There’s just something about romance heroes with wounded hearts that gives me all the feels!
Check out this list of the best books with romance heroes who find love, redemption, hope and solace in these beautiful stories.
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While I love a good, strong heroine, it’s honestly the romance heroes who stick out the most to me in the books I read.
I don’t mind the tall, dark, and handsome, but honestly, any good man fits the bill as a swoon-worthy hero in my book.
He may be poor or a billionaire, a rock star or geek, a single dad or playboy, but it really doesn’t matter who he is when it comes to the romance heroes I adore 😉.
But looking over the hundreds and hundreds of romance books that I’ve read, the tag that I use the MOST for my books is wounded romance hero.
I admit that I have a total soft spot for the romance heroes who are struggling.
Perhaps they’re just down on their luck, or have had their heart broken, or have had some tragedy occur in their past.
Whatever the reason, the romance heroes in these books are struggling with wounded hearts and shattered souls.
Do these heroes appeal to you or is it just me?
If you love a romance hero with a wounded heart like me, you’re going to devour this book list.
These are my favorite books with characters who just ripped my own heart out but then patched it back up again.
These are the men who will make you feel and won’t let go.
Are you ready? Can you take it?
Check out the list below and then visit my Book Boyfriend page for more romance heroes to swoon over. And don’t miss out on my quiz to discover your ideal book boyfriend!
Happy reading! And be sure to share your own favorite romance heroes in the comments below!
My Favorite Romance Heroes With Wounded Hearts
by Sawyer Bennett
Bridger Payne is an enigma that no one can figure out. Wise beyond his years, eerily intuitive and oh so hot, every woman in The Silo wants him.
None can have him. Not the real man, anyway.
He might wield the lash for you if you ask prettily, but he’ll get no gratification from it. He’ll definitely make you scream, but he won’t think twice about you when he walks away.
Bridger carries the darkest of secrets. He’s filled with too much pain. He’s utterly untouchable.
Until she came along.
My Wounded Romance Hero: Bridger Payne
This is the fifth book in Sawyer’s Wicked Horse series where we finally get Bridger’s story.
While this can be read as a standalone, you will get so much more out of it having read the previous books and gotten glimpses of this wounded romance hero and his role in the Wicked Horse.
You know that this man is H-O-T hot and knows how to press every woman’s pleasure buttons but the man is a total enigma.
While he may participate in many scenes at the club, he has one rule that he always abides by.
Discovering the reason for that rule, broke my freaking heart.
Fair warning, there are some trigger warnings in this one that I normally steer clear of, but I’m so glad that I finally got to see Bridger find his happily-ever-after.
by Helena Hunting
NHL defenseman Lance Romero is notorious for parties and excess.
He’s a player on and off the ice. Not because he likes the notoriety, but because he doesn’t know how to be any other way.
He has secrets that he shared with the wrong person, and she uses them against him.
He should cut ties, but she makes it difficult, because she’s the kind of bad he thinks he deserves until another woman from his past lights up his dark.
My Wounded Romance Hero: Lance “Romance” Romero
Hunting’s Pucked series starts off with one of the funniest romcom books I’ve ever read, which is why this book struck such a chord with me because it’s anything but.
Lance may be an NHL hockey stud but he’s been used and abused and doesn’t deem himself worthy.
How this man hurts inside, and yet you wouldn’t really know just looking at him – even his closest friends don’t know what he truly struggles with.
He’s such a force on the ice but the man’s psyche is so broken.
“I’m not a toy you can play with anymore.”
You definitely get a taste of what a toxic relationship looks like in this novel, but then you also get to see the complete opposite once Poppy comes back into his life.
You won’t be the same after reading Lance’s story.
by Penny Reid
Billy Winston and Claire McClure (aka Scarlet St. Claire) once found the deepest, soul-yearning love in a forest in the backwoods of Tennessee, but cruelty and circumstances drove them apart.
Secrecy and silence has kept them separated but Billy’s family has seen enough and is ready to step in and push these two together if it’s the last thing they do.
Shenanigans ensue on a family trip to Italy where Billy and Claire or forced together but it remains to be see if the forced proximity will bring them back together or tear them further apart.
My Wounded Romance Hero: Billy Winston
Beard Necessities is the seventh and final book in Reid’s Winston Brothers series and the culmination of Billy and Claire’s story that developed throughout the series and in their origin story, Beard With Me.
I fell so hard for Billy Winston who sacrifices so much for his family, his hometown and the love of his life at the expense of his own love and happiness.
He literally sacrifices how own body, time and time again, to protect the ones he loves.
