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Learning to Love

(Together #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  577 ratings  ·  116 reviews
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 g ...more
Kindle Edition, 228 pages
Published April 30th 2016 by Felice Stevens
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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  577 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
DISCLAIMER: This review contains a minority opinion.

Even though my track record with Ms. Stevens' work is less than stellar, I talked myself into reading this one because it features two Jewish MCs, one of whom is a rabbi.

Alas, this book was a big fat FAIL.

Does the author actually know people who act like Gideon? I don't. I'm tempted to compare him to a child, but my 10-year-old has far more emotional maturity than he does. Gideon pouts, sulks, throws temper tantrums, stomps off, gets defensi
Apr 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, need-to-review
 photo image.jpg1_zpsqryryhwz.jpg

Learning to Love by Felice Stevens is the story of Gideon and Jonah. The two had crushes on each other in high school but never confessed their feelings because neither felt the other would reciprocate. Fast forward years later Gideon has become a successful caterer, and Jonah is poised to take over his dad's synagogue.

My highlights:

-Story. I love slice of life stories. I'm not big on action or suspense or horror. I enjoy reading about real life people overcoming real life problems. This story
Review originally posted at Sinfully.

4.5 stars

A bad boy chef/caterer and a dirty talking Rabbi. I could probably just end my review with that, right? I won’t though. This is yet another feel good read with a sweet and sexy couple from Felice Stevens that’s going to give you feels and leave you smiling.

As teenagers, Gideon gained a reputation as the bad boy kid, who slacked in school and his smart, serious and perfect classmate Jonah never hesitated to show just how superior he was to Gideon. Too
Felice Stevens
May 01, 2016 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Learning to Love is LIVE on Amazon and All Romance!

I can't wait for you to read the new and very expanded version of their story, plus some additions at the end!!
5 Stars ~ Loved it!!!
"No matter what I would’ve ended up doing with my life, Gideon, finding you was always part of my plan."

I adored this book! Gideon and Jonah are such a sweet couple. I had previously read a much shorter version of this story when it was included in an anthology so I had met these two before and I was very eager to read their entire story. This isn't an angsty story. Jonah has always loved Gideon and he finally let's him know. We get to see some cameos from a couple guys we l
Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
Slick's review posted at Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

I'm a sucker for a second chance love story and Felice Stevens delivers in Learning to Love. This was an interesting pairing of two men who while in high school ran in different circles, but it never stopped them for wanting the other especially since at the time one was firmly in the closet. Ten years have passed since Gideon Marks fled New York and the hurt he felt from his mother and grandmother's deaths and the drunken words of his father
Oct 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Unfortunately this was just an okay read for me. If I can't like one of the main characters in a book it's usually a bust for me. Gideon was just to much for me, the issues I had with him were:
He carried around a huge chip on shoulder.
When something wasn't going his way he blew up and never gave people a chance to explain themselves.
Just overall acted like he was the only person in the world to have a shitty childhood.
My issue with Jonah was he let himself be a door mat for Gideon at times.
***3.00 for the book, 3.5 for the Audio***

This is my third Felice Stevens read and I’m beginning to sense a pattern. The landscape is authentic and recognizable along with the usual cast of New York characters. In this case some nice Jewish boys from Brooklyn and their friends and family. I like to read about everyday people but this one was just on the ‘underwhelming’ side.

Usually when I do audios I follow along with the print just to ‘see’ the words or even highlight but in this instance I stu
Apr 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-netgalley, m-m
When I noticed that the blurb mentioned one of the hero is a rabbi, I get all excited thinking is the same as priesthood. You can imagine how pervy I am and how much I love taboo. Ahem. Anyway, having an openly gay rabbi is great too.


Hot chef, Gideon Marks is back at his hometown to make a show of his success, especially to Jonah, his childhood crush who used to look down on him. Why did the blurb said Gideon is a bad boy? I can't actually detect any bad vibe from him. Mostly he is too adorable
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Some people say you can never really go home again but I don’t believe that. Gideon left Brooklyn far behind at eighteen, wanting only to leave the places and people who hurt him the most. Ten years later he has returned triumphant as a business owner and his worldview goes through some eye-openers when he begins to realize that everything he thought about his years growing up wasn’t really like he remembered at all.

