The 20 Best Books Like Love and Gelato (Wholesome Romance)

We all need a good read or two to restore our faith in love and that happily-ever-afters exist, right? From movies to poetry to art to writing, pick up works from any time and place in the world; you’ll likely find subtle undertones of passion and courtship at play.

The 20 Best Books Like Love and Gelato (Wholesome Romance)

Millions of avid romantics worldwide have catapulted this genre into a billion-dollar literary industry, as proven by the massive ground-breaking successes of Nora Roberts, E.L. James, and Jane Austen.

Jenna Evans Welch’s “Love and Gelato” is a heartwarming tale of self-discovery, coming-of-age, and friendship. The protagonist navigates the rocky currents of her life, finding space for love in her life fresh off losing her mother.

 No matter what sub-genres of romance you prefer or whether the genre even appeals to you, we’re optimistic this list of swoon-worthy reads has something for every reader. Read below to find out the next novel to leave you feeling warm and fuzzy with their chemistry and happy endings.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

The Hating Game: A Novel

This much-loved best-seller is perfect for fans of steamy, slow-burn enemies-to-lovers tropes. Now a popular romantic comedy movie starring Lucy Hale and Austin Stowell, it’s centered around the fine line between love and hate. 

Lucy Templeton is your typical goody-two-shoes, the quirky, bright, ambitious female lead, determined to thrive in her professional dream of securing a lucrative promotion at her publishing company. Except, she’s head-to-head in competition with her arch-rival, the cold and ever-efficient Joshua Templeton.

Layered with humorous workplace banter, a juicy plotline, and steamy and sizzling forced-proximity encounters, “The Hating Game” is a heart-warming and swoon-worthy story of two multifaceted people who learn to change and become better versions of themselves for their polar-opposite love interests.

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

The Unhoneymooners

Christina Lauren’s “The Unhoneymooners” makes its way into our list for its funny, slapstick humor and heart-melting moments between the sworn enemies, Olive and Ethan.

The arch-rivals are forced to push away their differences. They pretend they’re a happy, loving couple for the sake of a free dreamy Hawaii getaway after Olive’s sister’s entire wedding party falls prey to bad shellfish. 

But sparks fly between Olive and Ethan. And they can’t keep their distance after Olive lies to her boss about her relationship status. Will they let past grudges die and shun their egos to give their blossoming, sexy chemistry a chance to develop into something more? 

Love and Luck by Jenna Evans Welch

Love & Luck

Read either as a stand-alone or correct after you’ve finished with “Love and Gelato,” Jenna Evans Welch strikes another chord with readers looking for an enjoyable, contemporary romance with wholesome moments that will leave you with butterflies in your stomach. 

Addie is fresh off a heart-wrenching fight with her once-inseparable sibling, Ian, when she stumbles upon a guidebook, Ireland for the Heartbroken, that leads her to a life-changing journey between the lush green hills and magical castles of Ireland. 

Forced near Ian and his endearing dashing Irish best friend Rowan, Addie is forced to come to terms with the realities of life.

This coming-of-age plotline will leave you with a smile on your face and a warmth in your heart.

Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Red, White & Royal Blue: A Novel

“Red, White, and Royal Blue” is a tender, consuming, and hilarious read that’s guaranteed to leave you wishing you could experience reading it for the first time. 

When Us-British relations hinge on Alex, the son of the American President, and Henry, the cold prince of the UK— finding a way to resolve their differences, they unexpectedly find themselves pulled towards each other. 

This novel is thrilling, witty, and sure to keep you on your toes throughout the male leads journey.

My Phony Valentine (Holidays with Hart) by Courtney Walsh

My Phony Valentine (Holidays With Hart)

A fake relationship, a dark and handsome hockey player, and a storyline to die for: “My Phony Valentine” has it all. 

This is one book you won’t be able to put down with its layering of the dynamic leads, Poppy and Ethan, who have cute moments that will leave readers feeling sweet and swoony. 

