I like romance and boys loving boys in my books.
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First off, thank you, dear author, for writing a story about two bisexual MCs, and not leaving the M/F off page.
Secondly, thank you again, dear author, for not tying up the end in a pretty little bow, and giving me a HFN that leaves Trevor, Andre and Marlie in a good place, with hopes for a future that will make them all happy.
Anthem is the story of a young man finding himself and the freedom to be who he truly is. It's the story of growing a spine and growing up, shedding the shackles, and forging your own way.
Trevor is the music director for a large Christian church in Boston, having just moved into a place of his own with three of his friends. One of them, Nate, shares a room with him. Trevor is also off-again, on-again dating Marlie, whom he expects to marry and have a family with, despite his dallying with Nate when he and Marlie are off-again.
Andre has recently moved to Boston to work for his friend Justin's company designing websites. After a personal tragedy, in which he lost his wife and unborn children, Andre isn't looking for a new romance, and his grief is obvious when we spend time in his head.
When their paths cross in a bar on New Year's Eve, Trevor and Andre have a hot, but short encounter in the men's room.
Afterward, Trevor can't forget the man, and his longing translates into a song he writes, which is then confused by his pastor for a song of worship.
Soon, the song makes it onto Christian radio and becomes a local hit. Except nobody knows that it's really a song about Trevor's men's room encounter.
What I liked about this story was the internal conflict. While Andre is willing to forget and move on, Trevor finds himself drawn to the man more and more, talking himself into a tentative friendship but soon finding it to be not enough.
Presumed straight by his church elders and Marlie, Trevor is reluctant to tell her about his bisexuality, even though his friend Nate (for not entirely unselfish reasons) and Andre recommend telling her the truth.
When he does, Marlie doesn't react positively, and Trevor seeks comfort with Andre.
I had my suspicions early on as to who was going to out Trevor, and while it was interesting how this unfolded, my suspicions were confirmed. It's a huge betrayal of trust, and while some may understand the motives behind it, I was appalled nonetheless. It also causes strife between Andre and Trevor, and while Trevor's panic was believable and understandable, I felt sorry for Andre who was cast to the side, as Trevor tries to figure out what to do.
I liked the lead-up to the climax, and the solution that was presented for all concerned at the end.
The author created a realistic story, with likable characters who all experience personal growth throughout, and some steamy scenes as well. Don't let the on-screen M/F scenes turn you away from this book, and don't focus too much on the religious parts either.
At its heart, this story is about figuring out who you truly are and finding the strength to not live a lie.
** I received a free copy of this book via Pride Promotions. A positive review was not promised in return. **