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Hearts Alight

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  82 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Dave Cunningham hates the rampant consumerism that’s come to dominate his family’s Hanukkah celebrations. But a chance to bring a bit of a holiday happiness to his long-time crush, Amit Cohen, helps put him in a more festive mood.

In the quest to craft the perfect gift, Dave tries to urge a few personal details out of stoic Amit. Unintentionally, he learns the Cohen family’
ebook, 56 pages
Published December 19th 2016 by NineStar Press
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  82 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Len Evans Jr
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
This is the fourth story I have read thus far by this author. Each one of them has been distinctly unique and exceptionally well-written. He clearly has a true talent for story-telling. This holiday novella is heartwarming, sweet and has an appropriate magical twist. Their were more than a few tears of happiness and the story left me feeling warm and very happy. Miracles really do happen every day!
4 Hearts

I went into this pretty naïve about what a golem was and admit to googling it. Once I did a bit of light research, getting the gist of a golem being probably made of clay and unfinished in the eyes of God, I was more than curious how this would all work out.

Dave, I get him. Though our religions are different, the way he feels about the present-palooza that is taking over Hanukah is how I feel with the commercialization of Christmas. Through all we think we have to do, have to buy and
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Such a short but sweet story, with lovely characters and a little magic...
'Nathan Burgoine
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbt
This was such a lovely little holiday novella on so many fronts, and I snuggled right into it. Dave was so easy to identify with: he’s a gaming nerd, so done with holiday consumerism, and frustrated at feeling the guilt of not being able to be “on par” with the gift-giving going on around him. He’s also just awkward enough to get in his own way, and overthinking himself out of confidence. In short, he’s adorable.

The dash of holiday magic here is in the Golem, yes, but also in the blending of fam
reading the 2nd edition, though the author states that there are no differences with the first edition

Hmmm.... while Amit being a (view spoiler) is a unique twist, but at the same time, I just can't see the significance of it. It can easily be a contemporary romance, with a young man and his best friend's uncle. In fact, I might like it better *shrugs*. This is just a so-so read for me.
Leigh Kramer
This was such a lovely Hanukkah romance! I loved everything about Dave and Amit and how their relationship unfolded. The aspect of Amit being a Golem was fascinating and heartbreaking and I really liked how Dave responded. Neither Dave or Amit are working in “high end” careers and it was really interesting to see how they felt about their jobs and their respective futures. It was a nice touch to have characters have jobs that are jobs and to feel relatively okay with that. Dave is really into Du ...more
charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
how does a novella drag so much

Rep: Jewish mcs, bi mc, gay li, trans side character
Victoria (Eve's Alexandria)
Not for me, this one. I liked the premise - sweet nerd falls for his best friend’s uncle, who turns out to be a golem, over Hannukah - but the execution wasn’t great and the chemistry was faint.
Gillian Kevern
Dec 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another great story from Elliot Cooper. There was so much I loved about Hearts Alight. The mythology surrounding golems was completely new to me and I loved Dave, Amit, and their extended friends and family. I adored Dave's friendship with Jake, and the hesitant beginnings of his romance with Amit. His musings about the modernisation of Hannukah in particular with regards to its commercialisation developed over the course of the story, and added a layer that I really appreciated.

I feel a little
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: queer, romance
Beautiful, fascinating, tender. A lovely story with lots to ponder.
Andrea Brokaw
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: A giant pile of newly won Hanukkah gelt.

Highlight of note: It's a Hanukkah romance starring a golem. A golem!

Will you read more by this author? I plan to.

Other note: This is an adult romance but does NOT have explicit sex in it.

It's really hard to find full-length Hanukkah romances. That's why I wound up reading this even though its short length would usually rule it out for me. Adding other subplots or switching between points-of-view to show both love interests' sides of the story coul
Courtney Rose
Hearts Alight tells the story of Dave, an anti-consumerist, slightly anti-social bisexual Jewish man who tries to befriend his crush who is also his best friends' uncle. While I liked this book fine enough, and I am happy it exists in the world for those who would relate to it more, I had some issues with the romance aspect of it.

When Dave finds out Amit, his crush, is a golem after he nearly collapses at a bar, I expected some sort of supernatural or paranormal element to start infiltrating the
Lauren loves llamas
While I liked a lot about this charming Hanukkah novella, for some reason it just didn’t grab me. Dave is an introverted nerd who works at his dad’s pottery studio, while Amit is the reserved bartender at his brother-in-law’s family bar – and also a golem. There’s some pretty cute things – from Dave’s crush being able to “power” Amit to Dave introducing Amit to D&D to Amit hating dreidel song (think about it). But while I thought they were adorable, I didn’t really feel the connection between th ...more
Sep 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbtq, paranormal
2.5 stars. Interesting concept but the execution was underdeveloped and the romance was uninspiring. Dave finds out that the guy he's crushing on, Amit, is a golem - in Jewish folklore, a man created from clay - but other than that fact, we don't learn anything interesting about his existence, and everyone is so blase about his identity that it loses any of its magic. So many questions are unanswered, or asked and quickly dismissed (like the unsolvable dilemma that Amit is immortal and Dave is n ...more
A cute Hanukkah romance~

This is a really cute, sweet story with some really beautiful images. I relate to many feelings David has about how his relationships usually don’t last and him being the common denominator between failed relationships, as well as feelings about commercialism and consumerism now a part of Hanukkah traditions. Growing up, I did love getting presents, but as I’ve gotten older the family time and, of course, the food is way more important to me.

