Book Review: Real Men Knit
Hi! I’m Meg, and I help Marly with Facebook and blogs. I also love to read, so I’m going to start an occasional series of blog posts talking about books that feature knitting, crochet, and yarn that aren’t the usual pattern books. I know there are plenty of romance novels and mysteries that feature yarny topics, but if you have suggestions for additional books I should read in this series please leave them in the comments!
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This month the book is Kwana Jackson’s Real Men Knit, the first in a series of romance novels about brothers who own a local yarn shop. The story is about Jesse Strong, the youngest of four brothers, who wants to keep Strong Knits, their mom’s store, open after she unexpectedly passes away. His brothers are skeptical, because he hasn’t been responsible in the past. Part-time store employee and long-time family friend Kerry Fuller agrees to help him reopen the store and teach him the business. Jesse steps up and becomes dependable as he wants the store to be successful. Kerry spends extra time with him, as a mishap at her apartment building has her living with him temporarily. And as expected in a romance novel, Jesse and Kerry fall in love along the way.
The book is a great start to the series: it introduces you to the 4 brothers and the store. They were all fostered then adopted by Mama Joy, and have a strong loyalty to each other. The store itself is major feature of the book, as the brothers and Kerry rearrange it and have a grand re-opening. Jesse and Kerry bond over knitting, and he surprises her with a handknit present I won’t spoil for you! I also appreciated how the store regularly teaches children how to knit and crochet, and how Jesse and his brothers help the confidence of a little boy who is being teased for his knitting. Because after all, “real men knit”. There weren’t a lot of details about the knitting itself, but knitting, crochet and yarn terms were correctly used.
The next book in the series is Knot Again, about Jesse’s brother firefighter brother Lucas. I’m guessing the other two brothers will also have books, but I haven’t seen it confirmed anywhere.
The publisher’s blurb about Real Men Knit is:
When their foster-turned-adoptive mother suddenly dies, four brothers struggle to keep open the doors of her beloved Harlem knitting shop.
Jesse Strong is known for two things: his devotion to his adoptive mom, Mama Joy, and his reputation for breaking hearts. When Mama Joy unexpectedly passes away, he and his brothers have different plans for what to do with Strong Knits, their neighborhood knitting store. Jesse wants to keep the store open. His brothers want to tie off loose ends and close shop….
Part-time shop employee Kerry Fuller has kept her crush on Jesse a secret. When she overhears his impassioned plea to his brothers to keep the knitting shop open, she volunteers to help. Unlike Jesse, Kerry knows the “knitty-gritty” of the business, and together they make plans to reinvent Strong Knits for a new generation.
But the more time they spend together, the stronger the chemistry builds between them. Kerry, knowing Jesse’s history, doesn’t believe their relationship can last longer than she can knit one, purl two. But Jesse is determined to prove to her that he can be the man for her forever and always. After all, real men knit.
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