Miracles and Menorahs
Grade : B+

I’m always up for a holiday romance. I’m definitely in the “love it” camp for Christmas romances, which tend to have both passionate fans and die-hard avoiders. However, I love reading about other holidays as well, whether from traditions I share or not. In my case, part of my family is Jewish I’ve enjoyed finding more romances featuring Hanukkah and other holidays. I have several on my digital TBR, and I decided to pull out Miracles and Menorahs this year because I’ve been wanting to read it.

Miracles and Menorahs is a sweet story with a very slow burn romance. I could see this one making an excellent feel-good Hallmark movie. Can Sarah Goldman save the Hollowville Hanukkah Festival? Will she and that sexy sculptor ever get together?

Sarah loves her town’s Hanukkah festival and she has thrown herself into helping organize it just as her father did before her. This year, though, the festival’s time may have run out. A new councilman wants to replace it with a more generic 'holiday' festival that would be more Christmas-centric. This stereotypically drawn new councilman practically sneers every time he is on the page. From the opening chapters, Sarah and her friends appear likeable and the reader will want them to be able to save the Hanukkah festival even if their opponent is a heavy-handed caricature.

Since the big issue seems to be revenue from the festival, Sarah and her committee determine to show everyone that Hollowville IS Hanukkah. They come up with a branding idea, and decide to approach artists about sculpting a large menorah for the town. One of the town’s residents has a grandson, Isaac, who is a noted sculptor in the city.

There’s just one problem: Isaac loves the Hanukkah holiday but he doesn’t want to see it commercialized. He has no interest taking on a commission which he believes will help do just that. Sarah tries to show him the importance of the festival to her, to his beloved grandmother and to the town, but it’s a hard sell. For most of the book, we see Sarah and Isaac becoming friends (albeit friends with building romantic tension), but not much progress on the menorah front.

The storyline in this book is very sweet, and I enjoyed getting to know Sarah and Hollowville. At times the middle portion of the book seemed to drag just a bit because the romance was very slow to get started. In addition, while I liked the exploration of over-commercialized holidays, the tension over that issue seemed to go on far too long in the story, so then the ultimate resolution got hurried up a bit.

However, even with those quibbles over pacing, I really liked Miracles and Menorahs. After going through the past couple of years, I needed something gentle and sweet. And this book delivers warm coziness in spades.

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Reviewed by Lynn Spencer
Grade : B+

Sensuality: Kisses

Review Date : December 15, 2021

Publication Date: 10/2020

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Lynn Spencer

I enjoy spending as much time as I can between the covers of a book, traveling through time and around the world. When I'm not having adventures with fictional characters, I'm an attorney in Virginia and I love just hanging out with my husband, little man, and the cat who rules our house.
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