Love and Other Words

Published: Simon & Schuster/Gallery (Apr 10, 2018)

Category: Adult (Women's Fiction)

Series: Standalone

“Steamy moments, tender revelations… a confident adult love affair.” ~ Kirkus starred review

“…Impossible to put down.” ~RT Book Reviews, TOP PICK

Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away.

But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos—the first and only love of her life—the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world—growing from her gangly teen friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother…only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her.

Told in alternating timelines between Then and Now, teenage Elliot and Macy grow from friends to much more—spending weekends and lazy summers together in a house outside of San Francisco reading books, sharing favorite words, and talking through their growing pains and triumphs. As adults, they have become strangers to one another until their chance reunion. Although their memories are obscured by the agony of what happened that night so many years ago, Elliot will come to understand the truth behind Macy’s decade-long silence, and will have to overcome the past and himself to revive her faith in the possibility of an all-consuming love.

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“Eleven years ago, he broke her heart. But he doesn’t know why she never forgave him. Toggling between past and present, two love stories unfold simultaneously. In the first, Macy Sorensen meets and falls in love with the boy next door, Elliot Petropoulos, in the closet of her dad’s vacation home, where they hide out to discuss their favorite books. In the second, Macy is working as a doctor and engaged to a single father, and she hasn’t spoken to Elliot since their breakup. But a chance encounter forces her to confront the truth: what happened to make Macy stop speaking to Elliot? Ultimately, they’re separated not by time or physical remoteness but by emotional distance—Elliot and Macy always kept their relationship casual because they went to different schools. And as a teen, Macy has more to worry about than which girl Elliot is taking to the prom. After losing her mother at a young age, Macy is navigating her teenage years without a female role model, relying on the time-stamped notes her mother left in her father’s care for guidance. In the present day, Macy’s father is dead as well. She throws herself into her work and rarely comes up for air, not even to plan her upcoming wedding. Since Macy is still living with her fiance while grappling with her feelings for Elliot, the flashbacks offer steamy moments, tender revelations, and sweetly awkward confessions while Macy makes peace with her past and decides her future. With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.”


“Love and Other Words is a triumph, the kind of book that makes you feel so deeply for the finely drawn characters that you almost forget they’re fictional. You’ll be swept away by the heartbreak, the joy, the chemistry, and the charisma woven through the fabric of Macy’s and Elliot’s star-crossed relationship. As the story unfolds–expertly interweaving the past with the present—you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll root for Macy and Elliot to find their way back to each other against all odds. A true joy from start to finish.”

– Kristin Harmel , Internationally Bestselling Author of THE SWEETNESS OF FORGETTING

“Christina Lauren has found a new sweet spot, with heartbreaking and hopeful language that will evoke the whirlwind immediacy of adolescence and the complicated choices of adulthood. LOVE AND OTHER WORDS weaves past and present together in an emotional story that will have you declaring your favorite word is LOVE.”

– Amy Reichert, Bestselling author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake

“Favorite word? Friendship. This women’s fiction novel from bestselling writing team Christina Lauren is impossible to put down once you’ve started reading. The story of adolescent sweethearts, told in alternating timelines, is really the best of both worlds — a coming-of-age tale exquisitely blended with second-chance love. Elliot and Macy’s early friendship reads like a tender slideshow of falling in love, from their literary common ground to their favorite word game to their tentative romance. This flashback perspective unfolds in layers, mingling with the current-day timeline until both culminate in a stunning series of revelations that hit all the feels. Readers will become deeply invested in Elliot and Macy, falling in love with them as a couple — not just once but twice!”

Carrie Townsend, RT Book Reviews - TOP PICK

“Love and Other Words is a beautiful blend of women’s fiction and romance, with depth, heart, and plenty of passion. Fans of Christina Lauren’s steamy romances won’t be disappointed by this tender story of first love, mature love, and the people who change us in the best possible ways.”

Kristina Wright, Washington Independent Review of Books

Foreign Rights


  • 9781501128011 (trade paper)
  • 9781508212669 (audio book)
  • 9781501128028 (ebook)

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