Monday, December 26, 2016

Release Blitz: Hanukkah Gifts - Jacob Cheyenne (Review + Giveaway)

Release Blitz: Hanukkah Gifts - Jacob Cheyenne (Review + Giveaway)

Author: Jacob Cheyenne

Publisher: JMS Books

Length: 28,000 words

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | AllRomance | JMS


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?

4 Stars!  

Lovely, innocent, sweet, sad, painful and ultimately happy. An unexpected pleasure.
I've read several books set around Hannukah this year, and not being of the Jewish faith, I've found them to be informative and interesting. This is perhaps the best of the lot, despite there only being a couple of kisses in this, nothing more, as it had a sincerity and a sweetness that were enchanting.

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 star, 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.

3 Stars!

Jared and Shai are very different. At different places in life, intimacy and religion. Their personalities are different in temperament and confidence and naïveté. While Jared seems to be more experienced in all but Orthodox religious practices, he is very vulnerable when it comes to Shai.

Shai is definitely naïve when it comes to love and relationships as well as sex and homosexuality. He's like a teenager even though he's 22. This mostly has to do with his upbringing and his religion. It molded him into being quite innocent and closeted.

I was very interested in a story that centered around Hanukkah as opposed to Christmas. I haven't read a lot of books focusing on a Jewish couple and it was definitely something I'm anxious to see more of. I loved how family-oriented the book was.

When it really came down to Shai and Jared I have to say I didn't truly care for them as a couple. I felt not only was their relationship terribly rushed but also I wasn't particularly happy with Jared's character's abrasive and judgmental personality.

Overall, this wasn't what I expected and I was a little disappointed. I really wanted more from the characters and their blossoming relationship.

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author/publisher for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

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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