REVIEW: Anissa’s Redemption (The Syrian Virgin Series Book 2) by Zack Love

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Title: Anissa’s Redemption

Author: Zack Love

Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Romance

Cover Design: Ashley Byland


AR Cover


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
long term.

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?


Erin’s Review

I sat down one evening and started reading this book thinking I would get a few chapters in before I had to go to bed. Before I knew it, it was 3 am. I was sucked in to Anissa’s world.

Anissa is by far, one of my favorite heroines. She has all the vulnerability of the 18 year old that she is, with the strength of someone who has fought through hell to overcome the worst that fate can deal her. Zack Love does a beautiful job at capturing Anissa in such a way that you see all sides of her. You see the 18 year old that is naive in all things having to do with love, you see the woman who escaped Syria with her life to begin anew, you feel her emotions as if you are going through everything with her.

Julien even had me second guessing him for a bit, I will be honest. He has built up so many walls to protect himself that he has no choice now but to play the game he forced himself in to.  I truly feel that without Anissa, Julien would have been just another billionaire playboy, content in the life he was accustomed to, without a care in the world.

And let’s not forget Michael. Noble Michael. He became a character that I really enjoyed. All the misgivings that I had for him in the first book quickly fell by the wayside. He’s ok in my book.

I adore this series. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it is well researched, well vetted, and beautifully written.  I have followed the plight of the Syrian Christians, and frankly all Christians in the Middle East, very closely. The atrocities that are happening are like none that we as Americans can begin to imagine.  When you watch it on the news, you almost feel detached. While you empathize with them, you weep for them, you only hear what the media has in their 1 minute segments. Reading it, and though while this is a fiction book, Zack Love puts a very human face to very horrifying events and gets you thinking, gets you to really feel what those people have endured.  You understand Anissa much better, you understand why Michael is doing what he is doing, and you finally understand Julien.  And let me say I did NOT see that one coming.  My hat off to you, Zack, for one of the most surprising plot twists I have ever read.

Complex characters, a beautifully romantic story, and twists and turns abound make Anissa’s Redemption a definite 5 star read for me.


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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.

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