The romance world is big on Christmas-themed and set stories, but over the past few years, there’s been a delightful increase in novels set during Hanukkah.
It’s a long-overdue boost of Jewish representation to the genre but also something that appeals to readers of all backgrounds. We’ve found eight Hanukkah romance novels for you to check out this coming winter.
The Matzah Ball
Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt is a nice Jewish girl with a secret love for all things Christmas. She's kept her second career as a Christmas romance novelist secret from her family for an entire decade, even though it's made her a bestseller. But now her publisher wants a Hanukkah romance, and the well of inspiration has run dry.
Rachel needs to find the magic in Hanukkah that she typically associates with Christmas, and she needs a muse. At the Matzah Ball, a Jewish music celebration on the last night of Hanukkah, she is forced to work with Jacob Greenberg, her former summer camp arch-nemesis and all-round hottie. They haven’t seen each other since they were kids, but grudges run deep, although he soon proves himself to be the kind of guy she'd write about in one of her books. Maybe her heritage has its romantic side too...
Lighting the Flames
Genevieve and Jeremy have known each other since they were seven. They spent every summertime together at Camp Meira, a Jewish overnight camp in the mountains. Everything seemed perfect until last year, without warning, Jeremy left camp early.
Now, they're back together to help run a special Winter Camp during Hanukkah. Feelings between the two of them are a little frosty, but they're determined to rekindle their friendship... and perhaps have it turn into something more...
Miracles and Menorahs
Sarah Goldman loves Hanukkah, and she's thrilled to be appointed as vice chair of the Hollowville Hanukkah Festival. But her plans might be scuppered when the festival is threatened with cancellation. She'll fight hard to keep it open, even if that means creating a flashy ad campaign topped off with a metal menorah large enough to fill the center of town.
Isaac Lieberman is a famous metal sculptor and fellow Hanukkah lover. He seems ideal to help Sarah bring her vision to life, but he's not big on turning the holiday into a commercial enterprise, even if his beloved grandmother insists he contribute. Sarah, however, is just irresistible enough to change his mind.
Eight Kinky Nights
Newly divorced stone butch Jordan moves into her friend Leah’s spare room after her split. Aged 49, she's ready to totally shake up her life: new job, new home, and new love in the world of kink and polyamory. But she needs a guide, and a companion who can help her feel a little less lonely over the holidays.
Leah is an experienced submissive kink educator who owns a sex shop, and she's just coming to terms with being grey ace. Upon meeting Jordan, she offers her a deal: eight kink lessons, one for each night of Hanukkah, to help Jordan find her feet as a novice dominant, and to create a structured space where Leah can work on more deeply honoring her own consent. They'll explore kink together as queer women on the spectrum, and find ways to make their lives better. But will eight days be enough?
Ben's Bakery and the Hannukah Miracle
Former ice hockey star Adam Bernard has spent the last ten years caring for his ailing father and coaching his pee-wee hockey team. It's not where he thought his life would go, and he's trying not to brood over things. When his team is invited to a prestigious tourney in Boston, during the week of Hanukkah, he agrees to go, even if it means leaving his dad alone during the holidays.
Fortunately, he quickly runs into Ben Daniels, a former Olympian who now runs a kosher-style bakery. Ben's in a tough financial spot and hopes that the nearby tournament will pad out his wallet. It doesn't hurt that one team's coach is so gorgeous. Adam’s life is back in Montreal, but the more time Adam spends with Ben, the less he wants to leave Boston.
When Adam gets an offer from the NHL, he suddenly finds himself forced to choose between his career and a blossoming romance with someone who seems too perfect for him.
Eitan's Chord: a lesbian fairy trio for Chanukah
Eitan, a trans man, and his cis wife Abigail work retail. They're not short of love but life isn't exactly easy when you're broke, living in a shabby studio apartment with broken blinds. If only they could have a little extra cash in their pockets, then things would be that much easier. This Hanukkah, their wishes are granted by a trio of fairies: Latke, Dreidl, and Menorah. They want to help out this impoverished couple. So, how do fairies ignite their magic? Through a threesome, of course!
Eight Cozy Nights
Larissa is usually so unconcerned with the holiday season that she often forgets that Hanukkah is even happening. Mostly, she tunes it out and stays at home, alone and bored or working on her PhD. That is, until she moves apartments and bumps into her brand new neighbor. Yo is a sunshiney hunk who loves Hanukkah and celebrates it each year with abandon. There's something about his enthusiasm that inspires Larissa to drag out her menorah. The only problem is that she can't find it. Yo happens to have one, but no candles. Both of them have the week off in their busy lives, and they each have what the other needs, so why not make Hanukkah a holiday for two this year? What better time to cozy up?
His for Hanukkah
Adam isn't known for his holiday spirit. Really, he'd rather get the winter season over and done with, especially since he seems to have blown his chances with the guy of his dreams. But Tate, the dom of his fantasies, has been thinking about Adam for a long time. After a bumpy first meeting, the pair find solace in one another's arms.
When Tate learns how invisible Adam feels being Jewish during "the holiday season," he sets out to win his boy over by making him his for Hanukkah. For the eight nights of the celebration, he'll spoil Adam rotten and be the Daddy he deserves. But will it be enough for Tate to keep him after the holidays are over?