7 Realistic Romance Books Like Love And Gelato

Realistic Fiction Romance Books

Prepare to be whisked away on a journey filled with romance, adventure, and the sweet taste of gelato! If “Love and Gelato” by Jenna Evans Welch left you craving more stories that blend heartfelt romance with beautiful backdrops and journeys of self-discovery, you’re in the right place.

In this post, we’ll explore a collection of novels that capture the essence of traveling to new places and falling in love, not just with people but with life itself. These books are your passport to charming locales and heartwarming tales that resonate with the spirit of “Love and Gelato.”

From sun-drenched Italian streets to quaint towns brimming with hidden secrets, each story promises a delightful escape. So, pack your bags (and maybe a spoon for gelato), and let’s go on a literary adventure where love and landscapes intertwine in the most enchanting ways!

7 Books Like Love And Gelato

Diving into a lighthearted and heartwarming book can provide a much-needed mental and emotional break in a busy and stressful world. So, I’m here to improve your mood with my book list. Alongside romance, many of these books cover family relationships and the importance of friendships, providing a multi-dimensional view of the protagonist’s life. Also, they immerse you in the culture, food, and traditions of the places they’re set in. Let’s begin!

NameKey FocusTropes
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie PerkinsA young adult romance novel about an American girl named Anna who is sent to a boarding school in Paris, where she navigates the complexities of friendship, love, and identity in a new culture.Boarding school setting, teen romance, cultural adjustment, Paris backdrop, coming-of-age, friendship dynamics, love triangle, self-discovery, youthful adventures, humorous tone.
Twice Shy by Sarah HogleA contemporary romance novel about an unexpected inheritance that brings two contrasting characters together, exploring themes of self-discovery, overcoming personal insecurities, and the journey of falling in love.Inheritance plot, opposites attract, character-driven romance, emotional healing, quirky humor, personal growth, picturesque setting, charming love story, overcoming past trauma, heartwarming narrative.
Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia HibbertA contemporary romance novel about a career-focused academic, Dani, who enters a fake relationship with a security guard, Zafir, for mutual benefit, which unexpectedly evolves into real romantic feelings.Fake relationship, opposites attract, contemporary setting, strong female lead, witty banter, emotional development, multicultural romance, career-oriented protagonist, personal growth, heartwarming comedy.
Life’s Too Short by Abby JimenezA contemporary romance novel that tells the story of a young woman living life to the fullest despite a family history of illness and a cautious lawyer who enters her life, exploring themes of love, vulnerability, and making the most of every moment.Opposites attract, life-threatening illness, seize-the-day mentality, emotional depth, contemporary love story, family dynamics, personal growth, humorous moments, life challenges, heartwarming journey.
Anchored Hearts by Priscilla OliverasA contemporary romance novel set in Key West, following the rekindled romance between a renowned photographer and a spirited fitness trainer, exploring themes of cultural heritage, family expectations, and second chances at love.Second-chance romance, Latinx culture, small-town setting, passionate protagonists, family conflicts, career ambitions, cultural identity, community ties, emotional healing, charming narrative.
Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. SutantoA humorous and quirky novel blending romance, family drama, and a touch of crime, revolving around a Chinese-Indonesian woman who accidentally kills a man on a blind date and enlists her meddlesome aunties to help dispose of the body during a big wedding event.Dark comedy, family dynamics, cultural clashes, accidental crime, romantic mishaps, strong female characters, Chinese-Indonesian culture, chaotic situations, wedding backdrop, humorous narrative.
The Soulmate Equation by Christina LaurenA contemporary romance novel about a single mother who, skeptical about love, decides to try a new matchmaking service based on DNA compatibility and finds herself matched with the company’s aloof founder, leading to unexpected chemistry and challenges.Romantic comedy, DNA-based matchmaking, single parent, opposites attract, modern love story, science and romance, witty banter, ethical dilemmas, personal growth, charming narrative.
Books Like Love And Gelato List

1. Anna and the French Kiss

The story is about Anna, whose father sends her to Paris for her senior year of high school to study at the School of America. She’s unhappy because she’s being sent away from her friends. In particular, she starts things with a boy who has a crush on her. They kiss, but she feels out of place when she gets to the school. Then she meets a boy named Etienne St. Clair, and he’s super attractive. Everyone loves him.

