Cover Image: Kissing Kosher

Kissing Kosher

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Member Reviews

I loved this book so much. Avi and Ethan actually act like adults and Ethan is a sweetie!  The whole shop acts like one silly, fun and hard working family. I couldnt put it down, I read it in under 24hrs! More Jean Meltzer please! Also this book should come with pastries.
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The cover makes you think this is going to be a fluffy romcom and it’s not quite that. While I liked it, I didn’t love it. I wasn’t a huge fan of Ethan. I liked Avi and felt for her and her chronic illness.
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I was not excited by this book at first- it started out a little slow to me, and I couldn't believe the massive amounts of drama each character was dealing with. Both have major serious issues- things that are never going to be fixed by love alone. But by the end? I was bawling. I was all in. Love may not be capable of healing physical issues or true family trauma- but two broken people can help each other, love each other, and make a difference for each other. This went places I was not expecting (including a place I will not spoil, but was not expecting to find a Rabbi). It covered some deeply Jewish ideas in a way that I think is well-explained without over-explaining, a neat trick. There were passages that resonated deeply with me. Not bad for a romance novel! Four stars, with a bump up to five because it's all about babka and baking is my love language.
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This book is amazing. It can be really hard to find a romance novel that has good disability representation. The romance is adorable, the plot is amazing.
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This month the #LiteraryLovelies read Kissing Kosher and it was Chelsey’s pick. This is an adorable Romeo and Juliet style romcom with rivaling bakery families. 

Avital Cohen works in her family bakery, Best Babka in Brooklyn for two reasons; one is familial duty, but the second reason is she has chronic pain and this allows her to take breaks and rest as needed. But the job is high stress trying to run the bakery with her twin brother, Josh. They decide to hire more help and in walks Ethan, a man with a (made up) resume looking like the perfect candidate. What Avi doesn’t know is that he’s from a rival baking family, and their grandfathers HATE each other. Ethan is going undercover to steal the Cohen’s famous pumpkin spice babka recipe. 

But it’s easier said than done, and as Ethan works at Best Babka, the more he likes it. He’s had a rough life with his parents dying young and forced to live with his mean grandfather. But he’s also lived a privileged, wealthy life and never needed to work hard. He went to good schools but it isn’t enough for his grandfather, Moishe. 

Avi and Ethan get closer while working together and she finally confides in her condition to Ethan. He’s more than understanding and does anything he can to help her feel better. He’s no longer interested in stealing the recipe- can the two families actually get along? 

This was an adorable story. It was fascinating to see what poor Avital had to go through with her pain management. She really suffered and couldn’t live her own life the way she wanted. She had to give up many of her dreams just to survive. Ethan really showed her there’s more to life. Ethan also figured out what to do with his life. After seeing what Avi went though, he knew he wanted to help others. I also liked the explanation of a lot of Jewish customs and traditions. I really learned a lot from this novel. 

Thank you @_mira_books @htpbooks and @jeanmeltzer for my gifted book.
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Avital works in her family bakery as the manager but only because she has to. Ethan does his grandfather's bidding but only because he has to. These two have more in common than they realize but they are thrown together and Avital is NOT thrilled. She is looking for a baker for Babka's Bakery and he comes in to apply. She is rude to him and makes the job seem like the worst job in history. For some reason Ethan still wants it. A vital can not figure out why. 

"Avital had needed to hear it. She needed to hear that it wasn’t her fault. She needed to hear that you could do everything right and still be in pain. Just like you could do everything wrong and get better. Chronic illness was chronic illness, after all. Not math. But today, more than an understanding ear, what Avital straight up needed was drugs." 

This book has incredible chronic illness representation and Jewish representation Both are done incredibly well by Jean Meltzer which doesn't surprise me because all her other novels deal with chronic illness and she handles it with care and great research that really makes the reader think. I think this is the perfect book for any reader that is looking for a sweet romance a great courtship And some hard discussions
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This is a Jean Meltzer stan account. She can write anything and I will devour it. I loved this book. I loved the mix of soft sweet romcom with the heavier aspects (that Jean is now known for). This was probably my fave book of hers because I adored the way she discussed chronic illness and intimacy. And all the Judaism was just amazing. I love how much it will teach non-Jews about the holidays, keeping Kosher, and even weed.
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I loved this book! I enjoy this author look into the Jewish culture and how she deals with disability in people and how that effects those around them. These two have a lot to deal with when it comes to family but I loved watching them figure it all out. I'll continue to search out this author to read.

I received a copy of this eBook from netGalley for a honest review.
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This story had everything I always hope to find in a great book; explosive chemistry between the characters, a heart-warming romance, an engaging storyline that kept me glued to the pages.
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I really enjoyed the rivals to lovers trope in this book!  I also really love books that have to do with baking and this one definitely fit the bill!  I also loved watching the relationship between Avital and Ethan unfold throughout the book as well!  A very fun and entertaining story!
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This one is a cute rom-com read with a dash of enemies to lover and family drama, it's like one of those holiday's movies. It's heartwarming and lots of laughter and I learn a lot about chronic pain and marijuana and kosher and it makes me want to eat those delicious desserts and breads. I wished there's more of the romance though, there's a spark but not as much as I expected it would be, it's like everything is on fast forward on the romance part. The pace is not my fav, sometimes felt too fast sometimes felt dragging and I still didn't get the answer why the dispute happen between this two families and everything resolved too fast. Overall it's a fun read.
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Free ebook review is my own.

