Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Learning To Love by Felice Stevens - Blog Tour with Review and Giveaway

By: Felice Stevens
Releasing May 2, 2016 


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.

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29632344-learning-to-love

Buy Links:      Amazon | B&N | Kobo | ARe

“How did you know where to find me?”
“I didn’t. But when I went to your apartment and discovered you weren’t home, I thought to myself, ‘Where would a chef be early on Saturday morning?’”
Pleased he’d thought so carefully about me, I bit my lip to keep from smiling, then muttered with my head down, “Lucky guess on your part.”
“I’d like to think so,” said Jonah, his voice as soft as the breeze. My eyes met his, the hurt from our last conversation shimmering bright in their depths, causing a throb within me of a longing I’d never known existed. “Or maybe it was fate.”
He smiled then plucked the paper bag of rugelach out of my clutches, rummaged through it until he found an apricot one, and bit off half.
“Well, if you’re that hungry, I guess you can come home with me, and I’ll make you an omelet,” I grumbled but couldn’t stop the small grin tugging at my lips. “But I planned on browsing a bit more through the market first.”
“I’d like that.” Jonah walked beside me, and we meandered past the stands piled high with colorful peppers and squash. We strolled in silence, but every few steps I’d sneak a glance at him, expecting Jonah to speak. Instead he remained irritatingly, cheerfully silent.
I sampled some hot mulled cider and licked my lips. Spending so much time with Jonah gave me new insight. I’d always thought him superior and judgmental; perhaps I had been wrong in my assessment. He captivated me with the humor in his speech, warmth in his smile, and that unmistakable flare of desire in his eyes. Goddamn it, I wanted him.
I extended the paper cup. “Do you want a sip?” Its heady cinnamon scent remained one of my most favorite things about the fall season. To my shock, instead of answering me, he bent down and kissed me on my lips, lapping at their sticky sweetness. He stepped back, but I put a restraining hand on his wrist.
“What’s going on? Why are you really here?”
The honesty in Jonah’s face took my breath away.
“Do you really have to ask, after the last time?”
My body refused to listen to the war inside my head, kindling a deep need I couldn’t understand. I took a step forward, but unlike me, Jonah didn’t retreat. He stood firm, and I stood close enough to almost touch. Close enough to smell him.
“I’m not who you want; can’t you see that?”
“You don’t have any idea what I see when I look at you, Gideon.”
I wanted to yell back at him, No, you have no idea who I am, but I couldn’t bring myself to ruin the moment. I had no clue who Jonah thought I was, but I wanted to be that man if only to be able to have him always look at me like this. Like I was special. Like I was his. The sun beat hot upon my shoulders, and I held his gaze while contentment poured over me like a warm summer rain.

4.5 out of 5 stars 

Learning to Love is a stand-alone romance  by Felice Stevens. 

Gideon Marks comes back to his hometown after many years away with the need to prove to everyone that he is good enough and he was able to make it on his own. He is not prepared for Jonah, the Rabbi's son, to be back in town and to want Gideon. After all Jonah hated him in high school, or did he? Evidently Jonah and Gideon were both crushing on each other in high school and hiding it from each other. However Gideon thought Jonah hated him and that Jonah was straight. When Jonah tries to reconnect with Gideon when he returns to Brooklyn, it doesn't go very well because Gideon doesn't want to give Jonah a chance. 

Learning to Love is a book totally about second chances. It's Gideon giving himself a second chance to show everyone he can succeed. It's the second chance for Gideon and Jonah to be each other's crush for real. It's also Gideon's chance to realize that he isn't stupid and that he can, with Jonah's support, work to overcome his dyslexia. 

I'll admit I did have a few minor issues with the pacing of the story mostly because I felt that Gideon and Jonah were a touch too insta-love. Especially when they weren't really friends in high school, for Jonah to dive in heart first and Gideon accept it that quickly was just a little bit much. I also would have lived for Jonah to have a voice in the story. I've gotten very used to the author's dual POVs so just the single on this one left it feeling slightly unfinished. 

Overall I enjoyed the story itself, loved Gideon's meal/food concept service, and loved both Gideon and Jonah to pieces. There are quite a few secondary characters that I'd love to see again, particularly Rico, who is getting his own story from what I understand. Jonah's dad stole the show when he was on scene quite a few times. He has such a strong presence and 'voice' in this story even without being a main character. I'd actually love to see a short story eventually adding bits and pieces on to Gideon and Jonah's journey in the future. 

This is definitely one to pick up that will easily become a quick favorite to re-read over and over again. 

Author Info

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.

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for hosting and reviewing LEARNING TO LOVE today!

    Crystal, Tasty Book Tours