cover image Home for Hanukkah

Home for Hanukkah

Rebecca Crowley. Tule, $3.99 e-book (264p) ISBN 978-1-958686-45-4

Hanukkah gets the Hallmark treatment in Crowley’s cozy fourth Orchard Hill romance (after Coming Home to You), which returns to the Reform Jewish community of greater St. Louis. Molecular biologist Zach Strauss retreats from San Francisco for his hometown after his biotech start-up company nears collapse due to a failed clinical trial. With little cash left, he hunkers down in a cheap Orchard Hill sublet and talks Noa Jacob, owner of a local gift shop, Second Chances, into giving him a job if he can manage to sell her most expensive item. Noa’s been having her own problems: sales are so slow that her shop may have to close for good after the holiday season. But her handsome new employee brings big, creative ideas to improve her prospects, winning her over with his enthusiasm and intelligence. Together, they launch a nighttime Hanukkah market that draws local families back to the store and helps Noa to reconnect with the Jewish community her mother left upon remarriage. As love blooms between these enterprising singles, Zach realizes that his old home may provide just the fresh start he needs. There’s plenty of charm, and series fans will especially enjoy cameos from the previous novels’ protagonists. It’s as light and sweet as the sufganiyot (doughnuts) Noa sells. (Dec.)