15 Emotional Romance Books That Make You Cry

Emotional Romance Novels

Romance is a popular genre, but emotional or sad makes it more famous and a best seller. In a relationship, emotion or feelings are the best part where love is valid. Without emotional or sad feelings, romance is one-sided. Emotional romance books refer to a genre of romance novels that can evoke strong emotions, particularly sadness or tears, in readers.

These books explore love, loss, heartbreak, and personal growth themes, presenting emotional storylines that resonate deeply with our emotions. The aim is to create an emotional connection with the characters and their experiences, allowing us to experience a cathartic release of emotions through the power of storytelling. These books can be deeply moving and impactful, leaving a lasting impression on readers long after turning the final page.

So, as romance readers, we want to express our feelings and sometimes cry because it helps us forget the horrible past. We can start again and make ourselves dynamic. In this book recommendation article, I will present such emotional books. These books have well-developed characters and compelling storylines that allow you to connect with the emotions and experiences of the protagonists deeply. They can evoke empathy, understanding, and shared emotions, making the reading experience more immersive and relatable.

15 Romance Books That Make You Cry (Sad YA Books)

Crying while reading can be therapeutic and provide a release for pent-up emotions. It allows you to explore and process feelings in a safe and controlled environment. Romance books that make you cry can help you tap into your emotions, providing a cathartic experience that can be healing and comforting.

I have a huge collection of cry-worthy romance novels. I will talk about the top 15 romance books that make you cry or emotional. These emotional stories touch upon universal themes such as love, loss, resilience, and personal growth. They can inspire self-reflection and introspection, encouraging you to contemplate your relationships, emotions, and life choices. Through the characters’ journeys, you may gain insights and perspectives that resonate with your experiences. Let’s be emotional!

Archer’s Voice by Mia SheridanA poignant and deeply moving contemporary romance, exploring themes of healing, love, and communication, set in a small-town with complex, emotionally rich characters.Emotional Healing, Love and Communication, Small-Town Setting, Complex Characters, Poignant Narrative, Deep Emotional Connections.
Full Tilt by Emma ScottA heart-wrenching contemporary romance that explores themes of love, loss, and the fragility of life, featuring deeply emotional character arcs and transformative relationships.Contemporary Romance, Love and Loss, Fragility of Life, Emotional Character Development, Transformative Relationships, Heart-Wrenching Narrative, Personal Growth.
Bright Side by Kim HoldenAn inspiring and emotional contemporary novel that delves into themes of optimism, resilience, and the power of human connections, portraying a heartfelt journey of love, friendship, and self-discovery.Contemporary, Optimism and Resilience, Human Connections, Heartfelt Journey, Love and Friendship, Self-Discovery, Emotional Growth.
Ruckus by L.J. ShenA passionate and intense contemporary romance, set in a world of complex characters and relationships, where themes of love, redemption, and the past’s shadows play a central role.Complex Characters, Intense Relationships, Love and Redemption, Shadows of the Past, Emotional Depth, Passionate Narrative.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline MillerA breathtaking retelling of the ancient Greek tale of Achilles and Patroclus, weaving themes of love, fate, and heroism into a timeless epic.Greek Mythology, Epic Romance, Tragic Heroes, Destiny and Fate, Ancient Warfare, Poetic Narrative, Mythological Retelling.
It Ends with Us by Colleen HooverAn emotional contemporary romance that focuses on the complexities of love, resilience, and the cycles of abuse, offering a raw and honest exploration of challenging relationships.Emotional Depth, Complex Relationships, Resilience, Abuse Cycles, Raw and Honest Narrative, Challenging Love Dynamics.
Underneath the Sycamore Tree by B. CelesteAn emotionally charged romance that features love, tragedy, and the struggles of coping with life-altering circumstances, set against a backdrop of profound character development and introspection.Emotional Romance, Tragic Love, Life-Altering Circumstances, Profound Character Development, Introspection, Poignant Narrative, Struggles and Coping.
A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie ColeA deeply moving tale of young love, heartbreak, and the fleeting nature of time, encapsulating the intensity of first loves and the impact of life’s moments.Young Love, Heartbreak, Time’s Fleeting Nature, Intense Emotions, First Love, Life’s Impactful Moments, Poignant and Moving.
Ugly Love by Colleen HooverA gripping contemporary romance that explores the complexities and darker sides of love, entwining themes of emotional scars, forbidden attractions, and the challenges of opening up to true intimacy.Emotional Scars, Forbidden Attraction, Challenges of Intimacy, Darker Sides of Relationships, Gripping Narrative.
All Your Perfects by Colleen HooverExploring the complexities of marriage and the pursuit of perfection.Emotional rollercoaster, second chance romance, realistic portrayal of relationships, character growth.
Find You in the Dark by A. Meredith WaltersA gripping story of love, healing, and overcoming darkness.Troubled past, emotional journey, healing through love, redemption.
No Tomorrow by Carian ColeA poignant tale of love and living in the present moment.Forbidden romance, emotional intensity, life-changing connection, self-discovery.
Sweet Dandelion by Micalea SmeltzerA heartwarming story of love, friendship, and personal growth.Small-town romance, childhood friends to lovers, emotional healing, finding oneself.
The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden by Jessica SorensenA compelling narrative of two broken souls finding solace and love in each other.Trauma bonding, secrets and revelations, emotional healing, forbidden love.
Until Friday Night by Abbi GlinesA touching story of love, healing, and the power of opening up.Small-town romance, mutual healing, emotional secrets, second chance at happiness.
Romance Books That Make You Cry List

