Red Envelope by Atom Yang
Clint’s cousin Maggie has a friend named Weaver, who had a difficult home life growing up, so he spent most of his time with their large extended family. Weaver was always invited to join them for their big Lunar New Year celebration.
Clint has been attracted to Weaver since… well, forever. One year they finally act on their attraction, and it’s amazing. But then Weaver promptly leaves to work/study in China.
When New Year rolls around again, rumor has it that Weaver is back in town. Clint can’t decide if he’s angry over being ghosted for so long, or if he’s excited to see his long-time crush. After all the red envelopes have been handed out and the relatives have gone home, they’re finally able to discuss the repercussions of their one night together. They’ve been in love for such a long time. That hasn’t changed. It’s now up to them how they choose to move forward, hand in hand, together.
I freely admit, the above description is kinda awful. It doesn’t even come close to conveying just how wonderful Red Envelope is. How exactly am I supposed to describe how the author expertly blends elements of food, family, tradition, and celebration into such an engaging gay love story? Trust me, Atom Yang manages to do all that and more in this wonderfully romantic story set over the course of several Chinese New Year holidays – though I’d encourage you to read it no matter the time of year.