and the fragility of life.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell: Set in the 1980s, this novel tells the story of two misfit teens discovering their first love while dealing with their struggles.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman: After a devastating car accident, Mia, a gifted cellist, faces a choice between life and death while grappling with love, grief, and the potential future she may never see.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart: A blend of romance, drama, and mystery, this novel revolves around a privileged girl named Cadence and her summers with the Sinclair family on a private island, culminating in a shocking twist.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo: This novel, told in verse, follows two sisters who discover each other’s existence after a tragic plane crash. As they grapple with the loss of their father and the revelation of secrets, they also face love and identity.

5 Angsty Second Chance Romance Books

Second-chance romance novels have a powerful blend of nostalgia, redemption, and heightened emotions. Here are five angsty second-chance romance books:

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover: When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she doesn’t think it’s love at first sight. Miles keeps his distance, but a pain in his past prevents him from moving forward, resulting in an intense and anguished romance.

It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover: A story of love and resilience, this novel follows Lily Bloom. She revisits her past and confronts the complexities of love, especially regarding her relationship with the captivating Ryle Kincaid.

Say You’ll Stay by Corinne Michaels: Presley Townsend is blindsided when her husband leaves her. Years later, she returns to her hometown only to meet her first love, Zachary Hennington. The story focuses on their painful past and the hope for a rekindled romance.

Ghosted by J.M. Darhower: Jonathan and Kennedy had a whirlwind romance in their youth, resulting in a child. But Jonathan disappeared, only to resurface years later, trying to mend the broken ties and hoping for another shot at love with Kennedy.

Drive by Kate Stewart: Music journalist Stella Emerson looks back at her life and the love she once had with a budding rock star. As their paths separate and then collide again, Stella must face her feelings and choices.

These novels will take readers on an emotional journey filled with regrets, hopes, tears, and the powerful allure of a love that refuses to fade.

5 Angsty Rockstar Romance Books

Rockstar romance books capture the beauty of the music world and the complexities of love under the spotlight. You get an intense emotional roller-coaster when you add angst into the mix. Here are five angsty rockstar romance books:

Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens: Kiera’s relationship is turned upside down when she is torn between her dependable boyfriend and a dangerous, enigmatic rockstar named Kellan Kyle.

Where Lightning Strikes by A.L. Jackson: Lyrik, the lead guitarist of a famous band, has demons from his past haunting him, while Tamar, a waitress with her troubled history, finds herself drawn to him despite her reservations.

Rocked Under by Cora Hawkes: Falling for a rockstar isn’t easy, especially when it’s Scott, the enigmatic lead singer of the band “Rocked Under.” Emma, an American studying in England, gets involved in his world filled with angst and raw passion.

Lick by Kylie Scott: Waking up in Vegas with a rockstar might sound like a dream come true for some, but it’s a complicated mess for Evelyn. With a ring on her finger and no memory of the night before, she needs to figure out what her heart truly wants.

Play by J.A. Huss: Grace is looking for an escape from her life when she meets Tyler, a rockstar with more than just music in his repertoire. They struggle with fame and intrigue and are confronted with deep emotional challenges.

5 Angsty Lesbian Romance Books

Angsty lesbian romance novels offer an emotional exploration of love, challenges, and personal growth. Here are five angsty lesbian romance books:

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth: After the death of her parents, Cameron Post discovers her homosexuality. When her conservative aunt sends her to a conversion therapy center, Cameron finds solace with other teens like her, leading to complex relationships filled with angst and discovery.

Ask the Passengers by A.S. King: Astrid Jones is in love with a girl she can’t have and lives in a small town that’s intolerant of her sexuality. Throughout the story, she sends her love to airplane passengers flying overhead while facing her complicated feelings.

Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan: Leila is an Iranian-American teen who has always felt different. When she falls for the new girl, Saskia, her life takes an angsty turn as she grapples with her identity, cultural expectations, and a tumultuous romance.

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera: Juliet, a Puerto Rican lesbian, dives deep into her identity when she comes out to her family and takes up an internship in Portland under the guidance of a famous white feminist. The novel is a journey of self-discovery, love, and the challenges of intersectionality.

The Price of Salt (also known as “Carol”) by Patricia Highsmith: Set in the 1950s, the story follows Therese, a young stage designer, and her passionate love affair with an older, married woman named Carol. Their relationship is fraught with societal pressures, personal demons, and the constraints of the era.

5 Angsty Gay Romance Books

Angsty gay romance novels cover the emotional complexities of love, societal challenges, and personal growth. Here are five angsty gay romance books:

Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman: Set in the Italian Riviera, this novel follows the passionate relationship between a teenage boy named Elio and a visiting scholar, Oliver. Their summer affair is filled with longing, introspection, and the aching realities of first love.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller: A retelling of the legend of Achilles and Patroclus, this novel is a heart-wrenching exploration of love, war, and fate. The bond between the two men is deep, tender, and ultimately tragic, providing a fresh perspective on a classic tale.