1. Archer’s Voice

Our heroine, Bree, moves to a new town. She uproots her entire life after a super tragic happens to her and her family. So, she moved to a small town in Maine. She runs into a guy (Archer Hale) she likes, drops all her stuff, and gets embarrassed. Archer walks away without saying anything. So she’s intrigued by him.

Bree starts asking around the town about him, and she finds out that he doesn’t speak. The whole town thinks he’s an uncommon guy. Some weird stuff is happening in his family. He’s a hermit and never leaves his house. No one in the town likes him. Bree’s dog ends up running on his property, and they meet each other.

It sparks this whole thing, and the characters have endured much trauma. That makes the reader cry and emotional about how they react to each other’s traumas. So wholesome, slow burn with so much angst, but it’s also so emotional.

Archer's Voice

Author: Mia Sheridan
Average Rating: 4.7/5
Category: Women’s Domestic Life Fiction
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

2. Full Tilt

This book is about a girl (Kacey Dawson), an electric guitar player in a rock band. She’s addicted to drinking and has a horrible relationship. Their family lost themselves while getting famous. Then, she meets a wholesome boy. He was her limo driver. His name is Jonah. They start hanging out and getting closer, and he’s helping her figure out who she wants to be.

Then they have such an instant connection. But Jonah tells her he’s running out of time. He doesn’t have much time left. Also, he’s trying to avoid falling in love at all costs. But it’s undeniable their connection. So Jonah’s running out of time with Kacey, and they have a limited time to love each other. In the end, it hurts so bad and makes you cry.

Full Tilt

Author: Emma Scott
Average Rating: 4.7/5
Category: College Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

3. Bright Side

Bright Side has a duet about one of the other characters, but this book is about Kate. She’s going off to college and had a childhood best friend (Gus) her whole life. The night before she leaves for college, they end up sleeping together. Then she goes to college and wants nothing to change between them. They still FaceTime every single day, and they’re best friends.

Gus is so charming. The second book is his point of view, but this book is from Kate’s point of view. When Kate goes to college, she meets a guy. His name is Keller, and he’s the other point of view in this book. So she’s still talking to her childhood best friend, but not in a romantic way. It’s completely platonic, and she starts having this new guy, and both she and this new guy are super closed off. They avoid being together, but he finally starts letting her in.

Gus starts getting jealous about her relationship with her best childhood friend, and there’s a drama about that. But then the reason she’s not letting him in and doesn’t want to have a relationship is heartbreaking and impactful on a huge plot twist.

Bright Side

Author: Kim Holden
Average Rating: 4.7/5
Category: Contemporary Women Fiction, College Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

4. Ruckus (Sinners of Saint)

Ruckus is part of the Sinners of Saints series, and you have to read two books to understand the full emotion of the story. The entire series can be read as a standalone. There are eight books in the series and the spin-off, and they can all be read as standalone. They’re all separate romances but intertwine in the same friend group.

This one is about Dean and Rosie and their romance. Dean is the playboy who sleeps around, but he’s always been so into this girl named Rosie since high school. He dated her older sister, but he’s always liked Rosie more. So they have this moment together when they’re in high school. Then, eleven years later, they reunite, and he’s adamant about her giving him a second chance.

Rosie is reserved because she is also sick. She has other things to worry about than him. Life is beautiful, and death is a painful truth. No one has ever made her feel more alive than the guy who constantly reminds her. He’s willing to look past that and be with her, which is their romance.


