Title: Anissa’s Redemption
Author: Zack Love
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Cover Design: Ashley Byland
Anissa Toma fled war-torn Syria after narrowly escaping the massacre of her Christian family by Islamists. Fortunate enough to rebuild her shattered life in New York City, the young refugee gained admission to an elite college, where she excelled. Her beauty, brains, and purity soon captured the interest of two powerful men: Michael, an activist working to establish Antioch, the first Mideast Christian state, and Julien, her professor and one of the city’s wealthiest bachelors.
As Anissa’s saga continues, the refugee-turned-rising-star must navigate between Michael and Julien, while trying to help her surviving relatives and other vulnerable Christians in Syria. As she gets closer to both men in a complex and evolving love triangle, can she unlock Julien’s traumatic childhood to open up his heart? Or will Julien find greater solace from his nightmares and other demons in the sessions with his intriguing therapist? What will Michael do for Antioch and for Anissa, and what will Julien’s role be? How far will each person go to help Anissa’s remaining family and other persecuted Christians at risk in Syria? Find out in this stunning sequel to “The Syrian Virgin”.
And I’m also torn about Julien. I think I’m falling in love with him,
even though I really don’t know anything about him, except that he’s
incredibly smart and successful and has horrible nightmares. But I
know nothing about his family, his childhood, his past loves, or
anything else for that matter. And every time I’ve tried to ask about
even the most basic details of his childhood, he manages to change the
subject or turn the focus to me. All he has ever told me is that he
grew up in Mexico, and was extremely close with his mother, who died
of cancer shortly after he graduated from high school. That’s
literally all I know about a man who is becoming an obsession – a man
I want to love even more than I realized I could love.
My relationship with him is so important – not only because he seems
like a potential soul mate (if I could just get him to open up more),
but also because of what he has done, and can continue to do, to help
my family and community. Last night I tried to bring us even closer by
offering him a priceless token of my love and gratitude, but he
refused to accept it from me, which left me feeling strangely rejected
and unsure about him again. I’ve been wondering whether he wouldn’t
take my necklace because he’s afraid he won’t stay with me over the
I just wish that I didn’t feel so much weaker and more vulnerable than
Julien. Will there always be a giant power disparity between us
because I need his help so much? And I know nothing about him… Am I
really falling for a man who is almost a complete stranger?
About The Author
Zack Love graduated from Harvard College, where he studied mostly literature, psychology, philosophy, and film. After college, he moved to New York City and took a corporate consulting job that had absolutely nothing to do with his studies. The attacks of September 11, 2001 inspired him to write a novelette titled “The Doorman” and heightened his interest in the Middle East. A decade later, that interest extended to the Syrian Civil War, which provided the backdrop for his latest work. In late 2013, Zack began releasing his unpublished works of fiction and became a full-time author. He has published comedy, psychological and philosophical fiction, and romance. Zack enjoys confining himself to one genre about as much as he likes trying to sum up his existence in one paragraph.
** Beta Reader – ARC provided by the author for an honest review. **
After a first thrilling book, Zack Love succeeded to gave us an EPIC story, that leave you stuck to your seat!
We follow Anissa’s journey through the heal of her traumatizing past, as a Syrian refugee, and the discovery of herself but also finding love and torn between two men.
Yeah Zack Love didn’t chose the easy way to tell us her story and it was very challenging.
The writing about Anissa’s situation was well researched, so effectively translated into reality.
Reading her diary, how excruciating and demanding her life was, totally ripped my heart.
Each day, her diary was a testimony of her healing through a bright future, helping her to embrace her past. The way things were exposed was powerful, her words were poignant, as a reminder that she escaped a life of hell, for a new one when she had to discover herself as well, without her relatives, on her own.For her young age, she went through a lot.
Her beauty, classy behavior, brains attracted two different men : Michael, a man who risk daily his life for what he believed, passionate and Julien, the opposite, wealthy bachelor, having issues from past that kept haunting him.
The romance part was more developed on this one, with Anissa’s struggling between the future leader of Antioch and a man who can completely understand her, more alike the he seemed to be.
Michael continued his fight for the creation of Antioch. This guy was definitely a hero here, risking his life everyday for his convictions. He was passionate and his connection with Anissa was obviously natural but things were blurred, between friendship and love.
Julien was definitely a wonderful surprise! His character was so interesting and reading his journals with his honesty, pragmatism, and with no filter was mesmerizing.
The part of psychology was also great to read, like we were into their minds and experience their feelings. Through his relationship with Anissa, we could sense his evolution to a darkness place to a brighter one, when he could see a future. He was really opened up and Anissa’s was the trigger to his salvation but also to this downfall.
Besides the romance part, the reminder of the safety of Anissa’s family and the horrible situation in the Middle East was gut-wrenching. Reading how she felt about being helpless and how things went there, was moving and described in a realistic way. It was tough, sometimes even bearable.
But you were facing the reality of the word, where minorities were tortured and innocent people died.
It was relevant and insightful. The author showed us how to see things in a bigger picture.
This story was such a whirlwind of emotions, melting love, passion, lust, with the atrocities and trauma from war.
On their path for recovery and grieving, Anissa and Julien bared their souls into their diary and journals, and the threat of revealing their true colors was maintained until the end. And again it was brilliant, absolutely suspenseful, and a hell of shock for the big revelation!!!
Trust was a huge issue and their relationship was strained so many times that I was so relieved that this story ended with HEA, because after all these characters put up with, they deserved it.
I highly recommend this series, which is for me a beautiful masterpiece, written in a very, very smart way. It was just OUTSTANDING!
For the record, for those who don’t read the first book, and even if there is a summary in the beginning of Anissa’s Redemption, you should read The Syrian Virgin before, to get the full experience.
So take a time for one click and read it, you won’t regret it! A MUST READ!