However, Etienne has a girlfriend, and they’ve been together for a long time. Some important aspects of this book add complexity and diversity. One of the main things I liked about Anna’s appearance was her gaping smile, like Lina’s in Love And Gelato.

Anna and the French Kiss

Author: Stephanie Perkins
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Europe & Russia Fiction, European Geography & Cultures Fiction
Number Of Pages: 382
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

2. Twice Shy

The story is about Maybelle and Wesley’s romance. Maybelle is the girl who is trying to make ends meet. She works at a shitty job she hates that doesn’t appreciate her, but she does what she’s told. She is a pushover for her job and her friends, a coworker who loves to take advantage of her. One way that this coworker took advantage of her was by catfishing Maybelle. So Mabel quits her job, ready to make a new life in her beautiful new house.

But then she arrives, and it turns out this estate is rundown. In the last few years of her great aunt Violet’s life, she was an insane hoarder. So not only is the estate rundown, but there’s also a ton of crap inside the house. She has to share this estate with the groundskeeper, Wesley, and more. On top of that, to make things even more complicated, Wesley is the guy that maybe a coworker catfished her with the fake profile and used Wesley’s face in his photos.

So, Mabel fell in love with Wesley as a different person. She and Wesley meet how they first start their romance, even though it gets off to a very rough start. The struggle and character development are very similar to Love And Gelato. If you love grumpy sunshine tropes, you will love this book.

Twice Shy

Author: Sarah Hogle
Average Rating: 4.2/5
Category: Sports Romance
Number Of Pages: 319
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle

3. Take a Hint, Dani Brown (The Brown Sisters)

This book is also a fake dating romance. Dani is a Ph.D. student, so she teaches some classes at the university, and Zafir works in security. So Zafir works at the front desk as the front guard. Dani stops to chat a little bit every morning and gives each other coffee and snacks. So they are pretty good friends. But then, during a fire drill, Dani accidentally ends up stuck in an elevator, and Zafir opens this elevator to save Dani. He carries her princess style and his arms outside the building where everyone else is. Also, he’s all gorgeous and heroic-looking.

People take photos and videos of it, and they go viral. So this is when the whole fake relationship starts. Zafir runs a charity that deals with mental health for athletes and rugby players because he was a former professional rugby player. Because this video of him carrying Dani went viral, his charity is also going viral. It’s giving a ton of publicity and donors to his charity. So he asked Dani to continue faking this little relationship to help his charity.

Dani is allergic to anything romantic and emotional. So, she refuses to fall in love or have anyone fall in love with her. But Zafir has had the biggest crush on Dani since he first met her. That’s the primary source of conflict in the romance between them. If you are a fan of Love And Gelato, you must read it.

Take a Hint

Author: Talia Hibbert
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Multicultural & Interracial Romance
Number Of Pages: 376
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

4. Life’s Too Short (The Friend Zone)

This is a fun read for friends and lovers, with a slow burn in how the heroine refuses to allow love into her life. The main reason why this heroine, Vanessa, does not want to ever fall in love is that she may have ALS. Also, it is a disease that affects the nervous system. If you have it, it is fatal. There’s a whole ice bucket challenge. A few years ago, that was about ALS and Vanessa’s family. It took her mother and sister, so Vanessa expects to die before 30, which sounds depressing.

Abby Jimenez can make the story feel as lighthearted as possible, mainly because Vanessa lived by the motto, life’s too short, do what you want. She’s chronicled her life and her travels. Moreover, she’s chronicled every fun thing she’s ever done because she expected to die young. But then she gets custody of her niece, which cramps her travel YouTuber lifestyle.

Vanessa has to take care of a kid. That’s where the hero comes in. He is a hot lawyer and neighbor named Adrian Copeland. He ends up helping Vanessa one night by getting Grace to stop crying and go to sleep. From there, it snowballs to them hanging out almost daily and having dinner and lunch together.

Adrian takes care of Grace when Vanessa is busy, and an excellent and lovely friendship develops between them. There are many issues with Vanessa’s very messed up family, and Vanessa’s adamant that Adrian and Kendall fall for her. He cannot develop any feelings for her. They have to be strictly friends. Like Love And Gelato, It’s a romance that means happily ever after.

