I Do Two is the sequel to the successful and popular anthology to benefit the Lambda Legal Defense. New and repeat authors have joined forces to offer a packed collection of stories celebrating all facets of LGBT. Included are 22 stories of love, sex, and marriage from historical to contemporary with humor, whimsy, sadness and hope. Above all this anthology is a celebration of love and passion between LGBT people. There is sure to be something for everyone and with the great benefit to buying the collection, there is no reason not to get this. You'll be delighted and entertained with the wide selection of stories while feeling good about buying this - a win all around.
These stories are short, mere glimpses for the most part of men with men, women with women and even a few transgender stories to really show a full spectrum of people, personalities, and relationships. The writing is almost universally solid with evocative settings and engaging characters. The stories range time frames and geographical boundaries from North American to Europe and even Australia. The variety and breadth offer sharply makes the point that this an entire group of people from all walks of life with different values, hopes, dreams, and goals that all deserve the same options as anyone else. This celebration of life and all it's high and low points is demonstrated incredibly well with these stories.
The progression of stories is very nice and smooth starting with several historical themed tales, showing commitment and love even without the ability to legally marry. The long time companionship of men or women is strong and necessary as much as if they were actually married. The stand out of the historical group is Ruth Sims' "The Legend of Mountain Ash" showing a deep love between two men that stretches the imagination and gives rise to legends. The lyrical prose gives rise to a story telling narrative, showing the lifetime of two men through happiness, hardship, and loss and a happy ending with a unique twist.
From there, the stories turn contemporary with numerous stand outs that shine and delight. There is Sophia Deri-Bowen's wonderfully entertaining and romantic tale "Two Men: A Fugue" about opposites attracting. The men are creative not only in their lives and appearance but in their passion and dedication. Similarly "The Song Inside" by Nexis Pas offers a glimpse into two blue collar workers in England as they reminiscence on their years together and their home. Neither man is classically handsome, instead larger and unassuming which lends an air of authenticity and honesty to the touching story.
Slightly more whimsical and humorous are the engaging and entertaining stories of Charlie Cochrane's "The Uneven Chance" about a man that takes fate into his own hands with a slight bit of trickery. However when the man of your dreams is at stake, all bets are suspect. Just as JL Merrow's "Aim Higher" offers several laugh out loud moments about a teenager that has an unusual problem. The dry wit and candor evoke a teenager almost perfectly and the resolution is clever and fun. These stories, among others, allow the reader to peer into the world of everyday men and women as they live, love, date, and fall in love.
Among the 22 stories, there are few that stood above the rest but there are almost none that fail to offer a touching and evocative story. The one discordant note is Rick Reed's "Morbidly Obese" which is interesting but the lone urban fantasy story. The concept of two overweight vampires that can't stop eating is sly and worthy of an interesting telling but is misplaced within this collection. The story hits a jarring note and doesn't fit in with a collection that focuses mostly on romance and relationships of LGBT men and women. Similarly "Touche" by James Buchanan focuses more on explicit erotica and less in keeping with the majority of stories. Neither of these stories is bad per se, but don't seem to fit well with the theme of relationships and romance. Some of the stories chosen have explicit sex and some do not, but almost all show the lives of men and women in good times and bad with a thread of hope for a positive future and these two particular stories just didn't seem to fit well.
Nonetheless this collection is a must read for LGBT fans. The stories highlight the importance of equal rights by giving a look into the lives of such people. They live, love, laugh, cry, grieve, divorce, make mistakes and commitments like any other person and thus can only be granted the same options as anyone else. With the variety of stories offered, there is guaranteed to be something to appeal to all readers so be sure to buy this now. You can discover your own favorites among the group.