I Do Anthology

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I Do Anthology

Summary:

21 authors contributing 20 stories of love and commitment

Do you support the right of any human being to marry the person they love? The right to say ‘I Do’ to a life of commitment and sharing with that one special person? We do.

We hope that marriage will soon be a dream that everyone can share.

That’s why the following authors of LGBT fiction have donated stories to this anthology, in aid of Lambda Legal Fund’s fight for marriage equality:

Tracey Pennington, Alex Beecroft, Charlie Cochrane, Clare London, Storm Grant, Lisabet Sarai, Sharon Maria Bidwell, Jeanne Barrack, Marquesate, Z.A Maxfield, P.A Brown, Allison Wonderland, Erastes, Zoe Nichols and Cassidy Ryan, Emma Collingwood, Mallory Path, Jerry L. Wheeler, Moondancer Drake, Fiona Glass, Lee Rowan.

Review:

This is a twenty story anthology that spans genres from fantasy to contemporary involving men and women from just about every religion, race, and sexuality. All proceeds are donated to Lambda Legal fund, an organization that is working for civil rights of lesbians, gay men and people with HIV/AIDS. The anthology came about with the outcry over proposition 8, which was a recently passed California law that made gay marriage illegal.

The opening fantasy story provides a high level of entertainment and imagination to start the anthology and that level is continued throughout to the end. While I certainly had favorites among the stories, this rare collection offers no huge misses. Each story is a glimpse into the lives of everyday people and their struggles through relationships. From first meetings to long time loves to loss and breakups, each story is a wonderful short treat of romance. There is a mixture of m/m with f/f and the importance of marriage as an option is highlighted several times. Some stories certainly stood out amongst the crowd in both positive and negative ways.

Unfortunately “Lust in Translation” by Storm Grant didn’t work for me which I was really disappointed about. With such a quirky and unique voice to her writing, I really want to like this author. Sadly, while the premise of this story was fun and entertaining – a cop having a bad night mistakes a drugged professor for a rent boy – the characters fell flat for me and the story went on longer than most. Perhaps because the story fell in between a quick glimpse and a longer, developed short story that somewhere along the line that middle length did a disservice to the story.

However, for one maybe miss, there were many wonderful and charming stories. Particular favorites of mine were The Roaming Heart by Charlie Cochrane (m/m), a historical about two British actors who were witty and delightful to read. Outed by Clare London (m/m) was incredibly funny and I could vividly imagine the matriarch of the family “accidentally” outing Rob and Guy even though the men weren’t trying to hide their relationship. Semi-detached by Emma Collingwood (m/m) had me wanting to read more about these interesting characters and how they met, did they move in together and get married? Although one character was a “gay for you” that usually doesn’t work, Thomas was likable and his love for James evident.

My absolute favorite of the group was The Snow Queen by Erastes (m/m) featuring Josh who is trying to recover from losing his lover when he meets Sean and Sean’s daughter Bess at the London Zoo. The attraction and chemistry is strong enough to tempt both men out of their safe, comfort zones to pursue the other man. Unfortunately fears and old hurts surface, ending the relationship before it could begin and ultimately Josh encases his heart in ice against the pain of rejection and loss. A beautifully told story, I was absolutely left wanting more and wish this is expanded in the future. The fantasy or paranormal aspect was somewhat confusing due to the lack of explanation but the writing and characterization made up for that. This was my first time reading anything by the author and if this is any example, I’m eager to read more.  

Due to the variety of the anthology there is sure to be something for every romance lover. There are fantasy, historical, contemporary settings mixed with action, humor, heartbreak, child birth and throughout each there is a distinct thread of romance. Some stories are longer than others but each is a well written introduction to engaging characters that involve you in a snippet of their lives. From sweet romance to scorching sex, the heat level varies but surprisingly keeps you interested from story to story. In an anthology this long with as many varying voices and styles, it’s rare to have such a solid group of authors and stories. Combined with the excellent cause the proceeds support, this is a definite buy for all romance lovers.

Get it HERE!

My review for Manic Readers can be found HERE!

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17 thoughts on “I Do Anthology

  1. Thanks for the lovely review! I’m really glad you enjoyed it. I was honoured to be part of it and thrilled to be in such good company – and I had a lot of fun too! ^___^
    Have a good weekend!

    • Thank you for stopping by. I laughed out loud at your story and loved Rob’s reaction to his Aunt’s “outing”. As it was a new introduction for me to your writing, I can’t wait to read more!

    • Thank you for stopping by! I thought Kai and Shona’s story was so sweet and touching. I felt the tragedy of their situation perhaps more keenly than in other stories. It was definitely one I remembered when I think of the importance for equality.

    • Thanks for stopping by. I loved the IM conversation between the two men and it had me laughing. I could easily envision the problems and conversation as it was happening. You have a way of quickly creating a vivid backdrop.

  2. Thank you for such a great review!
    Snow Queen was one of my favorites, too. I’d love to see Erastes do a sequel where Sean gets his head out of his arse, stands up to his ex-wife, and gets Josh to give him another chance.
    At the risk of pimping my own book, you might want to try Erastes’ novella “Hard and Fast” in the trilogy Speak Its Name. Charlie Cochrane and I wrote the other two stories. They’re all historical; Erastes’ is a very naughty Regency and definitely the spiciest of the three. The hero is a bit gormless in some ways but very likeable, and there’s a much happier ending.
    thanks again!

    • Actually that sounds wonderful, thank you. As I enjoyed all three stories it will go on my to be purchased list for sure.
      I did want to say that your edition was touching, and thankful that it was expanded. So many of the stories were fun glimpses and I was hoping for more and pleased to see of Kevin and John.
      Thank you again for all your efforts to all the authors!

  3. What a lovely review! Thank you 🙂 This was a labour of love, really, on everyone’s part. We were determined that it would be a good book as well as being for a good cause. So I’m really happy to know you think it succeeds in that. Thank you!

    • Thank you for stopping by! It certainly did and I was pleased to be able to give it such a positive review. Lt. Mitchell was really delightful and the molly house so vivid to read.

    • Thanks for stopping by as well, I had no idea the entire author list would swing by my tiny review. If I had, I would have mentioned each individually as they definitely were worth mention yet I tried to keep it from rambling on forever. I really very much enjoyed Toby and Alasdair’s story. I would have loved if it was longer. Thank you all again!

  4. Thank you for the excellent review! I’m so very glad that you liked the book. And on a more personal note, thank you for the kind words as well–I wrote the opening fantasy story.
    If you’re looking for more stories by Erastes, you might want to try Frost Fair (a male/male romance set in 1814 about a rich man and a young printer who’s barely getting by, financially). You might also look for Transgressions, a gay romance set during the English Civil War, which will be published April 6, 2009.

    • Thank you so much for the recommendations, I’ll certainly be looking at the backlist of just about every author involved. This anthology showed me that as much as I read, there are infinitely more authors I need to read.
      Thank you for stopping by and for the opening number. It was creepy in the best way.

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