Home Top books Reader Recommendations – Explore Shaira’s Top Picks for Angsty Romance, Groveling Heroes, and Second Chance Stories

Reader Recommendations – Explore Shaira’s Top Picks for Angsty Romance, Groveling Heroes, and Second Chance Stories

by Assessor

Are you in the mood for a book that will make you want to throw your Kindle? Look no further because Shaira has compiled the ultimate list of angsty romance novels with groveling heroes and second chance love stories. From cruel heroes to arranged marriages, marital strife to unrequited love, cheating to plenty of groveling heroes, this list has it all! Whether you’re looking to have your heart broken or experience the ultimate redemption, this list is perfect for you (and me too!) 😄

P.S. One thing I absolutely love about Shaira’s list is how she labels each book with keywords, giving us a good idea of what we’re diving into. It’s incredibly helpful!

And without further ado, here are Shaira’s personal recommendations:

Hero Rejects or Hurts/Cheats with a Good Dose of Remorse and Groveling After:

  • The Unwanted Wife by Natasha Anders (Angst/Grovel)

Amy: The Unwanted Wife by Natasha Anders… I really, really liked that one! My heart just hurt for her, and I wanted to be mad at Sandro, but he won me over. I actually read the previous version (different cover) where the blurb was a little more vague, so I went into it pretty blind…which made it that much more fun angst-wise. 😉

Rebecka: It’s better if they have to convince me, I mean the heroine, of their affections. Lol Alessandro from The Unwanted Wife was someone who had to work extra hard. He made me cry, bastard 😉

Robyn: I absolutely hated Sandro from The Unwanted Wife at first, but grew to love him in the end!

  • Unbreak My Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn (Angst/Grovel)

Maryse: Yesss Unbreak My Heart was intense!!

Angie: I’ll definitely start Unbreak My Heart next. Unrequited love!!!! It sounds like I might be reading all day today, which is perfect because it’s raining here in Texas. Thanks for the recommendation.

Robyn: Unbreak My Heart. It is my most favorite book of all time. I have read it so many times. Just thinking about it gives me butterflies. GAH!

  • Kiss an Angel by Elizabeth Philips (Angst/Grovel)

Lisa A: Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips was so good I re-read it at least once a year!

Shreyasi: It has good grovel too.

Carla: Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (he’s so cruel to her)

Carla: …this is about a convenience marriage, but with time she falls in love with him, even though he treats her like shit. God! He’s such a jerk, actually he can be even cruel sometimes… but I love it! Oh, of course, I’m talking about Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

  • Sticks and Stones by Susie Tate (Unrequited/Grovel)

Maryse: This was the answer to one of our reader questions: Reader Question… Solved! The book about two doctors, where she has a secret crush on him but he doesn’t like her back & can be mean to her…

  • Rescue Me by Christy Reece (Angst/Grovel)
  • Shades of Twilight by Linda Howard (Angst/Grovel)
  • To the Ends of the Earth by Elizabeth Lowell (Angst/Grovel)
  • You Can Have Manhattan by P. Dangelico (Angst/Grovel)

Sri: My fav marriage of convenience is “You Can Have Manhattan” by Dangelico. P. It is so good.

Mony: You Can Have Manhattan is fantastic! – a 5-star for sure.

Jean: I really liked You Can Have Manhattan……just when you are expecting to get a spoiled rotten rich city kid, you get a cowboy!! And I like me a cowboy! Lol!

Lisa M: I finished You Can Have Manhattan. LOVED IT!!! Could not put it down!! Those are the best books!! Now I want to look at what’s books of hers I haven’t read yet & read them.

  • Pretty Venom by Ella Fields (Cheating/Angst/Grovel)

Aimee: Just finished Pretty Venom!! So good!! I shed a few tears with that one!! Thanks for the recommendation!!!

  • Inhale Exhale by C L Mathews (Cheating/Angst)
  • The Divorce by Nicole Strycharz (Angst/Grovel)
  • Love, Hate & Us by S P West (Cheating/Second Chance)
  • Evil Love by Ella Fields (Bully Romance)

Alicia: My absolute favorite song right now is from the Evil Love playlist by Ella Fields. It’s called Way Down We Go by Kaleo.