Jonah only knew the front I put up to the world. The real me, the part I didn’t
Morgan  Skye
Apr 28, 2016 marked it as just-no-dnf-changed-mind
Shelves: 2016, bgs
This pains me so much to say, but I absolutely could not finish this. I was just … insulted by the absurdity of these characters. If I hadn’t read previous works by Felice Stevens I would probably never read another - based on this story. But I’ve LOVED some of her other stories so I’m going to mark this as one of those stories that just isn’t for me, and leave it at that.

First, I was put off by the fact that the two MCs weren’t friends in high school, though Gideon apparently had a crush on Jon
* Five Stars ! *


Re-visiting this book is easy. I adored Gideon and Jonah so much. When I missed them, re-reading is the answer...


Felice teased us so many times about 'the secret project' she'd been working on, and suddenly we have teasers and teasers...
Always love her writing style (because I think Felice writes for me), and this book about Gideon and Rabbi Jonah is really entertaining.
A chef and a Rabbi? The cast alone tickles my curiosity, I mean.
*~*~Fawkes, Padfoot, and Prongs~*~*
True rating: 3.5 stars :-)!!

Now ...

Okay, not to sound nitpicky [because this is teeny tiny and still important], but I have an issue with Gideon and how he has internally "accused" Jonah of being "dense" when he felt like Jonah was missing the point on something Gideon was dealing with [and as it turns out, Jonah always understood PERFECTLY and was simply coming at it from a different angle], and it all ended up being a matter of miscommunication or misunderstanding. What's "funny" is that Jonah
Tamika♥RBF MOOD♥
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review

3.5 stars

So I ended up eating my words. I had no intention to ever reading another Felice Stevens book. I felt like her and I didn’t go together at all. I use to get exasperated by the end of each book. Well I read a short of this book in a holiday anthology and loved it. When I found out it was a full length novel I decided to eat crow and read this. I enjo
The Book Junkie Reads . . .
There was something compelling and warm about the this life choices story. There was realness in the action of each Gideon and Jonah. Each had a life that lead them each in a different direction than when they knew each other from a distance in high school. I enjoyed the overall struggle to get to that point in life where its time to have what you want at any cost.

Gideon and Jonah had to come to those crossroads for themselves to make that a straight decision that would be met with no regrets.
I loved this book. This author is an autobuy for me, I haven't read a book of hers that I haven't loved.
Meeting Jonah again after 10 years brings back bad memories for Gideon.
He is now the owner of a successful catering business and Jonah the local Rabbi.
I liked that this enemies to lovers story wasn't plain sailing but you could see the love of the two men from the beginning.
I'd like a follow up with Rico's story.
Jaycee Slaton
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2-star-crashers
I couldn't stand Gideon, So this book was a no for me.
May 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, m-m
2.5 Stars

Gideon Marks has a chip on his shoulder and a lot to prove to the people he grew up with. After losing his mother and grandmother in a car accident Gideon was raised by his alcoholic, emotionally abusing father. Gideon struggled with dyslexia and his father’s insults thrown at him on a daily basis: queer, stupid, idiot, pansy, were breaking his spirit day by day. After dropping out of high school and leaving home when he was 17, Gideon struggled for years to come to terms with his dysl
Chris Kottner-Kirschner
May 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Obwohl Gideon es in seiner Kindheit und Jugend schwer hatte und seine beruflichen Aussichten mehr als fragwürdig waren, hat es der junge Koch und Caterer geschafft. Fern von New York hat er sich durchgebissen und sich zu einem erfolgreichen Geschäftsmann gemausert. Nun ist er zurück in New York und will es allen beweisen, die ihn in seiner Jugend unterschätzt und herablassend behandelt haben. Vor allem Jonah, dem Sohn des Rabbis. Dabei erlebt Gideon jedoch eine Überraschung, die ihm schier den B ...more
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
One thing I've found I can count on from Felice Stevens--when I pick up one of her books, I know I'm going to get a good, solid story with romance, heat, a bit of drama, and my #1 must have-a happy ending. Every part of this is true for Learning to Love, even if the "L" word is said a bit too early in the story for my liking.