Life's Too Short

Author: Abby Jimenez
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: City Life Fiction
Number Of Pages: 385
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

5. Anchored Hearts (Keys to Love)

This is a second-chance romance between Anamaria and Alejandro. These two were high school sweethearts, but they broke up about a decade ago when Alejandro wanted to leave Key West to travel the world to pursue his photography career. But Anamaria didn’t want to leave Key West to leave her family, at least not as permanently as Alejandro wanted to.

Alejandro returns to Key West after a decade because he broke his leg during a photography stunt. Everyone tries to meddle in Anna and Alejandro’s second chance to get them back together. It is such a slow burn. Neither of the main characters wants to get back together.

They still had messy feelings for each other but had completely moved on. There wasn’t much romance until the end of the book, which was a little bit too late for me. It does have the perfect vibes for a vacation beach read like Love And Gelato.

Anchored Hearts

Author: Priscilla Oliveras
Average Rating: 4.1/5
Category: Hispanic American Literature & Fiction
Number Of Pages: 338
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Library Binding | Kindle

6. Dial A for Aunties

I was so excited to read this one because it is super Asian. The heroine comes from a Chinese Indonesian immigrant family, and the plot sounded awesome. The heroine kills her date, and she gets the help of her mom and three aunties to get rid of the body. I still wanted a little bit more so with Meddy and her family. We get a blend of Chinese and Indonesian cultures.

They live in Southern California, which has a substantial Asian population. When Meddy lives with her mother, she wants to leave and do her own thing besides working for her family’s wedding planning business. But she feels guilty that the rest of her cousins left her mom and her. Then, one night, she’s roped into a date that her mom set up. Their mom pretended to be Meddy and talked with this guy online on an app, and he went anyway. But then, when the day goes sour, and the guy gets a bit too handsy, Meddy tasers him while he’s driving. They get in an accident, and now he’s dead.

Meddy has no idea what to do, so she dumps the body in the trunk of the car and drives back home. That’s where her mom and aunts come to the rescue. Unfortunately, they don’t have time to get rid of the body because they have a weekend wedding.

They were so over-the-top and hilarious, getting up to so many shenanigans trying to get rid of the body. There is a second-chance romance between Meddy and her college sweetheart. Nathan owns the Island Resort, where the wedding takes place, and that’s how they reunite. The long-distance relationship and plot match those in Love And Gelato.

Dial A for Aunties

Author: Jesse Q. Sutanto
Average Rating: 4.2/5
Category: Humorous American Literature
Number Of Pages: 320
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

7. The Soulmate Equation

This one has an interesting setup with a dating app and twist. We have a heroine, Jess, who’s a single mom. She gets invited to participate in a DNA-based matchmaking company, and they touch upon the company’s goal, which is very eugenics. So Jess spits in a tube, and they do their whole DNA matchmaking thing. She’s matched up with the person they think would fit her the best. Then she gets ninety-eight percent compatibility, the highest rate they’ve ever had with one of its founders, Dr. River Penna.

River and Jess do not get along, so they are stupefied that they are a possible and ninety-eight percent match. But the company is about to go public and needs some money because one of her clients dropped out. They make a deal for Jess and River to pretend to be a date and for them to see where this whole matchmaking thing can go. They were so fun and adorable. There were too many technical parts, the sciencey parts to make it engage its enemies to lovers.

The Soulmate Equation

Author: Christina Lauren
Average Rating: 4.4/5
Category: Women’s Humorous Fiction
Number Of Pages: 365
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

The books we’ve journeyed through offer more than just escape to picturesque destinations; they’re stories of love, growth, and the transformative power of travel. Each page turned is a step toward new experiences, reminding us of the joy of discovering the world and ourselves.

So, whether you’re lounging under the sun or curled up in your favorite reading nook, let these stories transport you to places where every corner promises adventure and romance. Until our next reading journey, may your days be as sweet as gelato and your adventures as heartwarming as love!

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Pauline Jackson

I like to talk about popular books. My book review inspires you to read and save time. Also, I summarize the book and give you the best lessons or ideas that can change your life. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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