  • The Girl in Seat 24B by Jennifer Peel (Marriage in Trouble/Angst)
  • Unworthy by Susie Tate (Unrequited)
  • Breaking Old Habits by Melissa Bender (Second Chance/Angst)
  • Fragile Longing by Cora Reilly (Unrequited/Mafia)
  • The Woman He Married by Julie N Ford (Cheating/Grovel)
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Sarah: I just devoured The Woman He Married. Angsty. Well-written characters.

Maryse: This was the answer to a reader question: Reader Question… Answered! The book about the wife that sees her husband’s secretary wearing a bracelet…

  • Complicated Hearts Duet by Ashley Jade (Cheating/Angst)
  • The Perfect Duet by Meghan Quinn (Unrequited)
  • Broken Play by Alison Rhymes (Cheating/Grovel)
  • Forever and Never by Ella Fields (Second Chance/Angst)
  • The Kiss Thief by L J Shen (Arranged Marriage/Grovel)

Aditi: Read “The Kiss Thief,” it will satisfy you completely, and you will be head over heels for this book.

MichelleS: The Kiss Thief by LJ Shen. Still thinking about that one and replaying scenes in my head. Woo-eee-mama. …That Wolfe is a big bad alpha. And everyone has secrets. Every page has me saying, “he did NOT just do that” or “he did NOT just say that”. …Another 5-star read! I’m on a roll here. Could not put it down.

Kimia: I love Kiss Thief. It’s so good.

Shawna: The Kiss Thief by LJ Shen. I love me some Wolfe Keaton!

Renee: My latest reading feast is peppered with books by LJ Shen. The best morsel of all, “The Kiss Thief”. So yummy!

Dennishiel: The Kiss Thief by L. J. Shen is a must-read! Frankie & Wolf were true celebrities in my eyes on a more Bonnie and Clyde but classy level! It’s more of a suspense romance! It’s hard to explain plz go read it if you haven’t!

  • Sparrow by L J Shen (Arranged Marriage/Mafia Angst/Grovel)

Kelli: Sparrow by LJ Shen… also another good one! Arranged marriage, and there is another woman involved with the hero.

D.G.: Sparrow was one of my five stars!!! I just LOVED it! It got the emotions going!!! …LOVE a good “arranged” marriage…especially when there is a deception on the H’s part. You know one of those it was a business deal with a parent kinda thing…and then BAM, h finds out, and all heck breaks out.

Carla: I just read Sparrow by L.J. Shen, and believe me, you are going to love this book! It turned out to be so much more than I had expected. The heroine is the best thing about this book. She has a backbone and gives as good as she gets. And the hero is that jerk that you are going to hate to love. And there is no insta-love here; their connection formed over time. It was the perfect mix. 😉

  • Until Harry by L.A. Casey (Angst/Cheating?/Grovel)

D.G.: Until Harry by L.A. Casey… and I LOVED it! Definite 4.5 stars for me…some parts were a little watery, emotional but sooo worth the ride. I normally don’t read a lot of second chance romance, but yeah, this one I really, REALLY loved! Lots of alpha males in this one…overprotective uncle, father, brothers…and best friend. Sometimes a girl just needs protecting…even if she doesn’t want it. a DG recommended gotta read

Charity: Until Harry by La Casey, love it!!! Unrequited love and friends to lovers is always good.

  • Walk Through Fire by Kristen Ashley (Bikers/Second Chance)

Mindi: Walk Through Fire is my favorite MC book. I relate to Millie SO much, and the way High (when not being a jerk) so unabashedly loves her makes me squishy inside. 🙂

Brooke: LOVE LOVE LOVE Walk Through Fire!

DG: KA’s Walk Through Fire was so good but tore me to pieces….


Maryse: This was the answer to one of our reader questions!! Reader Question – The book about the divorced guy’s daughter that is causing his new girlfriend trouble…

  • Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover (Angsty)

Jessa: UGLY LOVE, BY COLLEEN HOOVER. If you wanna read something as painfully beautiful as It Ends With Us, go for this book.

Anne: Finished Ugly Love, and yep, it’s still a 5-star read for me. Just 2 words for you: Miles Archer. Enough said 🙂 …I have to say Ugly Love had some major angsty moments. I cried so much with that book!

Michelle: blubbering happy tears oh, that part in Ugly Love with the format change just made me start up again…sometimes I want to kick myself with how long it takes me to read books everyone loves!

Amy: Michelle, I loved in Ugly Love how lyrical and sweet his past POV was…and then it wasn’t. And my heart HURT because of the reason why. GAH, I loved that book!