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera: When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his world is shattered. Griffin’s grief draws him to Theo’s last boyfriend, creating complicated feelings and memories.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston: When Alex Claremont-Diaz, the First Son of the United States, clashes with Prince Henry of Wales, what starts as animosity becomes a secret romance. Amid political pressures and media scrutiny, the two grapple with their intense feelings and the potential consequences.

Less by Andrew Sean Greer: Facing the impending wedding of an old flame, Arthur Less, a failed novelist on the brink of 50, goes on a worldwide journey to avoid the event. This comedic and touching story focuses deep into the angst of missed opportunities, aging, and the search for love and acceptance.

5 Angsty Historical Romance Books

Historical romance novels set against backdrops of the past have a unique charm, capturing the societal norms, challenges, and passions of their time. Add in angst, and you have a potent mix of emotion and drama. Here are five angsty historical romance books:

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn: As the first book in the Bridgerton series, it follows Daphne Bridgerton and the Duke of Hastings, Simon Basset. They enter into a pretend courtship. Amidst the regency-era ballrooms and societal pressures, their fake romance becomes complicated by genuine feelings, past traumas, and misunderstandings.

Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale: The Duke of Jervaulx, a rakish nobleman, suffers a stroke and ends up in an asylum. Quaker Maddy Timms becomes an unlikely savior with her strict and reserved demeanor. Their love story is a tumultuous blend of class differences, personal struggles, and societal expectations.

The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt: Widowed Anna Wren takes a job as a secretary for Edward de Raaf, the Earl of Swartingham. Their working relationship becomes complicated by attraction, but the Earl hides a painful secret, adding layers of angst to their budding romance.

The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly: Set in the bustling streets of 1880s London, Fiona Finnegan, a tea packer, dreams of escaping the city’s slums with her childhood love, Joe. However, tragedy strikes, changing her life’s trajectory. Amidst ambition, loss, and revenge, Fiona’s path crosses with a wealthy businessman, creating a tumultuous love story.

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase: The Marquess of Dain, Sebastian Ballister is notorious for his wicked ways. When strong-willed Jessica Trent enters his life to rescue her brother from Dain’s influence, their clash leads to undeniable passion, secrets, and emotional challenges.

5 Angsty Forbidden Romance Books

Forbidden romances are compelling because they’re wrapped in longing, secrecy, and societal taboos. Here are five angsty forbidden romance books:

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough: Spanning three generations, this epic story focuses on the Cleary family living in the Australian outback. At its core is the forbidden love between the beautiful Meggie Cleary and the enigmatic priest, Ralph de Bricassart. Their love story is filled with sacrifice, longing, and societal constraints.

Loving Mr. Daniels by Brittainy C. Cherry: After the death of her twin sister, Ashlyn Jennings moves to live with her estranged father. There, she meets Daniel, a young man with whom she instantly connects. However, he becomes her new English teacher, leading to complications.

Unteachable by Leah Raeder: Maise O’Malley goes on a passionate summer fling with an older man named Evan. When summer ends and school begins, she’s shocked that Evan is her new film teacher. The novel shows the complexities of their relationship, societal judgments, and the angst of young love.

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma: Lochan and Maya have always been close, taking on parental roles for their younger siblings due to their absent parents. But their bond takes a turn when they fall in love, leading to an intense and heartbreaking tale of love that society won’t accept.

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton: Set in the 1870s, New York high society, this classic follows Newland Archer, who’s engaged to the perfect May Welland. However, when her exotic cousin, Countess Ellen Olenska, returns to town, Newland is irresistibly drawn to her, setting the stage for a tale of love, duty, and societal expectations.

5 Angsty Fantasy Romance Books

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: After killing a wolf in the woods, Feyre is taken captive by a beast-like creature. Soon, she discovers her captor is a High Fae named Tamlin. She adjusts to life in the faerie realm, and a slow-burning romance develops, intertwined with dark secrets and looming threats.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon: In a dystopian future where clairvoyants are hunted down, Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of London. Captured, she’s taken to Oxford, a secret city controlled by an otherworldly race. There, she meets Warden, a powerful Rephaite with whom she shares a complicated and angsty relationship.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor: Karou, a blue-haired art student in Prague, has always felt out of place, mainly because monsters raise her. Her life turns upside down when she meets the beautiful and deadly Akiva. Their love is a beacon in a war-torn world of angels and demons.

The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon: Lark is a mute young woman with a forbidden gift in a kingdom where magic is outlawed. When the king takes her captive, she finds herself drawn to Tiras, the king’s son, resulting in a tale of love, magic, and sacrifice.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: Their mentors bound Celia and Marco to a magical competition that will last for years. Set in the enchanting venue of the Night Circus, their growing romance becomes a dangerous game, as only one can emerge victorious.

5 Angsty Contemporary Romance Books

Contemporary romance novels set in the modern world are relatable and feature emotional and situational angst. Here are five books:

It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover: This novel tackles challenging subjects like domestic violence and the complexities of love. The protagonist, Lily, is caught in a love triangle that becomes increasingly complicated and emotionally charged.

