Michele reviews: A More Perfect Union

squarePublisher: Dreamspinner Press
B.G. Thomas
J. Scott Coatsworth
Jamie Fessenden
Michael Murphy
Length: 104K / 350 Pages
Format: eBook, Paperback
Release Date: 6/26/16



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.

Someday, by B.G. Thomas

Lucas Arrowood is walking to school on his first day of kindergarten when he meets Dalton Churchill—a boy who stops and helps him tie his shoe. He knows from that moment he is going to marry that boy one day.  “Boys can’t marry other boys,” his mother explains, but that doesn’t stop Lucas. He knows what he wants.

He and Dalton become best friends—and then, no matter how much he resists, Dalton falls in love with Lucas. Dalton’s very conservative family can’t accept that their boy loves another boy, but finally Dalton stands up for love and for Lucas. Still, he declares he won’t marry Lucas until it is legal everywhere. He hates the “Commitment Ceremonies” gay men have. They aren’t the real thing. Why bother?

So Lucas waits for his day. The day same-sex marriage finally becomes legal and he can be joined forever with the love of his life.

Michele’s thoughts:

I have to say that I fell in love with these two characters from the moment they appeared on the page together. Little Lucas is such a doll! He is straight out inquisitive and innocent. What does a six – seven-year old know about being in love, or loving another person? He swears his love for his new-found friend, Dalton and he doesn’t care what the world thinks of boys loving boys or that society won’t accept them as a couple, a married couple. All he knows is that he wants to marry Dalton. One day. The writer leads us on a life long journey with these two characters, we see them grow up and become men, we’re privy to their very private moments, like what teenage boys do when they gather together for a sleepover…We see these boys take their first drinks, kiss girls during a game of spin the bottle and how Lucas feels about it. All of his young life he loved Dalton, period. However, we also see how he sees Dalton, as this is told in the third limited POV, and what Dalton does or acts in Lucas’ mind. We see the struggle Dalton goes through into his adult life once he admitted that he too loved Lucas. He’s disowned by his parents over his love for the other boy. We see the strength of Lucas through a family scare with his mother, who is his closest ally. Then they go to college, they move in together and we’re taken on a journey throughout all of this. Love at its purest moment. I loved this story. The flaws to make these characters are there. The plot is so very believable and the writer did a splendid job with his deliverance of this story. The love we feel from Lucas to Dalton, then from Dalton to Lucas. In the end Lucas gets what he’s wanted for most of his life, and so does Dalton. They are an adorable couple and I love the story.  Five kisses!

Flames, by J. Scott Coatsworth

Alex and Gio had a big fight, and Alex ran away. Then a fire at home destroyed the life they had built together, and threatened to take Gio away from him.

Alex had always thought love was enough to keep them together. Why did they need wedding rings or legal certificates? But now, with Gio lost in a coma, his mother has banished Alex from his side.

What if Alex’s voice is the only thing that can bring Gio back from the brink? Their memories are all Gio has left, and the urge to just let go is getting stronger.

Still, nothing can keep Alex from Gio’s side. If it’s against the rules, he’ll break them. In stolen moments alone together, Alex fights to bring him back, one memory at a time.

Michele’s thoughts:

Just wow…this story here grabbed me by my wrist and took me on a hell of a journey that made me laugh, cry, and cheer. J. Scott did a marvelous job with the plot, characterization, settings, all of it. This writer nailed it to a T! This story took place in Tucson, AZ., and that’s where I live! In reading this, I felt as if I was with these guys every step of the way and that’s one thing I love about reading stories that are based on where I have been or where I’m at. I could see the desert sky, feel the monsoons, the hospital, all of it. Even the streets! So, beyond that, we meet Alex, and Gio two characters who are as real to me as you are. They have faults, though Alex more than Gio. Alex has a bit of a temper issue going on when the story started. He had a bad day or week at work and he did what all spouses and other halves do..take it out on the one’s we love…and wow, does Alex do a bang-up job of that. He even pissed me off. I was reading and saying, “Oh, poor Gio! He went through all that trouble of making a wonderful home cooked Italian dinner for his man and he gets yelled at over it?!” Yet, while I say this, you must remember that we all have done this very thing. We are all guilty of this action. I don’t care what anyone says. Alex stormed out and stays gone all night, gets drunk, wakes up in a hotel room..ALONE and he’s met by the worst day of his life. His lover, his boyfriend was in a fire and ended up in a coma. OH my HELL! The heartbreak as Alex fell apart. It was horrible. In a good way! I mean the writer did such a fantastic job with getting in Alex’s head and explaining how he was feeling to me. The heaviness in his heart, the guilt, all of it, I felt for him. And Gio, bless his sweet innocent adorable heart, he was stuck in a coma and the writer took a step out of any writer’s comfy zone and wrote this in the 3rd POV. We got both of the characters, not just one! So, when it was Gio’s turn we saw him alone in a void it seemed, and each time Alex was with him in the hospital and spoke to Gio, reminding him of all the things they did together, a piece of that ended up with Gio in the void…like for instance, they went to Mexico one year and ended up buying a huge bed that they fell in love with. Alex had it shipped to their place in Tucson and in Gio’s void that bed ended up with him, so he had something to sleep on. Then there was a stuff U of A wild cat named Devin that Gio also had with him. Wait till you read that part! This whole story is so meaningful and it teaches us not to take our loved ones for granted. Never leave in anger, never go to sleep without saying I love you..and most importantly, this story shares with us the pains that unaccepting family members can inflict upon others if they can. And wow, Gio’s mom does a hell of a bang up job there…poor Alex. I mean sure I was upset with him for doing what he did but I couldn’t hate him or even stay mad because he did what we all have done after all. Every single night Alex sneaks in the hotel because Gio’s mom forbid him from seeing her baby son, and he sneaks out before she turns up to sit with her baby. No one should have that power over people in love. I really didn’t like her but I got why she did it but still I didn’t like her. It’s our job as parents to accept our children period. Love is love but she is very religious and didn’t accept that part of her son, and well you can imagine. It’s heartbreaking! Marriage is so very important for different reasons, so are wills. Give this one a read! I promise your eyes and heart will weep.  Five plus kisses!

