Exclusive Cover Reveal + Interview: Café Con Lychee, an Enemies-to-Lovers Foodie Rom-Com, by Emery Lee

Love cover reveals? So do we! Today, The Quiet Pond gets the privilege to share with you all the exclusive cover reveal for Café Con Lychee by Emery Lee, a YA foodie enemies-to-lovers and forbidden love rom-com coming May 10th 2022!

YA rom-coms have been hitting the sweet spot for me. I just love a good story about teens, for all their flaws and imperfections, find love and get to discover the joy of falling in love. Throw in some complex family dynamics, a Puerto Rican bakery and Asian American café, and sprinkle an enemies-to-lovers romance that’s also forbidden, and we have Café Con Lychee, Emery’s sophomore book. And friends, I think the story sounds awesome and I could not be more excited to read it come next year, but wait until you see its gorgeous cover — it’s going to take your breath away with its glory and beauty.

Here is the book’s summary:

Sometimes bitter rivalries can brew something sweet

Theo Mori wants to escape. Leaving Vermont for college means getting away from working at his parents’ Asian American café and dealing with their archrivals’ hopeless son Gabi who’s lost the soccer team more games than Theo can count.

Gabi Moreno is miserably stuck in the closet. Forced to play soccer to hide his love for dance and iced out by Theo, the only openly gay guy at school, Gabi’s only reprieve is his parents’ Puerto Rican bakery and his plans to take over after graduation.

But the town’s new fusion café changes everything. Between the Mori’s struggling shop and the Moreno’s plan to sell their bakery in the face of the competition, both boys find their dreams in jeopardy. Then Theo has an idea—sell photo-worthy food covertly at school to offset their losses. When he sprains his wrist and Gabi gets roped in to help, they realize they need to work together to save their parents’ shops but will the new feelings rising between them be enough to send their future plans up in smoke?

Café Con Lychee releases on the 10th of May, 2022!

Cover Reveal: Café Con Lychee by Emery Lee
An illustrated book cover of Cafe Con Lychee. The cover depicts an Asian boy on the left with dark hair from a profile angle, looking across the book cover at a Puerto Rican boy, who has his arms crossed. Both have determined expressions. Illustrations of baked goods and drinks, including boba and tea, fall from the top of the book cover and between the two boys.

Cover Artist: Nero Hamaoui | Cover Designer: Erin Fitzsimmons

Add and pre-order Café Con Lychee on:
EpicReads | B&N | Goodreads | Amazon | Bookshop | Indiebound

Author Interview: Emery Lee

CW: Hi Emery! A big welcome back to the Pond! It’s so awesome to have you back visiting us again – and this time, to reveal the cover for Café Con Lychee! Can you tell us what you love most about in the cover?

Emery: Hi! Thanks for having me! I always love coming back to the Pond. And my favorite part has got to be the food! When I first saw the cover artist on Twitter, I immediately fell in love with the way he drew food and knew I needed him to work on this cover. The food is such a huge part of the book, so I’m really glad it’s vibrant and gets your mouth watering. 

CW: Café Con Lychee sounds like such a delightful book; a m/m romance with a happily ever after, lots of food, and family dynamics – I can’t wait to read it! What is something in your book that you’re most excited for readers to discover?

Emery: There are a couple of things that really make the book special for me, but one thing I really love is how Gabi, one of the main characters, comes to discover all the best parts of being gay through his budding relationship with Theo, and I think it’ll be great for readers to be able to pick up the book and see the characters discussing gayness not just as something to be proud of or something that is tied to oppression but as something you can legitimately enjoy as a fun experience. 

CW: For our friends out there who love tropes (me!), can you give us any hints about which tropes readers can look forward to in Café Con Lychee

Emery: Ahh I likewise love tropes! Café Con Lychee is a great book for you if you like enemies to friends to lovers, asshole/sunshine pairings, forbidden love, forced proximity, complex family dynamics, food puns, and soccer gays!

CW: I really enjoyed Meet Cute Diary, and I’m really looking forward to what story and feels you’ll give us with Café Con Lychee! How do the two stories differ from your perspective? And how are they the same?

Emery: They’re both pretty intersectional queer romcoms and both play with flawed protagonists growing to better understand the people around them and their own expectations for love. Otherwise though, they’re pretty different books. Where Meet Cute Diary is kind of a meta-commentary on romcom tropes, Café Con Lychee is more of a tropey romcom and it also delves a bit more into culture and how queerness is shaped by culture and upbringing. Also while Meet Cute Diary’s comedy comes more from Noah’s narration and is more of a sarcastic kinda humor, Café Con Lychee is a lot more punny and the humor stems largely from the tension between Theo and Gabi and also just Gabi’s general awkwardness overall!

CW: Emery, a huge congratulations again on your cover reveal! To close, can you tease us with what you’re currently working on?

Emery: Absolutely! There are two main projects I’m working on right now. The first is a contemporary romcom that I’m working on with a good friend of mine, but I don’t want to spoil too much about that just yet. The other is a contemporary fantasy about a queer Japanese demon slayer teen full of East Asian mythology and a whole lot of angst LOL. 

About the Author

Emery Lee is an author and artist whose love for chaotic and morally gray characters started at a young age. After graduating with a degree in creative writing, e’s gone on to author novels, short stories, and webcomics across a variety of genres and demographics, though YA fiction has always held a special place in eir heart. Drawing inspiration from Eastern media, pop punk music, and personal life experience, eir work seeks to explore the intersections of life and identity in fun, heartfelt, and inventive ways. In eir downtime, you’ll most likely find em marathoning anime or snuggling cute dogs.

Find Emery on: Website | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

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