As for me, I'm going to give you the "L" word now--as in I loved both Gideon and Jonah. Gideon is a character that every reader will be proud of for what he's achieved given
Dani Elle Maas
May 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-review
Reviewed for
4.5 stars

I was delighted to hear that author Felice Stevens had decided to take her holiday story from the home for the holidays anthology and expand it to a novel. I was so curious to read more about both Gideon as Jonah and author Felice Stevens doesn’t disappoint. Where the basic structure of the story is there, there are so many additions and reworked scenes that makes it a wonderful new reading experience.

When Gideon gets hired to cater the Shabbos dinne
Jodi Ciorciari-marinich
May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this story from Felice. It didn't have a lot of drama which I enjoyed. Gideon and Jonah were a cute couple. Jonah wanted Gideon since school but he was the brains and Gideon was the bad boy. They didn't get together then but both had crushed on each other. Fast forward about 10 years later and we learn Gideons story which broke my heart. He was told he was dumb and other things because he was gay and had a learning disability. He left NY and made his was to FL where he became a c ...more
May 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars rounded up to 5... This ended up being really good even though Gideon started out as an a**, at least to me. I get why but still, hehe. I thought both he and Jonah were extra hot together and were also very sweet together. I loved hearing about all the delicious food and of course it made me hungry. Not sure if there's going to be another book in this book universe but I would love for Rico to meet up with someone special. Just a little random, not important thing except probably just ...more
May 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2-stars, dnf, m-m
Drop on 40%. What is this story about? About a rabbi or about a guy with dyslexia (both characteristics are too significant to choose between them) or about reunion? But it's hardly reunion either. I don't beleive in you-are-my-high-school-crash-and-after-ten-years-i-SUDDENLY-love-you-again...
Barb ~rede-2-read~
A very definite love story, this is the story of chef and caterer, Gideon Marks, owner of Garden of Eatin’. Gideon lands the job he’s been looking forward to when he secures the catering of the function sponsored by the synagogue where he grew up. He’s been away ten years and is back to prove he’s much more than anyone ever gave him credit for.

Growing up poor and being called stupid by teachers and classmates did nothing to help his self-esteem, but now that he’s a business owner with his best
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
I got this book for 99p through Bookbub, and wish I hadn’t spent the money. It was okay enough for me to read until the end but overall it felt rushed and had no structure. The characters didn’t seem well developed (definitely not like real people), and the relationship was very rushed. Gideon should have been working on his issues through therapy, but his anger is brushed over as a result of being a gay dyslexic man.

From the style and content it was very obvious that this book was written by a
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mm
i had read the third book before this one, actually, which is why i feel almost guilty about not liking this one? oops? everything just went way too fast for me and i could NOT force myself to buy into it
Katy Beth Mckee
Gideon is strong and has overcome much in his life. He really feels the need to prove himself. He has lots of ideas of what people think of him. Jonah in his own way is coming to terms with the direction of his life. I love how they bring out the best in each other.
Vfields Don't touch my happy!
Here's the thing, I've tried this author now many times and I've decided that despite the fact she usually sets her stories in New York City and that makes me happy I don't enjoy them. They feel like a big ticket idea handled like fluff and it's frustrating. Many times I actually said Gideon was a big baby...full stop...enough.
Isabella ~Mikku-chan~
*~~*ARC kindly provided by the author to me in exchange for an honest review *~~*

Again an amazing book by Felice Stevens. I don't want to repeat the synopsis because it told it all.

This book was written in first person narration, something I'm not a total fan of but written by Felice with so much grace and virtuosity I loved it.
It was very good to have the story told out of Gideon's point of view. Handsome, but a bit scruffy, he is not the most charming character I've read about but he is hones
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Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. She believes that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending just around the corner. Her characters have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love.

She lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass (or two) of red wine. She’s

Other books in the series

Together (3 books)
  • The Way to his Heart (Together, #2)
  • All or Nothing (Together #3)