Book Reviews

Stained Hearts (Links in the Chain 3) by Parker Williams at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Disability / Age Gap / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 11-September-2019

Book Blurb

Can two hearts stained by past pain find healing together?


Tom Kotke held his husband of twenty-five years on the day he died and spent nearly a year adrift. Determined to force Tom back into the world, his family takes him to the Park View Diner, where he meets young stained-glass artist Aiden Dawson. For a brief moment, Tom doesn’t think about his deceased husband—a terrifying prospect.


Slowly, Aiden draws Tom out of his shell and helps him feel alive once more. But Tom isn’t the only one who has suffered. Aiden fears no one sees beyond his wheelchair. Even if Tom can convince him he’s different, they’ll still have to overcome their age difference and a secret that could destroy their future together.


Book Review

When I finished ‘Galen’s Redemption’, book two in this series, I knew in my heart that it was the best story Parker Williams had written… to date. ‘Stained Hearts’ just might be in the same class. I knew Tom’s story was going to be tough for me to read because it wasn’t that long ago that my own husband, my beloved soul mate, died and I was all alone. Parker captured all the emotions so beautifully without dragging me down into despair and he unerringly understands the pain of loss and the unimaginable depths there are to grief. Even more important, however, is how much the story focuses on moving forward and not giving in to the pain no matter how much Tom may have wanted to at times. ‘Stained Hearts’ is an ode to love and it’s a story I will cherish forever.

It has been over a year since Brian passed and Tom is finally starting to move forward, leaving the house, spending time with his family and friends… learning to live again. He’s at Lincoln’s diner one day when he’s introduced to Aiden and his sister, Olivia. Olivia used to be Galen’s assistant and was instrumental in getting his father arrested for sexual harassment while Aiden and Noel know each other from college. Aiden has a disability involving his legs which no one but him seems to have a problem with, at least not within the group of people who love him. A huge majority of this story is seeing Aiden learn to grow up and actually become the adult he claims to be. It’s not weak to ask for help but because of how his parents treated him and then casting him aside when he came out as gay, Aiden has a bad tendency to try to push people away before they can leave him. Watching him grow in this story was refreshing and an example of the power of the human spirit.

The very best part of this final book in the series was the love between Tom and Aiden. I laughed, I cried, I sighed, and I devoured every moment between them. The way Brian found a way to reach out to Tom even after he was gone was incredible and brought back my own similar memories. The author threw a little extra drama in at the end which I can admit I cursed him (softly and under my breath) for—but even then, Parker made it all flow so beautifully.

An absolutely gorgeous story that reminded me how important love is and that, once again, the family you make together is often far better than one you are born into. Thank you, Parker, for making this finale book so amazing.





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 and print
Length Novel, 194 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 10-September-2019
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
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