A MelanieM Review: Hanukkah Gifts by Jacob Cheyenne

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

 

hannukkah-giftsTwenty-five-year-old TV producer Jared Greenfield loves his big city life — job, friends, and shopping — but even with all the fun of big city life, he feels a longing for something, or someone, more. Then, on the very first night of Hanukkah, he spots a handsome, sweaty basketball player at the Jewish Community Center.

Tall, dark, and Orthodox, the young and athletic Shai Goodhart strikes up an easy friendship with Jared, only to discover Jared has very little appreciation for his own Jewish heritage and religion. Determined to enlighten this “Bad Jew,” Shai invites him over for a family Hanukkah celebration.

Then Jared discovers Shai’s deepest secret and the biggest threat to his future. Over the eight days of Hanukkah, deep emotions pull them closer and closer together. Can they ever reach across the divide of their shared culture and fall in love.

Hanukkah Gifts is the first story that I’ve read by  Jacob Cheyenne and it has many wonderful aspects to it.  I love to read stories that vary from the many Christmas tales I usually read at this time of the year and novels or short stories that center around the Jewish holidays standout.  There are many wonderful ones already this year.  With Hanukkah Gifts, Jacob Cheyenne has one that’s a bit of a mixed bag, some good elements, and some ones I wish had been left out.

Jared is young, casual about his religion, not keeping with its tradition but loosely connected within the network of people within the community.  That’s how he happens to notice the hot man playing a game of hookup basketball at the Jewish Community Center.  A conversation and exchange of information later, informs each that Shai is a devout Jew…Orthodox and that clearly Jared isn’t.  Intrigued by each other, Shai offers an invitation to the first night of Hanukkah at his family’s home where he still lives in ordre for Jared to experience an Orthodox ceremony.  Surprising things take off from there.

I really like the plot as well as the characters of Jared and Shai.  I think the author did a wonderful job making both men seem believable (for the most part) and people you might meet coming down the street.  One of the places where he missed the mark is in the “bad Jew” or “good Jew” appellations he inserts here.  I actually get that people talk that way.  But  it perpetuates a certain stereotype and that surprised me.   Also how quickly Shai breaks down within even knowing much about Jared, that seemed unrealistic. You share your most intimate secret to someone you don’t even know much about?  Someone who clearly doesn’t like parts of what the Orthodox Jewish religion stands for?  What a leap of faith to take for a stranger.

Shai’s character needs some more grounding, or more layers.  Some of the decisions he makes here seem to be, I don’t know, just unrealistic or lacking any thought processes.  Astonishing is the word I’m looking for. So is the sort of  insta love that occurs here.

There are so many things I did love.  When Jared and Shai are in New York, they are grounded in culture and the city.  The story is alive, vibrant.  After that, its hard to recapture that same energy no matter the circumstances.

There is much promise here.  I look forward to more from this author.  I hope that next Hanukkah finds another story from this author.  I can’t wait to see what he will come up with.

Cover is charming.

Sales Links

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: December 24th 2016 by JMS Books LLC
ISBN139781634862967
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttp://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=29_105&products_id=1962
Other Editions
None found

A Stella Advent Calendar Review Day 24: How the Supervillain Stole Christmas by Charles Payseur

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RATING 3,5 out of 5 stars

how-the-supervillain-stole-christmas-by-charles-payseurRex Devious (Dr. Devious to meddlesome do-gooders everywhere) can go toe-to-toe with superheroes without blinking an eye. So picking out a Christmas present for his new boyfriend should be no problem. After all, he and Sanjay seem perfect for each other. But with a terrible track record for finding gifts that won’t scare his potential partners away, Rex is paralyzed with insecurity. Until, of course, he decides to change tactics. Instead of having to pick out that perfect present, why not just destroy Christmas altogether? If his nemeses (or his conscience) can’t stop him first, he might just become the supervillain who stole Christmas.

I liked this short very much, the relationship between the characters was really cute, but I especially enjoyed Rex and his inability at buying presents for his ex (and actual) boyfriends. He was so funny and I had a good time at reading about his determination at ruining Christmas or just erasing it from the Earth, as a solution to his problem with gifts. His evil plans were hilarious and brought to a  very sweet ending.

I admit I had just a little bit of hard time with this short since I’m not so into superheroes and AI and everything related to that world, so it took me a long moment to find my feet in Rex’s life. I would have liked to see more of Rex and Sanjay together, but still I want to recommend How the Supervillain Stole Christmas by Charles Payseur, an adorable Christmas story.

The cover art by Paul Richmond is perfect cause I’m not sure why, but I can totally see Rex in the face of the person on the cover, while planning the impossible.

Sales Links

        

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 33 pages

Published November 30th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press

ASIN B01MYUB1Y6

Edition Language English

Release Blitz and Giveaway: Jacob Cheyenne’s Hanukkah Gifts

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Hanukkah Gifts – Jacob Cheyenne

Author: Jacob Cheyenne
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Length: 28,000 words
 
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | AllRomance | JMS

Blurb

Twenty-five year old TV producer Jared Greenfield loves his New York City life—his trendy neighborhood, high-profile job, and window-shopping for high fashion on Fifth Avenue—along with a whole city of available men. But even with all the fun of big city life, he feels a longing for something—or someone—more. Going through the motions takes him uptown on December night, where, on the first night of Hanukkah, he spots a handsome, sweaty, player on the basketball court of the Jewish Community Center.

Tall, dark, and Orthodox, the young and athletic Shai Goodhart strikes up an easy friendship with Jared, only to discover that Jared has very little appreciation for his own Jewish heritage and religion. Determined to enlighten this “Bad Jew”, Shai invites him over for a family Hanukkah celebration to remember. But Jared’s easy fascination ends when he discovers that Shai has a house full of tangled secrets that threatens their romance before it even begins. Both young men feel they can help one another, but over the eight days of Hanukkah, deeper emotions propel them closer and closer. Can they ever reach across the divide of their shared culture and fall in love?

Author Bio

 

Jacob Cheyenne is an author of M/M Romantic Fiction. His characters and stories are often inspired by real historical events, figures and scenes from classical art, or from old black and white portraits he collects in antique stores. His debut novella “Hanukkah Gifts” focuses on the turmoil between two young Jewish men with very different ideas about how to reconcile their faith and sexuality.

When not writing, the author loves swimming, hearing live music, reading fat books on empty beaches, and drinking anything coconut-flavored. When not traveling, he lives and works in the bustling heart of New York City.

 

 

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