cover image Kissing Kosher

Kissing Kosher

Jean Meltzer. Mira, $19.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-7783-3440-8

This captivating rom-com from Meltzer (Mr. Perfect on Paper) centers on an endearingly flawed Jewish heroine whose career, body, and health aren’t perfect—but that doesn’t stop her from finding her perfect match. Avital Cohen hoped to pursue photojournalism, but a busy newsroom wasn’t the ideal setting to also manage her interstitial cystitis, a painful chronic illness. Being the co-owner and manager of her family’s kosher bakery in Brooklyn isn’t much easier, however, which is why she’s eager to hire the suspiciously overqualified Ethan Rosenberg to help out. Encouraged by his ruthless grandfather, the head of a kosher mass-produced baked goods empire, Ethan falsified his résumé to win the position and steal the Cohen’s famous pumpkin spiced babka recipe. His resolve wavers almost immediately upon getting to know Avital. He’s awed by her ability to manage her pain and push through each day, inspiring him to push back against his abusive grandfather. Meltzer’s depiction of Avital’s chronic illness—which leaves her unable to have sex—is frank and nuanced. While romance is unable to fully fix each other’s problems, Avital and Ethan’s love lessens both of their pain. It’s a winning recipe for contemporary romance grounded in real-world issues. Agent: Carolyn Forde, Transatlantic Literary. (Aug.)