Review: A More Perfect Union Anthology by Various Authors

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

2.5 Hearts

This is difficult. I liked the overall plot of the story, but I didn’t like the execution. I think this is a case of ‘it’s me, not you’ and it has mostly to do with the action that occurred inside Giovanni’s head while he was in the coma. I’m not sure what it was that bothered me, but it’s possible it has a lot to do with the length of time, the scenes, and the message that was conveyed through these coma-dreams. It didn’t work for me. I would put it down to my own personal beliefs.

The scenes where it was about Alex and Gio’s mother, these I felt worked well. Alex’s reflection of his attitude toward marriage, and how he interacted with Gio’s mother was really interesting to me. I liked that Alex really worked through why he felt the way he did, that he challenged his own views, and that of his partner’s mother. Medical emergencies really do bring out the best and worst in people. This is something that scares me the most about bigotry and family. The concept that they make all these decisions based around their own personal beliefs when it may not be what their injured family member would want, is terrifying. This was conveyed very well in this story, and I felt both Alex’s and Gio’s fear surrounding that. This was the strongest part of the story and was written very well.

The plot was focused, and if it wasn’t for my own personal issues around the coma-dreams, this would have been a solid read for me. The writing style was pleasing and the character development was good. I would say give it a try. I think the content is important, and it was communicated very well.

Jeordi and Tom by Michael Murphy

2.5 Hearts

This story was okay for me until the couple set out to get married. Then it sort of fell down.

Jeordi and Tom were sweet together. I liked the setup of the plot. I thought the direction and the message was strong. Especially the uncertainty that comes with not having legal protection when your partner gets injured. This is something that is taken for granted in so much of society, and as I expressed in the previous story review, is one of the most terrifying aspects of bigotry to me. This truly is what tears my heart out, and makes me really fearful for those whose relationship is questioned by people who have an agenda.

Once Jeordi gets out of hospital, this is where I struggled with the story. The rush to get married without a plan, the melodrama of the language used when they were having issues, the ridiculous flight to another state to get married, this wasn’t well plotted out, and I found it a bit off putting. It wasn’t the urgency with which the union needed to happen, but the writing of it that was the problem. The plot wasn’t tight enough, it felt like the writing was as rushed as the intent to get married. As this was an ARC it’s possible this problem was fixed in the final drafting of the published version. But for me, this wasn’t a winner in it’s current form.

Destined by Jamie Fessenden

4 Hearts

This story was a nice ride. I enjoyed getting to know Jay and Wallace in their own elements before they became a couple. The timeline was really well paced, and both got enough time for the reader to get to know them really well before they came together. This spans over a number of years, but doesn’t drag. The writing style ensured there was nothing boring about this story. It travelled along nicely.

This was a heartwarming story, with the slowly developing commitment Jay and Wallace made to each other over the years. They made a life that worked really well, and adapted when it was time for more. Wallace is an introvert and he still put himself out there for Jay. Jay showed appreciation for this and support Wallace in any way he could. A beautiful loving couple.

Without adding anymore spoilers, I’d say this was a very magical story. I enjoyed the way these two men met, connected, and grew together. I enjoyed the journey, and the outcome. I wished nothing but a beautiful and happy life for these two.

Someday by B.G. Thomas

5 Hearts

I’m such a sucker for high school sweethearts. There’s just something especially sweet and beautiful about growing with someone through those awkward angsty years, and surviving with a relationship into adulthood. It’s the sweetest victory to learn to love unconditionally and to still hold onto each other after the angst and development is complete. To me it’s the ultimate in romance. Gah, I’m a mushy mess right now.

Lucas and Dalton are so beautiful together. Even when they were just friends there was something hopeful and intimate in the way they were together. This was an emotional journey, and a deeply felt one. Told from Lucas’ point of view, he loves Dalton unconditionally and even when he is trying to get through high school while Dalton has girlfriends, his jealousy isn’t a wild vicious thing. It is a deep ache of longing, and he never gets spiteful or hateful. He just longs for things to be different.

The entire story is one of development, choices, maturity, and dreams for the future, while enjoying what is there now. The timeline worked really well in this story, and I enjoyed the way each stage was plotted out. I read this straight through. I had big grand plans to clean my house on my day off, and instead I spent the morning with Lucas and Dalton. Cleaning be damned, these two stole my heart, and I don’t regret a minute of it.

A beautiful coming of age story, with a tight writing style that wasted no words, and everything included was an important moment for the plot development.

I loved this. This is the sort of love I wish for everyone. It was mesmerizing, infectious, and heart melting. Perfect. This is definitely one of those stories that will cling to me for days; make me sigh in memory of the preciousness that is the love between these two people.

A copy provided for an honest review.

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