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simison

The Rosie Project: A Novel

“The Rosie Project” is Graeme Simison’s astounding debut as he charms and captivates readers. When the sharp and lovable yet socially challenged professor of genetics, Don Tillman, forays into the world of love and relationships, it’s anything but easy for him.

Readers will find themselves rooting for the entirely unconventional yet intimate connection Don fosters with Rosie, a barmaid and Don’s chosen candidate for his Wife Project. 

The Seat Filler by Sariah Wilson

The Seat Filler: A Novel

The Seat Filler” is a mellow and witty romance following the lives of the funny and sweet dog-groomer Juliet Nolan as she holds out and resists the charms of the young, all-the-rage heartthrob Noah Douglas. 

This novel is a sweet and unconventional romance that will have you hooked, line, and sinker.

Eleanor And Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park

What happens when two misfits are embroiled in a sexy, witty, and tear-jerking romance? “Elanor And Park” is a remarkable 1986 old-school love story about star-crossed oddballs laced with bitter-sweet moments that will make you reminisce about your first love, with lovable characters that seem impossibly real.

People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry

People We Meet on Vacation

A classic wholesome romance that tugs on your heartstrings, “People We Meet On Vacation” is a tender novel about polar opposites Poppy and Alex, who have, throughout their friendship, managed to find time for themselves every summer for a getaway.

Until disaster struck two years ago, Poppy had never been truly happy ever since. Now, she decides to stare down this reality right in its face as she proposes to Alex and gives their relationship one last shot.

“People We Meet On Vacation” is a moving and swoon-worthy read about two flawed people and how Poppy searches for connection and what truly means home throughout her life. 

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

The Summer I Turned Pretty

From the author of the charming “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” comes another delicious coming-of-age story. Summers are the only time Belly feels truly alive, shuttered away from the world in a beach house during hot, sunny days with Conrad and Jeremiah. 

The Summer I Turned Pretty” is an enjoyable, impactful, and nostalgic story of young love that leaves readers reaching for a box of Kleenex and an impacted heart.

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Saint Anything

Sydney finds herself at a dark turn in her life after her erratic brother, Peyton, who’s held the family’s attention for as long as she can remember, is sentenced to behind bars. Moving through life, feeling that she’s invisible, Sydney finally discovers what it means to be seen as she finds friendship and tender love with Mac Chatham.  

“Saint Anything” is a sensitive and touching ode to the delicate fabric of family, love, and the tragic realities of life.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

Beautiful Ruins: A Novel

Beautiful Ruins” follows the life of a starstruck Innkeeper in Italy and his yearning for an old love as well as the tangled webs of complicated, flawed human beings.

Hailed for its witty humor, this novel is praised for its power-packed plot of love, treachery, and ambitions that run awry with sly commentary on Hollywood’s hidden realities.

Anna And The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss

A smart, sly, and truly endearing tale of a crush that’s on the verge of developing into something more profound and the exhausting complexities of to be or not to be.

Anna and The French Kiss” follows Anna as she tip-toes the thin line between giving into her heart’s desire to pursue her passions with the ever-perfect Etienne or waiting for the love she fosters back at home.

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Tweet Cute

An adorable rom-com about how love finds you in the most unexpected places, “Tweet Cute” is a wholesome, delightful tale with a whip-smart storyline. Pepper is a perfectionist overachiever running her own highly successful food chain business. 

Enter Jack, witty and adorable, who makes sure he goes to any lengths to avenge his family deli business when his grandma’s grilled cheese recipe is stolen by none other than Pepper. A business Twitter war ensues. But behind the scenes, unbeknownst to Pepper and Jack too, they’re both falling head over heels for each other.

Frankly In Love by David Yoon

Frankly in Love

“Frankly In Love” is an unconventional and one-of-a-kind romance book about race, forgiveness, and finding your true self amongst societal expectations and what your heart desires. Frank Li, the charming and nerdy Korean protagonist, struggles to come to terms with his parent’s expectations of settling down with a fellow, “suitable” Korean woman when he’s finally struck the lottery in life in his relationship with Brit…who’s white.

