After ten years away from home, bad boy caterer Gideon Marks has a lot to prove. Getting the holiday catering job at his childhood synagogue is the first step in demonstrating to everyone he didn't turn out to be the failure they predicted. What he doesn't count on is Rabbi Jonah Fine, his high school nemesis and secret crush, stirring up old feelings Gideon thought long gone and secrets he's buried deep for years.
An unexpectedly passionate encounter shocks Gideon, but he pushes Jonah away, convinced he isn't good enough to be in a relationship and would never be accepted by Jonah's father. But Jonah hangs tough--he won't allow Gideon to hide or run away from life again. And when it comes to love, Gideon learns the most important lessons aren't always taught in school.
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About the Author
I live in New York City with my husband and two children and hopefully soon a cat of my own. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be a few bumps along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Felice Stevens has become an auto buy for me. Learning to Love did not disappoint! Without giving too muc away, I see this story as a second chance story. One that Gideon and Jonah give to themselves and to each other. While each struggles with their own issues they bring out the best in each other. I loved their story and hope Felice gives them a follow up story.
In this sweet M/M Romance, we have Jonah - the Rabbi - and Gideon - the chef with a chip on his shoulder. These two went to school together, and although Gideon had a 'crush' on Jonah, he thought he was straight. Also, being the golden boy meant that he was far out of Gideon's reach. Returning home is Gideon's way of proving that he has made it. He's not the poor boy from a poor family any more. Although these two get together quite quickly, how it has been written makes it all believable. I loved how Jonah refused to let Gideon push him away, although he did give him space to work things through. Exceedingly well written, with no editing or grammatical errors that I found, I am really hoping that this is the first book in a new series as I would love to read Rico's story. Definitely recommended. * I received this book from Tasty Book Tours in return for a fair and honest review. * Merissa Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Another great story by Felice Stevens! There is connection, chemistry, history, love, food, and it is all wrapped up in a nice happily ever after package. Some might say that knowing you are reading a happily ever after before going in is a major spoiler but for me, it is not always about where they end up but how they got there and that is what Miss Stevens brings you: the journey. It takes talent to bring you a tale based on how and not just the endgame, so I highly recommend checking out this great little love story. We've all had at least one unrequited crush in our school days but finding out it may not have been so unrequited and are given a second chance you can't ignore it. If you have never read Felice Stevens before, this is a perfect place to start and if you have, well you know Learning to Love is worth checking out.
Learning to Love is a contemporary M/M romance and my first read from author Felice Stevens and I have my fingers crossed that this is the beginning of a series as well, but I'll get into later. I wouldn't recall classify this a second chance love story even though the main characters knew each other growing up but wouldn't I would exactly call them friends either. When Gideon Marks left home after graduating high school, he wanted to get away from his alcoholic father who saw him as worthless because he dyslexic and gay. Ten years later, Gideon has returned to New York from Florida and hopes to show everyone that he's made a life for himself and has been successful at it, with a catering business he started with his best friend. When Jonah Fine, the son of Rabbi Fine and a peer Gideon believed always looked down on him, welcomes Gideon back warmly and then goes on to show him just how much he missed him, Gideon is taken aback. Years of rejection have made him distant and wary, but with Jonah, Gideon may learn to love. This was a sweet story about truly falling in love for the first time and rebuilding one's confidence in themselves and having faith that those around him accept him for who he is. After his mother passed away, Gideon lost his one support system. He was made to feel as if he was never going to amount to anything, but a decade after having left home, he's returned to New York. As confident as he may seem to be, he still experiences bouts of insecurity, especially when he's around Jonah, who was always the epitome of the perfect son--intelligent, poised to take up law in college, and basically everything Gideon wasn't. But these two men have confessions to make--Jonah to Gideon in terms of how he's always viewed Gideon in his eyes, and Jonah to everyone else, but he doesn't want to share what he believes is a weakness. They have issues that needed dealing with, especially since Gideon has never really thought of himself as much of anything and Jonah, surprisingly, has his own set of insecurities and fears lingering on. I liked both Gideon and Jonah, and the story was had really good moments, especially as they both dealt with whatever problems came their way, supportive of one another, come what may. I also liked how Rabbi Ari Fine was with both of them and how was exactly the kind of father figure that Jonah had needed all his life. Rico Esteves, Jonah's best friend and business partner, was worth noting and this is where my hope for a series or a spin-off standalone comes in, what with him and the hot firefighter--pun intended-- Adam Barton obviously having a thing for him. There were a couple of misses in my eyes though, the first being the intense feelings these two had for one another that came about so quickly. Yes, maybe they can claim they've felt it all along but they barely knew each other as teens, mostly relying on covertly observing the other. Then there's what I felt was the not-so-fully resolved thing between Gideon and his father, since I would have wanted something more definite. Still, I fully enjoyed Learning to Love and give it four stars. ♥
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie in exchange for a fair and honest review. *** Gideon is back home for the holidays, intent on making his catering business a success and show everyone, especially Jonah Fine, his high school crush, that he could make it despite what they all thought of him. Jonah seems really interested in him now that he's back, but Gideon has a secret that makes him push the young Rabbi away. Jonah is not willing to be pushed away, though. Jonah was the stuff dreams are made of, so sweet and so determined to make things work, despite Gideon pushing him away. And Gideon was just awesome! I just wanted to cuddle him at times, he had such a hard life and it was difficult for him to get to the place he is now, but I loved his drive to make his business the best he could, despite his limitations. Jonah and Gideon together were smoking hot, too! I adored that we got to see more of them as a couple this time. I loved this story when I read it first in the Home for the Holidays Anthology, but Felice Stevens just outdid herself with all the additions she made. They made the story deeper and definitely more complete all-around. I really loved the setting, the backstory, the fantastic writing and the imagery that just brought it all to life for me. Definitely Recommendable! Rating: 5 Stars!!!