Title: Ahava is Love (World of Love Series)
Author: Avery Duran
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 5, 2017
Page Count: 110
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Brooklyn Realtor Josh Perlman desperately wants to settle down. Unfortunately he can’t find a man who wants the same. Tired of disastrous dates, he travels to explore his heritage.
Yaron is an Israeli security guard and medic charged with looking after Josh and his pilgrimage group. For Yaron, the need to protect has become more a duty than an honor since he lost his long-term boyfriend to a terrorist attack—a loss that continues to haunt him.
As they embark on their journey through the Holy Land, it’s hard to deny the attraction that sparks between Josh and Yaron. Yet with America calling Josh home, and Israel, and the death of his lover holding Yaron prisoner, it seems only a miracle can keep them together.
But Israel is an ancient land, one that has seen miracles before. Surrounded by structures that have been destroyed and rebuilt time after time, Josh and Yaron might just learn that their futures can be found in the wisdom of the past.
World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.
Josh Perlman is in a bit of a quandary. He dreams of a husband, children, and the white picket fence, but as his friend Naomi says, “you only go out with the players.”
I’d always dreamed of that happily ever after, and yet it was the bad boys who got my engine revving. Give me a hot guy with no interest in monogamy, and I will want him. Sad but true. I’d never date myself. It seemed it would take a miracle for me to find my happily ever after.
Josh realizes that if he wants a change in his life, he needs to make the change within himself and so he volunteers with Israeli Pilgrims as a group leader for a pilgrimage trip to Israel for young adults. Once there he meets Yaron (“beautiful olive skin, dark chestnut hair, and a dazzling smile”), the tour’s security guard / medic and falls instantly in lust. Yaron is unwilling to commit to a relationship after losing his boyfriend to a terrorist attack so they agree their relationship will remain casual. Josh’s co-leader Karen sums up their situation: “… you are two pilgrims on a quest. You know what you need and what you want. What about Yaron? Does he even know what he wants?”
I absolutely loved the tour of Israel the author gives us, along with historical background on the Wailing Wall, Jerusalem, Masada, Ein Gedi, the Golan Heights, the World Holocaust Center Yad Vashem, Safed, and Tel Aviv. Duran really does a beautiful job in showing what the pilgrimage means to Josh:
I felt an incredible connection to this land, to these people, to my birthright. I closed my eyes and prayed silently. I prayed for my loved ones and myself. I prayed for health, for joy, and for dreams come true. Maybe, here in this land of miracles, I could find my key to happiness—which always seemed just out of my grasp.
However, while the connection to Israel works, the love story between Josh and Yaron didn’t succeed on the same level. Their insta-love relationship is hot and sexy, but beyond that I didn’t get a good sense of how they related to one another beyond sex. And the ending was a bit too angsty, but I loved the way the epilogue brought everything together. A strong 4 stars for Ahava is Love!
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