Blog Tour (Book Review & Excerpt): The Learning Hours by Sara Ney

Title: The Learning Hours (How to Date a Douchebag #3)
Author: @SaraNey
Reviewer: Ivy @poisonivy70
Genre: New Adult
Rating: 5 stars

He’s not a douchebag; but that doesn’t stop his friends from turning him into one.


So much so that they plastered my ugly mug all over campus, in bold printed letters:

Are you the lucky lady who’s going to break our roommate’s cherry?
Him: socially awkward man with average-sized penis looking for willing sexual partner. You: must have a pulse. He will reciprakate with oral. Text him at: 555-254-5551

The morons can’t even spell. And the texts I’ve been receiving are what wet dreams are made of. But I’m not like these douchebags, no matter how hard they try to turn me into one.


One text stands out from hundreds. One number I can’t bring myself to block. She seems different. Hotter, even in black and white.

However, after seeing her in person, I know she’s not the girl for me. But my friends won’t let up–they just don’t get it. Douchebags or not, there’s one thing they’ll never understand: GIRLS DON’T WANT ME.

Especially her.

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The Good. I wasn’t expecting to get caught up in this story. Truly, I wasn’t. The blurb intrigued me, and I figured I’d get a couple of chapters in before bed, just to keep on top of my review schedule. Many hours later, like 3am later, and I am here to say that The Learning Hours was worth the bags under my eyes this morning.

This story put in stark relief how easy it is to get caught up in the pretty – whether someone is attractive or not, and how, as you get to know someone, the beauty within truly radiates out.  

I think one of the strengths of this tale, and what really impressed me by Ms. Ney, was her ability to craft characters that felt very genuine and true to their chronological age. Too often, new adult romances can swing one of two ways – either the characters feel like they’re in grade school, or middle aged cynics. To be in your 20s, just learning who you are and what is important to you and your relationships, well it’s a learning curve. I liked the way the title echoes this fact, and that these major life lessons that everyone has to learn.

I cannot say enough good things about the hero. He was so sympathetic, and a genuinely good person, that it was easy to fall in love with him. During some of the most difficult parts of his journey, he handled himself with class and dignity, and I genuinely adored him. He wasn’t perfect though (and I’ll touch on that a bit more later).

The heroine? Well, she took a little more time to grow on me, (and I’ll address some character flaws in the last section), but when she did, I was all in. When you peeled back her layers, she was just as relatable as the hero.

This was a slow burning kind of love, with enough teases along the way to whet the appetite and keep you reaching for that carrot. The attraction, the heat, all of this is the opposite of insta-love and I adored reading about these two young people fall in love, conversation by conversation.

-The Bad. Basically, nothing. I enjoyed it, even the slightly frustrating bits.

Everything in Between. With realistic characters comes some realistically annoying character traits. I mean, holy shyte, was it a rough start. I thought they were ALL douchebags, except for the hero. I wanted to throat punch a few of them. But, it planted me firmly on the hero’s side and kept me there throughout.

There are those who are shallow and vain, and perhaps attractive on the outside, but inside are hot messes. I think the heroine starts off pretty callous but I loved that she regrets her initial judgment of the hero and her character arc is strong. The dialogue between the male characters had me sitting on the bench right there with them, so to speak.  And I’ll give them credit, by the end, all the douchebags redeemed themselves to a certain extent.

There was also some indecision, insecurity, complete and total obliviousness and perhaps actions that stuck too closely to traditional gender norms.  As the reader, I felt like I wanted them to get out of their own way and get together. However, it also fed my yearning and it certainly kept me rooting for them to get their HEA.

I loved it. It’s been awhile since I read a New Adult romance that hooked me this quickly and I do not hesitate to recommend it. I know I’m looking forward to checking out the other books in the series when I get a chance.

– Ivy

*An ARC was received for an honest review.

He’s seated at a table in the far corner when I spot him from the door. He’s not hard to miss—not with his purple t-shirt in a sea of black and yellow, and wavy mussed hair.

He’s slouching, hunched over his table.

Defeated. Tired.

My stomach rolls with nerves, nerves that have me rooted to the spot in the doorway, watching him.

Just watching.

For the entire four minutes I stand here, he sits immobile, studying his laptop, eyes moving along the screen, completely transfixed by whatever he’s reading.


“Just go over there,” I whisper to myself, blowing out a puff of pent-up air.

I put one foot in front of the other and begin toward him, spine ramrod straight, steeling myself, prepared for another argument.

Twenty feet.





No reply.

“Do you mind if I sit here?” I lay my hand on the back of the wooden chair across from him, intending to pull it out.

He stiffens but doesn’t lift his head. “Yes I mind.”

“Would you mind if I sat at the table next to you?” I’m pushing his buttons, looking for a reaction, but he only spares me a brief glance.

Shrugs. “Free country.”

I bite my lip to hide a smile, glad he didn’t tell me to take a hike…




Sara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced latte’s, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives colorfully, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British.

She lives with her husband, children, and her ridiculously large dog.

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