Happy Hanukkah is a holiday story that reunites the characters from Z. Allora’s Dark Angels series, which focuses on the members of a rock band. The story includes the three main couples from the first three books, along with assorted brothers and friends who presumably are side characters in previous books and potential love interests in future ones.
In Happy Hanukkah, the friends get together to celebrate the holiday and afterwards Josh and Robin surprise the other two couples with some additional gifts. They have bought sex toys for their friends, one for each of the remaining nights of Hanukkah, to be opened together each night over Skype. Over the course of the story we see the men open a range of kinky gifts, from edible chocolate, to riding crops, to bondage ropes. And each night we watch as one of the couples tries out their new toy. Along the way we get to catch up a bit with all the guys, including spending some time with some of the side characters as well.
Those who read my reviews regularly know that I have a bit of series OCD in that I virtually never pick up a book mid-series. In fact, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have read a series book without reading the ones that come before it (and don’t even get me started on my inability to stop a series before completing it). So I even surprised myself that I decided to give this one a try having never read the previous books. I was drawn to this book because I love rock star stories and this series had come recommended. And I was excited to see a holiday story that incorporated Hanukkah as they aren’t common and I am always on the lookout. But I will be totally honest here. What really got me to pick up this book was this picture that Allora posted on her Facebook page:
I was immediately drawn in by this gorgeous PL Nunn drawing of the band posing for their photo shoot at the end of the story (click to make it bigger). I am a sucker for a man in some women’s clothes and immediately needed to know more about these guys. So I decided to give it a go.
I found that I really enjoyed this story and getting to know the guys in the Dark Angel world. Allora does a nice job of introducing us to the key players and their personalities and relationships so I didn’t have trouble following along with their stories. I don’t think this book is really meant to progress major parts of the plot, but instead to catch us up with the guys and let us have a little fun with them as they play with all their new toys. They are fun and kinky and the love the men have for their partners comes through clearly, along with the obvious affection they have for their friends. The story is sort of light and frothy but I found it entertaining and it got me engaged enough to want to go back and read the previous books in the series.
Just a few small problems here. I think the over use of nicknames between the guys became really distracting. They tend to use pet names with their partners and it became so repetetive it often pulled me out of the story. This was most noticeable during one of Justin and Dusty’s love scenes when Dusty repeatedly refers to Justin as his “sexy Goth boy” but I also noticed it in Darius’ frequent use of “my angel” when talking to his boyfriend. I also noticed some editorial mistakes (missing words, typographical errors such as the riding “chop” instead of “crop”) that were a bit distracting.
Overall though I found this one a lot of fun and a cute sexy story. Although it follows the nights of Hanukkah and we do get a more formal celebration the first night, the holiday is mostly used as a vehicle for the nightly presents and I think anyone can easily enjoy it regardless of what you celebrate. Happy Hanukkah was an enjoyable story and definitely has peaked my interests for more of this series.