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Ahava Is Love

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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.

110 pages, ebook

First published July 5, 2017

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About the author

Avery Duran

7 books6 followers
Parent Association President by day, Romance Author by night, Avery Duran enjoys the best of all worlds. She’s a minivan-driving, cupcake-baking, soccer mom, who works outside the home while raising three rambunctious boys. Easily distracted by shiny things, Avery found making up stories in her head was an effective way to fool people into thinking she was paying attention. Eventually, she decided to write down one of those stories, and her alter-ego was born.

She’s always been a voracious reader, Avery’s mother still brings up the time her school called because she refused to stop reading during math class. Avery is pleased to confirm that she has managed just fine without whatever important math lesson was being taught that day.

A native New Yorker, she often incorporates her favorite city into what she writes. During the day, while driving, watching endless YouTube videos, or animated shows with her offspring, she plots her stories. At night, when her husband and children go to sleep, Avery sits in a quiet house and puts those words on paper. She loves spending her down time creating a world filled with people loving and laughing their way to happily-ever-after.

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Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 reviews
Profile Image for Ami.
5,809 reviews499 followers
July 9, 2017
2.5 stars

First of all -- can anyone be a group leader for a pilgrimage trip? Because I didn't see Josh as a group leader material; there's no evidence somewhat about his faith and his practicing his religion. I was baffled that Josh was recommended only because it said he was active volunteering.

I didn't see spirirual and/or personal connection between Josh and the Holy Land -- I see him more caring about the pleasure of the flesh. I think Josh will be more suitable as a participant of that pilgrimage rather than a leader.

And for someone who says that he takes this trip to 'get clarity', to find happiness within himself before he can find happiness with another person -- well, I thought Josh failed spectacularly to convince me that he did change. The relationship feels superficial, and based on physical attraction rather than something deeper, and I rolled my eyes hard when Josh being all draaamaa near the end when .

See also this review since it she has similar issues with this story.
Profile Image for CrabbyPatty.
1,574 reviews170 followers
January 23, 2020
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.

I received an ARC from Dreamspinner Press in exchange for an honest review.

Visit my blog, Sinfully Good Gay Book Reviews
Profile Image for Serena Yates.
Author 98 books769 followers
July 6, 2017
Pilgrimages can have powerful effects, whatever reason they are undertaken for. In ‘Ahava is Love’, Brooklyn real estate agent Josh may start out wanting to explore his heritage, but he ends up finding a lot more than a connection with the country of his ancestors. The setting of this story is mostly in Israel, and the author has done a great job making that country come alive for me: from the sights he visits, to the sounds he hears, and even the smells and tastes of the food he experiences – it all comes through loud and clear.

Josh is a romantic, almost desperate to find a man to settle down with, and finding lots of rejection from the looking-for-a-hookup guys he dates. The idea of traveling to Israel starts as a way to escape his lack of a relationship, and based on his experience volunteering with young adults he goes as a tour guide. Not because of his local knowledge, but as an additional pair of hands – which I thought was an interesting idea. He does expect to see some interesting sights and to learn some things, but he is not really ready for an eye-opening experience.

Yaron is a security guard who also does tours; his underlying need is to protect people. This is especially important to him because the man he loved was killed in a terrorist attack, and Yaron has never really allowed himself to recover from that and move on. Meeting Josh and entering a sort-of-relationship makes him rediscover feelings and emotions he did not expect to be able to feel again, but the feeling of being disloyal to his lover makes Yaron hesitate and pull back when things are about to get serious. Guilt, as misplaced as it seems in Yaron’s case, is a very powerful emotion.

Josh and Yaron develop a physical relationship really quickly. Josh hesitates because he does not like the "no strings attached policy” Yaron establishes, but Josh also does not expect a vacation fling to develop into something serious. The inevitable separation when Josh returns to the US before Yaron can sort out his feelings and overcome his reservations is very painful, but it serves as a good “test” of both men’s feelings before they attempt to find a solution.

If you like exploring foreign countries (or revisiting familiar ones) from the comfort of your e-reader, if you think that a pilgrimage can have unexpected effects and want to see what they could be, and if you’re looking for a read that is entertaining, thoughtful, and has a message of hope, then you will probably like this novella as much as I do.

NOTE: This book was provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews.
Profile Image for Kristin.
1,099 reviews30 followers
July 3, 2017
Book blurb sums up the story fairly well – Josh needs a change from his mundane day-to-day routine and signs on as a chaperone with a group of young adults to Israel. There he meets Yaron, the groups security and medic. Much to Josh’s dismay, he and Yaron are sharing hotel rooms the duration of the trip. Yaron, Josh realizes, is sex on legs – and definitely off-limits. Yaron does one night stands, Josh wants a relationship and it’s unlikely the two can find common ground.

All in all, a very enjoyable read – though what I really enjoyed was the historical sites the characters visited and the little differences of being a Jew in New York City vs the Holy Land. The setting stole the story, in my humble opinion.

For myself, what detracted from Josh’s and Yaron’s story, was the other characters – Karen, Shoshana, Melissa and Naomi (I hope I remembered the correct names…). I’m beginning to think it’s my rather massive quirk, but I’m beginning to find the whole “tell the girl-bestie all” overdone.

