Learning to Love by Felice Stevens ~ Book Review by Brandilyn

Learning-to-LoveTitle: Learning to Love

Author: Felice Stevens

Publisher: Self Published

Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 04/30/2016

Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)

Genre: Contemporary, Gay Romance


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.

My View:

I first met Jonah and Gideon in the Christmas anthology Home for the Holidays. Apparently I wasn’t alone in falling in love with Gideon and Jonah, so Stevens decided to give these two a more complete story. Those who have read the short from the anthology will recognize the first couple of chapters, however, we quickly get to the meat of their story.

Yes their relationship proceeds pretty fast. It isn’t any slower this time around. What we get with the longer version, however, is the growing pains every relationship faces. In the case of Gideon and Jonah it is very much about accepting yourself and accepting the other for who they are. Most importantly it is about accepting that the other wants you for who you are, not who you think you should be.

Jonah is trying to fill some big shoes. His father’s shoes. Gideon is just trying to survive and make himself a success – all while facing challenges that lessen him in his own eyes. These two are there for each other through the good and the bad. Yes, Gideon runs scared a couple of times. Yes, Gideon tries to push Jonah away before Jonah can do the same. However, in the end, they find what they need in each other.

There are some loose threads in Jonah and Gideon’s lives at the end of the story. Their relationship is solid, but their non-relationship lives have some challenges still to come. This is life. Life doesn’t give us pretty little bows to tie everything up and make life pretty.

I am eager to see what else Stevens has for us. I can think of a certain business co-owner who just might need some fireman loving. Just saying.


Learning to Love on Goodreads

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I would like to thank the author for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

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