Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Twenty-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?
This was a nice short story. Jared has always identified as Jewish, but doesn’t necessarily follow the religious laws as many more observant Jews do. When Shai invites Jared to his family’s Hanukkah celebration he gets a better glimpse of his heritage and is intrigued by not only his religion but also of Shai.
Jared can’t seem to help but fall in love with the innocent Shai, however their interactions don’t always leave him feeling so wonderful with Shai’s wavering. I understood Shai’s reluctance to leave his family’s grasp as it is all that he is know, but I could just see and feel how Jared’s heart broke every time things were looking up for them and Shai would just retreat back. The only thing I didn’t like is that Shai never really made the decision for himself to completely be with Jared, but only after his family kicked him out did he suddenly decide that he could be out and proud with his love. I enjoyed the story, but it didn’t quite have the warm and fuzzy feeling I was hoping for in the end.
The cover art gives a nice visual of Jared and the traditional Jewish dreidel.
ebook, 87 pages
Published: December 24, 2016 by JMS Books
Edition Language: English