Book Reviews

Happy Independence Day (A Philip Potter Story) by Michael Rupured at DSP Publications

Genre Gay / Historical / 20th Century / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 26-July-2016

Book Blurb

Terrence Bottom wants to change the world. Little does he know the world is already changing, and his part in it won’t be what he expects. A prelaw student at Columbia University, Terrence’s interests range from opposing the draft and the war in Vietnam, to civil rights for gays, to anything to do with Cameron McKenzie, the rugged blond hanging around the Stonewall Inn. Too bad Cameron bolts whenever Terrence looks his way.

College dropout Cameron McKenzie left tiny Paris, Kentucky, with dreams of a career on Broadway. Although he claims to be straight, he prostitutes himself to survive. Now the Mafia is using him to entrap men for extortion schemes. He’s in over his head with no way out—at least not a way that doesn’t involve cement shoes and a swim in the Hudson.

Terrence finally confronts Cameron, and they return to the Stonewall Inn during another police raid. But this time the patrons aren’t going quietly. While Terrence sees his chance to stand beside his friends and stand up for his beliefs, Cameron sees the distraction of the riots as an opportunity to escape—even if it means walking away from the only man he’s ever loved.

1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, 2014.


Book Review

“When the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars… then peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars... This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius... harmony and understanding; sympathy and trust abounding; no more falsehoods or derisions, golden living dreams of visions; mystic crystal revelation and the mind's true liberation.” ~ Fifth Dimension 'Hair' Aquarius

'Happy Independence Day' by Michael Rupured picks up at the end of ‘No Good Deed’, with Terrance in college and Harold, Phillip's most recent charge, just graduating from high school. The most important things in Terrance's life are to graduate from college and go to law school so he can be in a position to help the oppressed gain independence and respect. At this stage of his life, nothing is more important than achieving those goals. At least, that was the case until he sees Cameron, a handsome, rugged-looking young man across the room in the Stonewall Inn.

For Harold's high school graduation, Philip and his lover, George, give Harold and his best friend, Abigail, a trip to New York City and tickets to see the musical Hair. One of the things Terrance promises Harold is to take him to the Stonewall Inn, a rather run-down establishment, but, other than the token police raids that take place regularly with advanced notice, a safe haven of sorts for homosexuals. The police are paid off by the mob for this courtesy. Harold and his friend are in awe of all the sights and sounds they never would have experienced otherwise. Men dancing together, drag queens in full regalia, women dancing together, holding hands, and drinking, another “courtesy” secured by bribes, since it is against the law to serve liquor to homosexuals.

Cameron can't imagine anyone wanting to be with him in his current circumstances, especially a handsome young man like Terrance. Yet, when Terrance finally approaches him, he can't resist. A chance to be with Terrance is something Cameron doesn't want to miss. When Cameron and Terrance leave, they entrust Harold and Abigail to the care of his friends, Kremma De Kropp, drag queen extraordinaire, and Terrance’s lesbian buddy, Kelsey. It never occurs to Terrance that anything out of the ordinary might happen. However, he is wrong. It's a hot Saturday night and the club is more crowded than ever. When an unscheduled police raid takes place and the officers go beyond obligatory harassment to deliberate destruction of their safe haven, the crowd becomes hostile. Their backs are pushed up against a 'stone wall', and for the first time, they come back fighting.

Michael has done a great job of bringing the characters from the first book into the present of this story. Terrance may be the focus with his love interest being Cameron, but woven in with their romance are real historic events. Michael's writing is smooth and evenly paced. Even though I knew what would take place, I still couldn't put the book down. When I heard about the riots back in 1969, I was appalled that it took violence to achieve change, but I remember thinking: “It's about time to call for some respect.” Thanks, Michael, for the brilliant portrayal of Stonewall's legacy.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by DSP Publications for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 256 pages/80026 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 26-July-2016
Price $6.99 ebook, $16.99 paperback, $16.99 bundle
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