This is more a gay fiction novel with a romantic subplot than a typical m/m romance. It's about Carlos Batista who has an epiphany after gay marriage is banned in his state. He decides to run for State Representative after a run-in with the bigoted bully (Anthony 'Tall Toni' Scipione) who has been in the Statehouse seat for more than twenty years. At the same time as this is happening Carlos meets and falls for the enigmatic and slightly sinister boxer, Brian Gallagher.There is a big cast of colourful characters. The interactions and dialogue between them feel very real. Especially the gay men and women in the novel. There is some evocative and funny imagery. Some of my favourite passages were of the gay marriage convention at the beginning of the novel:"When a gnomish, bearded Vietnam veteran wearing dark glasses and fatigues and carrying a sign that said GOT AIDS YET? crossed their path, Q-bit confronted him. The vet fended off Q-bit with a hand-held crucifix as if he were a vampire. They fell to arguing at close range. For every quote from Leviticus, Q-bit argued about the man's lack of Christian feeling, his lack of humility, and the fact that Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. As their exchange grew more heated, the cops on horseback drifted their way. News copters hovered overhead, hoping for violence. Gay Shame Columbus, a collection of radical homosexuals with brilliantly dyed rainbow hair, cobalt blue fingernails, and outrageous costumes that were certified thrift-store fabulous, gathered around Q-bit like back-up singers around a Motown star." I read recently in a discussion some readers/authors suggesting new plot-lines they would like to see m/m romance tackle. One of them was stories based around the Gay Marriage movement. That is definitely the major theme of this novel. And it's done really well I think. There are other threads running through this novel as well like the meaning of loyalty, and how Carlos starts off as a one-ticket representative but his experiences allow him to get to know his whole community and all their needs. This is also a very suspenseful plot as Brian's motivations and loyalties make the reader worry for Carlos.There are a couple of sex scenes and like all written by these authors they are hot, earthy and real. But as I said this is really a gay fiction novel first and foremost. It took me a while to get into. At one point I almost put it down for a while but I'm glad I persisted because finally I really enjoyed it.