Publication date : March 5th, 2019
Publisher : Blue Latte House
Genre : New Adult | Romance
Page Count: 227
Synopsis : Six people and three love stories all in one bakery. Saccharine
Jen goes to work, agonizes over college, and looks forward to the stolen moments in the kitchen. There she can watch Emilie bake love into every morsel. Their delicate friendship takes a step towards a budding romance, but will Jen’s anxiety help them survive their first hurdle?
James has never been kissed but he wants to be. Especially by his co-worker Sam, who he can’t talk to without turning into a little jerk. Sam is made of all the good stuff, but will James’ deepest insecurities allow him to kiss the boy?
Alex won’t let some foodie with a video camera bash their beloved bakery, even if it means to be petty. Except they’re nowhere ready for Yujin, the one who got away and is now romancing them. Will Alex’s pride let them see the gold heart the bashful king hides? (From Goodreads)
TW: Consensual sex (ch 7 of Saccharine, ch 6 of Delectable, ch 7 of Ravenous with D/s dynamics), mention of parental death (ch 6 of Delectable), misgendering (challenged- ch 3 of Ravenous).
I am so so thrilled to be part of the blog tour for GRAHAM’S DELICACIES because 1/ I love and admire the author a lot, and I loved all the stories in this collection SO MUCH. It just made my heart soar, and gave me all the happy, fuzzy and comfort feels! So I’m excited to share with you both my review AND aesthetics I’ve made for each and every couple in all their adorable glory.
I absolutely love Em Ali’s writing, it’s fun, quick, easy to read and engaging which makes the pages fly by and that combined with the great stories, makes the book very hard to put down. All three stories and main characters have very different personalities distinct narrative voices, and varied tropes they’re based on. All of these things make each story have an entirely unique vibe to it, and I loved every and each one of them.
Graham’s Delicacies has three short stories, all of which are set in a café called, you guessed it, Graham’s Delicacies and it starts with a June and Selena cameo that I was WAY too excited about (the MCs from the author’s previous book, Soft on Soft). I adored how wonderfully and casually queer the café was, all MCs and LIs (save one) work in it, from waitstaff to bakers, and they’re like a little family, caring about each other, having each other’s backs and sometimes, teasing each other, relentlessly.
And can we talk about that smut? The sex scenes were so hot and well done that they had me fanning myself. Not only were they great, but they were also very different (not just…logistics wise) in their dynamics and the involvement as well as level of experience of the characters. One thing I REALLY appreciated and that we don’t see a lot in romance books is the importance that was given to the aftercare, and it was done so casually, it never felt out of place.
This first story is f/nb. follows our main character, Jen, who is a super butch bisexual Black college student, who has gender feels but still identifies as a girl and her pronouns are she/her. She’s anxious, hardworking, and easy to smile. Her love interest is Emilie, they/them pronouns for everyone but she/her for Jen, is a soft baker and a very anxious ray of sunshine, who is shy and easily flustered unless they’re in bed with Jen, and that’s when they turn into the flirty, teasy human that makes you forget they even know how to blush. Emilie also has four glorious black cats names after their favourite Disney princesses.
And get this, THEY’RE IN AN ALREADY ESTABLISHED RELATIONSHIP!!! At the start of Saccharine, they’ve been together for a year and a half and we get a flashback to how things started between them and it was so adorable, both of them being shy and not knowing if the other one liked them, tugged at my heart strings. That being said, I wished that in that flashback we saw a bit more of their interactions *before* they started dating since it was mostly cute awkwardness and then they confess to each other, but I know there’s only so much you can put into a flashback chapter so I didn’t mind.
This is probably my favourite story out of the three and it’s m/m. The MC is James, a grumpy but secretly very soft, socially awkward, Mexican gay guy who just wants friends and to cuddle Sam, his coworker he’s been pining over for three years, yes, THREE YEARS. James is also a type A, virgo who’s never had a boyfriend or been intimate with anyone before because he was too busy taking care of his younger siblings and has a hard time opening up to people. THE PINING IS STRONG in this one folks, not only does James pine, but so does Sam, and neither useless gay notices whereas EVERYONE ELSE does, it was so entertaining to read, not gonna lie.
Sam on the other hand is a Black gay bookworm who’s very much into Romance books and reads at every waking and free moment he has, unless he’s oggling James while he works. I loved just how effortlessly confident he is and how easily he gets James to relax around him, teasing him and lowkey flirting with him. Their bonding feels so natural and their texts are so cute and nerdy I CRIED (not literally, but almost).
One thing I really appreciated is how family oriented James was and how close to his younger siblings he was. He also has a twin sister, Clara, with whom he has a rocky relationship but they still love each other unconditionally. She’s also queer and I highkey want a story about her.
This final one is a nb/m story that starts off with a one night stand after which the LI disappears. Our main character is Alex, they/them pronouns, a Persian baker who loves their job and is passionate about it, sometimes…a little too much, to the point of burning themself out. Comes Yujin, a Korean foodie blogger their hook-up they can’t get out of their mind, who reappears after he reviews Graham’s Delicacies. Yujin comes off as an arrogant ass at first, but he’s like a cute overexcited puppy, who gets rambly when he’s nervous but also has a public persona that’s nothing like that.
Despite thinking about him all the time, day and night, Alex doesn’t get Yujin off the hook easily, they make him SWEAT before letting him back into their life. Yujin is so adorable, and does not give up because that’s how much he cares about Alex, he courts them the proper way but without pressuring them into anything. Once these two start hanging out though, everything falls into place and they just make sense together. Conversation flows naturally and there’s is so much chemistry between them with a light D/s dynamic.
About the author
Em Ali grew up on TV and K-pop like many her generation. She learned a lot about how to be a hermit and not interact with people, but she loves to hear from readers!
Goodreads: Em Ali
Amazon: Em Ali
That’s it until next time.
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.