Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Matzah Ball Surprise (Matzah Ball Surprise #1)” as Want to Read:
Matzah Ball Surprise (Matzah Ball Surprise #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Matzah Ball Surprise

(Matzah Ball Surprise #1)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  239 ratings  ·  91 reviews
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 on
Paperback, 249 pages
Published March 16th 2020 by Entangled Lovestruck
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Matzah Ball Surprise, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Matzah Ball Surprise

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  239 ratings  ·  91 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Matzah Ball Surprise (Matzah Ball Surprise #1)
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*2.5 stars*

When I requested this book to review, I was pumped to find a Passover romance, and one with a deaf main character at that. It was both exciting and refreshing, and I couldn't wait to dive in. Of course, this year, my big at-home Passover seder with my extended family is completely cancelled (if you are reading this from the future, Covid- 19 sucks and ruins everything), so this book gave me big twangs of nostalgia and regret. While I was wistful reading some scenes and happy about how
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, ebook-owned
3.5 stars -- I was totally charmed by the character and story of this one. Yes, it has it's faults (the writing is quite choppy in a few places, and the ending is rushed), but overall, I really appreciated 2 things: a) that the two key parts of the characters' identity (for both of them, that they are Jewish, and for the hero, that he is deaf) are integral parts of the story in a way that I thought was handled gracefully, and b) the heroine's emotions around her father's passing. The latter I am ...more
Lynn Spencer
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh, my heart. I loved this book. I see the Christian side of my family reflected very often in romance, and in fiction in general. However, very rarely do I see stories where I recognize the Jewish side of the family. Matzah Ball Surprise is just such a book. It’s sweet, hilarious, uplifting, and made me nostalgic for things I hadn’t even realized I was missing. If you enjoy romantic comedy, you’re in for a treat.

Even though Gaby Fineberg thinks that her breakup with her ex-boyfriend was the rig
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

A yummy Deaf hero falls head over heels for a hearing woman in "Matzah Ball Surprise", by Laura Brown (Entangled Lovestruck). No angst, no unrealistic lip reading, just two people with a strong chemistry.

A cute and quick read where a yummy Deaf hero falls head over heels for a hearing woman. There’s no unneeded angst, no unbelievable lip reading, just two people with an instant, strong chemistry,
Felicia Grossman
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely LOVED this book. It was so cute and so fun and just so sweet and lovely. Gaby and Levi have the absolute hottest chemistry, which is not easy to achieve in a book that is so, well loving. I adored both of their arcs and the way they worked through their issues with their families (I really appreciated that they both loved their families and their families loved them, but didn't always know how to communicate right or wanted to push things that were well-meaning but not needed, i.e., ...more
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance, american
Started out cute, but I grew progressively more exasperated as I read.
Heather❀Book and a Blanket❀
This was a cute fake dating story. I loved learning about Jewish tradditions and the challenges the hero faced as a deaf person was insightful.

The romance was enjoyable starting with great flirtatious banter that slowly built with growing attraction. This book had some great steamy moments and while this couple obviously had certain challenges, the sexual tension was always lingering.

Gaby takes Levi home during Passover as her fake boyfriend to appease her meddling mother who always wants to s
beachbum bookworm
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
To begin with I will always give a separate rating on my romances for their level of steaminess...that way if this is something that makes or breaks your potential to read a book, you are not wasting your time.
💖very mild. Either no sex at all or just eluded to.
💖💖 sex scenes are described in this book
💖💖💖little left to the imagination. The author is really painting you a picture
💖💖💖💖 wowzers! this could be the amount of sex, detail, dirty talk, etc.
I gave this book 4 stars and 💖💖. There are only a
Jill S (Love Affair With Fiction)
I was beyond excited when I saw that there was a romance coming out that incorporated Passover as a main theme in the book. In fact, I may have squealed and shot off a rambling email saying that I NEEDED the book right now! LOL.
Passover is my favorite holiday ever. It incorporates all my loves: tradition, history, memory, community, family, story, and song. And now I finally get to read a book that takes place at the Passover seder in my favorite genre — romance! Thank you so much, Laura Brown,
Apr 21, 2020 added it
Recommends it for: Laura Brown Fans, Romance
4 Worth It Stars
* * * * Spoiler Free A Quick Review
It was with such pleasure to see something like this. It covered the holidays for a group of people usually ignored and gave a significant story with heart and care.