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Julie: My favorite moment of all Colleen’s books is the scene in Ugly Love where Miles calls Tate Rachel by mistake. So, so heartbreaking.

  • The Words by Ashley Jade (Enemies to Lovers/Second Chance/Rockstar)

Aimee: The Words by Ashley Jade. ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!!! 5+* I’m going to try to wait patiently for the next in this series…Because I want to know about the next couple!!! It was SOOOO GOOD!!!

  • What Mattered Most by Linda Winfree (Second Chance)

Chante: Just the Way You Are by Barbara Freethy is an oldie but a major goodie. I fell in love with all of the characters.

Angsty Second Chance Romance:

  • Ryder by L A Casey (Marriage in Trouble/Angst/Second Chance)
  • The Devil Wears Black by L J Shen (Second Chance/Fake Marriage)
  • The Carnage Series by Lesley Jones (Angst/Rockstar/Cheating)

Michele G: …tortured my poor heart with Carnage by Lesley Jones last week and loved every tear-soaked minute of it.

Tiffany: That series was a rough one to read, but MAN I loved it!!!! It has definitely stayed with me over the years.

Kim: I would have to say Carnage gave me a WHAT moment and has stuck with me for years.

  • The Kane Trilogy by Stylo Fantome (Angst)

Kelly: this Kane trilogy is AMAZING! I loved it so much.

Tessa: The Kane Trilogy… swoon So different and so sexy. I wanted to kill Jameson and then fall for him. Also, Sanders. grins Sanders was too awesome for words.

Yvette: The Kane Trilogy by Stylo Fantome (this one is dark and kinda crazy, but kept me turning those pages…)

  • Tristan & Danika Series by R K Lilley (Angst/Second Chance)

Leslie M: Tristan & Danika brought all those emotions back. Gah!

Michele G: I was immersed in the world of Tristan and Danika all weekend (actually still am…I’m currently on the 3rd book, Lovely Trigger). I am absolutely loving it…even though they are breaking my heart!!

Nay: …ALL of us love Tristan and Danika and have recommended them over and over and over!

  • Just the Way You Are by Barbara Freethy (Marriage in Trouble/Angst)
  • Sweet Chaos by Emery Rose (Forbidden/Sister’s Ex/Unrequited)
  • Revenge Cake by Skylar Mason (Second Chance)
  • The Truth About Love by Maisie Myers (Second Chance/Angst)
  • The Regret Duet by Aly Martinez
  • The Truth Duet by Aly Martinez

Jenn: Just finished “The Truth About Lies,” and although it started out as a slow read for me, it turned out to be one of my favorites this year, definitely 5 stars for me! I’m immediately jumping into the second book as I need answers.

  • From This Day Forward Duet by Shanon Myers (Marriage in Trouble/Amnesia)
  • Calico by Callie Hart (Second Chance)
  • Pieces of a Life/Memories of a Life – Life Series Duet by Jewel E Ann (Second Chance)

Lisa A: I can confirm that Jewel E Ann’s Memories of a Life was fanfreakingtastic!! Pieces of a Life was the calm before the Memories of a Life hurricane. It starts out with a bang and pretty much ramps up from there.

It’s been a while since I felt I had to continually put down a book after every few pages, just to catch my breath. The hits just keep on coming. And I was so certain at one point that I knew what was coming next, but nope. I was wrong!!

And Colten – I really, really loved Colten. If Colten comes in my front door, I’m shoving my husband out the back with a “Tough Luck, Mr. Duck” on his way out (which will make sense if you’ve read the book(s))!!

  • Angry God by L J Shen (Second Chance)

Tessa: Speaking of Angst… Angry God up there! gasps I can’t even put into words how good that was. Just so much of the dread with Vicious’s story, but in a totally different way. Vicious as a dad is amazing. He’s all, “you hurt my son I will torture and kill you, and no one will find the body” type of dad. lol I expected nothing less.

  • Trick Me Twice by Becca Steel (Second Chance)
  • *Mercy Fck by K. S. Adkins (Second Chance)**

Robyn: Mercy F*ck! Oh boy, does this sound good.

The h gives everything to the H…her v-card and love. He, of course, takes it, and as they are planning their wedding in bed, he tells her she is a mercy fck. So, she becomes that with every guy she’s with. Sounds like a woman scorned…hehe! Anyway, the H comes back into her life; she calls him the mercy fcker. I just know it’s gonna get HOT, KS Adkins style!!

