i am so excited about today’s post, and really happy to announce that i am part of the blog tour for graham’s delicacies by mina waheed. i adored waheed’s debut novel, soft on soft, and jumped at the chance to help them spread the word and promote their second release. i was provided with an arc in exchange for reviews and aesthetics.

title: graham’s delicacies
author: mina waheed
genre: contemporary, romance, anthology
content warnings: explicit consensual sex, mention of a parent’s death, misgendering (challenged on page)
my rating: highly recommended

graham’s delicacies is centered around the fictional cafe the book is named after, and is a collection of three romance short stories. the main characters and love interest are all employees of the cafe (with one exception, which we’ll get to), tying them all together and creating a loving and captivating little found family.

saccharine

the first story tells the tale of how barista jen and baker emilie first get together. i’d say they are the power couple of graham’s. the book starts out in present day, where they are already an established couple. through a long flashback we find out how they first met when emilie got their job at graham’s and how the romance between them and jen developed.

jen is a black bisexual woman and emilie is nonbinary and fat, both of them have anxiety. emilie uses they/them pronouns with most people, but prefers jen to refer to them as she/her. their first meeting is incredibly entertaining, and their relationship is so sweet i feel like i might have a cavity. jen’s and emilie’s fumbling and blushing as they develop feelings for each other and go on their first date undid me completely, and then seeing them as an established couple in present day was all i could dream of.

saccharine also gives us a glimpse into how much the graham’s family would do for each other and to what lengths they would go to help each other out. without spoiling too much, emilie gets put in a position where their whole life could potentially get thrown upside down, and everyone working at graham’s come together to help them out. i truly love this little family so much.

delectable

the second story stars james and sam, both of whom are baristas, and james is also co-manager of graham’s. this is a story of mutual longing and pining and daydreaming, all that good stuff that will just make you want shout at the characters to KISS ALREADY but you still kind of what it to go on?

james is mexican-american and sam is black, and both of them are gay men. they also make one of my favourite tropes, the one where one part of a couple is gumpy but secretly soft and the other part is the human embodiment of sunshine. we also got the ”one person got really drunk during a night out and had to stay over at the crush’s place and sleep in their bed and then bring said crush along to a family brunch the next day” trope. too specific?

one of my favourite parts of delectable, aside from the romance, was james’ relationship to his family, especially his twin sister. a big majority of james’ life has just been living in the shadow of his perfect twin, which has resulted in many not-great feelings, and the way waheed explored their dynamic was really interesting.

ravenous

the third and final story follows baker alex and food vlogger yujin (told you there was one exception to ”employees of the cafe”)! alex is arab-american, nonbinary, and queer. yujin is korean-american and gay. this one has a lot of reluctant interest and attraction, and EVEN MORE INTENSE grumpy main character vs sunshine love interest action.

ravenous starts off with quite a bang, with alex’s and yujin’s first meeting as a one night stand. enter a time jump, and alex is a baker at graham’s delicacies with a tendency to over-work themselves. alex and yujin are brought back together when yujin gives graham’s a bad review, and alex takes it upon themselves to confront him. this gives brings in another trope i adore, enemies to lovers.

i’d say this is my favourite short story of the three, and a big part of that is how domestic it is. anyone who knows me knows i will fall head over heels for characters being cute with each other while just making dinner or watching a movie at home, or in this case: cleaning an entire apartment. i eat that shit up.

saccharine, delectable, and ravenous tie into each other nicely, and most characters are in all three stories at least a little bit. waheed ends the book with a joint epilogue, giving us a chance to say goodbye to our three couples and to see them all being happy and a family. all in all, i adored this book. i flew though it, and getting to be part of this blog tour has been a joy.

graham’s delicacies was released a few days ago, so make sure to check the book out if it sounds up your alley. it’s available for kindle and in paperback, and is so worth it. you can also find mina here.

thank you again, mina, for letting me be part of this tour.

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