Love And Other Words is a book that has become totally synonymous with the romance genre.
This hugely popular novel depicts the story of Macy Sorensen, a woman who has tirelessly and selflessly dedicated herself to her work, building a strong career, and marrying a man who can offer financial security.
However, Macy’s world is about to be turned upside down when she encounters her one true love, Elliot Petropoulos.
This story depicts the friendship and blossoming romance between Macy and Elliot as it moves seamlessly from one time period to another, depicting a time early in their friendship, and where the relationship now stands in the modern day.
Hearing as this friendship slowly blossoms into a full-blown love is incredibly engaging, and you can practically feel the passion oozing from every single page as you read through it.
If you are a fan of the hugely popular Love And Other Words, then you likely want some books that can scratch that same itch, right? If so, then read on down below, because we are going to look at the best similar books, like November 9, and Every Summer After.
About Christina Lauren
Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of two long-time friends, Christina Hobbs, and Lauren Billings, who met while writing fanfiction. Together, they have penned 29 books under their pseudonym, 15 of which are New York Times Best Sellers.
Though they have written young adult books before, the pair specializes in the adult romance genre and is known for writing characters with electrifying chemistry. Their books, while sometimes detailing serious topics, are known to be witty, romantic, and charming.
If you’ve read all 29 of their books or simply want a book as good as Love and Other Words, look no further: here are the 20 best books like the bestselling standalone.
Themes In Love And Other Words
One of the central themes of Love And Other Words is that of friendship, as the novel explores at what point a friendship becomes a romance, and whether love and friendship can actually be more deeply entrenched together than we may initially think!
The book also explores themes of loss and grief, as the novel explores Macy’s reactions to the death of her mother at a young age and the considerable impact that such a death has had on her adult life.
This helps to make the switching timelines of the story all the more gripping, as it becomes even clearer just how much Macy’s past has affected her present.
The story also, of course, explores the power and endurance of love, and how love can persevere even in the worst of conditions.
If you want a story that will truly make you believe in love and what it can do, then you will be well served by this incredible book which has gone on to garner significant critical acclaim and has earned itself a loyal fanbase of readers who strongly identify with its central characters and its central conflicts.
Best Books Like Love And Other Words
Every Summer After by Carley Fortune
Persephone Fraser and Sam Florek used to spend every summer together, soaking in the afternoon sun, swimming in the fresh waters of Barry’s Bay, and reading together well into the night.
The connection between the two was undeniable, and what started off as a friendship soon blossomed into a deep romance.
However, after six summers together, Persephone and Sam find themselves splitting up, unable to make the relationship work.
The two are forced to return to Barry’s Bay many years later, after learning of Sam’s mother’s death.
Despite her best wishes to close her heart off for good, Persephone soon finds herself back in the orbit of Sam Florek, and once again their love begins to blossom.
But, finding herself worried by the prospect of a new romance with the man that once broke her heart, Persephone feels conflicted, as she tries to decide between following her heart or following her head.
This book is another favorite of many Love And Other Words superfans thanks to its similar story and its truly gripping central romance between the two fleshed-out protagonists.
Despite being very down to earth and focused on its central characters, it is incredibly sweeping and takes place over numerous time periods to create a full image of the relationship.
- Features numerous time periods, similar to Love And Other Words.
- Features deep characters.
- Some of the twists are weaker than others.
Themes: Love, Betrayal, Friendship, Literature, Art, Fate, Aging, Death.
November 9 by Colleen Hoover
Every year, on the date of November 9th, protagonists Fallon and Ben meet up in L.A. and catch up on their separate lives.
Fallon and Ben were once very strong long-time friends who loved spending their time with one another, telling stories and staying up late into the night.
However, Fallon soon moves across the country, leaving L.A. behind her.
To make the most of their final day together, Fallon decides to tell Ben her life story, which soon becomes the inspiration for his next novel.
As the story moves from year to year, Fallon describes more and more of her life to Ben, pushing his novel further.
However, Ben very quickly develops doubts and comes to believe that not everything in Fallon’s story can be taken as truth.
What parts of her life are true? Which are entirely fabricated? And why is she fabricating a false reality in the first place?
