REVIEW: Eight Nights To Win Her Heart by Roni Denholtz
Roslyn Stein is convinced that her boyfriend Ben Jaffe will never marry. Ben’s parents’ contentious divorce left him with emotional scars.
But Ben doesn’t want to lose Roslyn. So he asks her to give him the eight nights of Hanukkah, to prove he really does love her and deserves another chance.
As they light the candles on the menorah each night, Roslyn struggles with the decision of whether to let him back into her life. And Ben realizes how much she really does mean to him.
Will Ben be able to win Roslyn’s heart again?
Dear Ms. Denholtz,
This novella looked interesting though I wasn’t sure about the time pressure element. Would a guy who might be feeling as if he had to propose really put his heart and soul into winning the heroine? My doubts were answered as I watched Ben realize what he truly wanted and then figure out how to get her.
The reasons that Ben has held off “putting a ring on it” do make sense. His family was torn apart by a bitter divorce – one which left scars in place for not only Ben and his siblings but his mother as well. Roslyn watched a cousin guilted into a marriage that has now gone sour and grew up with the story of an aunt who spent ten years waiting for her boyfriend to propose only to be ditched for another. Her reasons for not giving Ben “The Ultimatum,” as Ben’s friend calls it, are also believable as is her determination not to keep waiting and waste her youth. If Ben hasn’t got over his skittishness after four years of dating, he probably never will.
Determined to rip the Band-aid off, Roslyn doesn’t put any pressure on Ben but does make it clear as she lays out the reasons why. They’re done. But Ben realizes that he does want Roslyn in his life permanently. He wants it all. But can he convince her? He’s got her to agree to giving him eight nights to try.
Good for Roslyn that she makes Ben work for it and puts him though his paces. Though he’s got a plan, he knows he can’t come over too heavily. Roslyn is unsure and testing the wind so blasting her with his determination won’t work. He not only selects small gifts (and Roslyn does twit him a little about that, saying that gifts are more for children) that show he has paid attention to her likes and wants but also makes the effort to spend more time with her – something that had sometimes slipped in the past when he put in time at work.
Ben also realizes that he feels hurt when Roslyn lights the first candle without him. He not only loves her and appreciates the smoking sex they enjoy, he wants everything: a family, traditions, and being able to publicly claim their relationship. Watching him and another man size each other up and, no doubt, do the “I can out-grip you when we shake hands” thing is funny.
He also finally feels the frustration and unsurety Roslyn has about their relationship and vows he’ll never make her feel that way again. By the end, he’s not only convinced Roslyn – and her family – but he’s got me on his side as well. This is a holiday novella that not only incorporates Hanukkah but shows real change on the part of both main characters. Well done. B