Burning Bright: Four Chanukah Love Stories Book Review

Every story in every genre has to have it’s “a-ha” moment. The “a-ha” moment is the moment within the narrative that the audience or reader becomes hooked. In the romance genre, that moment usually takes place when the audience begins to see the potential of the main character’s coupling or re-coupling if they have been separated.

Burning Bright: Four Chanukah Love Stories, is an anthology of four love stories set around the Jewish holiday of Chanukah.

Ben just moved into Amanda’s building. Amanda is immediately attracted to Ben, but they get off on the wrong foot, partially due to Ben’s past.

Shari and Evan have been dating for nearly a year. All is perfect in their relationship, until pressure from Evan’s family gets in the way and Evan pushes Shari away. Evan may have to do something drastic to win her back.

Molly impulsively wakes up her neighbor, Jon to plan their building’s Chanukah party. What starts out as a friendship becomes something more, but not before a few obstacles get in the way.

Tamar is in Israel on vacation. She didn’t expect to meet Avi, a handsome soldier waiting at the same bus stop, but she did. The question is, will the relationship last beyond her vacation?

The key to any romance is the heat, the chemistry and quickening of the pulse that must be felt by the reader or the audience. There is the anticipation, the anxiety of the potential relationship that keeps the audience or reader wanting more. Unfortunately, I didn’t want more and frankly, I was bored.

While I very much appreciate seeing a diversity of characters and narrative within the modern romance genre, it was not enough to hold me.

Do I recommend it? No.


Secrets of The Six Wives Review

It has been said that history is written by the victors. History has also been written by men.

Henry VIII was the second King in the Tudor dynasty, ruling from 1509-1547. During his lifetime, he said “I do” to six different women. Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr all wore the Queen’s coronet at one point or another during Henry’s reign. Catherine Parr, his widow, was the only wife to be spared the fate of either divorce or death at the king’s hands.

In the new PBS miniseries, Secrets Of The Six Wives, historian Lucy Worsley takes the audience through the reign of Henry VIII through the eyes of his wives. Telling the story both in character (and in the background of Henry’s court) and in modern dress, Ms. Worsley allows the audience to see that world through the point of view of the six different women who were referred to as the Queen of England in the first half of the 16th century.

As a feminist and a history buff, this series is absolutely fascinating. To see this man’s world through a woman’s eyes, is still a concept that while it should not be radical in 2017, feels radical. Despite the fact that these women were Queens, their status was no different from any other woman in England at this time. Their job (especially at the higher levels of society) was to bring legitimate male heirs into the world. That was their only responsibility. Five of these women failed at this task. Jane Seymour (wife #3) was the only one who bore her husband a male heir. Unfortunately, the boy who would briefly reign as Edward VI died young. I’d like to think that history has a sense of humor. While Henry VIII married six women in an effort to bring a male heir in the world, his daughter Elizabeth I (by wife #2 Anne Boleyn) is remembered as one of the greatest rulers, male or female in the history of the human race.

I recommend it.

The Secret Of The Six Wives airs on PBS on Sunday night at 10PM.

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