21 Romantic Marriage In Crisis Historical Books That Will Steal Your Heart

There’s nothing quite like the intense emotions and gripping narratives that can be found in any marriage in trouble romance book.

The heartbreaking push and pull and the constantly warring emotions are enough to drive anyone up the wall, and these amazing novels capture this feeling perfectly. 

In the marriage-in-trouble romance trope, the protagonists’ marriage is usually at a crossroads, and the story delves into their efforts to confront their problems, repair their relationship, and rekindle love.

From broken promises to shattered trust, these novels explore the complexities of relationships on the brink of collapse. But amidst the turmoil, sparks can reignite, and I frankly believe that’s the most beautiful thing ever. 

In this article, I’ll be listing some of the best marriage on the rocks historical romance books, where passion and love find a way to survive, no matter the obstacles.

In some of these articles, the couple might be separated on paper, but their lives are inextricably linked together. 

Here are 21 amazing marriage in crisis historical romance novels:

1. Lord and Lady Spy by Shana Galen.

LordandLadySpybyShanaGalen

Lady Sophia Smythe is a secret agent who has been outsmarting her husband, Lord Adrian Smythe, for years. She thinks he is a boring gentleman, unaware that he is also a spy for England. 

When the Napoleonic wars end, they both face the prospect of returning to their dull marriage. But everything changes when they discover each other’s true identities in the dark of night. 

Now they have to work together to solve a mystery that threatens their country and their love.

This no-holds-barred troubled marriage romance novel is a thrilling and romantic adventure that explores the secrets and lies that can make or break a marriage.

2. An Infamous Marriage by Susanna Fraser.

TheInfamousMarriage

Elizabeth Armstrong has been humiliated by her husband’s infidelity for years, so she doesn’t want anything to do with him when he comes back from war.

But General Jack Armstrong is determined to make up for his mistakes and win her love. 

Instead of the weak girl he left behind, Jack finds a confident and spirited woman and he’s more drawn to her than ever, but she resists all his advances.

Now, he must prove to her that he has changed and that he can be the husband she deserves.

If you’re in the mood for a historical romance novel about an estranged husband and wife, this romantic and lively story of a couple who must face their past is perfect for you.

Also See: 20 Exquisite Amish Romance Novels to Get Lost In This Weekend

3. To Have And To Hoax by Martha Waters.

Violet and James are a married couple who have grown apart. They don’t talk or touch anymore, and their love has faded into indifference. 

But when Violet hears that James is hurt, she runs to him, only to find him fine and clueless about her concern. She is angry and hurt and decides to pretend to be sick to make him care. 

James knows she is lying, but he decides to go along with it in a game of lies and seduction. They both try to fool each other, but they might end up falling in love again.

This book is a somewhat humorous and romantic marriage in crisis historical romance novel of a couple who must overcome their hidden resentment and rediscover their spark.

4. The Admiral’s Penniless Bride by Carla Kelly.

TheAdmiral27sPennilessBride

Sally Paul has no money and no hope, and when she splurges on a cup of tea with her last coin, she’s convinced that this is her last meal.

So, she is surprised when Admiral Sir Charles Bright, a wealthy and retired sailor, proposes to her. 

He needs a wife, and she needs a home. They marry in haste, and the challenges start mounting from their very first night together.

5. Trial by Desire by Courtney Milan.

TrialByDesirebyCourtneyMilan

Lady Kate Carhart has built a new life for herself after her husband left her three years ago. But when Ned Carhart comes back, he threatens to expose her secrets and rekindle her feelings. 

He wants to win her trust and love again by seducing her. But Kate has a past that could ruin her. Now, Kate must decide whether to trust Ned, the only man who ever loved her and betrayed her.

In this marriage in trouble historical romance novel, Kate and Ned must face their past and find their future.

6. Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage by Jennifer Ashley.

LadyIsabella27sScandalousMarriage

Lady Isabella Scranton eloped with Lord Mac Mackenzie six years ago but left him after three years of marriage. Now Mac is back, and he wants to win her over with his charm and his art. 

He convinces her to pose nude for his paintings, and they rekindle their passion.

But when a dangerous forger makes it clear that he’s after Mac’s paintings and Isabella’s life, Mac decides to protect her whether she likes it or not.

7. The Elusive Wife by Callie Hutton.

TheElusiveWife

The Earl of Coventry married Lady Olivia in a drunken haze and promptly forgot all about her. He doesn’t know who she is when he meets her again in London. 

