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Burning Bright: Four Chanukah Love Stories

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3.51  ·  Rating details ·  86 ratings  ·  34 reviews
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.

Its 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
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ebook, 400 pages
Published December 1st 2015 by Avon Impulse
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Average rating 3.51  · 
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 ·  86 ratings  ·  34 reviews


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Booklover, Indianapolis
(Dec) (1.5*) I am Jewish. My family is Jewish, most of my close friends are Jewish. I have read countless Christmas Romance stories, and figured itd be fun to try a Hanukkah romance book. Big mistake, at least with this one. Not sure if the authors are Jewish, but they created characters and storylines that I dont recognize and cannot relate to. Also Hanukkah is an incredibly minor holiday; not a religious holiday. I honestly dont know any families that make such a big deal about. Sure some ...more
Lisa Filipe
Being raised Catholic and attending Catholic school from Kindergarten through Senior Year of High School, the only Jewish friend I had is still a great friend, but she is half Jewish. So, I didn't know anything about the Jewish Holidays like Passover, Chanukah, etc. That is until I started working at a very busy salon in a heavily populated Jewish neighborhood, where I was "schooled" in the traditions, holidays and everything in between of the Jewish culture. I haven't worked there in years, but ...more
Jess
I'm going to give the anthology three stars overall, even though I mostly liked everything in it more than that, but I can't get over how much I didn't like the third story.

Redecorating someone's apartment without their permission is not okay, even if you do it as a gift and even if they've left you their keys and even if you do it with them and their wishes in mind. Boundaries are not bad things and the way the narrative had everyone tell the hero how wrong he was for being upset that someone
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Fiona Marsden
Dec 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I saw this anthology on the Smart Bitches blog site and entered a competition to win a copy. Only trouble was I made the mistake of reading Sarah Wendell's story from last year and wanted more so I bought a copy. There are four novella length stories from four different authors with a Foreword by Sarah Wendell.

Miracle by Megan Hart is the story of Ben, who was brought up Orthodox and is out in the secular world for the first time and struggling a little to find his place. He meets neighbour
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Gaele
Each story is so sweet and heartfelt, it was hard to pick a favorite, and every story fairly screamed with feelings of home, family, tradition and hope that are common to ALL Holiday celebrations, no matter the faith belief behind them.

Ben, searching for a new sort of balance and redefining his life in the secular world when it is upended by the very modern-thinking and bubbly Amanda. Miracle by Megan Hart is just a wonderful story of a new relationship as the two learn and enjoy one another.

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Kimberly
12/30/16 - 99 cents on Kindle
Marlene
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Reading Reality

In the avalanche of holiday romances that arrives every November and December, I seldom see anyone like myself. Why? Because there is a dearth of Hanukkah romance in the middle of all the Christmas. And just like the heroines in this collection of Hanukkah romances, Im Jewish. It was beyond marvelous to read romances that reflected some of my experience, where the cultural background is the one that I remember from my own family. So for that alone, this
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Karen
Miracle by Megan Hart

Its 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 doesnt mean they cant walk the same road?

~ I loved this story! Gorgeous writing and conflict. Miracle ended on the perfect HFN note but could have easily been a full length novel as Ben navigates his way from his life as an Orthodox Jew to the more secular world and romance with Amanda. 5 stars

I can see why
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Naomi
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
This was a lovely, lovely alternative to all the Christmas romances out there, especially for reading during Chanukah.

I particularly liked the range of religiosity shown; I definitely related less to the last story (set mostly in Israel and with very religious characters) than to the others, but it was still interesting and enjoyable.
Xan West
DNF after reading "A Home for Chanukah" by Stacey Agdern. (Which gets 2 stars) I haven't read any of the other stories, might come back and read the second one at some point.

I loved this story a lot, til Ch 6. The awkward meet cute, the heroine who is grappling with grief, the hero who I read as likely autistic (though it's fairly coded, I was connecting with him around his intense special interests and routines and unconventional social and work patterns and finding change really hard and
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Tameeka
Dec 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to Tameeka by: NYPL Recommends
Shelves: seasonal-reading
I picked up this book after hearing about it on The Librarian is In podcast and knowing that Sarah Wendell was involved. I'm not Jewish so I cannot speak on the Chanukah aspect. As a collection of four romances, I enjoyed 2, was annoyed by 1, and couldn't even get through another.

"Dose of Gelt" by Jennifer Gracen - Shari, just talk to Evan!!! WTH. I'm sure that her refusal to talk to him was a means to create conflict. I do not think Evan's reaction to his family at Chanukah was justified and
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Marilyn Getts
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
Title was recommended on the New York Public Library podcast, The Librarian is In, and I had to check it out. Found the stories sweet and interesting. Your grandma could read these. Learned a great deal about Jewish traditions and spectrum of adherence to Jewish law. Did you know that there is a Jewish music scene similar to gospel music?
Reading with Cats
2.5 stars
Rating is for first two stories; the second two were DNFs for me.
Megan
Nov 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Cheesy but good and short love stories
Rachel Simone
Dec 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Cute collection of stories. I wanted to read these during Chanukah this year and I'm glad I did. Pretty low on the steam and angst meters.
Danielle Mccoy
Dec 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, ebook
Liked the first 2 stories couldn't get into the third-the writing just bothered me for some reason. Fourth was sweet. Won't go looking for any of these authors other books though.
Shimona Hirchberg
Nov 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: not_finishing
not into christmas-specific romance but got distracted by chanukah. so. . also, reading these aren't good for me. DNF
Sarah
Read the first two stories. Neither was that good. Then the book was due back to the library, so I didn't bother to finish.
Jackie Ferrell
Dec 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When I heard that this anthology of Chanukah themed stories was coming out, I was so excited!! I couldnt wait to read this book about the holiday I celebrate!!

