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text 2015-12-07 15:26
Chanukah Romance
Lighting the Flames: A Hanukkah Story - Sarah Wendell
Lights, Latkes, and Love: A Holiday For Romance Novella - Peggy Bird
A Candle for a Marine (Always a Marine) - Heather Long
Menorahs and Mistletoe (2015 Advent Calendar - Sleigh Ride) - Jess Roth
Revving Up the Holidays - A.S. Fenichel
Season of Magic: Holiday Box Set - Merry Holly,Cara Marsi,Bobbi Lerman
Lit Up - Devyn Morgan
Scenes From A Holiday - Laurie Graff,Caren Lissner,Melanie Murray
Burning Bright - Anne Stuart,Maggie Shayne,Judith Arnold
Burning Bright: Four Chanukah Love Stories - Jennifer Gracen,KK Hendin,Stacey Agdern,Megan Hart

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.  


My lists are never in any particular order.


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 ShayneJudith 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?
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 HendinStacey AgdernJennifer 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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text 2015-11-14 13:44
W poszukiwaniu szczęścia
Carrie Pilby - Caren Lissner

Każdy jest inny, ale łączą nas wspólne cechy. Niektórzy chcą się wyróżniać, a inni naśladują swoich idoli. Chcemy być indywidualistami, ale nie odstając jednocześnie od grupy. Chcemy być podziwiani, lepsi. Niektórzy żyją według moralnych zasad, inni naginają je do swojej woli. Introwertykom nie przeszkadza samotność, ale chyba nikt nie chce żyć sam ze sobą do końca życia, bo co, jak co, ale miło jest porozmawiać z kimś, z kim dzielimy wspólne pasje, albo podyskutować z kimś, kto ma odmienne zdanie na każdy temat.


Carrie to dziewczyna, której nikt nie zna. Jest poniekąd zgorzkniała i nie potrafi dostosować swoich żelaznych zasad do tego, by kogoś poznać. Być może jest nieco nieśmiała. Jej ulubionym zajęciem jest spanie, czytanie i oglądanie stu najlepszych filmów. Podczas wizyty u swojego terapeuty, dostaje od niego listę z kilkoma punktami, które musi wykonać, by jej relacje z ludźmi się poprawiły, a ciągła samotność została zastąpiona radością z życia.


Bohaterka powieści Caren Lissner ukończyła jedną z prestiżowych uczelni w wieku dziewiętnastu lat, dzięki swojej niebywałej inteligencji oraz mądrości przeskoczyła kilka klas. Być może to wydarzenie spowodowało to, że nie potrafiła się z nikim zaprzyjaźnić. Oceniała z góry ludzi, dopiero plan opracowany przez doktora Petrova zrodził w niej poczucie dążenia do celu. Czy zdołała wykonać choćby mały krok by przełamać swoje uprzedzenia?


Powiem szczerze – nie była to najbardziej porywająca książka, jaką czytałam. Niewiele spektakularnych rzeczy się zdarzyło, a akcja toczyła się raczej spokojnie. Czytając miałam wrażenie, jakbym czytała pamiętnik, a nie powieść. Autorka zastosowała narrację pierwszoosobową, co było całkiem dobrym posunięciem. Czytelnik ma okazję dogłębnie poznać myśli głównej bohaterki, a także poznać świat od jej strony. Książka pełna jest opisów, wspomnień i bieżących wydarzeń, w które zaplątana jest Carrie. Nieco mniej doświadczamy dialogów. Nie mniej jednak, nadaje to charakter oraz unikalność historii.


Miałam nadzieję na lekką, typową dla nastolatek opowiastkę. Tymczasem otrzymałam nieco cięższą, ale dobrą lekturę. Często odnajdowałam siebie w głównej bohaterce, co mnie szokowało, ale równie często irytowała mnie swoim zachowaniem oraz myślami. Czytelnik obserwuje, jak dziewiętnastoletnia, ale znacznie starsza duchem dziewczyna podejmuje ryzyko wyjścia ze swojej strefy komfortu. Zaimponowała mi i dała wiele do zrozumienia.


Przed przeczytaniem myślałam, że Carrie Pilby. Nieznośnie genialna to głupiutka oraz zabawna powieść. Zabawna była, jeśli czytelnik zrozumie poczucie humoru głównej bohaterki. Nie mniej jednak, tą przygodę uznaję ze udaną. Miło było poznać kogoś, kto jest tak bardzo podobny do mnie. Bohaterka zauroczyła mnie i z całego serca życzę jej jak najlepiej.

Source: everydayxbook.blogspot.com
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review 2010-09-06 00:00
Carrie Pilby (Red Dress Ink Novels)
Carrie Pilby - Caren Lissner I was expecting a fun, light, quirky read. The cover certainly leads you to believe so and I have a feeling that had I known that the book was way more serious than I was bargaining for, I would have been better prepared to read it. Because Carrie Pilby is most certainly not chick lit.As the synopsis reveals, Carrie is a genius. A genius who has trouble fitting in, getting along; indeed she doesn’t understand the need for her to do so.Well okay, I’ll just come right out and say it: I didn’t like the book.It doesn’t mean that the book is horrible but it’s just that I couldn’t relate to the protagonist and for me, that is a total necessity. The writing itself is interesting. Lissner’s observations on the world are spot on and her descriptions about being alone and not fitting in – not being able to fit in – ring poignantly true.The story is not a story. Not in the traditional sense of the word. It is, as a fellow reviewer said, a “character study.” And I was not prepared to be barraged by the overwhelming details – it was actually exhausting. I understand the need for internal monologues, I do. A discourse on the world today and all the ten thousand things wrong with it. But there was seriously too much of it. Things done in moderation have a more piercing effect. In fact, my eyes sort of started glazing over.And Carrie – the so called genius – well, she graduated from Havard at 18, so she is a genius – just annoyed me. Really, really annoyed me. She is an elitist who believe that the only people worth socializing with are those with an IQ as large as hers. The rest of the people are beneath her with their stupidity making them unable to maintain a conversation with her. She also thinks the rest of the world is immoral, has too much sex and again, beneath her because of their immorality. I understand that these thoughts might be her way to safeguard herself from rejection by people but frankly, it doesn’t endear her to me one bit.She refuses to get a job (make use of all that genius) and lives on her father’s money to which she feels entitled because he tells her a Big Lie (which seriously does not even register on the lie-o-meter). She had an affair with her 40-plus English Professor when she was 16 (skeevy!) and then got dumped because she refused to say a certain word or phrase he wanted her to say while they were getting steamy under the sheets (again, skeevy).The book contains a thwarted lesbian experience, other sexual experiences of some variety and perhaps a certain thawing in her opinion of the world.I really wanted to like this book. But other than its misrepresentation as a Chick Lit (it reads nothing like the cover would have you believe), and the waspish voice of its protagonist, I didn’t come away with much. Sadly.
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review 2010-08-30 00:00
Carrie Pilby - Caren Lissner I'm not really sure what to say about this book. There didn't really happen a lot in the book, but I liked it. I'll edit this when I'm a bit more coherent (I need to sleep..)
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review 2004-11-01 00:00
Carrie Pilby - Caren Lissner I'm not too sure what I think of this book. It's about a girl who's always been very intelligent for her age, so she's been pushed forward in school, and therefore have no idea how to act around peers. I enjoyed reading it, but it didn't leave a lasting impression on me, so I don't think I'll read it again.
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