I loved this book! Very interesting read as I learned a lot about Jewish community as well as IC as a chronic illness. Though heavy topics were discussed and alternative methods for cures brought in, overall it was very cute and fun read. This was my first read by this author and I cannot wait to read more by them.
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3.5 Stars

Avital suffers from chronic pelvic pain and has given up her photography dreams and love life to manage her family's kosher bakery. She hires handsome Ethan, but he's really undercover to steal a secret family recipe. After working together, Ethan finds himself more interested in Avital than the recipe. 

As Ethan helps her obtain some relief from chronic pain through the acquisition of medicinal marijuana, they become close. Not only are they keeping secrets from each other, they also face a huge obstacle as their families are bitter enemies due to a long-standing feud between their grandfathers. 

Meltzer is a popular author. In this rivals to lovers romance, the author expertly describes in detail Avital's experience with chronic pain and how difficult a romantic relationship can be with interstitial cystitis. Speaking of romance, I appreciate the inclusion of good communication skills (boundaries) that is not always apparent in contemporary women's fiction. I love the strong theme of "finding joy in the hard" places of life. Also, Jewish culture and bakery items (for our reading pleasure!) are vividly described. 

Fans of Jean Meltzer who appreciate Jewish culture, complicated family dynamics, unlikely romance, medical conditions explained, and alternative treatment options might enjoy this open door, spicey romance. 

Content Consideration: open door (steamy) romance, recreational and medicinal drug use, survivor's guilt, emotional abuse, living with chronic pain

Thanks #NetGalley @HTP_Books for a complimentary eARC of #KissingKosher upon my request. All opinions are my own.
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Review will be posted on 10/13/23

Avital Cohen has always wanted to be a photojournalist, but plans changed when her chronic pelvic pain took over her life. Instead, she finds herself managing her family's bakery in Brooklyn where they are known for their Jewish treats, such as the famous pumpkin spice babka. Some days are rougher than others when it comes to Avital managing her pain and at times she lives a half-life. Enter Ethan Rosenberg, who is applying for a job at the bakery even though it appears he is overqualified. He is completely enamored with Avital, so this throws a wrench in his plans. Ethan's grandfather forced him to apply for this job at the competing bakery to learn the pumpkin spice babka recipe. Once he meets Avital, Ethan loses his resolve as he realizes she has so much courage just to deal with her chronic pain on a daily basis, and on top of that, he has feelings for her. Ethan and Avital's family have been feuding for years, so can Ethan and Avital get past their issues to find love? Kissing Kosher is a delightful rom-com with some modern-day Romeo and Juliet vibes. I recommend it to fans of contemporary romances that include authentic and honest issues.

I applaud Meltzer for giving her heroines chronic conditions. I appreciate this so much because as someone with a chronic condition, I feel seen. Avital's endless doctor appointments, her courage to get through the day, and how her illness impacts her everyday life can be appreciated by so many people. Meltzer's portrayal is spot on. Also, I loved watching Avi and Ethan's romance unfold and I knew that there would be some bumps in the road once Avi found out how Ethan initially became interested in the bakery, but through their budding romance, Ethan finds the courage to stand up to his grandfather. Perhaps their families can mend the issues that sparked years ago. I was most definitely rooting for them! Since most of the story takes place at a bakery and there's a lot of focus on fall treats, Kissing Kosher would be a great book to enjoy this fall season.
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Jean Meltzer has become one of my must-read authors. I enjoy her characters the most- she has great unique plotlines and characters with actual flaws and struggles that feel relatable. It's always a great read with the perfect amount of romance and steam! Keep writing Jean!! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Let me start by saying I am very, very late to this party. I first started Kissing Kosher before its publication, but found Meltzer's writing about chronic illness so potent and true and personal, I couldn't quite lose myself to the narrative. But after this year's High Holidays, I knew it was time to circle back to what I knew would be a celebration of Jewish joy and Jewish love. 

Once again, Jean Meltzer has given us an absolute triumph of contemporary romance. 

Avital and Ethan are from opposite sides of a vicious bakery rivalry. Far from looking for love, Ethan is in fact on the hunt for Avital's secret family recipe for pumpkin spice babka; at his grandfather's directive, he goes undercover at Best Babka to nab the recipe and destroy the Cohen family once and for all. But then...Avital. Avital, who isn't wearing underpants and is, quite possibly, the worst-dressed, rudest person he's ever met. Avital, who curves in all the right places. Avital, who--unbeknownst to most--lives with chronic, debilitating pain that has irrevocably altered the course of her life.

My heart squeezes just thinking about these two characters. Like she did in The Matzah Ball and Mr Perfect on Paper, Meltzer offers us a story about fully-realized, complex humans whose journeys to love necessitate self-acceptance, forgiveness, and authenticity. Throw in found family, wholesome sibling relationships, and the secret to great challah, and you've got the recipe for a truly delicious romance.
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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!!
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This was a wonderfully sweet romance featuring characters from two rivaling bakeries. The discussion of chronic illness and alternative medicine added some unexpected depth to the story and character growth, which made for a unique story altogether. All the characters seemed fully developed and thought-out, not just the main two, which made the read entirely enjoyable and full of fun. Recommended for all who love a good enemies to lovers and slow-burn romances.
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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review.

DNF.  Couldn't get into the book.
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Jean Meltzer is hilarious. Her books always make me smile. I love the Jewish themes she writes about, they are different that most romantic comedies. And most of all, I love bread. So a romantic comedy centered around a bakery topped my list.

Avital is a sweetheart. She's hard not to love. I felt her pain, literally and figuratively. I appreciated her push to continue and to do what she must for the sake of the bakery. At first I didn't like Ethan because he was almost the villain of the story, but I grew to love him as well. It's hard to go against your family, that I know.

I think this is a perfect RomCom for anyone.
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