The relationship between Ben, the writer, and Fallon, his muse, is incredibly rich and well-developed, and you’ll truly get a sense of their history together.
As well as this, part of the enjoyment of the novel comes from how much it involves the reader, as you are encouraged to question just how much of Fallon’s story is a fabrication, and how much of it is true to reality!
- Features a story similar to Love And Other Words.
- Incredibly intriguing and engaging for the reader
- A decidedly longer book.
Themes: Literature, Art, Facade, Fantasy, Fidelity, Romance, Friendship, Aging.
Better Than The Movies by Lynn Painter
Protagonist Liz Buxbaum is a constant daydreamer, who always imagines her life as if it were taking place in a romcom at all times.
This has led her to pursue romance in a specific way.
Liz’s life is very quickly turned upside down when, suddenly, her old crush Michael returns to town, after having moved away years prior.
Feeling that she was never noticed by Michael, Liz sets out to earn his attention.
Unfortunately for her, the best way to do that is to build a friendship with Wes Bennet, who is himself close friends with Michael.
Wes has long been a thorn in Liz’s side, thanks to his endless pranks, and his almost childlike spirit.
However, seeing it as her best chance to get noticed by Michael, she decides to build a friendship with him anyway!
As Liz and Wes build their new shaky friendship, the two slowly discover that they have much more in common than they initially thought, and this leads their relationship to become more and more stable.
Soon, the two are best friends, and they set about trying to pair Liz with Michael.
Those that are suckers for ‘true love’ stories will totally adore Better Than The Movies because as Liz gets closer and closer to attracting the attention of Michael, she soon discovers within herself some deep feelings for Wes!
But what will Liz choose to do as a result of her feelings? Finding out is part of what makes this novel such a joy to read, so why not try it out for yourself?
- A fantastic modern tale of true love through the lens of romantic comedy movies (If you like romantic comedies, check out Books Like Crazy Rich Asians).
- Features a great twist on the story that Love And Other Words told.
- A very long book at 368 pages.
Themes: True Love, Romance, Art, Film, Lost love, Friendship, Identity.
It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
It Ends with Us opens with Lily meeting a man on a rooftop and starting a passionate relationship. Soon this tumultuous relationship takes a turn for the worst, and as it does, readers are privy to Lily’s letters. In them, she writes about a past love who happens to show up at just the right time.
This book has sold over 4 million copies and has taken BookTok by storm. While in part a love story, it’s important readers know the serious topics the book covers as well, such as domestic abuse and generational cycles. Like in Love and Other Words, the narrative flips between past and present and explores the concept of returning old loves and the handling of serious issues.
It Had to Be You by Georgia Clark
Liv Golden’s husband just passed away and left half of their wedding planning business to his girlfriend, of all people. Now Liv must work with her dead husband’s mistress, Savannah Shipley, as they balance a business together and become confidants.
A cast of characters adds to this story’s romantic plot and touches on grief, love, and friendship, just like in Love and Other Words. Georgia Clark is known to have a similar writing style to Christina Lauren and is sure to please readers of contemporary romance.
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
Free-spirited Poppy and introverted Alex have been best friends since college. They get together every summer and go on vacation, but one night ruins everything, and the beautiful friendship they have fractures. 2 years later, Poppy breaks their long silence by asking Alex to go on one more vacation with her, just to air out their grievances.
Emily Henry and Christina Lauren’s books are often found side by side on shelves since they read similarly, and are both popular contemporary romance authors. People We Meet on Vacation is the perfect friends-to-enemies-to-lovers romance book with the added bonus of second chances.
One Day in December by Josie Silver
It’s a snowy winter day when Laurie peers through a bus window and spots a man she instantly falls in love with. But after a sparks-fly moment, the bus pulls away, and their paths don’t cross again until a year later at a Christmas party.
Only Laurie’s best friend introduces him–the guy Laurie instantly loved–as her new boyfriend.
This book spans 10 years as the three characters Laurie, Jack, and Sarah learn lessons on love, life, friendship, and the paths left uncrossed and the roads left untaken. One Day in December explores the what-ifs and touches on themes of missed opportunities.
