I’m not a romantic, which is an odd thing for a romance writer to say. I don’t believe in soulmates or perfect love or anything like that. As a result, I’m obsessed with “darker” romance. Think along the lines of Wuthering Heights or The Great Gatsby. Life is messy and complicated and people are imperfect. After a lifetime of reading love stories with happy endings, I’m now into more realistic plots where not everyone gets their HEA (Happy Ever After).
For the above reasons, I’m a huge fan of Megan Hart and Colleen Hoover. I recently finished Deeper by Megan Hart and I’m not ashamed to admit that I cried like a baby over Nick’s predicament. Talk about a tortured soul. Everything about his situation is futile. His story is over and he knows it. Wow. I’m tearing up again just thinking about it. And Megan Hart doesn’t feel the need to tie up the end with a tidy bow. She leaves it open and that keeps me thinking about the story for days or weeks later, wondering where the characters are going to end up. For me, that’s a good book. Something that stimulates my emotions and thoughts.
If you haven’t read Ugly Love yet by Colleen Hoover, I highly recommend it as another option for a darker romance. Although it has an HFN (Happy For Now) ending, I was left feeling unsettled at the end and with a book hangover that followed me around like a fifth of Tequilla, two lemons, and a shaker of salt. I really liked the unconventional method of storytelling. The heroine’s story is told in present time while the hero’s story takes place in the past.
So, if you’re looking for something a little grittier and a lot less hearts-and-flowers, check out these two authors.