Book: Linear Park
Series: States of Love: Rhode Island
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht
Publication date: November 22, 2017
Length: 61 pages
Reviewed by Erin
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?
A good book cover will always catch my eye so when I saw the cover for Ken Harrison's Linear Park, it immediately grabbed my attention. It's very nice, yeah? There is not enough diversity in MM romance so I was really excited to dive into this book. I was especially excited because the book centers on an established couple who have hit a rough patch. Books that focus on a couple who have a long history together are among my favorites; there's just something about that connection that I really enjoy reading about.
In Linear Park, Sean and Nick have known one another almost all their lives. They grew up together, were high school sweethearts, and have got married after college. Things couldn't be going better for them until Sean's father passes away sending Sean on a self-destructive downward spiral until he's an alcoholic who has lost not only his job, but his husband as well. For such a short book, at only 61 pages, Linear Park handles some pretty serious topics, and for the most part, does it well. Due to the length of the book there's not a whole lot of time to devote to Sean's undoing, but what Harrison portrays is heartbreaking and emotional. Sean's unwillingness at first to admit he has a problem, then his anger and his guilt, until finally he hits rock bottom and decides to get help.
There is a lot of telling and not showing in the book, since the story begins after most of the hard stuff is over, too much for me to really connect with Sean as much as I would have liked. Sure his story is gut-wrenching and seeing the aftermath of his self-destructive behavior is painful, but I wish there'd been more. With the shortness of the book it's impossible, and it's really quite a shame. It's pretty refreshing to see a couple that is not perfect and has to overcome some pretty serious obstacles to find their happiness once again. All in all, this was a good book, I just wish there'd been more to it. Give it a chance though, it might be for you.
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