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Sensorially lavish, scintillating, and mouthwatering

Lavage at First Sight is a jaunty tour of Armenian food culture

An AI Spread of Armenian Food
Lavash at first Sight novel by Taleen Voskuni cover


Lavash at First Sight


Taleen Voskuni



Nazeli Gregorian, Ellie to everyone at her tech marketing job, is pulled in all sorts of directions in this heartwarming rom-com about an Armenian American woman who does her best not to disappoint those around her. However, no matter how hard she tries, she puts her foot in it and infuriates everyone instead, especially the badass from another Armenian family food brand company, Vanya Simonian.

The backdrop of a four-day packaged food industry convention in Chicago sets the stage for a gripping tale of feuding families. The Gregorians and the Simonians, like modern-day Capulets and Montagues, enter a contest to win a slot for their brand in a Super Bowl ad. Amidst this tension, Nazeli and Vanya are drawn to each other despite their parents’ disapproval.

The romance develops quickly; not twenty-four hours before the convention, Nazeli’s douchebag ex-boyfriend and coworker dumps her minutes before an important business presentation. But with so much commonality—the same culture, parents own Armenian packaged food brands, and neither is quite passionate about their careers—their chemistry flies off the page. 

What captivated me the most about this novel was Voskuni’s ability to balance a light-hearted romance with the weight of cultural heritage. The short yet compelling chapters are infused with Armenian traditions, language, and a strong sense of family duty. Also important is the visibility of diverse LGBTQIAA+ characters. The main character identifies as bisexual from the start; her counterpart is pansexual. I was so engrossed in the story that I immediately ordered Voskuni’s debut novel, Sorry Bro, from my local Books & Books.

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About the author(s).

Taleen Voskuni is an award-winning writer who grew up in the Bay Area Armenian diaspora. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in English and currently works in tech in San Francisco. Besides a newfound obsession with writing rom-coms, she spends her free time cultivating her kids, garden, and dark chocolate addiction. Her first novel, Sorry, Bro, received starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist, was named an Amazon editor’s pick, and was favorably reviewed in The New York Times. Sorry, Bro also won the 2023 Golden Poppy Award for best romance. Lavash at First Sight is her second published novel.

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