Marc reviews ‘Husbands’ (Equals Book 4) by Brigham Vaughn. This book was published by the author on April 24th and is about 143 pages long.
RGR received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Check out my review of ‘Equals’ (Equals 1) with audio excerpt read by the author.
Check out my review of ‘Partners’ (Equals 2) with a guest post about series.
Check out my review of ‘Family: A Holiday Novella’ (Equals 3)
Check out my review of ‘Sunburns and Sunsets’
Check out my Interview with Brigham Vaughn
Why I read this book:
It is sad to say goodbye to these wonderful main protagonists, but hey have gifted me with many beautiful hours and I am grateful for this beautiful conclusion to their story. When I had the chance to review ‘Husbands’, I just had to say yes. I’m glad I did.
Russ is ready to make a lifelong commitment to his partner. That means marriage to him, but Stephen grew up believing that was out of the question. With marriage equality still not recognized in Georgia, Stephen is only concerned about the legal protection available to them.
Someone from Stephen’s past reappears and drives a wedge between them as Russ and Stephen struggle to agree on their future. Russ tries to understand Stephen’s complex feelings about marriage, but the differences in their background stresses the relationship further. Can the relationship they’ve built overcome the issues they face?
Russ had been fourteen when Vermont became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage. State after state joined the ranks, and in the last few years it seemed to be gaining momentum. It was only a matter of time before marriage equality swept the nation. He’d grown up with the idea that someday he’d have the right to marry the man he loved. If he wanted it—and right now, he wanted it more than anything else in the world—there would be nothing to stop him.
Except, his partner—the one he’d been so sure wanted the same thing—apparently didn’t.
“How’d you know I was up here?” he asked hoarsely.
Stephen’s gaze lifted, his smile sad. “Because I know you.”
Russ’ tongue felt thick all of a sudden, unwieldy in his mouth. “I thought I knew you.”
The look of hurt in Stephen’s gaze was shattering, but no more so than the earlier rejection. “Can we talk?”
“I’m not sure what there is to say.” Russ walked out of the pool, limbs heavy after the grueling swim and time spent floating in the water. It was almost like the feeling of being back on land after spending a day on a boat. Except that made him think of sailing with Stephen, which was too painful to consider right now. “I asked you to marry me, and it’s not something you want. There really isn’t a compromise.”
The cover of this book is beautiful and was done by the author. I have to admit that the font and placement of the title are not as polished as in most other covers I have seen, but I love the cover image itself. It is the final book in this series and the wedding ring we see is a sign of the happy ending readers have to look forward to and the committment between the characters. However, there is another ship on collision course, before they can sale into the sunset, one last challenge they have to overcome.
‘Husbands’ is the perfect title for the last book in the series. The titles in this series have been like themes, showing how the relationship between the two men has changed over time. Becoming husbands is the last step for them.
The book starts with a potentially happy situation that turns unexpectedly dramatic and I was shocked. As a reader who has invested time in these characters, I really wanted to see them happy and I felt heart-broken. I NEEDED to know WHY and that is when instead of going forward to answer this question, we go back in time a bit. I’m never quite sure how to feel about about such a time jump, I want to stay in the dramatic present.
However, Brigham Vaughn handles the situation very well. I was never bored about what happened before and I got very important information about Russ and Stephen and the way their relationship has progressed.
The past is also important, when Stephen’s ex lover shows up. While I was dismayed about leaving the dramatic present at first, I realized it was important to have closure with the past, just as Stephen needs to find closure with his ex. First the past needs to be understood and then one can learn from it.
With every new page I understood not only more about the characters, but I recognized the challenges that were still in their way. It was a pleasure to see them overcome all obstacles and become even stronger for it. The love and commitment between the two men is beautiful.
Brigham Vaugn is a master in creating realistic an likable characters with complex relationships. The stories she tells are not just fun fantasies, they feel real. It feels like Stephen and Russ are alive. They are not just random book characters, they feel like friends. Their fate is important and thus readers will care for them and invest in them.
This series was a wonderful ride and I was glad to meet these characters. For me, this was a perfect ending to a great series.
The Rating: 9.5/10 Pots of Gold (95% Recommended). Compares to 4.75/5 Stars.
Brigham Vaughn has always been a voracious reader with her own stories to tell. After many years of abandoned plots, something finally clicked. Now she’s eating, sleeping, and breathing writing and is excited to have finally figured out what she wants to be when she grows up. In the little time that isn’t spent writing or reading, she loves cooking, yoga, photography, and remodeling her ninety-year-old home. Brigham lives in Michigan with her four cats and an amazing husband who has always been her biggest champion.