I do feel some of the pacing w
Elisabeth Lane
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short, sweet and unexpected holiday romance

I love this author so when I saw this book pop up on social media I grabbed it without even checking the plot. Turns out it's a bit paranormal, which I absolutely adore. I loved the depictions of family Hanukkah celebrations, social anxiety, talking back to toxic masculinity and consumerist culture and characters playing Dungeons & Dragons. All set within the context of a long-time crush-from-afar, pining sort of romance with a happy ending. This is bas
K.B. Rainwater
A sweet Hannukah romance

Not exactly my cup of tea; there wasn't as much action as I prefer. Not that that's a bad thing. If you like quiet reads, this is a great one. I enjoyed this take on the golem mythos, and the D&D scenes reminded me of my own sessions.
Would recommend this book to anyone looking for a quiet holiday romance with a paranormal twist.
Maria Lima
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m-contemporary
I loved, loved, loved this.

Purchased because someone rec'd it and I thought it sounded interesting (mostly due to the fact that it's not the bog-standard while Xtian boy holiday romance). Fell in absolute LOVE with the characters.

I would totally read more stories with these folks.
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Real cute! Maybe more of a 3.5 if I hadn't read so many disappointing holiday stories already this year that made this one such a welcome change. Hit just the right tone for me. Full review: ...more
Hilary Catron
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is very well-written, engaging characters, pretty well set up, but I am not into RPG, not into D&D, and the book leans heavily on that in the beginning, at least. For anyone who is that sort of gamer, you’re in for a good read. I’ll look for more by this author. ...more
Aug 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2017

Too much detail on insignificant events and not enough on the character or relationship building.
Dec 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

Really loved the premise of this one and it had a very sweet romance and friendships.
Warm, gentle, nerdy, unique. This was really sweet and a nice little nugget after the intensity of The Nowhere Girls. I love the idea of a Golem playing D&D :D ...more
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Magic love

It is very good book, Love, good heart, beautiful, crazy and funny. Dave is so good ceramicist and Amit loves Dave.
Elaine White
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pov-3rd-person
This was a gorgeous little Hanukkah/Christmas story that doesn't disappoint. I'm a firm fan of Elliot Cooper's writing and this story was just as brilliant as every other I've read.

There was a great depiction of the holiday - Hanukkah - without it being a lecture on what the holiday or what it meant to people. Some books tend to be more of a lesson, but this one had a nice natural feel that allowed for a personal description of what the holiday meant to Dave, without being over-done. There was e
Molly Lolly
Dec 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Original review on Molly Lolly
Four and a half stars!
I adored this story. Dave was such a lovely character with his awkwardness and wanting holidays to be more than just about the gifts. He resonated with me so much in this story. His nerves and insecurities were so well written. I could feel them with Dave as I read. I loved the way he was crushing on Amit and didn’t stumble too much when he learned Amit’s background and story. Dave’s caring nature was so sweet. Amit cared for Dave and you could
Joyfully Jay
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jay
A Joyfully Jay review.

3.75 stars

I am always excited to see Chanukah stories this time of year, and Heart’s Alight offers a unique take on the holiday with its bit of a paranormal vibe. I think Cooper does a nice job bringing the flavor of the holiday into the story. We see the family celebrations and learn about some of the traditions in a way that works organically. It is enough detail to root the story in the holiday, but doesn’t overwhelm the short book. I also thought the golem aspect was i
Dec 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book delivers completely on the promise of its lovely cover art. It's a cozy and sweet Hanukkah romance. I don't read a lot of contemporary novels, but I enjoyed this book very much, at least partly because the main character was easy for me to identify with.

Dave is young, late twenties, but his attitude towards his family's Hanukkah celebrations has always been a little bit curmudgeonly. He's not sure Hanukkah should be celebrated in a similar way to Christmas, and he's also afraid that t
Cute, though my eyes were about to glaze over during the D&D scene. I would've started skimming if it had gone on any longer.

I would have liked more relationship development between Dave and Amit, too. As it stands, it can't really be anything more than a HFN, because (view spoiler) So, I do wonder how a relationship would work between them in
Dec 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the blend of holiday and paranormal that brought Hearts Alight to life. I don't know just when I loved such a cynical character such as Dave, his hatred of the commercialism of the holidays has begun to cloud his judgement. It takes Amit and his unique-ness to warm not only Dave's heart but also his views of the season. Sometimes, commercialism can bring(or lead to) the true meaning of the holiday to one's heart. Hearts Alight may only be a holiday novella but it's packed to the brim wit ...more
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Elliot Cooper is all about happy endings and positive queer rep in genre fiction - specifically subgenres of romance and erotica. His stories range from sweet to scorching hot, light to dark, humorous to serious, and everything in between. He loves to experiment with genre mash-ups and old favorite tropes, turning some on their heads, meeting others head-on.

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