She decides to teach him a lesson by sending him her bills and seducing him by night.

But she soon realizes she loves the handsome earl. He is fascinated by her, but he doesn’t know she is his wife.

Related: Top 10 M/M Historical Romance Fantasies That Will Blow You Away

8. The Earl’s Error by Kathy L. Wheeler.

TheEarl27sError

Thorne Grey has made many mistakes that hurt his wife Lorelei Grey – the worst of all being his callous act of banishing her brother and then impregnating his ex-mistress. 

Now, she’s ready to leave him, but he pleads with her to stay, and even offers her money and promises to find her brother to clear his name. 

He adores her more than anything, but he has to deal with the many well-earned rumors that ruin his reputation, and he’s willing to fight for her with his last breath.

This marriage in crisis historical romance novel is a passionate and thrilling story of a couple who try against odds to revive their relationship.

9. The Duke’s Regret by Catherine Kullmann.

TheDuke27sRegret

Flora, the Duchess of Gracechurch, has a cold and distant marriage with her husband Jeffrey.

Now, she is ready to move on with her life and find new love, but Jeffrey, the Duke of Gracechurch, has a change of heart and decides to save his marriage and bond with his wife and children. 

He tries to prove his love and loyalty to her, and Flora must decide between her freedom and a chance at happiness.

10. The Sins of Lord Lockwood by Meredith Duran.

TheSinsofLordLockwood

Liam Devaliant, Lord Lockwood, had it all: charisma, power, and the love of Anna, his bride-to-be. But a wicked plot robbed him of his freedom and future on his wedding day. 

Four years later, he returned from the dead, bent on revenge. But Anna, his long-lost countess, refused to fear or forget him. She was determined to win back his love or save his soul, no matter the cost.

If you like strong female protagonists in fiction and you’re in the mood for a historical romance novel about overcoming both personal and marital challenges, then you’re in for a treat with this marriage-in-crisis historical romance novel.

11. Regarding the Duke by Grace Callaway.

RegardingTheDuke

Adam Garrity, the Duke of the City, was a powerful and vengeful moneylender who married Gabriella, a sweet and naive redhead, with plans to revenge after his father abandoned him and ordered his killing. 

But an accident makes him forget everything, including his decision to never show his feelings at the beginning of their union. 

Gabriella stayed by his side, hoping to heal his wounds, and in the process learned that Adam was not the man she thought he was. 

This author puts the steam in steamy historical romance novels, so if you fancy the theme of rebuilding love in historical romance novels with troubled marriages, then you’re going to love this amazing story of love, loss, and redemption.  

12. The Day of the Duchess by Sarah Maclean.

TheDayOfTheDuchess

Seraphina, Duchess of Haven, left her husband Malcolm, Duke of Haven, three years ago after a tragic accident.

She returned to London to reclaim her life, but he offered her a deal: find him a new wife and she could be free. 

Seraphina agreed but soon realized that she still loved him. Malcolm also discovered that he had never stopped loving her.

As they searched for her replacement, they are allowed to confront their past and enemies, and they realize that they have a second chance at happiness.

This is one of the best marriage in crisis historical romance books about a broken marriage and renewed love.

13. Keep No Secrets by Charlie Lane.

KeepNoSecrets

Nathan Knightly, Earl of Beckingham, loved his wife Lola more than anything, and they had a blissful marriage, despite being childless. But everything changed when he accused her of something unthinkable. 

Lola Knightly, a champion of London’s poor and independent women, was heartbroken by her husband’s words, and so she left him, determined to start a new life.

But fate brought them back together, and they had to face their shattered love. 

This is another fantastic portrayal of marriage struggles in a historical romance about a couple who try to overcome their pain and find happiness again.

14. Simply Insatiable by Kate Pearce.

SimplyInsatiable

Seven years ago, Lord Minshom and Lady Jane parted ways after a disastrous marriage.

He became a famous libertine who pursued every scandalous desire, while she stayed a pure and innocent lady who wanted to save their relationship. 

When she returns to London with a demand, he defies her even though it means she will have to attend the House of Pleasure, a notorious bordello.

There, they start a risky game of seduction and jealousy with other patrons. 

But soon, they discover that they still have feelings for each other and want to be together. Now, they will have to overcome their conflicts and secrets to find true happiness.

15. Passions of a Wicked Earl by Lorraine Heath.

PassionsOfAWickedEarl

Claire Lyons was a naive girl when she married Morgan Lyons, a notorious libertine.

