- File Size: 3757 KB
- Print Length: 87 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: JMS Books LLC (December 24, 2016)
- Publication Date: December 24, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01N2QZ92C
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,189,362 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Hanukkah Gifts Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
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It's a tale that starts off sweet, gets a little sad in some places, becomes happier as the orthodox Shai learns to embrace freedom in small doses, learns to accept himself and that he can still be gay and be Jewish and a good person, then becomes sad when a not-expected event occurs, but one which is the turning point he's been aiming toward his entire life, not that he knew it.
I liked learning more about Judaism, not that the book was too heavy on it, and about Jared's unorthodox upbringing and his free-spirited mum, and I loved his total contrast with Shai. I wouldn't have thought that these guys were made for each other when reading the blurb, but when reading about them and seeing the very positive changes each brought about in the other, I began to believe in them.
This ends in the leads embarking on what I felt and believed was the start of their HEA. And, this is where it loses a *, because for what this tale meant for Shai, and what it could be for him and Jared, if there ever was a tale that needed a HEA or a follow-up, this was it. I can only hope that the author writes more about them, whether as freebies on his website or as a novella.
ARC courtesy of JMS Books LLC and Bayou Book Junkie, in return for my reading pleasure.
I really liked seeing the interaction between Jared and Shai. While Jared is Jewish, he's pretty lapsed and really not a believer at all. The restrictions Shai lives with are baffling to him, and to be honest I thought Jared did not show enough respect to Shai's beliefs. It's hard enough for Shai to deal with his feelings for another man when everything he's ever known and been taught is in direct contrast with those feelings, so Jared's attitude is a bit unfair, even if he doesn't agree with Shai's beliefs.
Seeing Shai open up and accept who he is and his feelings was immensely satisfying, even if it did feel like Jared was pushing him at time. The two did seem to fall rather quickly for each other, and while it might be due to the length of the story it just felt to me like it was too fast given how little the two really knew about each other.
Hanukkah Gifts was a 3.5-star read for me. That would probably have been higher if there would have been more resolution between Jared and Shai, maybe an epilogue showing us where the two of them are later on in their budding relationship. I'm hoping that we might get another story with them, with this one acting more like a prequel (please?).
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
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.