We all need an occasional escape from reality, and what better way than sinking your teeth into a juicy love triangle romance novel? The love triangle trope not only adds drama and suspense to the classic love story, but also can reveal two different sides to the protagonist’s personality. These seven novels feature love triangles that are poignantly reflective of hard choices, their consequences and the fickleness of fate in life. Are there happy endings at the end of these twisting, turning, journeys of love?

In This Life (Vesuvian Books)
by Christine Brae

Grab a box of tissues (or chocolate) and curl up with this timeless masterpiece by Christine Brae, featuring a love triangle story that engages with the roles of love, friendship and fate in life. Anna Dillon, joined by her best friend Dante, wriggles out of New York City to embark on a medical mission to aid tsunami survivors in Thailand. There, she meets Jude Grayson — and falls helplessly, deeply in love. Due to a family emergency, Anna must return home, but Jude promises to contact her. After five years with no sign of Jude, Anna, having lost hope, is now dating Dante. Later, Anna runs into Jude, but also discovers the true reason why he never contacted her: a secret that changes everything. Meanwhile, her boyfriend Dante has his own secret … 

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The Mothers (Riverhead Books)
by Brit Bennett

Set in a small, religious town in Southern California, Brit Bennett’s first novel is steeped in black culture while also universal in its depiction of young love, friendship and hard life choices. Nadia, a teenager who has recently lost her mother to suicide, becomes romantically involved with Luke, the pastor’s son. What follows is a love triangle involving secrets and betrayals. The story is told from the perspectives of Nadia and other characters such as the “Church Mothers” — the older ladies who have been involved with the conservative church for years. Bennett’s The Mothers is an authentic and thought-provoking novel that will leave readers invested and wanting more.

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I Loved You More (Hawthorne Books)
by Tom Spanbauer

This raw and authentic novel by Tom Spanbauer tackles the messy subjects of love, friendship and sexuality in a love triangle. The plot follows twenty-five years in the life of Ben, a man who is gay but has had relationships with women. Ben meets the macho Hank at Columbia, and while Hank is straight, the two form a loving and complicated relationship. Nearly ten years later, Ben, who is now ill and in a relationship with Hank, falls in love with his caring and devoted writing student, Ruth. A romantic affair ensues, but when Hank meets Ruth, a love triangle is born. Spanbauer’s vivid storytelling takes the reader on a vicarious emotional journey of guilt, loneliness, grief and confusion — but also honesty, joy and clarity.

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More Than Words (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
by Jill Santopolo

New York Times bestselling author Jill Santopolo presents the bittersweet story of a love triangle. Nina Gregory, the sole heir to her father’s successful New York City hotel business, becomes a speechwriter for the handsome mayoral candidate, Rafael O’Connor-Ruiz. Nina has a steady boyfriend, but also falls in love with the charismatic Rafael. Tragically, her father’s terminal illness threatens to take away his life, just as family secrets are revealed, and Nina begins to question everything. Nina’s journey and her pursuit of truth and happiness in this novel entails discoveries about love, loss, family and life.

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The Marriage Plot (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)
by Jeffrey Eugenides

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jeffrey Eugenides has written yet another dazzling, brilliant story. Helpless romantic, Madeleine Hanna, is an English major at Brown University in the 1980s. She is writing her senior thesis on the marriage plot that lies at the heart of some of the greatest English novels from authors like Jane Austen and George Eliot. Soon, Madeleine finds herself in her own marriage plot involving the darkly mysterious and intellectual Leonard, and the devoted and idealistic suitor Mitchell. After their college graduation in 1982, what began as the classic love triangle for the three romantics unfolds as a more complex story that highlights the contemporary themes of feminism, sex, mental illness, prenups and divorce in our all-too real, everyday life.

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One Day in December (Ballantine Books)
by Josie Silver

One snowy December day, through a misty bus window, Laurie locks eyes with a handsome man, instantly falls in love … and then her bus drives away. Days later, at a Christmas party, Laurie’s best friend Sarah introduces her boyfriend Jack. Laurie realizes it’s him — it’s the one she loves. Josie Silver’s charming story takes the reader along a ten-year journey of a love triangle that follows three souls all longing for a single destiny: happiness. A Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick and #1 New York Times Bestseller, One Day in December is sure to warm your heart, wintertime or otherwise.

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This is Not How it Ends (Lake Union Publishing)
by Rochelle B. Weinstein

The newest release from USA Today bestselling author Rochelle B. Weinstein is set in beautiful Islamorada, located in the Florida Keys, and features the story of Charlotte and Peter … and Ben. As the story unfolds, so does a love triangle. Charlotte feels torn between her growing disconnect with her often-absent husband and her newfound, confusing feelings for a very much present, single father who has stepped into her life (along with his son) under completely unexpected circumstances. With its journey through loss, love, heartbreak and grief, there can be no doubt this is a modern love story at its finest, as Weinstein reminds us that endings can often signal brand-new beginnings. 

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