“I’m tired, Scarlett. So tired.”
OMG there were so many moments where Billy just seemed so broken in this novel, but it was his family and ultimately Scarlett who patched him up again and freed him from his burdens.
To feel the depth of emotion that I felt for Billy in this romance book, you have to binge-read the entire Winston Brothers series (worth it!) before reading this book.
You won’t be sorry (especially since this series is going to be made into a TV show!!). My Review.
by Colleen Hoover
When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she doesn’t think it’s love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends.
The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction.
Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves one thing.
Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.
They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.
Hearts get infiltrated. Promises get broken. Rules get shattered. Love gets ugly.
My Wounded Romance Hero: Miles Archer
You know you’re going to get ALL the feels when it comes to a romance hero written by Colleen Hoover.
Miles’ two rules are simple: never ask about the past and don’t expect a future. This man is struggling because he’s had to endure heartbreak that no one should ever have to endure.
He’s a man who doesn’t believe he deserves happiness or will ever find joy again so that’s why he only offers a physical relationship with Tate.
But of course, that never works out as planned, resulting in a beautiful slow burn romance. My Ugly Love Review.
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The Maddest Obsession
by Danielle Lori
Her dresses are too tight, her heels too tall. She laughs too loudly. Little do most know it’s just a sparkly disguise, there to hide one panic attack at a time.
Nobody can crack Gianna’s facade until he comes along.
Christian Allister may be a special agent upholding the law, but in the New York underworld, he’s a hustler who can make anyone disappear.
One winter night and their lives intertwine. She hates him—his stone-cold demeanor, his arrogance and too-perceptive eye—but over the years, even as their games consist of insulting each other’s looks and intelligence, she begins to live to play with him.
Nowhere in Christian’s plans had he ever prepared for Gianna. She’s chaos embodied, his frustration, his fascination. His maddest obsession.
My Wounded Romance Hero: Christian Allister
While this book is really about two wounded souls, Christian is a man who had layers upon layers to uncover.
His coolness and control is such a front to what really simmered underneath the surface.
This man has such a tragic past that shaped him into the man he is today and one who could recognize another wounded soul in Gianna.
Their oppositional attitude toward one another made this a perfect, opposites attract, slow burn romance that is years in the making.
I absolutely loved it and him.
The Finish Line
by Kate Stewart
Secrets and lies were the make-up of my life to achieve my sole purpose – revenge.
I denied myself my own desires for so long until her. When Cecelia blasted into my life I finally took for me, and it cost me dearly, not only my heart.
I can no longer deny her or my heart, but my mistakes are catching up with me.
I have no intention of losing her. I only hope we can make it to the finish line before it’s too late.
My Wounded Romance Hero: Ezekiel Tobias King
I don’t think I’ll ever forget Tobias King.
Kate Stewart has such a way with words, but man did she outdo herself with the Ravenhood series.
This book SLAYS I tell you, but it’s because it’s the culmination of this three-book series.
You get inside the head of Tobias and really see the sacrifices he’s had to make for his family and his cause that has cost him so much.
“I want to give you a better story. I just wish I could give you a better man.”
It’s his struggle in trying to win back Cecelia’s love and trust that just has your heart aching long past reading the end. My Review.
by BB Easton
At age 15, BB was planning her wedding to the punk hero of Peach State High, Lance Hightower.
Trying desperately to gain his attention by not eating and shaving her head, she instead ends up the object of Ronald “Knight” McKnight’s attention.
The senior skinhead who’s anger and violence scares everyone, including BB, but who ultimately ends up getting under her skin and changing her life forever.
My Wounded Romance Hero: Ronald McKnight
When I talk about this book, I always say: Forget about romance books with the perfect heroine and the swoony hero with the fairytale romance.
This is not that type of story. It’s so much more.
Based on her own life, Easton pens such gritty, damaged, and flawed teens in her own character but so completely with Ronald.
A boy influenced by neglectful parents, poor self-esteem and the need to be loved – he will rip your heart out.
I don’t think I’ll ever forget Ronald McKnight or the girl who loved him. My Review.
Down Too Deep
by J. Daniels
When Nathan lost his wife, he let his parents raise his baby girl while he lost himself in his restaurant.
But when his parents give him an ultimatum to step up, he needs to find childcare fast.
Jenna is happy to watch Nate’s little girl, and the more time she and her two kids spend with Nate and his daughter, the more she can’t help but fall for the family they seemed to be building.
My Wounded Romance Hero: Nathan Bell
Nathan is one of those single parent romance heroes that is struggling with the weight of being a parent after becoming a widow.
