Oddly Specific Subgenre: Romances that Deal with Grief

Sometimes there’s an idea that romance novels are shallow or only deal with the easy parts of life. Whenever I see a comment like that, I know that person isn’t ready much romance. Across the genre, there are romance books that deal with all the tough things people face in their lives. It’s one of the things I love about romance novels. They’re a place to engage with heavy emotions, while knowing that everything is going to be okay in the end. Recently I’ve read a few romances that deal with the raw feelings of grief. They make me cry, but they remind me that there is life after loss.

Float Plan by Trish Doller

Content warning: suicide, death, grief

I always start with a serious content warning when I talk about this book. The book begins with a suicide note written by Anna’s late fiancé.

Anna and her fiancé had been planning to sail the Caribbean together. Shortly after his death, and amidst her grief, Anna decides to go on the trip solo. But after the first leg, Anna realizes she’s in way over her head and hires Keane to help her finish the journey.

Anna’s grief feels so real, and had me in tears more than once. But throughout the course of the book she learns that she can keep going and find her own way in the world without following the course her fiancé left behind. It’s a beautiful book with a beautiful, slow building romance.

The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez

Content warning: motorcycle accident, death, grief

Minor spoilers for The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez ahead. Towards the end of The Friend Zone, Sloan’s fiancé Brandon is in a motorcycle accident and passes away. The Happy Ever After Playlist begins two years later. Sloan is still deep in her grief and listening to a soundtrack by Jaxon Waters that speaks to her on repeat. She’s minding her business and doing her best to get by when a lost dog, Tucker, literally jumps into her car and into her life.

She’s eventually gets in contact with Tucker’s owner Jason, and they text while Jason is out of the country. Tucker, and Jason, help pull Sloan out of her grief, until Jason gets back to California and Sloan realizes he is Jaxon Waters.

The books has so many twists and turns, and like all of Abby Jimenez’s books, really made me doubt a happy ever after was possible. But it all comes together in this fun and emotional read.

Satisfaction Guaranteed by Karelia Stetz-Waters

Content warning: abusive relationship, death, grief

Satisfaction Guaranteed begins at Cade Elgin’s Aunt Ruth’s funeral. Cade is the odd one out in her family of free spirits, but she regrets not spending more time with her aunt before she passed, especially when she sees how deeply Ruth touched so many lives. Ruth has been a surrogate mother to Selena Mathis, as well as her employer and the owner of the in-law apartment Selena has been living in rent-free. She’s devastated by the loss of Ruth, and has now idea what to do next.

But Ruth has left a plan. If Case and Selena can rescue the sex toy store Ruth owned from bankruptcy in the next month, they’ll both inherit 50% of everything. Selena has to figure out how to live her life without Ruth, and how to navigate the attraction growing with Cade.

Have you read any romances that deal with grief or other heavy emotions? Let us know in the comments or on social media.