Isabelle Lira is the princess of the London Jewish community — beautiful, wealthy, and charming. When her beloved father dies unexpectedly, she is left to try to pick up the pieces herself, which unfortunately includes finding a suitable husband. Her father’s business partners, the Berabs, see her and the upcoming marriage as a threat to their livelihood; they want her to marry one of them to secure the business and their fortune. While Isabelle would prefer to take over her father’s business and run it in his stead, no woman, and certainly no Jewish woman, would be able to step into such a role. She thus has no choice but to find a husband, keeping her place, and her fathers’ business, in the community.
To aid her search, Isabelle decides to host a series of festivals and events centered around Jewish holidays. She will meet the appropriate Jewish men, make an appropriate decision, and hopefully meet someone who has secrets and a background she can exploit to achieve her own independence.
Enter Aaron Ellenberg, a synagogue custodian without any family or money — perfect for Isabelle’s schemes. She employs Aaron as a spy and instructs him to learn as much as he can about her potential suitors. But she doesn’t expect the deep attraction she feels toward Aaron, nor the risks she’ll take to find what makes her truly happy.
Marry Me By Midnight is a beautiful, and unapologetically Jewish, novel. With mystery and intrigue, this lovely tale not only offers readers a fascinating glimpse into the nineteenth-century Jewish community in London, but it also depicts a romance that is passionate and daring. Felicia Grossman’s book is a must-read for anyone who loves romance and historical fiction and longs for more Jewish characters to be at the center of the story.