Before I Let Go by Kennedy Ryan
Ending their marriage after two terrible tragedies was never the plan for Yasmen and Josiah, but sometimes it’s better to be apart than together. Time goes on, and so do their lives, but the two are inevitably tied together, whether that’s through their children or through running their business. But the more time they spend around each other after being apart, the more they realize that letting go might not have been the answer after all.
Before I Let Go handles some serious topics, such as mental illness, and is not as lighthearted as other books on this list. If you love crying as you read, this book is for you.
The One by Maria Realf
Lizzie Sparkes is engaged and about to be married to who she believes is ‘the one’ as she plans her dream wedding. However, Alex, the man she was in love with before her fiance, steps back into her life, and everything tilts sideways. Lizzie must now choose between a past love requesting a second chance and a new love requesting her hand.
Which should she choose?
The One switches between chapters in Lizzie’s past and present, giving readers further insights into her character motives and the reasons she makes certain decisions. Some writers write love triangles for the conflict it brings, but Maria Realf writes love triangles for the characters in this contemporary romance book.
Well Met by Jen DeLuca
Come one, come all to the Renaissance Faire in the small town of Willow Creek. Emily’s sister needs help after an accident, and Emily needs a new beginning, but what she didn’t plan for was being roped into volunteering for the town’s annual Renaissance Faire under the annoying schoolteacher of her niece. And when the fair starts and they get into character, all the pent-up tension unfurls between them as they step into the roles they must play.
Well Met matches the small-town vibe that Love and Other Words nails, and that’s ultimately why it’s on this list. There are three other books in the series, each story following different characters introduced in this first book.
One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
In One True Loves, tragedy strikes when Emma Blair’s husband dies in a helicopter accident. As she returns to her old hometown, works through her grief, and begins healing, she falls in love with a friend from the past, and it’s not long before they get engaged.
And then the impossible happens: her dead husband turns out to be not so dead after all. Now Emma must make an impossible choice between the man she married and the man she’s about to marry.
Secrets of the Tulip Sisters by Susan Mallery
Two sisters, two brothers, and a return to the past to strike up old feelings and rehash family quandaries.
If you liked the friendship and family aspects of Love and Other Words, this book is for you. It pieces together a beautiful, likable story of two sisters and the secrets they keep from each other and the relationship they must rebuild, along with romantic love, familial love, and self-love.
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Ridiculously funny and delightfully romantic, The Unhoneymooners is perhaps Christina Lauren’s most popular book alongside Love and Other Words.
The duo pen a tale of longtime enemies–Olive and Ethan–who want absolutely nothing to do with each other. But alas, Olive’s sister and Ethan’s brother are engaged, and they are the respected Maid of Honor and Best Man. But when the entire wedding party becomes ill and Olive and Ethan are left unscathed, they are ushered to put on a facade in order to go on the all-expenses-paid honeymoon the bride and groom cannot make and refuse to waste.
Together, Ethan and Olive sort out miscommunications and scheme their way into a free vacation, all the while addressing the past they both remember quite differently. Not many writers can deliver on a good miscommunication trope, but Christina Lauren does it well.
The Rewind by Allison Scotch
It’s the 1990s, and college sweethearts Frankie and Ezra split up with promises to never see each other again. However, the weddings of their friends bring them back together. But it’s been 10 years, and they’ve both moved on with their lives, are in serious relationships, and there’s no going back.
Except… on the eve of 2000, they wake up in bed together with no memory of what happened the night before or how Frankie ended up with a ring on her finger. The Rewind addresses several of the questions Love and Other Words brings up: does it mean something’s not right if it doesn’t work the first time, and when is it really over?
The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary
In passages from the past and present, the love story of Dylan and Addie is told as they initially fall in love with each other, break up, and crash into each other 2 years later.
Literally. Dylan rear-ends Addie’s car, and now they must carpool to make the wedding of their mutual friends.
This book spans two timelines and tells a humorous, lovely story of bitter ex-lovers who never really got over each other.
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
This is Emily Henry’s second book on this list, but as previously stated, she belongs right up there with Christina Lauren for best contemporary romance authors, so what can we say?
