Candles & Honey Cookies: A Tale of Hanukkah
by Shari Elder
GENRE: Historical Romance
Tamara is trapped. Her father betrothed her to a man she does not like, let alone love. And she can’t forget the brazen shepherd who dared to look in her eyes.
Natan fell in love with Tamara the first moment he saw her. But the daughter of the high priest cannot marry a shepherd.
When Natan is arrested for practicing their religion, forbidden by the new king, he escapes and asks Tamara to hide him. After stealing a night with him, she helps him escape to join the brewing rebellion fighting for their freedom to worship. Tamara leaves a candle in her window to light his way home and sneaks honey cookies to him to sweeten his burden, her own small rebellion to her arranged marriage.
Only a miracle can save the rag-tag rebels from the conquering army and change a culture to allow Natan and Tamara to be together.
Natan—if she could choose her husband… But her father would never accept a shepherd who also worked as a lowly temple guard to help feed his family. The high priest’s daughter married a priest.
She saw him glance around, then he faded into the wall. Then she heard pounding on the door. Without thinking, she grabbed a candle and ran downstairs, wanting to be the first one to answer. The servants were in bed, but they would waken to the racket. She picked up the pace, reached the door first, and opened it quietly.
Natan’s eyes narrowed into slits. “You live here? This is the house of Boaz?”
She nodded, scorched by the anger in his gaze. “What are you doing here?”
She heard the slap of sandals against the ground. “We’re close,” a gruff voice shouted in the distance.
“Hide me.” Those eyes, black as midnight, drilled into hers until she squirmed. Her heart beat faster. He stank of sweat, rotted food, and the copper of blood. She breathed through her mouth to prevent herself from gagging. She should say no. Her father would never allow it. She would put her father and everyone in the house in danger.
“Please,” he whispered, his breath hot against her skin. She shivered, even though it was summer.
OMG! A book about the origins of Hannukah. I’m not Jewish but I grew up with a lot of Jewish friends in Dallas. In fact, we celebrated both Hannukah and Christmas at our house. My brother’s best friend was Jewish and he liked to celebrate Christmas behind his mom’s back. My mom even had a small tree that was decorated with Jewish-themed decorations. Plus a menorah. So reading this book was charming and real.
I do have to caution you that the story is short, very sexy, and historical. Not that this is a bad thing but Ms. Elder packs a lot in her story. It’s never rushed and you really get to know Natan and Tamara. Ms. Elder does a great job developing her characters, even the secondary characters, and the setting. There is also a bit of intrigue but I’m not going to tell you why. *muah* You can feel the emotions coming off Natan and Tamara when they are together and even when they are not. It’s sweet to me to see them pine for each other knowing that it is next to impossible for them to be together. Her betrothed is an *ss to the nth degree and her dad is not far from it. But I also understand them, too. Change is never easy and in this one, it’s not.
If you are looking for a short, historical read between two people longing for the other one and the origins of Hannukah, this is for you. This is my second Hannukah story of the season and I can’t wait to read more.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Hello, I’m Shari. By day, I crawl out of bed, mainline coffee, walk the dog, miss my kid who has gone off to college, and save cities within the four walls of my office. Usually by email.
At night, the other Shari emerges. With a glass of wine by side, I curl up on the couch with my computer nestled in my lap and let my imagination play until stories take shape. I also periodically text my kid, just to make sure myself she’s not plotting world domination, then I pull out my alter ego, who definitely is. As my alter ego, I save cities in a cape and spangled tights, wander space and time on a surfboard, fly over the Himalayas on feathered wings, make six-toed footprints in indigo talc snow on the sixth planet in the Andromeda galaxy or eavesdrop on Olympian gods while pretending to whip up a bowl of ambrosia.
In all these wondrous worlds, romance and passion blossom. I can’t resist a happy ending. And I am particularly prone to writing happy endings for those who have given up on ever getting one.
Twitter @ShariElderBooks or https://twitter.com/sharielderbooks
EBOOK BUY LINKS
Wild Rose Press: https://www.thewildrosepress.com/book-post/candles-and-honey-cookies-a-tale-of-hanukkah
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/candles-and-honey-cookies-shari-elder/1140147025
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:
Shari Elder will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.