Review: Learning to Love by Felice Stevens


Note: This ARC was provided by Tasty Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

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. ♥

Date Read: 11 May 2016

Learn more about Felice Stevens.

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