While reading Tasha L. Harrison’s Liquor & Laundry I experienced a tidal wave of swoony emotions. It’s deeply tender, sweet and vulnerable. If Hadassah and Ahmad were real people I would want to send them cookies.
Hadassah has returned home after dropping out of her master’s program and is living in the apartment above her family’s laundromat. She’s slowly building her couture business and trying to figure out what’s next. Ahmad plays professional football and after several years of being completely focused on his career he is reevaluating his priorities. He suffered a concussion the year before that was bad enough to cut his season short. He’s willing to use his body to lift his family out of poverty, but he isn’t willing to sacrifice his future.
Ahmad and Hadassah went to high school together and share a friend group. Hadassah has been openly crushing on Ahmad for years. The previous year they had a hookup gone awry and he said he’d call, but then he didn’t and she didn’t call him. Hadassah is embarrassed and decides to avoid him when he returns to their hometown for a visit. Ahmad brings a plate of food and a bottle of Hennessy from the party she won’t attend to the laundry.
“Are we getting drunk?” he asked.
“That’s what you came here to do, isn’t it?”
Ahmad stopped short of pouring more of Hennessy in my cup and looked me in the eye. “I came out here because I heard you weren’t coming to the party, and I wanted to see you.”
Ahmad is ready to have a relationship with Hadassah and is willing to be honest, open, and vulnerable with her to prove his sincerity. They have to let go of preconceptions about themselves and each other. They are so sweet with each other and their qualms are more about what they have to offer than what the other has to give. Reading Liquor & Laundry was like cuddling in a soft blanket with a glass of good scotch on a cold rainy day.
It is very sweet and relationship focused with some high heat sex. I’ll be reading more Tasha Harrison in the future.