  • Complicate Me (The Good Ol’ Boys) by M Robinson (Second Chance)
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Robyn: …it left me squirly and not being able to stop thinking about it. It’s M Robinson’s new book Complicate Me (The Good Ol Boys). It’s full of angst and unrequited love. Our favorite!

Alexandra has known these 4 boys basically since birth. As they grow up together, her bond with Lucas gets stronger, and of course, they love each other. They have to deny this love because the rest of the boys and their parents don’t want them together. They go through their trials and tribulations throughout their lives until they finally realize they can’t not be together! I fell in love with Alex and her Boys…

  • My Skylar by Penelope Ward (Second Chance)

Jean: My Skylar!!!!! An all-time favorite!! Will never forget it! …Childhood friends that become so much more and then bam!! That’s all I’m saying!

Dina: OMG “My Skylar” is AMAZINGGGGGGGG I can’t put it down! Ahhhhh READ IT 🙂

  • When Stars Burn Out by Carrie Aarons (Second Chance)
  • Into the Deep by Samantha Young (Second Chance)
  • Black Swan Affair by K L Kreig (Angst/Brother)

Leslie M: I am currently reading Black Swan Affair and have a little pretzel tummy as BLEEP is gonna hit the fan soon….I can feel it. bites nails

Jen C: Black Swan Affair (omgggg read that a couple of weeks ago SO GOOD I was up all night finishing it too)

Sharon: Black Swan Affair. Solid 4.5 stars for me. It wasn’t what I was expecting. Actually kept me guessing! Nice amount of angst and pretty saucy too. It’s hard to write a review without spoilers!

Cheryl: …I just finished the black swan affair, and I really loved it. I generally don’t read books that contain cheating. But it was the first chapter I worried, but I really enjoyed it from start to finish…

…Not the typical “cookie-cutter” story. Wasn’t sure where it was going, and had some twists I didn’t see coming, and I was on the edge of my angst-ridden seat waiting for what the h was going to decide.

Second Chance Romance Historical

  • Ravishing the Heiress by Sherry Thomas (Historical/Unrequited)
  • The Devil’s Love by Julia London (Historical/Second Chance)
  • The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean (Historical/Second Chance)


  • The Broken Beginning by Christine Michelle (Bikers MC/Second Chance)
  • Masked Duet by Reese Rivers (Reverse Harem/Second Chance/Angst)
  • Silent Vows by Jill Ramsower (Mafia)
  • Ruthless People series by J J McAvoy (Mafia)

Kady: I’m just wondering if anyone can recommend a mafia book with a strong female like Melody from Ruthless People. I have read a few now and the women aren’t weak (I mean you don’t fall for these kinds of guys and be weak), but none of them are in the business.

None of the other women are quite as kicka** as Melody, and I’m spoiled now lol. I want another great one where the girl can give as good as the guy can.

Ashley: I love a good marriage of convenience story. …oooo and Ruthless People by JJ McAvoy … but that’s more arranged.

  • Crow by A Zavarelli (Mafia/Angst)

Mony: Crow by A. Zavarelli- …Not a big fan of mafia romances, but this one is very good!

About an Irish mafia leader Lachlan Crow. He’s hot, smart, fierce, and loyal to the family above all else. He’s fantastic! Love Irish Hs. Oh, and the h, Mack, is a sassy and strong woman who’s great at being a thorn in his side.

Lots of action, chemistry, heat & banter +++ 4.5⭐

  • Adam, Enough Said by Lynda LeeAnne (Angst/Second Chance)

Catherine: In Adam, Enough Said, Adam calls his wife Mia “Freckles,” and every time I read it in the book, my heart skips a beat!!!!

Grace: Adam, Enough Said -Lynda Leeanne! Omg! That cover is like crack to me! It’s the This Can’t Be Happening Series – all really great books, and Adam is the third one, but drool starts running down my face if I look at that cover too long.

Xxxx S

➔➔➔ Love this trope? Browse more unrequited love and/or groveling hero book features and reviews on my blog. 😄

➔➔➔ Looking for more of my must-read recommendations? Check out more of our favorites lists! 😄

Join us in exploring these captivating and emotionally-charged stories of love, redemption, and second chances. Get ready to be swept away by the angsty romance, groveling heroes, and the ultimate triumph of love against all odds. Happy reading!

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