Author: L.J. Shen
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Sports Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | MP3 CD

5. The Song of Achilles

This book is a romance based on Greek mythology, the story of Achilles and Patroclus, and it is so emotional. If you know the mythology, you’ll know what this story will be about and how it will end. But it is about two boys in their romance, in a forbidden way.

As the quotes from this book, the way it’s written is next level. Pick up this one if you feel a bit intellectual and want romance. This book is also becoming a movie, so if you’re going to read it before it comes out, I recommend reading it.

The Song of Achilles

Author: Madeline Miller
Average Rating: 4.7/5
Category: LGBTQ+ Romance, Classic Literature & Fiction
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

6. It Ends with Us

This book is about Lily, and she meets a guy named Ryle. They start having a romance, and it seems perfect, and everything’s going amazing. Then, every few chapters, it flashes back to Lily reading her diary of when she was in high school. She was seeing her mom, who was in an abusive relationship. She met this boy named Alice when she was in high school. It was her first love or her first romance, and he left. So, it was her first heartbreak.

You get to see that relationship, the dynamic of her parents. Then, it flashes forward to her current relationship and all the ups and downs. With that and how this book ends, it always says it ends with us, but it’s not what you think. I cried so many times throughout this book out of frustration and sadness.

It Ends with Us

Author: Colleen Hoover
Average Rating: 4.7/5
Category: Contemporary Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Mass Market Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

7. Underneath the Sycamore Tree

Emery, her sister, passes away, and her mom is not handling it well. So she’s forced to go live with her dad, whom she hasn’t seen in years, meet the new family he lives with, and meet her stepbrother for the first time. It’s heartbreaking because Emery is diagnosed with the same disease that killed her sister.

So you get to see her struggle with that. Her parents struggle with that and her new blossoming romance with Kaiden. This book is about enemies to lovers, but more like a brooding, closed-off boy and her trying to get him to open up about his issues. Kaiden doesn’t know that she’s sick. Emery keeps it a secret from him because she doesn’t know if he can handle it right now.

Underneath the Sycamore Tree

Author: B. Celeste
Average Rating: 4.7/5
Category: Coming of Age Fiction Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle

8. A Thousand Boy Kisses

This is young adult, so it’s immaturely written but so beautiful. It has such a big plot twist, and it makes you emotional. Like Brightside, the girl in this book is wholesome and appreciative of life. She will make you look at life completely different from its friends-to-lovers romance.

So the boy moves away, and they agree to keep in contact, but randomly, the girl cuts him off. He doesn’t know why and when he comes back. He discovers everything that happened while he was gone and why she cut him off. Then, the rest of the book is their journey.

A Thousand Boy Kisses

Author: Tillie Cole
Average Rating: 4.7/5
Category: Young Adult Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

9. Ugly Love

Ugly Love is a brother-best-friend romance. Miles Archer is so closed off from love refuses to even engage in anything close to a relationship. It shows Tate falling in love with him, and their friends-with-benefits situation is very toxic. Every chapter flashes back to Miles’s first love and why he’s closed off from love now. It is so unpredictable and so heartbreaking.

Ugly Love

Author: Colleen Hoover
Average Rating: 4.7/5
Category: Contemporary Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle

10. All Your Perfects

This book is about a couple who fall in love for the first time, their epic romance when they were young, and years into their future marriage. Their marriage is falling apart because of infertility, and this book is so sad because you see them falling in love.

It’s so heartwarming. Colleen Hoover does have twists and turns in her books, but usually, they’re happy or content endings, so you don’t have to worry about that.

All Your Perfects

Author: Colleen Hoover
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Psychological Fiction, Women’s Divorce Fiction
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

11. Find You in the Dark

The story is about Maggie and Clayton. Clayton is the mysterious new guy. Maggie is intrigued by him, and they have an instant connection, but they quickly find out he has a lot of mental health issues. He’s struggling with his mental health a lot. That makes this sad because their romance is so wholesome and epic.

But Clayton is constantly self-sabotaging and doing things because he can’t control them. So, if you want a book dealing with mental health, read this duet as well. But there are a lot of trigger warnings that you should look up before reading it, for sure.

Find You in the Dark

Author: A. Meredith Walters
Average Rating: 4.4/5
Category: YA Adult & College Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

12. No Tomorrow (All the Tomorrows)

This book follows a girl (Piper) who meets this homeless musician and falls in love with Blue. Something happens, and they stop talking, but she discovers him again years later. Blue is a famous musician now, and they have a second chance from that description. This sounds pretty lighthearted.