Soon enough, he exiled her to the country after he caught her with his brother, but she never stopped loving him. 

Now she is back in London, transformed into a stunning lady, and ready to seduce her estranged husband.

She has one Season to prove her loyalty and passion to Morgan, who still harbors a grudge against her. 

16. An Inconvenient Match by Susanna Malcolm.

AnInconvenientMatch

When Honora, a wealthy tradeswoman, marries Ashland, an impoverished earl, they both have different expectations from their union. 

While Honora hopes to enjoy the sensual pleasures of marriage and fulfill her grandmother’s dreams of joining the nobility, Ashland reluctantly agrees to wed Honora to save his family name and fortune, but he resents her for her cold and officious demeanor. 

As they struggle to adjust to their new roles and responsibilities, they discover a mutual attraction that sparks between them.

If you’re in the mood for a marriage in crisis historical romance novel that’s pretty much doomed from the beginning, then you’re going to enjoy this title. 

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17. Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas.

PrivateArrangements

Gigi and Camden are married, but they haven’t seen each other in a decade. They live on different continents and enjoy their freedom and independence. 

But their marriage wasn’t always like this. They used to be madly in love and ran away to get married until a terrible secret ruined their wedding night. 

Now, Gigi wants a divorce and she’s ready to move on with her life. But Camden has other plans, and he makes an outrageous demand. He still loves her and he wants to make her stay. 

In this troubled marriage about an estranged couple, they’ll have to give their best and lay open their weaknesses to overcome the past and rekindle their romance. 

18. The Slightest Provocation by Pam Rosenthal.

TheSlightestProvocation

Kit Stansell and Mary Penley ran away from their warring families to marry, but they soon realized they had different dreams and they eventually separated. 

While Kit became a military hero, Mary joined a radical circle of poets, and when they crossed paths again after nine years in a dangerous period, their old love was reignited – and its attendant conflicts. 

As they raced against time to stop a plot that could destroy England, they strived to bridge their gap to save their country and love. 

19. An Affair Before Christmas by Eloisa James.

AnAffairBeforeChristmas

Four years ago, Poppy and Fletcher had a fairy-tale wedding. They seemed to be the perfect couple, but their marriage has lost its spark. 

Now, Fletcher is a busy duke who doesn’t pay enough attention to his wife, and Poppy is a beautiful and innocent young woman who feels bored and lonely. 

Soon enough, Fletcher realizes he needs to win back his wife’s love and sets out to seduce her with a sinful plan.

But, there’s a whole lot of secrets and misunderstandings between them, and fighting for love in this marriage in crisis historical romance novel is going to leave their souls feeling stripped. 

20. Unforgivable by Joanna Chambers.

Unforgivable

Rose Davenport was a beautiful girl until a disease scarred her face. Her father arranged a marriage for her with Gil Truman, a wealthy earl’s son. But Gil didn’t love Rose and left her alone in his country estate. 

Five years later, Rose decided to confront Gil at a masked ball in London and was shocked when he didn’t recognize her and even flirted with her. 

So, Rose faced a dilemma: should she reveal her identity or enjoy his attention? I liked the way the couple went about healing their broken marriage in this historical romance novel, and I know you’ll enjoy it too. 

21. A Tryst By The Sea by Grace Burrowes.

ATrystByTheSea

Penelope has had enough of her unhappy marriage and decides to leave Vergilius – her cold and distant husband. 

So, she escapes to a seaside cottage, hoping to start a new life. But Vergilius follows her there, determined to win her back. 

He’s bent on impressing her with his many romantic gestures, and while she’s not swayed (yet), the picturesque scene at the Siren’s Retreat makes him feel like there’s hope for a second chance in their troubled marriage.


In these marriage-in-trouble romance books, the journey toward the revival of love is nothing short of breathtaking.

With their innermost feelings bared and their weaknesses on display for their partner, a good many of these stories might have you in your feelings. 

If you’re in the mood for some more reading, make sure you check out the related posts below!

Preye http://therookiejurist.com

Hi! I'm Preye ("pre" as in "prepare" and "ye" as in "Kanye"), and I am a lifelong book lover who enjoys talking about books and sharing bits and pieces of all the fascinating things I come across. I love books so much that I decided to become a developmental editor, and right now, I work with authors to help them tell their stories better. On this blog, I share everything from book recommendations to book reviews and writing tips, so feel free to stop by anytime you like!

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