8 Nights: Chanukah in Romance

Last night, we lit the first candle for Chanukah. Here is the prayer my family says each night:

“We light these candles to celebrate the triumph of hope over fear, light over darkness, and the powerless of the powerful.”

Wishing you and yours love and light.

Every year, I hope to gather more wonderful Chanukah Romances. This year’s list as a some new (to the list)  and and few from last year’s list as well.

1. Lighting the Flames by Sarah Wendell

Genevieve and Jeremy have known each other since they were seven, and have been summertime best friends at Camp Meira, a Jewish overnight camp in the mountains. As campers, and then as staff, their friendship was a constant, something neither wanted to change, no matter how tempting those changes might be.

Then, last year, with little warning, Jeremy left camp early. After that summer, Gen left the country on a graduate fellowship.

Now, a little over a year since they were last at Meira, Gen and Jeremy are back together to help run a special Winter Camp during Hanukkah. Any water under the bridge is frozen this time of year, and with so much left unspoken and unexplained, this week may be their chance to rekindle their friendship, or turn it into something new.

2. Revving Up The Holidays by A.S. Fenichel New!

Workaholic Isaac hasn’t been back to his hometown since his father’s funeral two years earlier, pushing his family away because of a painful secret. Hanukkah and a forced vacation lure him back to Atlanta, where he’s reunited with his two lost loves— an old motorcycle and his sister’s best friend Giada. While rediscovering his passion for both the bike and the woman, Isaac rebuilds his heart.

Giada has lost her Christmas spirit since returning home to care for her dying parents. Left alone, she struggles to return to her successful teaching career, choosing instead to stay in her hometown. Only the unexpected return of her high school crush Isaac brings any joy to the season.
The transitive nature of Isaac’s visit and Giada’s fear of abandonment keep them from sharing their whole hearts, but certainly not their bodies. Their desire for each other is hotter than the flames of a menorah and they take advantage of their limited time together by burning up the sheets. But once their secrets are revealed, their hearts will do all the thinking.

3.  Lights, Latkes, and Love by Peggy Bird

Ah, the holidays. David Shay can’t get enough of the December festivities. He especially enjoys sharing his love of the season with the underprivileged children at his non-profit organization SafePlace for Children and Parents. Hannah Jenkins, on the other hand, turns into a jaded Scrooge every year on Black Friday. As manager of a large retail store, she’s seen firsthand how the rampant commercialism of the holiday can bring out the worst in people.

When David’s organization is the charity Hannah’s boss picks for their annual donation, it falls on her to organize a huge holiday party, whether she likes it or not.

Can a nice Jewish boy—with the help of some Christmas lights, a little girl, and a latke party—teach Hannah the true meaning of the season and guarantee them both a New Year’s Eve kiss to remember?

4. Season of Magic (Holiday Box Set) by Merry Holly New!

Noel Noel Noel by Merry Holly

Dumped and lonely, is it possible to find love at the local mall? Noelle thinks not, but a chance encounter with Chase Clayborne while Christmas shopping has her rethinking her rigid set of rules, as sparks flare between them.

A Cinderella Christmas by Cara Marsi
Jessica Gallo no longer believed in fairy tales or happy endings. And she certainly didn’t believe she’d find her Prince Charming at Saks Fifth Avenue. Her Fairy Godmother thought differently.

Matchmaker Matchmaker by Bobbi Lerman
With Chanukah around the corner, is there enough magic left for a matchmaker to bring Molly’s cynical heart back to life.

Holiday Disaster by Vicki Batman
The week before Christmas and all is in disarray when a librarian experiences horrible plumbing issues and a Mr. Maintenance Man who isn’t nearly as jolly as Santa Clause. This Christmas is a disaster.

Yuletide Bride by Gerri Brousseau
The Dowager Duchess’s decree that her grandson must marry before Twelfth Night or relinquish his title and fortune sends him into a tail spin. Without any prospects and with only two weeks until Christmas will Stuart Nelson find himself destitute or will he find The Yuletide Bride.

5.  A Candle for a Marine by Heather Long

Tormented by the question of ‘what if…’

Home for Hanukkah, Sergeant Isaac Janko has never forgotten the baby his girlfriend gave up for adoption years ago. But he didn’t realize how angry he still was….

More than time separates them….

A chance meeting at Temple brings Zehava Elbaz face-to-face with the first and only man she’s ever loved. She sees a deep and hidden pain in him, one she blames herself for…

An invitation to Hanukkah brings them together….

The two must confront their pain and loss. They have only eight days to face their past, and win each other’s trust, but it is a time for healing, reconciliation and miracles….

6. Menorahs and Mistletoe by Jess Roth New!

If nothing else, Hanukkah this year will be interesting. Single dad Martin’s six-year-old daughter, Sara, is determined to get him a new “friend.” Martin isn’t even sure he wants to step back into the pool, much less go out with the mall elf they met while shopping for gifts. But he’s starting to get to know the cute receptionist at work, Tim, and thinking maybe the whole dating thing isn’t such a terrible idea. Too bad things are never that simple.