There might be some emotional baggage from his side, but it’ll be nothing crazy. It takes you on the biggest emotional roller coaster of your lifetime.

No Tomorrow

Author: Carian Cole
Average Rating: 4.7/5
Category: Romantic Suspense
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

13. Sweet Dandelion

This book follows a girl (Dandelion Meadows) who moves in with her brother after tragedy strikes at her last high school. There is a school shooting that injures her and kills her mother, a teacher at the school. So she’s left with no parents. She goes and moves in with her brother and starts a new school for her senior year.

So, the school previously assigned her to a guidance counselor (Lachlan Taylor) daily, where she goes and talks to him. Dandelion ends up falling for Taylor. It’s taboo and crazy. But that aspect of the book is good. Also, the aspect that deals with her trauma and thinking through everything that happened to her is emotional and sad.

Sweet Dandelion

Author: Micalea Smeltzer
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Mental Health, High School Romance
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

14. The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden (The Coincidence)

The story is about two people in high school, and they have an interaction where they meet. One of them ends up saving the other person’s life. Later on, they go to the same college and meet again. They’re both struggling in their ways mentally.

This book deals with their relationship when they meet again in college, and they can’t seem to stay away from each other. But they’re both very damaged human beings. So, It’s hard for them to come together as one when they’re both dealing with so much on the outside.

The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden

Author: Jessica Sorensen
Average Rating: 4.4/5
Category: Women’s Literary Fiction
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle

15. Until Friday Night (The Field Party)

This is a part of a larger series, but it’s the first book, and you can read this one standalone. It follows a girl (Maggie) who has tragedy strike in her family so horribly. She moves in with her aunt and uncle, similar to the last book, but it leaves her not wanting to speak. So, she becomes mute. She doesn’t talk to anybody, doesn’t say a word.

Maggie ends up going to this new school. Weirdly enough, the only person with whom she finds a connection is the head football player. He’s also dealing with tons of emotional baggage at home, and nobody knows about it. So he finds solace and talks to her, even though she doesn’t speak. They form a friendship, and it goes from there.

Until Friday Night

Author: Abbi Glines
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Teen & Young Adult Fiction about Emotions & Feelings
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

5 Heartbreaking Romance Novels With Happy Endings

“Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes – A bittersweet love story between a young woman and a quadriplegic man that explores the depths of sacrifice and the transformative power of love.

“The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green – A heartrending tale of two teenagers with cancer who fall in love and go on an emotional journey filled with hope, tragedy, and the pursuit of a meaningful existence.

“The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks – A timeless love story between a young couple from different social backgrounds that spans decades, testing their commitment and resolve, ultimately leading to a heartwarming reunion.

“P.S. I Love You” by Cecelia Ahern – A poignant story about a woman coping with the loss of her husband who leaves behind a series of letters guiding her through grief and helping her rediscover herself and find love again.

“Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell – A tender and realistic portrayal of first love between two misfit teenagers who find solace in each other’s company, facing the challenges of family issues, self-acceptance, and the complexities of young love.

7 Sad Romance Novels For Young Adults

“The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green – A heart-wrenching story of two teenagers with cancer who find love and connection amidst their shared struggles.

“If I Stay” by Gayle Forman – A devastating tale of a young girl who must decide whether to live or let go after a tragic accident leaves her in a coma while grappling with her love for music and her boyfriend.

“Before I Fall” by Lauren Oliver – A haunting story about a popular girl who relives the last day of her life over and over again, exploring themes of redemption, friendship, and the pursuit of true love.

“The Sky Is Everywhere” by Jandy Nelson – A poignant exploration of grief and loss as a young girl navigates her sister’s sudden death while finding solace in unexpected relationships.

“All the Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven – A heartrending tale that tackles mental health issues as two young people, dealing with their struggles, find solace and love in each other.

“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak – While not strictly a romance novel, this beautifully tragic story follows a young girl in Nazi Germany who develops an unlikely friendship with a Jewish boy, highlighting the power of love and humanity in the face of adversity.

“Before We Were Strangers” by Renée Carlino – A nostalgic and emotional journey of two former lovers who reunite years later, forcing them to confront the painful memories and regrets that tore them apart.

Romance books that make you cry feature captivating storytelling that keeps you engaged from start to finish. These books can take you on an emotional rollercoaster, keeping you invested in the characters’ lives and emotional journeys. Compelling narratives and genuine emotional depth can make for a memorable reading experience.

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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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