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover: Tate Collins meets Miles Archer, a pilot with a tragic past that prevents him from offering more than a physical relationship. The story explores the depth of pain and the healing power of love.

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire: Abby Abernathy wants to lead a quiet life in college, but her plans go awry when she meets Travis Maddox, a charming bad boy with underground fighting roots. Their passionate and tumultuous relationship takes readers on an emotional roller coaster.

The Idea of You by Robinne Lee: Solène Marchand, a 39-year-old art gallery owner, meets Hayes Campbell, a member of a popular boy band while accompanying her daughter to a concert. Their age-gap romance becomes a whirlwind of passion, media scrutiny, and personal challenges.

Drive by Kate Stewart: This story follows the life of Stella Emerson, a music journalist, as she recalls her past relationships and the intense love she felt for two very different men. It’s a tale of love, loss, and our chosen roads.

5 Angst Romance Where Hero Loves Another Woman

Angsty romances where the hero is initially in love with another woman can make for intense emotional journeys as readers root for the main couple’s eventual happiness. Here are five romance novels that feature such a premise:

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin: Rachel, a perpetual good girl, questions her loyalty and desires when she sleeps with her best friend’s fiancé, Dex. As Rachel and Dex’s relationship evolves, the realization that he’s set to marry another woman looms large.

The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons: Set during the siege of Leningrad, this epic romance tells the story of Tatiana and Alexander. Tatiana falls for the handsome soldier, but there’s one problem: her sister Dasha is smitten with him, and he seems to reciprocate her feelings.

Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas: As part of the Hathaways series, Beatrix Hathaway is in love with Captain Christopher Phelan. However, Phelan is in love with Beatrix’s friend Prudence. The twist comes when Beatrix begins to write letters to Phelan on Prudence’s behalf, leading to a deep emotional connection.

Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire: This is the story of “Beautiful Disaster” from Travis Maddox’s point of view. While Travis’s feelings for Abby are evident, his entanglements with other women, particularly his initial relationship with Abby’s friend, add to the angst.

The Unwanted Wife by Natasha Anders: Theresa and Sandro’s marriage is cold and distant. Sandro only married her for a business deal and has always been in love with another woman. As Theresa decides she’s had enough and wants out, Sandro starts seeing her in a new light.

These stories are filled with heartache, misunderstandings, and longing, but they also offer the hope of a second chance at love.

5 Angsty Romance Books Kindle Unlimited

The Stopover by T.L. Swan: After an unexpected one-night stand with a stranger on a layover, Emily discovers that the man owns the media company she works for. The story dives deep into their tumultuous relationship.

Ruthless Knight by Ashley Jade is the second book in the “Royal Hearts Academy” series. Cole Covington is the school’s bad boy, and Sawyer Church is the good girl who shouldn’t want him but does. Their story is filled with heartache, secrets, and betrayal.

Breaker by Harloe Rae: Grady and Sutton have a complicated history. Once best friends, a betrayal tore them apart. Years later, they are thrown back together, and old wounds and passion resurface.

From Ashes by Molly McAdams: Cassidy Jameson’s life was turned upside down after a tragic event. She moves to Texas with her brother’s best friend, Gage, to escape her past. Cassidy must face her feelings for Gage and their undeniable chemistry as they grow closer.

Intention by Ava Harrison: Madeline Montgomery and Nathaniel Harrington have a complicated relationship filled with secrets, betrayal, and undeniable chemistry. They struggle with their feelings and the challenges thrown their way, and we are taken on an emotional roller coaster.

5 Steamy Angsty Romance Books

Steamy, angsty romance books combine passionate relations with emotional roller-coasters, resulting in stories that are both sizzling and deeply touching. Here are five such titles:

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire: Abby Abernathy, a good girl with a dark past, unexpectedly falls for the ultimate bad boy, Travis Maddox. Their tumultuous relationship is intense, passionate, and filled with highs and lows.

Driven by K. Bromberg: Rylee Thomas meets Colton Donovan during a charity event she’s organizing. Colton, a racing car driver with a troubled past, is charming and elusive. Their chemistry is undeniable, but their demons create a relationship filled with angst and steam.

Bared to You by Sylvia Day: This is the first book in the “Crossfire” series. Eva Tramell and Gideon Cross are both scarred individuals who connect passionately with each other. Their relationship is intensely erotic, but their traumatic pasts make for a lot of emotional turmoil.

Fixed On You by Laurelin Paige: Alayna Wither tries to keep her obsessive love disorder in check when she meets Hudson Pierce, a rich and attractive man with his own set of issues. The steam between them is palpable, but their challenges add layers of angst.

Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren: Ansel Guillaume and Mia Holland meet in Las Vegas and get married on a whim. When Mia moves to France with Ansel, the couple must face cultural differences, secrets, and the challenges of a relationship that started unconventionally.

These books offer emotions, character arcs, and engaging storylines that can captivate, console, and inspire you.

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Pauline Jackson

I like to talk about popular books. My book review inspires you to read and save time. Also, I summarize the book and give you the best lessons or ideas that can change your life. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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