REVIEWED by Danielle
TITLE: A More Perfect Union
AUTHORS: B.G. Thomas, J. Scott Coatsworth, Jamie Fessenden, Michael Murphy
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 350 Pages
RELEASE DATE: June 26, 2016
On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States made a monumental decision, and at long last, marriage equality became the law of the land. That ruling made history, and now gay and lesbian Americans will grow up in a country where they will never be denied the right to marry the person they love.
But what about the gay men who waited and wondered all of their lives if the day would ever come when they could stand beside the person they love and say “I do?”
Here, four accomplished authors—married gay men—offer their take on that question as they explore same-sex relationships, love, and matrimony. Men who thought legal marriage was a right they would never have. Men who, unbelievably, now stand legally joined with the men they love. With this book, they share the magic and excitement of dreams that came true—in tales of fantasy and romance with a dose of their personal experiences in the mix.
To commemorate the anniversary of full marriage equality in the US, this anthology celebrates the idea of marriage itself—and the universal truth of it that applies to us all, gay or straight.
Flames by J. Scott Coatsworth
In the first story of this anthology we find Alex and Gio a couple who seem to be happy in love and living together. But even in the best couples things happen and when both men have a fight and Alex leaves the house disaster strikes. When Gio ends up in the hospital and Alex needs to fight to be able to see his man, his belief that love is enough changes. He realises that he wants more. Sitting vigil at Gio’s bed he reminds him of the memories they share in an attempt to find a way to get through to him while battling for the right to sit at his bedside. With help from friends and a sweet hospital staff, Alex continues to have hope and to try to get Gio to come back to him while spending time secretly with him at night.
This first story in this anthology is promising. I found myself being swept away in Alex’s mind and memories, wanting to reach out to Gio telling him to fight. Adding Gio’s Italian Mama to the mix and you can expect some fireworks there.
The ending is wonderful and sweet and it made me smile and feel a sense of fulfilment. Great start to this anthology.
Jeordi and Tom by Michael Murphy
The second story brings us to a completely different “world”. When we meet Jeordi and Tom we are in the deep South where both men live together despite the objections of Jeordi’s very religious family.
Also in this story we are going with both men as they struggle to keep their head above water, in this case living with as little as possible. They are still perfectly happy to be together, despite the opposition they are facing and they are facing that big time with Jeordi’s very large family.
When Jeordi finds himself in the hospital after an accident going into work, his family is there with him and despite Jeordi’s pleads to find and contact Tom, Tom doesn’t appear at his bedside.
When Jeordi finds out the reason he stands up, making sure to get his lover and to make a stand. Unfortunately they aren’t only dealing with their family but also with a small-minded town and a lot of people who live there.
Wanting to make sure that what happened never happens again, Jeordi sets out to surprise Tom with a wedding after they find out they cannot get married where they live.
When everything seems to be for nothing, they find help and support can come from anywhere and when they find help from Hank and Bill, their “brothers” from their gay community, Tom and Jeordi experience the best day of their lives.
I wanted to cheer and say bless you Hank and Bill as they made me so happy and thankful that people like that exist and what they wanted back from the boys ? For them to do the same when Hank and Bill encountered a similar situation (bless them).
Author Michael Murphy wraps up the story in a wonderful way including a visit to Jeordi’s parents and some form of unexpected support where Hank and Bill make sure that the men can breathe a little bit easier in the end
Destined by Jamie Fessenden
Unfortunately this third story just wasn’t my cup of tea so to speak. I just couldn’t connect to anything in it, not the characters, not the story and not the way it was written. This story is about Jay and Wallace who reconnect over a long period of time. They meet as strangers the first time, meeting again later and not realizing that they met before and after a couple of years they finally meet when they are both unattached and open to exploring the feelings that have been simmering there through all these years.
The story feels like a telling, a reading of their lives and the events to get them to where they are in the end of the story. Both man get their happily-ever-after with the help of loyal friends but for me I still wonder how they really got together in a way that let to their lives together.
Again I want to state clearly that this is my opinion as I mentioned before I didn’t feel any connection to the story and it’s characters. For a different reader this might be completely different.
Someday by B.G Thomas
The fourth and final story brings us to the lives of Lucas and Dalton. The first time we meet these two guys is when they are in kindergarten. Author B.G Thomas takes us through their lives in his own unique and charming way.
Lucas claims from the young age that he is going to marry Dalton, the only problem besides his mother telling him that boys cannot marry boys, is that Dalton claims not to fall for boys and that he is set to marry a girl one day. Despite that the boys turn into best friends all the way through school.
All the way through school, puberty, experimenting with friends…all of that, both guys remain best friends knowing Lucas is gay and is still and will always be in love with Dalton and Dalton trying to do the “right” thing by his very conservative family and dating a girl.
Lucas also meets a boy which he feels comfortable with even to the point of realizing perhaps he should let go of his fantasy of being with Dalton and take a chance with Etienne. But then faith has it’s ways and at prom night things come to a clashing and surprising turnaround.
Dalton’s family is set on keeping Lucas away from Dalton the minute they find out that perhaps their might be more between them and there is no denying the mutual attraction and sparks flying when both boys have some time together.
But now Dalton and Lucas have what they always wanted they are not letting go, They fight for their happiness with the lovely support of Lucas’ mother. Time and distance cannot keep them away from each other now that they finally got what they have been longing for.
The only thing that still stand is that Lucas said that one day he would marry that little boy in kindergarten. Dalton doesn’t think that will ever happen as he believes he only will marry when everyone can, everwhere in the US.
Will the SCOTUS ruling make sure that Lucas gets what he has been saying from his young age?
Personally I would like to add that I loved the fact that author B.G Thomas included some intense scenes in a wonderful sexy and loving way which definitely added to the relationship and intensity of the story in my opinion
Overall I can only recommend this anthology because I really liked to read this book. There are 4 completely different stories and one might appeal to you more then the other . I enjoyed the time spend to read this and despite it being an anthology the stories worked out really well and felt very complete.