A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher for an honest review.

For more Reviews, Free E-books and Giveaways
Mar 17, 2020 rated it did not like it
This book seemed promising and original: Jewish holiday, sexy deaf guy, fake date...
But then it turned out that the conflict revolved around my most hated trope: 'the BIG secret'.

Here is how it went down:

Hero: has a messy situation he won't tell the heroine: (view spoiler). I don't really understand why he has to keep it secret, but he hardly knows her so I c
Rachel Solomon
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was an absolute delight!
Reviewed for Wit and Sin

Matzah Ball Surprise is a bright and fun romance that will make you smile. I admit I picked up this book simply because I’ve never read a romance set during Passover and I was thrilled to see one out there. I’m so glad I did, because Gaby and Levi are endearing characters and their love story is delightful.

I have been in Gaby’s place at Passover, so I totally sympathize with her wanting a fake boyfriend to play buffer against a well-meaning family. Gaby is a vibra
3.5 stars

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. Wh
Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
3.5 stars

Having grown up experiencing the Jewish culture firsthand and attending my fair share of Passover seders, I was interested in reading a story that reflected some of the traditions of my childhood. And in that respect I was not disappointed. The well meaning yet tactless questions, the loud and dramatic family interactions, the gossip, the Yiddish sprinkled in like seasoning to give everything a distinct flavor, this was all familiar to me.

Coupled with the unfamiliar life of a deaf man w
Lenore Kosinski

I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

DNF @ 14% — I really really wanted to love this book, what with its double whammy of diversity. I rarely find religious diversity books, so I was super excited!

But. *sigh* I had a hard time getting sucked into this one. The writing was okay, but I wasn’t connecting with Gaby (or her friend), or Levi, and seeing the obvious set up for miscommunication, I just didn
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Look, I've been waiting for a romance with a Jewish protagonist since I discovered the genre, and there's nothing more emblematic of Judaism than a good ol' Passover dinner. The main interest, Levi, is both devastatingly handsome and deaf, and I thought Laura Brown gave voice to the barriers he faces in every day life and in the very kosher and unorthodox situation he finds himself in, as a fake date for Gaby Fineberg. Even though the setting itself is explicitly Jewish, I thought that the relat ...more
Shirley Cuypers
Mar 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, ebooks, arc-beta
Original review

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Entangled: Lovestruck!

Matzah Ball Surprise
is a standalone Romance book about Gaby and Levi.

Since I read Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover, I’ve always been fascinated by deaf people and sign language. I’ve never really read or watched anything about the deaf community and that book was really eye-opening for me. When I saw that Entangled: Lovestruck is going to publish a book about someone falling in l
Rosie Danan
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Reading an ARC of this book was such a treat. Curling up with Gaby and Levi provided all the coziness and charm of watching a Hallmark movie—except the major difference is Laura Brown gives us excellent portrayal of multiple marginalizations in her story (and a lot more sexual tension).

Levi was the first Deaf hero I've read and I really appreciated seeing the world through his perspective, through both challenging social situations and celebratory occasions. In addition, both protagonists are J
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Please Note: I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence the opinions of my review in any way.

If you've been looking for a fun, sexy rom-com, look no further than Matzah Ball Surprise, by Laura Brown. From the cover to the charming characters, this book was super fun to read. A bonus is that one of the main characters is from an under-represented group, and is represented realistically, which makes this a wonderful novel. This c
Living My Best Book Life
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Matzah Ball Surprise is a sweet and charming novel about a fake relationship developing into something more. Gaby and Levi have amazing chemistry and engage in genuine conversations.

