Anthem by A.M. Leibowitz #Review #LGBTQIA

Melissa reviews Anthem by A.M. Leibowitz; Published March 1st 2016 by Supposed Crimes. 200 pages.

Anthem1_1024x1024Trevor Davidson has everything going for him. He’s just moved out on his own with three friends, and he’s landed a job as music director at a large Boston church. He has high hopes for marrying his long-term girlfriend and settling into a comfortable, devout lifestyle.
Andre Cole has spent the past few years throwing himself into a dead-end job at a Cape Cod-based call center. When an opportunity to move back to Boston arises, Andre believes it will be the do-over he needs to put his past behind him.
A chance meeting in a club on New Year’s Eve brings Trevor and Andre together for a brief but steamy encounter. Both assuming that’s the end of it, they are unexpectedly thrown back into each other’s lives when Trevor’s church hires Andre for their website design. While Andre is content at first to move on, Trevor’s conflicted feelings bubble over into his songwriting. Before he can stop it, his ode to Andre becomes an inadvertent Christian radio hit.
 Unfortunately for Trevor, he isn’t the only one who knows the song’s hidden meaning. Someone has leaked the story and upended Trevor’s life. In order to put the pieces back together, he needs to learn to be honest with his girlfriend, with Andre, and especially with himself.
A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Why I read this book: I chose this book to read because the plot intrigued me: “Trevor’s conflicted feelings bubble over into his songwriting. Before he can stop it, his ode to Andre becomes an inadvertent Christian radio hit.” How could I resist reading this story?

Review

I do feel I need to warn you that the blurb is a little misleading. It states that “Trevor Davidson has everything going for him…apartment, job, girlfriend.” Weeelllll, that’s not all accurate. Trevor has indeed just moved into an apartment with his best friend, Nate, sharing it with two other friends, Mack and Jaime. What the summary leaves out is that Trev and Nate have a friends with benefits arrangement and have for YEARS. Whenever they are both free of relationships. And speaking of relationships, I wouldn’t say Trevor “has high hopes for marrying his long-term girlfriend.” Trevor and Marlie have known each other since they were in diapers, and have been dating on and off, again, for years. It’s not clear what causes them to break up each time, but it IS clear they get back together because of the familiar and long history they share. Trevor is very conflicted about what he wants, and Nate isn’t shy about telling Trevor he would be happy with a bigger relationship with him.

Everything is set into motion when Trevor meets Andre in a club and instead of fighting his feelings, Trevor acts on them. I liked this part of the story. A.M. Leibowitz crafted a scene where the MC doesn’t fight his feelings. All too often in romance books, the MC fights what they feel and runs away. Trevor doesn’t do that (yet) and goes into an encounter with Andre open and ready. His reaction after it’s over felt natural and I never once questioned why he did what he did. My questions come later. Unfortunately I can’t go into much more detail without giving away big parts of the story.

Andre’s history is missing from the blurb, and it too plays an important role in how he came to be in that night club where he meets Trevor. Again, I can’t go into details without revealing too much, but I can tell you that Andre is a widower, and bisexual.

At times I felt the pace of the story was very slow and umm, boring?, but then it would pick up again. I’m not sure if I felt that way because I didn’t care for the scene I was reading at the time, or if it was just dragged out too much and could have been more concisely written. It is important to point out that I didn’t skip or skim any scenes, which I’ve been known to do. So that should tell you something…I hope.

The story ends with a Happy For Now, and I don’t know that there will be a follow up book. There isn’t a cliffhanger but there is certainly room for a continuation. But sometimes it’s best to leave things as they are and allow the reader to finish it in their own way. This is a unique story and yet I wasn’t surprised by how the plot played out. There were events that were foreshadowed and if the intent was for the revelations to be surprises, that didn’t work out so well. Of course, I may read too much so not much can surprise me anymore. Hard to say. 😉

Overall, I would recommend this book, but I wouldn’t rush out to make it the top of the list.

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Where to Buy: Amazon, B&N
 
AuthorBio
A. M. Leibowitz is a spouse, parent, feminist, and book-lover falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. She keeps warm through the long, cold western New York winters by writing romantic plot twists and happy-for-now endings. Her published fiction includes her first novel, Lower Education, as well as a number of short works, and her stories have been included in several anthologies. In between noveling and editing, she blogs coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, writing, and her family at amleibowitz.com.
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