A first-minute strike from David Meyler, whose loan move from Sunderland was made permanent on January 8, was enough to secure a first league win of 2013.
Meyler's solitary strike also lifted the Tigers back level on points with Leicester with only goal difference keeping Bruce's side behind the Foxes in the race for the second automatic promotion spot.
It was a welcome win for Bruce, whose side had struggled since he was named the npower Championship's manager of the month for December, and the ex-Sunderland boss insisted he could now look forward.
"I'm pleased to get January out of the way with the nonsense that goes on - I'm amazed my phone hasn't rang," he said.
"Since I got that flaming award we've not won. I said that the time - I think it's about five times that's happened to me now.
"Last time I got it, I got the sack three months later. We're unbeaten in seven away from home now but it is nice to get that first league win of the year.
"You have to show a bit of resilience in this league and we've done that again here.
"David Meyler has been a terrific acquisition for us. He's had a really good start to his career here, particularly when you consider he's had a few knee injuries. I just hope he has a bit of luck now and he can stay fit. If he can, he'll be a big player for us."