Gaby has just ended a relationship and needs to find a date for The Passover. Her family is always pressuring her to find 'the one' and if she shows up without a date she won't hear the end of it. When she works up the courage to talk to the hot guy at the gym, he doesn't say a word. Levi is actually deaf so he coul

This was more of a 3.5 star read for me, but not good enough to be a 4 star rating. I really liked the premise of this story, being especially excited for a deaf hero, but unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to my expe
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this meet cute / fake date story that takes place around Passover. The writing felt choppy at times and I found myself skimming it more than reading. Gaby noticed Levi at the gym. She didn't know he was deaf. She needs a date for Passover seder to bring to her mom's. She assumes Levi isn't Jewish, even though she likes him. While he kept his fake engagement from Gaby, at this point she only knew him a few days so I'm not sure he owed her the truth UNTIL they slept together. Gaby ...more
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
**I received a copy of Matzah Ball Surprise from Entangled Publishing and Net Galley in exchange for a voluntary and honest review. My opinion is my own and not solicited in any way.**

Matzah Ball Surprise by Laura Brown was definitely a pleasant surprise for me and I loved it. Ms. Brown is a new author to me and I love how she wrote the texts back and forth for both Gaby and Levi plus I'm going to be checking out her other books.

Gaby Fineberg needs a date for her mother's Passover dinner as her
Jane Wheeler
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very sweet. Definite low-key fluff, but enjoyable. The writer is HoH herself, so the details of communication - both Deaf or hearing characters chatting with each other, and the ways Deaf characters communicate (or don’t) with hearies. The way she expresses the nonverbal, non-ASL communication of Levi’s face and touches is beautiful. I would NOT mind having him around!
Mar 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Cute contemporary romance with a Deaf hero who goes on a fake date to the heroine’s family Passover
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aimee Smithline
May 15, 2020 rated it liked it
I was very excited to read the book based on the premise. I love rom-coms with fake dates and people unexpectedly falling in love. I was also intrigued to read about a hearing impaired character and how they communicate. Being Jewish, although not religious just like the characters, it was unusual but enticing for me to read such a book with the main characters being Jewish.
Gaby needs a fake date to attend her family Seder. She is egged on by her friend to invite a hot guy from her gym to help h
Apr 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Originally published at Reading Reality

Passover starts this evening, which is why this review is scheduled for today. I’d say to just call me Captain Obvious, but a romance wrapped around one of the Jewish holidays isn’t all that obvious at all – or all that common – so I wanted to celebrate that this story exists at the time when it seemed the most germane. Especially since it’s a light and fun romance that is just perfect for this holiday season.

The story in Matzah Ball Surprise is a lovely li
Lauren loves llamas
Content warnings: (view spoiler)

Hello, fake relationship, my favorite trope! Yes, I read a ton of these, so I’m always looking for something with a new spin on it – in this case, the fake date is for Passover, and the hero is Deaf. The author herself is Jewish and Hard of Hearing, so while I can’t speak for the rep, it’s adorably sweet, fluffy and funny.

« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Hooked On You
  • The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War, #2)
  • The Upside of Unrequited (Simonverse, #2)
  • Nurse's Date with a Billionaire (Billionaire Date, #1)
  • King’s Crown (Oil Kings, #1)
  • In a Field of Blue
  • The Anti-Honeymoon
  • Not According to Plan
  • Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels, #6)
  • Her Big City Neighbor (Cider Bar Sisters, #1)
  • Saving Grace (Special Forces: Operation Alpha)
  • Half Moon Rebel (Half Moon Series Book 2)
  • Ruling the Princess
  • Mom Genes: A Novel (Forest River PTA Moms)
  • Somebody Told Me
  • Half Moon Holler (Half Moon, #1)
  • Perfect Distraction
  • Her Pretend Christmas Date (Cider Bar Sisters, #2.5)
See similar books…
Laura Brown lives in Massachusetts with her quirky family. Her husband’s put up with her since high school, her young kid keeps her on her toes, and her three cats think they deserve more scratches. Hearing loss is a big part of who she is, from her own Hard of Hearing ears, to the characters she creates.

Other books in the series

Matzah Ball Surprise (2 books)
  • About That Night (Matzah Ball Surprise #2)

Related Articles

Mistaken identities, one-night stands, forbidden love, fake engagements—oh my! There's no denying it: The romance genre has got some of the...
215 likes · 28 comments