Enter Joy Song, a family friend grappling with the same dilemma. But when life deals him the tricky cards, Frank is forced to confront the realities of love… and whether he truly ever experienced it or not?

Just One Kiss by Sophie Love

Just One Kiss (A Porch by the Sea—Book One)

“Just One Kiss” follows Emma, disillusioned and heartbroken after discovering her husband’s secret affair. Succumbing to her aunt’s insistence to leave everything behind and find herself again in a village off the Northern Californian Coast, Emma embarks on an exciting journey of self-discovery. She learns to face the music with a subtle, warm backdrop of looming romance.

Merritt And Her Childhood Crush by Jenny Proctor 

Merritt and Her Childhood Crush: A Sweet Romantic Comedy (Oakley Island Romcoms)

Merritt And Her Childhood Crush” is a classic story of reigniting old flames and finding yourself again after life throws a curveball at you. Everything was going just perfectly in Merritt’s life, zealous hard work building up to a much-awaited promotion, a loving boyfriend — she has it all.

Until he confesses to his betrayal and stabs Merritt in the back, stealing her promotion and disappearing without a trace, Merritt is distraught. She decides to turn her life around, escaping to the Oakley Islands. Only to discover that the contractor she ends up working with for renovating her late grandmother’s estate is none other than Hunter, her first love. And heartbreak.

A Place To Land by Lauren K. Denton

A Place to Land

A Place To Land” is a tender romance about long-lost love and the sacrifices one must make in order to look out for and shield family. This is a novel about multiple couples with an ending that leaves readers with butterflies in their stomachs as the couples deal with hidden histories and dark secrets of a past that threaten to uproot their lives as they know them. 

This novel is a powerful story about how love perseveres through everything if it’s strong enough.

Cinder Nanny by Sariah Wilson

Cinder-Nanny: A Novel

“Cinder Nanny” is a raunchy, wholesome tale. Meet Diana Parker, struggling to make ends meet with her sister’s piling medical bills. Diana is desperate for an opportunity, and it seems like her pleas are answered when she has to accompany a wealthy couple on an Aspen trip to nanny their five-year-old son.

But where Diana’s trying her best to conceal her secrets, a kindling romance with the irresistible and most eligible bachelor of England threatens to ruin it all.

Will she give in to what her heart desires?

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Me Before You (Me Before You Trilogy)

A love story that has captivated millions and millions across the world, and now a popular movie starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin, “Me Before You” is the classic grumpy and sunshine, enemies to lovers story. 

Will Traynor is cold and moody after being strapped to a wheelchair for the rest of his life following a tragic skiing accident. He loses his lover and the will to live, struggling to come to terms with his circumstances.

Until he meets Lou, his clumsy, inept, but larger-than-life caretaker, Lou. “Me Before You” is a heart-tugging, beautiful story of hope, romance, and resilience.

Roommaid by Sariah Wilson

Roommaid: A Novel

“Roommaid” is a charming story about living your life one experience at a time follows Maddison Huntington as she sets out to make something of herself and a name of her own. And that’s where she meets Tyler Roth, agreeing to look after his penthouse, 

Chemistry sparks between the two, but life has much more in store for Maddison than she’s expecting.

Final Thoughts

We hope this list helps you have a clearer idea of what book you should read next if you loved “Love And Gelato.” 


Is “Love And Gelato” inappropriate for younger audiences?

It’s advised to be appropriate for ages 12 and older.

What is the best romance ever written?

“Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte and “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen have commonly been regarded by readers as one of the best.

What makes a good romance?

A central love story and an emotionally satisfying ending are crucial to ensure the romance is well-written and gripping,

Is “Love And Gelato” for adults?

Although it’s been written for young adult audiences, the novel can be enjoyed by adults just the same.

Does “Love and Gelato” have romance?

Yes. Love and Gelato is a clean romance novel with fun romance themes, strong characters, and a wonderful story.

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Fatima Ganem