Title: An Act of Devotion
Author Name & Publisher: A. M. Leibowitz (Supposed Crimes)
Publication Date & Length: May 1, 2016 — 215 pages
Adam Lansing has always relied on his charm to get by. Sure, he’s starting over—new school, new graduate assistant position—but he knows he won’t have any trouble working his magic on anyone he chooses.
Antonio “AJ” Mancuso is deep inside his own head. He’s cool, calm, and confident. But despite all the friends around him, he often feels like he straddles two worlds. Is there anyone who could love him for everything that defines him—past and present?
From the first time they meet, Adam is determined to get gorgeous AJ to notice him. But just as the heat is cranking up between them, Adam spots AJ with another man. Adam strikes back through a fling with an ex. But when he discovers the truth behind AJ’s behavior, he realizes that his magic won’t clean up for him this time.
I loved this story. Adam & AJ come right off the page and are so real I would probably be friends with them, both of them actually. Adam has a personality that the world is his plaything, and he takes every advantage possible to take out his new toy. AJ tends to shy away from the overtly fun joys that Adam sees and instead focuses on what gives him pleasure (which is probably completing tasks).
The writing in this piece is superb, and brings out personalities and actions between these two gentleman in ways that really bring them to life. Each of the main characters is rounded out, they both grow through the story, and they both make mistakes and try to fix them. Their story has ups and downs, sexual tension galore, and innuendos that might make Nonna blush.
For anyone who wants to read and learn more about the bisexual world, this is a fantastic book from that standpoint. We’re given two bisexual characters, who come to their sexuality very differently, who have experienced the opposite in terms of coming out, who could not have less shared experiences or feelings about the world and its interactions with the Family. The story takes us through activism for LGBT rights, through living as a part of the Family, through recognizing our faults in our own fears.
This is a fantastic read.
I can appreciate the author’s desire and passion to want the reader to understand all the topics that are discussed in the story. All these topics are important and discussed frequently in the media today.
However, not only is the reader reading about AJ’s and Adam’s issues, we are also reading about what’s happening with the myriad of AJ’s friends. We get Luke and the abuse he’s suffering from his boyfriend. Piet and the cancer he’s suffering from. When Donny begins dating Lauren, AJ worries what Donny will say when he learns Lauren is transgender because Donny is straight. And then finally Connor.
The readers learn more about the secondary characters within the first 10 chapters than the main characters. We don’t know what exactly happened between AJ and his ex-girlfriend until the end of the book.
I believe every character and their situation is important, but all the secondary characters were given too much power in this book. This was about AJ and Adam and the struggles and successes they went through to get together and stay together.
I want to give this story a higher rating, but because I struggled to stay focused on just AJ and Adam, I can’t. And mostly my rating is because of the topics discussed. This book is good learning tool. I won’t deny I learned many new things.
This is a book that hits on some very serious topics. It is a book that places these topics into the scenario of people’s lives.
The senerios range anywhere from transvestism, to cheating partner, to rape, to abuse, to cancer, to gender confusion. Even though they are so many different topics in this book, AM Leibowitz was able to incorporate each of these scenarios into the book without it being overwhelming or underplaying the situations. A.M. Was able to bring the topics into the book and was able to do justice to how important these topics are and how they can affect the individuals that are in these types of scenarios.
I would say that the main characters are Adam and AJ because they are the two that the book revolves around but at the same time all of the other characters are just as important like Lauryn or Luke or Donny or even Connor just to mention a few of the characters in the book.
As far as Adam and AJ are concerned I think that both of these men have emotional issues with things from their past that has made it almost impossible for the two of them to have a relationship. I think that it is not so much what happened to them in their past but more to the point that neither of them know how to communicate with the other. They both have feelings for the other but when it comes time to voice to the other issues that can affect their relationship they are both tight lipped. The only way that these two are going to be able to work through their issues is if they learn to communicate with the other. And their lies the problem because they both seem to not want to upset the other. So I guess the question is, is not talking to one another worth the risk of losing each other. Will they grow stronger together or will they give each other up over misunderstandings and trust issues?
I really enjoyed this read but as I said earlier their are a of different, difficult situations in this book that are addressed so if you have triggers to them you may not want to read this book. Otherwise I would highly recommend this read.
- If you could write with any other author who would it be and why?
I can’t pick only one because it depends on the genre. If it’s F/F, someday, I’d love to actually write a novel with Adrian J. Smith. I loved Memoir in the Making, and I was thrilled when she asked if I would write a story for Adam (who appears there and is one of the MCs in An Act of Devotion). But we’ve never actually written anything together, and I think it would be fun! If it’s M/M, I’d be over the moon to write with Raine O’Tierney or Debbie McGowan. They’ve written together, and they both explore the kinds of emotional and psychological themes I enjoy. However, I think either of them would be ready to throttle me because they write fast and I’m a slowpoke.
- If you could join a character on an adventure, which character and what would the adventure be?
My own characters don’t tend to go on adventures, which is good because I’m not the adventuresome sort myself. But if I had to choose someone else’s character, I’m going on an adventure with Hermione Granger. She knows how to pack for a trip and is more prepared than any Boy Scout ever. Plus, knowing her, our “adventure” would be to someplace educational with a very large library.
- If money were no object – where would you live in the world and why?
Anywhere warm. I hear Arizona is nice. It’s really not money (well, okay it is) but being away from family. So I’m stuck with the cold and the snow for now.
- Favorite kind of underwear for characters and non-favorites.
I don’t think I have a favorite or non-favorite kind of underwear for a character. I tend to think undies fit the character. I have a work-in-progress with a MC who is gender fluid. His underwear selections vary with his internal sense of self, and it’s really fun to write. In An Act of Devotion, a particular undergarment features into the story, and it’s almost a minor character of its own.
- What do you view as weak points in a character and wouldn’t include them in the characters you write about. What are the strong points you always try and include.
The one thing I won’t write is a “hero” who consistently violates people’s consent in romantic/intimate situations. Otherwise, there isn’t one thing I try to exclude or include. I mostly try to avoid writing tropey characters who behave in stereotypical ways. I’m particularly sensitive to bad representation of bisexual characters, so I try to have at least one bi character in most stories.
Author. Editor. Spouse, parent, queer, feminist, reader, and writer falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. Agnostic Christian offering commentary on faith, culture, and writing.