Congratulations on the publication of KISSING KOSHER by Jean Meltzer publishing today with MIRA!

From the author of THE MATZAH BALL and MR. PERFECT ON PAPER comes this hilarious and emotional rivals-to-lovers romance.

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 wonderful, insightful, and humorous love story.” —Booklist, starred review

“Kissing Kosher reads as a romantic comedy with all the usual fun, but will deeply affect readers as they follow the physical and emotional journey of a young woman with a more common than realized chronic condition.” —Novels Alive, 5-star review

“A winning recipe for contemporary romance grounded in real-world issues.” —Publishers Weekly

“Meltzer’s excellent writing transports readers to the rich, lived-in world of Best Babka in Brooklyn… She deftly weaves both Jewish culture and Avital’s chronic illness into this poignant, brutally honest story and does an excellent job of tackling serious topics…a great addition to romance shelves.” —Library Journal

“A powerfully heartwarming, passionate, sometimes painful, but endlessly entertaining Jewish Romeo and Juliet with a happy ending that had me wiping away tears. Kissing Kosher is chronic joy!” —M.J. Rose, New York Times bestselling author of The Jeweler of Stolen Dreams

“Kissing Kosher is everything readers could want a Jewish romantic comedy to be: sweet, soulful, spirited and stirring!” —Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of Code Name Sapphire

“Kissing Kosher is full of heart, wisdom, and poignancy without sacrificing the fun and exactly what I want to read over and over again.” —Felicia Grossman, author of Marry Me by Midnight

“Daring, poignant, brutally honest but also exquisitely romantic, Kissing Kosher is an absolute delight!” —Holly Cassidy, author of The Christmas Wager

“Long after I finished Kissing Kosher, I found Avital and Ethan taking space in my head. Their love story is a triumph as delicious and sweet as a babka on Friday night.” —Marilyn Simon Rothstein, Author, Crazy to Leave You, Husbands and Other Sharp Objects

“Take the sweetest, most tender love story, braid it with the beauty of Jewish tradition, bake until it heats up with a family feud, and you’ve got Kissing Kosher. This delicious romance is more satisfying than the best dessert.” —Amanda Elliot, author of Best Served Hot and Sadie on a Plate

“Mix a backstabbing babka war, a romance, and a dose of real life pain. Bake until the tension is thick—and you get this soulful novel. Heartfelt and stirring. Delicious.” —Rachel Barenbaum, author of Atomic Anna and A Bend in the Stars

“I loved every word of this proudly Jewish and sexy romance that highlights the importance of finding joy even in the most painful of times.” —Meredith Schorr, author of As Seen on TV and Someone Just Like You.

“Readers will devour this one-of-a-kind novel, that covers everything from relationships, intimacy, and sex, to family dysfunction and intergenerational trauma. Jean writes romance the way your Bubbe bakes challah—with devotion, delight, and loads of love.” —Lynda Cohen Loigman, bestselling author of The Matchmaker’s Gift and The Two-Family House

“Jean Meltzer’s writing sparkles! Kissing Kosher is a beautiful babka of a book, with multiple layers tied together by a romance that is as sweet as it is vulnerable.” —Stacey Agdern, author of the B’nai Mitzvah Mistake 

“Kissing Kosher is funny, heart-breaking, hunger-inducing, honest and surprising in the best way. I loved this book but more than that, I needed it.” —Jenny Bayliss, author of Meet Me Under the Mistletoe

“Better than babka! A dash of Romeo and Juliet, a helping of much needed chronic pain representation, and a whole lot of love: Meltzer delivers the perfect recipe in this delightful romance! This book is an absolute treat.” —Haley Neil, author of Planning Perfect

“Kissing Kosher is everything my big Jewish food-loving heart could ever want in a book. I laughed, I cried, I craved Pumpkin Spice Babka! A powerful read about faith, family and fabulous dessert.” —Rena Rossner, author of The Sisters of the Winter Wood

Jean Meltzer studied dramatic writing at NYU Tisch and has earned numerous awards for her work in television, including a daytime Emmy. She spent five years in rabbinical school before her chronic illness forced her to withdraw, and her father told her she should write a book—just not a Jewish one because no one reads those. Kissing Kosher is her third novel. 

Jean is co-represented by Carolyn Forde and Marilyn Biderman.