Book Reviews

Linear Park (States of Love) by Ken Harrison at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Interracial / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 01-February-2018

Book Blurb

Sean and Nick’s life together was a fairy tale: childhood friends who became lovers, high school sweethearts who married after college, both handsome professionals. Sean always enjoyed a few drinks, but after the death of his father, his alcoholism spiraled out of control… and it cost him everything.


When Sean loses his job and becomes too surly and unreasonable to live with, Nick has little choice but to end the relationship. Sean can’t blame Nick for giving up—not after the arguments and the lies—but he longs for the happiness and love they shared before he spoiled everything. He resolves to get sober and win back his husband. But even if he wins his battle with alcoholism, will it be too late to save his marriage?



States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.


Book Review

Grief and alcohol are a dangerous mixture, and in any situation that involves both, there is a very real danger that things get out of hand. This is exactly what happens to Sean when he loses his father to cancer – “just one more drink” will help him deal with it. But one drink turns into another and another, Sean begins to hide alcohol at home so his husband, Nick, won’t catch him, and when it gets to the point where Nick just can’t deal with it anymore (a full two years later!), Nick tells Sean to get help and rents him a hotel room for a week so Sean can consider his options.

Sean, of course, is livid. He is not rational, keeps drinking, and decides to move into an apartment just out of spite. A DUI and losing his car finally helps Sean realize he is the only one who can change things and the rest of the story focuses on his long, hard road back to sobriety and a new life. He wants his old life with Nick back – which can’t happen, of course, since they will both carry the emotional scars from what happened for the rest of their lives – but talking to Nick and figuring out what sort of a new life they can build together may just be possible.

Sean’s slide into alcoholism and the hard work he has to do to get back control are very realistic. The story is more of a sketch though, showing some of the steps he takes, rather than a full exploration of Sean’s situation, which would take a novel. There is a little bit of a local flavor, but Rhode Island did not get the kind of exposure and detail I have seen some of the other states get in this series. Still, it was an interesting foray into a place I have not yet visited.

If you like stories with a focus on one main character and his struggles, if second chances (or the hope for one) are your thing, and if you’re looking for a short read centered around a very realistic issue, then you might like this novella.





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

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 61 pages/19610 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 22-November-2017
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link