Destined, by Jamie Fessenden

When Jay and Wallace first meet at an LGBTQ group, they have no idea they’ll be dating six years later. In fact, they quickly forget each other’s names. But although fate continues to throw them together, the timing is never quite right. Finally they’re both single and  realize they want to be together… but now they can’t find each other! With determination and the help of mutual friends, Jay and Wallace can finally pursue the relationship they’ve both wanted for so long.

It’s only the beginning of the battles they’ll face to build a life together.

From disapproving family members all the way to the state legislature, Jay and Wallace’s road to happily ever after is littered with obstacles. But they’ve come too far to give up the fight.

Michele’s thoughts

This story here is probably the only one where I wanted to strangle the author. These characters are so well done, so well written, their story line so true to life, that each time they met up they lost touch and since I knew they were supposed to be a couple, the writer kept dropping bombs between them, keeping them apart!  It’s really a good story that focus’ a lot of the truth of things when it concerns how families disown their gay sons, how those men keep moving forward in spite of it. These men take part in the rights of LGBT people. The right to marry, the right to have a say so over each other, the right to even buy a home together. They take us on that long journey they experienced and dare us to not feel. If you don’t feel for them when you read this story, perhaps you don’t have a heart? I mean, the pains, the hopes, the dreams, even things most straight people take for granted, are fought for by this couple. They are incredibly patient, I’ll give them that, but thinking of the past, back before laws were set in place, they didn’t have a choice but to be patient. We are on this rollercoaster of their lives and though it takes years for them to finally live together it’s worth the wait because the writer keeps you very entertained with the characters real life issues that are faced or were faced prior to the President giving EVERYONE the right to marry…This story here is the one that takes you through the pains of love and the joys. I hope you enjoy it! Five kisses!  characters.

Jeordi and Tom, by Michael Murphy

Living as an open, loving gay couple in the rural South isn’t easy—even today.

When Jeordi and Tom move in together and come out to their families, Jeordi’s family does not take the news especially well. When yelling doesn’t work, they send in one sibling after another to try to separate the couple. When that fails, they call out their pastor to help Jeordi see the error of his ways. But Jeordi’s love for Tom is greater than anything they throw at them.

When an accident sends Jeordi to the hospital, his family goes too far when they try to keep Tom from visiting his partner. Jeordi and Tom are determined to do everything in their power to gain legal protection so this can never happen again. But when a bigoted county clerk refuses to issue them a marriage license, Jeordi decides a big, bold effort is called for, which is precisely what he sets in motion so no one can ever separate him from Tom again.

Michele’s thoughts

This story here is the shortest one I believe and it’s just too sweet. I mean, look at the blurb. We step into the relationship on page one and we’re kept there until the last word, the last moment and I enjoyed every moment of it. We can feel their love for one another and feel the hate from Jeordi’s mother! Oh that woman! I wanted to just slap her and tell her to mind her marriage as well as she minds her son’s business. I mean, these two men are living in a trailer, they don’t have oodles of money, but they have what matters the most. Love. And one day on his way to work, Jeordi is hit by a car while on his bike in the rain. He’s taken to the hospital and his family is called, but not his lover. Jeordi asks his mother and nurses, even the doctors over and over where Tom was and no one would pay him any attention. Now, he’s very hurt, he needed something along the lines of a hundred stitches, talk about bad road rash. Here I was thinking here we go, he’ll fall terribly ill, it’ll require a hospital stay and Tom will have no damn clue because Jeordi’s family doesn’t approve of him being gay. Well, Jeordi surprised me and he surprised Tom too, as well as his nosy mother. He stood up to her telling her no one was going to keep his lover away from him ever again. They go on a lovely journey together and end up in Washington DC where the meet a few amazing people who help them in so many ways. Even Jeordi’s brother who was shocked about his brother’s sexuality stepped up to the plate and did something that Tom and Jeordi will never forget. I think he’s my favorite character! It’s a wonderful cute story and I give it five kisses!

Okay, so overall I loved these stories because they all dealt with true life events and what could happen, what has happened, and will not happen any longer thanks to every one being given the rights to do what they should have been given a long time ago..the right to marry regardless of the sex of the person they love. The battles these couples face are true to life, in each case. Usually when one takes ill a family member will step in and decide to kick what they don’t approve of out. They don’t stop to think about the person lying in those beds or how they feel about their other halves, the families don’t care. It’s actually so sad to know that people are being kept apart over hate. That bothers me the most. I hope these stories give other men and women the strength to overcome their fears of marriage and take that step if just to protect their other halves from the hate that can be tossed at them by ugly family members who will never get it. I love the plots, the messages, the steps taken to get these guys where they wanted to be. Married to the men they love more than life itself. Sure, each of these stories has an issue or two but those are nothing when we’re looking at the big picture. That’s love.


  1. Pingback: The Reviews Are Rolling In! – J. Scott Coatsworth

  2. Pingback: A More Perfect Union: Reviews! Reviews! Reviews! – B G Thomas – writer

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