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The Reviews Are Rolling In!

Hey all,

With our Italian friends here for three weeks, my time has been extremely limited. But I wanted to share some of the reviews for “A More Perfect Union” anthology and my story “Flames” with you!

First off, Ben Brock weighs in:

Ben BrockOn “A More Perfect Union”:

“I enjoyed all these stories. They weren’t all carefree and blissful, or as I like to say, “Sunshine and rainbows,” but there was love and happy endings. I’ll admit that when I picked up this anthology, I was hoping to see more of a collection of stories based on the real experiences of the authors, because why else would you specifically gather four gay married authors to write an anthology? But Fessenden’s was the only one based partly on his true experiences.”

On “Flames”:

“Wow. This story was probably the hardest for me to read, and it started out the anthology! What I liked the most about it was that Alex, our main character, was being a bit of a jerk. And honestly, in marriage that happens–our lovers see the best and worst of us. Unfortunately for Alex, after being a jerk to his boyfriend, Gio gets badly burned in an accidental fire and falls into a coma… damn. I still had hope for Alex, and without going into spoilers, let’s just say I wasn’t disappointed in him. It was gusty for the author to create a possibly unlikable character from the beginning. It had a level of reality I appreciated, and a depth I enjoyed exploring as Alex suffered through his stages of grieving.”

Full Review


Thanks, also, to Michelle at Top2Bottom Reviews:

Top 2 BottomOn “A More Perfect Union”:

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.

On “Flames”:

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… 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!

Full Review


And thank you to Melanie at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words:

Scattered ThoughtsOn “A More Perfect Union”:

4.5 Stars

This is a collection of four stories that explore the real life implication of the Supreme Court’s ruling on June 26; 2015. In the future no one will ever have to live with the indignation of not being allowed to marry the one they love. In the coming years gay and lesbian relationships will be different because of the possibility of marriage. But what about those who shied from the thought of marriage because they thought they would never be allowed to or those who fought every step of the way so that there would come a day when their marriages to the ones they loved would be legally and lawfully recognized by all. This anthology explores some such stories.

This anthology has been one awesome read with some amazing stories.


And thank you to Serena Yates, Rainbow Book Reviews:

Rainbow Book ReviewsOn “A More Perfect Union”:

To commemorate the June 26, 2015 decision of the US Supreme Court to legalize marriage equality by writing and publishing this anthology is a heartwarming and beautiful idea. And while each of these four stories written by four married gay men are different, they have one thing in common. A quiet, or not so quiet, and in all cases fierce joy that finally their love and commitment are seen as equal, recognized as equal, in the eyes of the law. I adored each story, admired each couple’s hard-won victory, and celebrated their success with them – if only in spirit.

On “Flames”:

Alex and Gio’s story made me cry because of the suffering they both went through when Gio got burned in a house fire badly enough to end up in a coma. It made me mad when Gio’s bigoted and harsh mother made it impossible for Alex to be at his side in the hospital because she excluded him since he was not family. I cheered Alex on when he found a way to remain at Gio’s side anyway. ‘Flames’ is an emotional roller coaster and has a perfect ending in more than one way.

Full Review


Then there’s this great review from Danielle at Love Bytes:

Love BytesOn “A More Perfect Union”:

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.

On “Flames”:

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.

4.5 Hearts

Full Review


Sinfully MM also did a great review:

Sinfully MMOn “A More Perfect Union”:

I admit that I’m usually a little reticent when taking on anthologies. Especially when you know before how the stories will all end in this case obviously with a wedding. It’s like dipping into a box of chocolates. Some stories can be deeply satisfying, others leaving you wanting more, others not coming quite up to the mark you would like. However, I’m delighted to say that here four authors have treated me to four delightful stories. SO with no further adieu lets look at the stories together.

On “Flames”:

The desperation on both sides to be reunited is heartbreaking and once Gio awakes then there is no doubt for either of them in how this has to end. It is a story about regrets and forgiveness. About overcoming your built in attitudes, especially in the case of Gio’s mother, who eventually sees the love that Alex has for her son is what matters and not what she has been taught all those years by the church and her upbringing. A great story that shows us exactly why marriage equality had to be!

Full Review


And last but NOT least, thank you to multitasking mamma:

MultitaskingMammaOn “A More Perfect Union”:

Overall, if the authors wished for an inspiration anthology, giving hope to those who think they don’t deserve it, then yes, they have succeeded. There is a whole lot of reality going on here and some may like it but there are some who may crave the fairy tale romance that is not so real. HEA all the way, despite the trials and pitfalls met in life.

Full Review

You can get the book here:

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