Title: Learning to Love
Author Name & Publisher: Felice Stevens
Publication Date & Length: April 30, 2016 — 223 Pages
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.
There’s a reason this author is on my auto-buy/review list and that reason is because this author has never disappointed me when it comes to her stories. They are always well thought out and very detailed. Even when this author is writing a book that is kind of like another I’ve read I still never hesitate. That’s because the story is so compelling and electrifying and there is always something new and undiscovered. As I picked up this book I was immediately drawn into the story that I just couldn’t put it down. The characters were complex and very easy to fall in love with. I definitely can’t wait to see what this author comes up with next.
With the first book in a new series, Felice Stevens brings readers a romance between a young rabbi and the new caterer at his synagogue. This is an incredibly sweet second chance romance as Jonah and Gideon knew each other as children and teenagers separated by very different families and markedly different life chances.
I love this couple. There is just enough darkness in Gideon’s past to make him loveable and just enough of a past to make Jonah human. I loved how they both had something to prove and I loved the way this unlikely couple complimented each other so perfectly.
This is a gentle study of two ordinary lives. Sometimes Felice Stevens adds unnecessary action sequences to her stories, but here, the pace is steady, and the relationships complex without any unnecessary angst.
The supporting cast is brilliant. From Jonah’s father to Gideon’s business partner, this book is full of intriguingly complicated characters and I hope they all find love in books of their own.
This is a book that is about learning to accept yourself and not to give up.
Gideon has learned to get by without having to read or write. He is ashamed of his dyslexia and that fact that the doctors he has been to about has told him he is to old to learn now. With that shame he carries around he lashes out at people and pushes people away because he feels like he is not good enough. That normally works for him until Jonah re enters his life and will not except being pushed away.
In my opinion this is a book about learning to to except help. To not think negatively and to not except the saying that you are to old to learn new tricks. It is also a book about learning to love and believe in yourself but also to let others do the same. And last but not least a book about forgiveness. Forgiving not only yourself but others also.
Felice Stevens did an amazing job showing how frustrated someone with dyslexia probably feels and the way that it affects every aspect of their life. And what was more amazing about this book was how Felice showed what the outcome of accepting that is not a dirty thing to be dyslexic and that their is help out there for you if you will work for it. I was also impressed who Felice portrayed these two men and how once the both accepted the other that they was stronger together then they were apart.
Mathis was a very refreshing read and I would definitely recommend it to others.
“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.
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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.