My other quirk was the physical descriptions – I totally laughed out loud when Josh described Yaron’s strong muscular thighs under his pants. Umm…unless Josh has x-ray vision or Yaron was wearing yoga pants, you really can’t see someone’s legs through their pants. Go on! Try it! Next time you are out and about, watch peoples legs. If a guys pants are so tight that you can see his muscular rippling quads, I’m willing to bet he can’t move in said pants… Just sayin’, it’s a descriptor better left for shorts or swim trunks.

Those rants off my chest, I did like the push/pull between Yaron and Josh. Yaron made it crystal clear he didn’t do relationships. Josh, wanting more, knew he couldn’t have it and went back to NY a changed man. So when Yaron shows up on his doorstep, his anger is justifiable - especially when he finds out his girl-besties were meddling.

So between the visiting the sites in Israel, the dynamic tension between Yaron and Josh, and Josh’s self-growth, this was a light, sweet, read.

Review is cross-posted at Gay Book Reviews
A copy of the book was provided by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Profile Image for Joyfully Jay.
7,481 reviews424 followers
July 5, 2017
A Joyfully Jay review.

2.25 stars

I was really excited to read Ahava is Love. The blend of religion, travel, and cultural exploration is one that usually hits all the right notes for me. Unfortunately, Ahava is Love reads as rather shallow in almost all aspects. I did enjoy the limited exploration of Israel and the pacing is solid. It’s a quick read and the overall plot is fairly straightforward. Yaron is an empathetic character and it’s easy to see why he is so reluctant to give away his heart. He isn’t given a lot of definition and that is a shame, because with a bit more depth, Yaron could have done a lot to save this book. He had a more natural development than any of the other characters and he’s easy for readers to relate to almost from the start.

Josh, on the other hand, is a jerk. And not a particularly profound one. He is quick to serve as group leader on a student tour to Israel, despite the fact we are given no real evidence of Josh being particularly religious. His few demonstrations of faith feel hollow and mechanical and that seems especially sad given importance of Israel to millions of people. But that’s Josh to a tee. He’s obsessed with Yaron because of his looks, despite having recently vowed to start seeking a more substantial relationship. And when Yaron is hesitant, Josh reads like a petulant child who isn’t being giving the toy he wants.

Read Sue’s review in its entirety here.
1,965 reviews3 followers
July 9, 2017
A Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

For the Full Review visit: http://wp.me/p220KL-aYQ

From that review: "Ahava Is Love (World of Love) by Avery Duran is one man's journey to find himself, exploration why he repeats the patterns that has him stuck in life and try to move forward.  Of course, on this path, he happens to find that one man he's been looking for.  Avery Duran has done a marvelous job with bringing not only his characters to life (Josh and company are terrific) but also connecting the reader to their love of their religion and deep feelings for Israel, the setting for the story.  Josh is active in his local temple and when a chance to chaperone a trip (it's actually more than that) to Israel arrives just when he most needs a change in his life, he jumps at it.  Duran is excellent is pulling us into Josh's issues, as Josh is the narrator who looks at himself in a dry, self deprecating outlook.  He's more than aware of his faults, yet seems to overlook his good ones too.  Luckily, the author shows us those through the eyes of his traveling companions/soon to be great friends."

For all our reviews, author interviews and more, visit us at http://scatteredthoughtsandroguewords...
Profile Image for Cathy Brockman.
Author 5 books89 followers
July 5, 2017
I am a huge fan of the States of Love books because you learn so much about each state. The worlds of love is also a great series of stories. I love that the country is as much part of the book as the characters.
I loved both Josh and Yaron. They are two men in two different palaces in life for very different reasons. Josh is tired of having dead end relationships and ready to give up on men. He is offered a free trip to Jerusalem and goes to find himself in his Jewish heritage. Yaron is their security guard and medic. Chemistry is there but Yaron tells Josh up front there will be nothing but fun with them.
The writing is beautiful. I felt like I was on tour with them. The history at times was quite sobering and I learned a lot about the Jewish faith and history.
If you are looking for a charming story with a beautiful setting and some sensual love scenes I highly recommend this.
Author 8 books7 followers
July 5, 2017
I received an advance read copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Quite honestly, if my Kindle died and took this book with it, I'd pay to replace it. It's not often I come across books which blend topography, culture, emotion and heat quite so seamlessly. Josh and the unspeakably hot Yaron are beautifully drawn and the dialogue's great, with quite a few good one liners and descriptions that had me chuckling quietly to myself.

The heat level is really rather pleasing. This is a polite understatement to help my review to pass Amazon's moderation process. Ahem.

I don't do spoilers. Clear your to-do list, sit, read. Lose yourself in Israel with two gorgeous men.
Profile Image for Zane Kage.
2,535 reviews26 followers
July 9, 2017
4.5 stars

I found Josh and Yaron fun and sexy. The push-and-pull was great; they were hot together and the dynamic between them reeled me in. I also thought things wrapped up quite well in an HEA after a pretty big bump in the relationship road.

I LOVED the tour through Israel, seeing the country through Josh's eyes. And that title! I absolutely adore the title and the role it played. Any time an author can bring heritage into a story and do it well, I'm the happiest camper ever. Definitely a win on that front.

If anything, I wanted MORE. I'd have wished for the book to be longer, for Josh and Yaron to have a bit more of, well, everything.

That being said, the writing was the real star here. Beautiful use of language and description pulled me in from word one. I loved reading Avery Duran, and I am really looking forward to her next release!

*received an ARC for an honest review*
Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 reviews

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