Title: Kissing Kosher
Author: Jean Meltzer
Publication: August 29, 2023
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
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.
**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
I have no idea how I came across this author in the first place but I am so glad that I did. If I had to guess it was in one of the seasonal publishing emails that I get. I asked for one of her books and fell in love with her and every time I see one of her books in a request for a review I always automatically request it, description unseen. Going back over my Goodreads list I have reviewed all three of her books that she currently has out and I see that she has another one releasing in August of 2024, I will certainly be requesting that one as well.
Avi is stuck in a rut so to speak. She has a sometimes debilitating invisible disease that leaves her in pain. Her disease gets so bad that she is forced to leave the job that she is passionate about and manage her parent’s bakery in NYC. She is living a boring life and thinks that she will never have a normal life. That all changes when Ethan walks into the bakery to apply for a job that he isn’t qualified for at all. He is forced to apply by his grandfather who wants to steal their super secret babka recipe. The way that Ethan pulls her out of her shell is amazing but it enough for her to realize her dreams are not dead? This book was so good. I loved the banter that the two main characters had with each other. They fit together like they were meant to be together. Once Avi discovers Ethan’s secret I loved how she just kind of accepted it. She didn’t cut him out of her life, she understood the things going on and went with it. What drove them apart at some point was the grandfathers. They were the main cause of the issues between the two.
I thought that the way the author wrote Avi’s invisible but completely debilitating disease was “refreshing”. She didn’t have something that everyone could see. She had something that she couldn’t explain to anyone. Ethan fully embraced it and wanted to understand how she ticked so to speak. He researched her disease and would make her a special diet was swoon-worthy. The whole “mary jane” situation cracked me up. I think that is exactly how it would probably go for me. I have gone my whole life without tokin on anything but I think if it was my last resort for pain relief or anything like that I think that I would certainly give it a go. I think how she talked about how the healthcare system fails us is important. As someone who works in healthcare and has for a very long time, I would like to say that it is all sunshine and rainbows but I have seen it fail people on more than one occasion. I cannot wait for her next book to come out. I will be first in line!!