Review By Veronica

Get ready to be swept away by this delicious rom-com.

Favourite Quote:

“What?” Josh laughed. “You knew Mom was gonna call me first thing Saturday night and tell me about the whole Ethan Rosenberg offering to help you out with things situation.” 

“It’s not even like that.” 

“I can see it now,” he said, making a square with his hands like he was filming a movie. “Ethan, walking around shirtless, waving a wrench, talking about how he needs to get this tight screw loosened. In case you’re wondering, Avi, you’re the screw. You’re the tightly wound thing that needs to be undone.” 

Avital crossed her arms against her chest. “Really?”

“We’ll call it Kissing Kosher,” he said and smiled, spreading his hands as if the title were up in lights on a billboard somewhere. 

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Step 1: Get the secret recipe. Step 2: Don’t fall in love…

Avital Cohen isn’t wearing underpants—woefully, for unsexy reasons. Chronic pelvic pain has forced her to sideline her photography dreams and her love life. It’s all she can do to manage her family’s kosher bakery, Best Babka in Brooklyn, without collapsing.

She needs hired help.

And distractingly handsome Ethan Lippmann seems the perfect fit.

Except Ethan isn’t there to work—he’s undercover, at the behest of his ironfisted grandfather. Though Lippmann’s is a household name when it comes to mass-produced kosher baked goods, they don’t have the charm of Avital’s bakery. Or her grandfather’s world-famous pumpkin spice babka recipe.

As they bake side by side, Ethan soon finds himself more interested in Avital than in stealing family secrets, especially as he helps her find the chronic pain relief—and pleasure—she’s been missing.

But perfecting the recipe for romance calls for leaving out the lies…even if coming clean means risking everything.

Jean Meltzer has officially become an insta buy author for me. I loved this book; it’s fun, romantic, and has tremendous depth. For those romance bookworms who love a good workplace love story, you will fall in love with Avi and Ethan’s story. I enjoyed reading a workplace romance that didn’t occur in an office environment. This book is set mainly in Avi’s family bakery, and as you can imagine, there is some pretty delicious food talk packed into this book. The different Jewish baked goods described in this book had my mouth watering, and I wondered how I could get my hands on one of those desserts. I also really loved learning more about Jewish culture and traditions. 

There is plenty of family dynamics in Kissing Kosher. I like how Jean approached Avi and Ethan’s family life. Our two MCs have grown up in two very different homes. Avi’s family is more traditional because she grew up with her parents and brother, and their home was filled with love and laughter. Ethan’s parents died when he was a child, and he was raised by his grandfather, who was vindictive and cruel. It was interesting exploring these family relationships, and I thought Jean did a wonderful job at balancing those more light-hearted moments with tougher emotional ones. 

Jean always brings light to some misunderstood or overlooked health problems. In this book, Avi is living with chronic pain, drastically affecting her life. My heart went out to Avi and what she was living through. It’s unimaginable having to live through that kind of pain, but what I found super frustrating was the doctor’s lack of help in Avi’s situation. I wanted to reach into the book, shake these doctors, and tell them to take Avi’s health problems more seriously. Jean tackles the issue of chronic pain with thought and care. She shows her readers what it is like for someone who lives with chronic pain and how much it can affect the way they live their lives. 

Avi and Ethan’s relationship is sweet and filled with some glorious emotions. I loved how Ethan quickly realized that Avi’s often prickly attitude is not because she is a bitch but because she is dealing with things. He just sees her and knows that she needs a helping hand and a friend (and, later on, something more). I was surprised at how easily Avi opened up to Ethan; she tells him almost right away that she is living with chronic pain, something she doesn’t share with others too often. The interactions between these two just felt so real, and their chemistry just leapt off the pages. 

Kissing Kosher is another delightful and heartfelt book by Jean Meltzer. 

Thank you, HarperCollins Canada, for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.