Nora is a literary agent who needs a break and to better her relationship with her sister, whom she feels is her responsibility. Charlie is a book editor who lives in the same town and whom Nora wishes she didn’t know.
Book Lovers explores the perfect balance between familial and romantic love and how important it is to sometimes put yourself above both. This book is also great for new adults experiencing the complexities of growing up, though anyone of any age will appreciate the journey Charlie and Nora go through.
The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Adams
There’s something about a romance novel that tells men exactly what women want.
Gavin’s marriage is falling apart, and after his wife kicks him out, he enlists the help of his teammates as they pull him aside and reveal their secret: the way to a happy wife is through the romance books she reads and the actions the heroes in the novels take. Now, these self-proclaimed alpha men are taking notes and implementing plans as Gavin courts his wife in order to please the woman he loves and show her just how much he values their marriage.
If Love and Other Words is about second-chance romances, the first book in The Bromance Book Club series is about avoiding having a second-chance romance altogether by taking the necessary steps to appreciate your partner for the rest of their lives.
Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey
Rosie and Dominic’s marriage is not exactly going according to plan, and now they’re ready to call it quits. Or rather, Rosie is ready. Dominic realizes there’s nothing he won’t do to win his wife’s affection back, and so begins a re-courtship and the opening of real conversations between the two.
Love Her or Lose Her is much more steamy than Love and Other Words, but the breakdown and then restructuring of a relationship on a new foundation is done beautifully in this book, reminiscent of Christina Lauren’s novel.
Blame It on the Brontes by Annie Sereno
With references to American and British literature, Annie Sereno weaves a wonderful debut novel about an English professor who returns to her hometown to unveil the truth behind a secret romance novelist and the desire to write about it in order to save her career.
Athena returns to Illinois to revamp her career and suss out writer C.L. Garland, a best-selling steamy romance author. It’s here she runs into an old flame, Thorne, and thus begins the sharp dialog and pull of memories past.
This book is lighthearted and fun, with an ensemble of characters and a bit more of a slow-burn romance as the two love interests find their way back to each other.
Battle Royal by Lucy Parker
There are hard feelings between baker Sylvia Fairchild and the judge who kicked her off a baking competition 4 years ago; however, when Sylvia comes back on the show as a judge, sparks and insults fly. Now Sylvia isn’t the only one vying to win as the two judges go toe-to-toe to see who will land a major wedding cake contract.
While Love and Other Words is atmospheric about small towns, Battle Royal is atmospheric about baking, and the homey, comforting feeling this charming book invokes matches that of Christina Lauren’s.
Bet On It by Jodie Slaughter
Anxiety sucks; Aja knows this well, and she especially knows it after she moves back to a small town in South Carolina only to have a panic attack in front of an attractive stranger in the Piggly Wiggly. But Walker gets it–he also struggles with PTSD and knows how much it can take to pull yourself through dark times. They part ways and think they’ll never see each other again, but bingo and senior citizens have other plans.
This humorous novel follows two people as they make a deal and surround themselves in a quaint town with a cast of loving characters.
The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling
Accidentally (kind of) cursing the man who broke her heart 9 years ago should not have led to this much trouble, but it has. Vivienne Jone’s ex, Rhys Penhallow, shows back up in their magical town to recharge the town’s ley lines, but because of the curse she put on him after their relationship ended, things go terribly awry. Now they must work together to stop the spooky happenings occurring in Vivienne’s mystical town.
Like in Love and Other Words, there are flashback chapters in The Ex Hex that flesh out the relationship between the two love interests and leave readers feeling more invested in the relationship. A wonderful ‘together again’ romance!
If you are a big fan of Love And Other Words then we have no doubt at all that you will love at least one of these amazing books.
Each one offers a very unique story and experience, yet each one clearly takes some direct inspiration from the influential book.
If you love romance novels that explore how time and aging affect relationships and friendships, then you will really get a kick out of these books.
Want to curl up with a romantic story that will send your heart aflutter? Then you will want to give each of these books a try.
They all have their own unique identities and storylines and yet will easily scratch the insatiable itch of avid fans of Love And Other Words.
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