7. Lit Up by Devyn Morgan New!

Has a fateful November meeting over raspberries led Rusty to Mr. Right? He and Cole have so much in common, except for that religious background thing. And Cole loves holidays. Rusty decks out Christmas trees, while Cole lights up menorahs. It can’t be that hard to plan and execute the perfect Chanukah. What could possibly go wrong? Two men, two sets of traditions, one chance for Rusty to get it right. Exactly what do you do with a dreidel?

8.  Burning Bright by Anne Stuart, Maggie Shayne, Judith Arnold New!

“Star Light, Star Bright” by Anne Stuart

Angela McKenna is back in Crescent Cove after a painful divorce, and soon finds that Brody Jackson is also back in Crescent Cove after a financial scandal. Brody had had a crush on her when they were both teenagers, but Angela had married her childhood sweetheart and moved away. Once Brody sees Angela again, he realizes that he still has a crush on her, and Angela wonders why she was so blind when it came to Brody in the first place. Can a little Christmas magic bring Brody and Angela together?

“Return of the Light” by Maggie Shayne

Dori Stewart thought she had it all – a job she loved, a great salary, and a wonderful apartment. The publishing house she worked at was acquired by a conservative publishing house, though, and she found herself fired for her religious beliefs (although the new company cleverly disguised this fact) because she was a practicing Wiccan. Dori went back to Crescent Cove, where she met Jason Farrar, her old boyfriend. She had left Jason behind years ago for the big city, but Jason had never forgotten her. In fact, he still loved her madly – but he wasn’t going to get his heart broken by her again. As Dori tries to reignite her waning faith this winter solstice, will she come to the conclusion that she was meant to return to Crescent Cove because she and Jason are destined to be together?

“One for Each Night” by Judith Arnold

Alana Ross is instantly attracted to big-city lawyer Jeffrey Barrett. Too bad he’s in town trying to clear his uncle’s name, a man Alana believes is guilty of stealing money from the school budget. Although they’re adversaries, they can’t deny the chemistry between them, especially as Jeffrey helps Alana prepare for hosting her first Hanukkah open house. Can Jeffrey and Alana forget the circumstances keeping them apart and focus on what could draw them together?

9. Scenes From A Holiday by Caren Lissner , Laurie Graff , Melanie Murray New!

Three women. Three holidays. Three stories to make that time of year a lot more fun.
If singles events planner Nicki Heller thought she was confused before about what she wants from her relationship, then a blow to the head certainly isn’t helping matters. The doctors have assured her family that Nicki’s on the mend. But for now? Well, let’s just say she’s in a, uh, Hanukkoma. Trapped in the unconscious world of Menorahville, she’s celebrating Hanukkah on an endless loop, along with a date from hell for each night.

Like everyone else in the world, Carrie Pilby used to make a lot of resolutions she didn’t keep. But this New Year’s it’s going to be different. She’s going to be different. Really. The twenty-year-old genius is determined to be less geeky and more social and has imposed a new rule for herself: leave the apartment at least twice a week. Hey, she has to start somewhere . . .

A country Christmas isn’t exactly at the top of Emma Townsend’s “Dear Santa” list this year. Flannels and work boots? No, thanks. She’s a dignified Manhattanite now. So how did she end up back in the “winter wonderland” yet again? It’s family tradition, and she can’t let her parents down. This is it, though — this is the last year she forsakes her life (and fashion) for ornaments and tree trimming and live-action nativity scenes. No matter how good-looking that guy in her parents’ yard is. Wait, where’d he come from?

10.  Burning Bright: Four Chanukah Love Stories by Megan Hart, KK Hendin, Stacey Agdern, Jennifer Gracen  New!

This December, take a break from dreidel spinning, gelt winning, and latke eating to experience the joy of Chanukah. When you fall in love during the Festival of Lights, the world burns a whole lot brighter.

It’s definitely not love at first sight for Amanda and her cute but mysterious new neighbor, Ben. Can a Chanukah miracle show them that getting off on the wrong foot doesn’t mean they can’t walk the same road? Lawyers in love, Shari Cohen and Evan Sonntag are happy together. But in a moment of doubt, he pushes her away—then soon realizes he made a huge mistake. To win her back, it might take something like a Chanukah miracle.

When impulsive interior designer Molly Baker-Stein barges into Jon Adelman’s apartment and his life intent on planning the best Chanukah party their building has ever seen, neither expects that together they just might discover a Home for Chanukah.

All Tamar expected from her Israel vacation was time to hang out with one of her besties and to act like a tourist, cheesy t-shirt and all, in her two favorite cities. She definitely was not expecting to fall for Avi, a handsome soldier who’s more than she ever dreamed.

Please add your Hanukkah Romance recommendations to my Goodreads list: Chanukah Romance.

Maybe next year we will have even more!

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