BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Bea Reviews Matzah Ball Surprise by Laura Brown

Publisher: Entangled Lovestruck
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest, unbiased review
Release Date: March 16th, 2020
Buying Links: Amazon* | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Apple Books* | Kobo
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

This Passover is starting to feel like the ten plagues might be coming back to haunt them before the weekend is hilarious misstep after the next.

Gaby Fineberg just wants to get through Passover Seder without her “well meaning” family playing matchmaker. She needs a date, just for one simple meal—that includes singing, the history of her forefathers, and not one bit of yeast. The hot guy at her gym would be perfect. He probably hates bread, anyway, with a body like that. But when she finally works up the nerve to ask him...he doesn’t hear a word she said.

Levi Miller is deaf and happily single. Initially, he doesn’t know why this beautiful woman is talking to him, but it’s clear she needs help—and suddenly so does he. In a very complicated situation, Levi finds a simple solution. Gaby will pretend to be his new girlfriend to bail him out, and he’ll return the favor. But he didn’t bargain for a family dinner quite like this one.

My Thoughts:

Both the cover and the blurb were cute, and bonus, the story featured a non-Christian holiday; how could I pass this up?

The book mostly lived up to it's blurb; it was cute, sweet, and lovely. I loved Gaby and Levi together; they made a great couple, though communication was a problem. Levi kept secrets from Gaby, lied to her, and made her feel foolish. One of Levi's secrets was that he was Jewish, the same as Gaby. But he wasn't clear about that and Gaby didn't realize he was Jewish. Why didn't he say something when he realized her mistake? It was stupid and could have been cleared simply. They had one other communication issue and that was Gaby's lack of ASL knowledge. Gaby and Levi communicate via cellphones while she learns ASL, which I thought was a clever technique. Levi, who teaches ASL at a college, also teaches Gaby, and she is an enthusiastic learner. She makes mistakes but accepts correction gracefully. Brown did a fantastic job showing Levi interacting with his hearing family and his deaf friends. Levi's deafness affects his life of course, but it wasn't his defining feature. It was a part of who he was just as Gaby's hearing was a part of her.

Another good feature was that while neither of their families is perfect, neither are they dreadful. They're decent families, trying their best, and making mistakes. The way they worked through their issues with their families was adult and realistic. Levi had some difficulties concerning his x-fiancée Monica and honesty with his family, but he eventually does the right thing. I will say, I thought Levi was spineless when it came to Monica. His behavior felt less like respect for her and total wimpiness on his part.

Brown did a good job showing us traditions and familial togetherness. Holidays can be stressful, it's why Gaby invited Levi to be her fake date, but we also see the joy and fun. Levi, attending Seder at Gaby's family home, sees differences in how they conduct the ceremony and Seder traditions from how his family does them. They're not wrong, just different, and he respects that. I also enjoyed seeing and learning more about Passover and Seders.

Some things I didn't enjoy - Levi had a savior complex, both Leo and Gaby needed to be more assertive, and the ending was rushed and a bit abrupt. Still, "Matzah Ball Surprise" was an easy, enjoyable read. 


  1. I bought this one but I haven't read it yet. It really looks good.

  2. This does look cute though unnecessary misunderstandings drive me crazy. It doesn't look like that really impacted the story too badly so I'll have to pick this one up.

  3. I really wish that couples in romance novels would just talk to one another. I like that one of the main characters is deaf since that adds a more unique challenge to their relationship.

    1. It's a huge peeve of mine. Some books it ruins, other books still work. Luckily, this one was the latter.

  4. Hey, this is the book you just recommended for a comfort read. I'll have to take a look. Thanks.


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