Title: Learning to Love
Author: Felice Stevens
Pages/Word Count: 228 Pages
At a Glance: Highly recommended for those romantics who enjoy a story of perseverance and overcoming obstacles to find true love.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: 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.
Review: For those fans of the Breakfast Club series of books, we met Gideon as the caterer for a wedding that takes place. Gideon and his partner, Rico, own the Garden of Eat-In, a restaurant and catering business. When Gideon agrees to take on the dinner for his old synagogue, things get interesting when he finds out his high school crush, Jonah Fine, the rabbi’s son, has come back home and is going to be taking over as the head rabbi. Gideon never thought that a.) Jonah is gay and b.) that he’d ever been good enough for somebody like Jonah anyway. Turns out Gideon is wrong about a LOT of stuff. 🙂
Jonah had gone away to Law school, the last Gideon knew before he ran off to Florida after the final confrontation with his father, but Jonah didn’t like law school and decided to become a rabbi instead. He did have a steady boyfriend in college, but they drifted apart when it turned out they really were not well-suited and had very different goals. Jonah makes it quite clear that despite Gideon’s assumptions and perceptions, he always liked Gideon and had a lot of respect for how he handled himself. Jonah had no idea about everything that Gideon went through after his mother and grandmother were killed and his father returned to drinking heavily. Gideon doesn’t want pity—and that’s not what Jonah’s offering—but once again perception and assumptions get in his way. Gideon decides to do what he thinks is necessary to keep Jonah away, despite their red-hot chemistry.
Luckily for Gideon, Jonah is a persistent guy. Despite Gideon’s somewhat questionable behavior, there is something that continues to call to Jonah and he doesn’t want to let it go. He tracks down Gideon and a serendipitous turn of events leads Gideon to share his secret with Jonah. Jonah’s reaction isn’t at all what Gideon expects, and he finally realizes that maybe this relationship might be doable and something he can hold on to.
But surely the course of true love never did run smooth. There are several bumps in the road that lead to some tense moments that they might not be able to overcome. Luckily, there are some helpful friends and family who are instrumental in resolving these conflicts by providing sound guidance for these guys. And even better, Gideon and Jonah are willing to communicate with each other. Truly that is the key to the story and, really, to almost every relationship success.
I was really looking forward to this companion book to the Breakfast Club series, and it is perfectly read as a standalone. I liked that the story is told from Gideon’s point of view, but we hear a lot from Jonah so we’re not wondering about his motivations. I also loved the secondary characters in this story, Rico, Rabbi Fine, and Evelyn especially. I think this might be my favorite story in this little universe of well-written books! Brava, Ms. Stevens! I really, really hope that we get at least one more book out of this world. Rico needs his HEA!!
You can buy Learning to Love here:
About the Author
I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner. My character have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love.
I live in New York City with my husband and two children. 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 little angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.