I could feel the pressure he was drowning under and the devastation behind how he lost his wife.
Yet, despite his struggles, this was also an uplifting romance book where true family is found between two single parents and their children. My Review.
Playing with Fire
by L.J. Shen
West St. Claire is a god on campus – he’s broody, he’s aloof, and he only does one-night stands. Until he meets Casey.
Casey is a fellow student at Sheridan U who survives by trying to blend into the background and stay unseen. Until she meets West.
My Wounded Romance Hero: West St. Clair
What is it about the young loners who make the best romance heroes to fall for?
West is someone you don’t mess around with on campus because he could take you down in a fight.
He doesn’t let anyone in because the weight on his shoulders is so heavy and because not all scars are visible.
I fell for this young man hard right from the start making this one of my favorite Shen romance books. My Review.
by Jay McLean
Logan is a high school dropout who outraces his demons with the help of Mary.
She’s the only thing that can help, until he meets Aubrey.
My Wounded Romance Hero: Logan Preston
My heart did not stop reeling after reading this one. I cried so many times I lost count.
Logan was trying to outrun his demons by getting high but in the end, it never helps him escape his trauma (trigger warnings in this one for sure!).
While this book has a lot of heavy moments, it is also lightened by Logan’s sweetest younger brother.
Don’t miss this book that explores the strong bonds of family and resilience.
by Emma Scott
Max has spent that last ten years rebuilding his life after being kicked out by his family for being gay.
He’s survived addiction and living on the streets so he should be able to handle working as a nurse for an ailing billionaire.
He just didn’t expect the spark he felt upon meeting the billionaire’s son who he soon learns is hiding secrets in order to inherit his family’s fortune.
My Wounded Romance Hero: Silas Marsh
Silas is a man who suffered in silence. Would you think a COO of a multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical company would have such a wounded soul? Oh, yes!
He turned to his company’s own painkiller to numb himself from the PTSD he was suffering from given the childhood he had to endure.
This is his story of being unable to live his truth without severe consequences, but what happens when he finally does. A beautiful love story. My Review.
by Amy Harmon
Ambrose Young was beautiful. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know.
But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have…until he wasn’t beautiful anymore.
My Wounded Romance Hero: Ambrose Young
No one does storytelling like Amy Harmon. And man did she make me feel for Ambrose and his struggle after returning home from his service overseas.
This young veteran was changed physically and emotionally in ways I couldn’t imagine but Fern helped him to return to himself. It’s beautiful.
The Air He Breathes
by Brittainy C. Cherry
I was warned about Tristan Cole, told that he was cruel, cold, damaged.
It’s easy to judge a man because of his past. To look at Tristan and see a monster.
But I couldn’t do that. I had to accept the wreckage that lived inside of him because it also lived inside of me.
We were both empty. We were both looking for something else. Something more.
We both wanted to put together the shattered pieces of our yesterdays.
Then perhaps we could finally remember how to breathe.
My Wounded Romance Hero: Tristan Cole
How do you possibly recover from a devastating loss? Tristan wouldn’t know, initially, when you first meet him in this novel.
He’s rude, he’s angry and he’s one to stay away from in his small town, but with Elizabeth, loss recognizes loss.
Cherry’s novels always slay me and cut to the heart and this one is no different.
It’s the first in the emotional Elements series which has even more wounded romance heroes to love.
by Nicole Edwards
Dylan has spent the past decade living in the shadows, mourning the loss of his wife, his best friend, his very reason for breathing.
He long ago accepted that he would never feel again, that he was damned to a world without light, without hope. Then he sees Sarah.
Sarah is struggling to come to grips with her husband’s passing.
She told him what they shared was simply a distraction, a way to forget for a little while.
Can the two find love together?
My Wounded Romance Hero: Dylan Thomas
This is really a story about two broken souls. Dylan has been struggling with depression and finding solace in a bottle since he lost his wife.
You can see how his depression has impacted his children and yet it’s his devastation that Sarah recognizes and identifies with. This was heart-aching but also pretty steamy.
Burn for You
by J.T. Geissinger
Bianca can’t stand the arrogant bastard who struts into her restaurant’s kitchen and she can’t believe the offer he makes her.
In order to secure his inheritance, Jackson must find a wife, so he’s offered Bianca a lucrative deal that can’t refuse.
My Wounded Romance Hero: Jackson Boudreaux
Jackson may first come off as rude and arrogant but there is so much more to this man beneath the surface.
I felt so deeply for this wounded billionaire who hides so much hurt and suffering under his abrasive personality.
Despite his wealth, his family has done a real winner on him which is just heartbreaking to see in action.