If I was asked which story I liked the most, I wouldnt be able to decide. I loved each one!

Miracle by Megan Hart
Ben is Amandas new neighbor. They meet when Amanda is mistakenly delivered a package that is for Ben. Ben has just recently moved to town and is a new tenant in her building. Ben and Amanda start spending time together and
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Stevie Carroll
Dec 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Previously reviewed on The Good, The Bad, and The Unread:

When all the Christmas books come out each year, I generally find myself yearning for more stories set around the other holidays taking place in and around the Festive Season. This year it seems my wish has been at least partly granted with this quartet of Jewish holiday stories. I grew up amongst a fair number of Jewish family friends, though I had only one Jewish classmate, and so I know a reasonable amount about how Chanukah is
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Jill S (Love Affair With Fiction)
I was beyond excited when I caught sight of Burning Bright. Seriously, Four Chanukah Love Stories by Megan Hart, KK Hendin, Stacey Agdern and Jennifer Gracen how amazing is that? (Honestly I may have gotten up and danced the Horah! Ok, ok not the Horah... but I did jump up and down!) With all of the holiday romances that come pouring out every year we don't often get to snuggle up with FOUR Chanukah romances!

Before my life became pretty much consumed 24/7 by this Book Community it was pretty
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Darlene
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, judaica
Burning Bright: Four Chanukah Love Stories, is out in ebook, just in time for the holiday:

Miracle by Megan HartThis sweet tale touches on a little known issue, very religious Jews who go off the derech, leaving their strictly observant communities for the wider world. Its a difficult adjustment for Ben Schneider, but he finds his neighbor Amanda willing to help him navigate through new customs and traditions as she shows him her Chanukah celebration of helping her neighbors experience the
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Becky
Nov 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
OMG, even the introduction was entertaining! (It was written by Sarah from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, so you knew it was going to be, but still. The introduction.)
Chanukka! Making copyeditors gnash their teeth for over 5000 years!
I really enjoyed this Chanukah-themed anthology, even if I felt like I needed a glossary at times to decode what they were talking about ;) (Don't tell me there is one, because I'm serious. I had no idea what a good 75% of those words meant.)

Despite my total
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Beth
Dec 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
It's hard to give an overall rating to an anthology, especially when you didn't like all the stories. My favorite was the first story, "Miracle" by Megan Hart. I would give that one 4 stars, it was heartfelt, and you could really feel the struggles he went through trying to adapt to the world outside of his former Orthodox community. The second one, "A Dose of Gelt" by Jennifer Gracen, was also enjoyable, and I appreciated a love story about professional adults, rather than the new adult stuff ...more
Cara Ross
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So I will be completely blunt! I am not Jewish or even overly religious. But I was very curious to read this Chanukah romance. So I settled down, thinking that I would read the first book and four hours later, I surfaced from my reading haze, completely in love with this book.
I LOVED Megan Hart's book Miracle, not just because she is an amazing author, but because she set the book in a city close to me. Jennifer Gracen book A Dose of Gelt; is a story about when you allow the outside world to
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Shira Glassman
I want to recognize "A Dose of Gelt" by Jennifer Gracen, about a man who freaks out when his family is super enthusiastic when they meet his girlfriend because he doesn't want to make marriage decisions nownownow. What I liked most about it is that the setting was thoroughly marinated in Jewishness without being conscious of our status as a minority culture/religion in America, and nobody's faith, lack thereof, or differences in beliefs or practices formed the central conflict. In other words, ...more
Laura Bang
Dec 11, 2015 rated it liked it
This is an anthology of four novellas, so as with most anthologies, I liked some stories more than others, but they were all enjoyable. My favorite was the first story, "Miracle" by Megan Hart, about a young man leaving the Orthodox Jewish tradition and trying to find a place for himself outside of that. The last story, "All I Got" by KK Hendin, was the hardest to get into for me as an outsider as this one deals much more closely with Jewish and Israeli culture, without a lot of "translation" ...more
Evelyn Goldman
I really wanted to like all of these because there are so few Chanukah stories. Alas, I DNFd 2/4. The third story was just weird and uncomfortable. The fourth story, even though I speak basic Hebrew, I couldnt stay in it. It wasnt meant for an American audience. Every time she mentioned chayal I thought jackal which ruins the mood. Thats on me but I shouldnt have to work so hard to get thru a story written for an English-speaking audience. A sprinkling of Hebrew for tone is fine, but there was ...more
Aria
Apr 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was a little disappointed by some of the stories, but I'm giving this 4 stars partially because it's wonderful to see a December holiday anthology focused on Hannukah, and partially because All I Got by KK Hendin saved this collection for me. It was a lovely story that felt real, relevant, and best of all deeply familiareven for someone who's never been to Israel and only knows a handful of Hebrew words. ...more
Azhureheart
Nov 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: antho
I waited practically a year to read this one, I only received it in January and it was too late to read it then. I'm a bit disappointed. I like the first (even if it was a bit forgettable) and fourth (Tamar and Avi were a bit too young for my taste though) stories.
I love the second one, it was my favorite. Shary and Evan's problems were very relatable and they had more chemistry than the other couple except maybe for Avi and Tamar...
The third one bored me so much I didn't finish it.
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Megan Hart has written in almost every genre of romantic fiction, including historical, contemporary, romantic suspense, romantic comedy, futuristic, fantasy and perhaps most notably, erotic. She also writes non-erotic fantasy and science fiction, as well as continuing to occasionally dabble in horror.

--from the author's website

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads
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