Real Men Knit

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 19 Jun 2020

Member Reviews

I was very much looking forward to this book!

I enjoyed the writing and thought the author did a great job with the story, but for me it was less of a romance and more about the knitting store and getting that back on track. I didn't see enough of the spark between the hero and heroine.
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I'm not going to lie here the premise of this book had me totally intrigued! Men who knit and run a knitting store? Wild. But in an amazingly well done way! This story features the Strong brother, four adopted siblings who were raised my Mama Joy and taught to knit. The story starts with the passing of Mama Joy and the figuring out a what to do with her knitting store.  Jesse Strong and Kerry are the main characters in this story, Jesse who's the ladies man with a good heart, and Kerry who has always been there. The love story between these two takes sometime to get going but is well worth the wait! I also really enjoyed the other brothers and characters we were introduced to and I hope we get to see them in stories in the future!
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me an ARC for an honest review.
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A cute twist on knitting  being for men as well. 
After Mama Joys death all her loved ones must pull  together  to save her famous knitting shop from closing.
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This heartwarming tale of four bothers taking over their foster turned adoptive moms knitting shop after she passes away. 

This a charming "friends to lovers" story which I always love, but I felt it was missing something, I'm not sure what that something is exactly may be a detail I missed or details I wanted more of.
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I know these are trying times with extenuating circumstances... but I'm blubbering now. This ending was precious. And I needed it.

Real Men Knit is just a warm, charming all-around real love story. Family love. Community love. Friend love. And, our favorite, romantic love. Duh.

I don't usually gravitate to "friends"-to-lovers stories. They're not my favorite. But this book hit the spot right now.

Thank you Netgalley and @berkleyromance for chance to read an advanced copy. It releases in May. I voluntarily read and reviewed this book and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Real Men Knit has a good premise. I love a story where gender norms are reversed and I was excited to fantasize about some hot men knitting. But while I was pleased with that aspect, the romance falls quite flat. I never found myself rooting for Jesse and Kerry. They never seemed to actually talk, which would have fixed their problems within the first hundred pages, rather than the info dump that was the first 50% of the book. I almost put this book down 15 different times, but held out in case the story drastically got better...unfortunately, it didn't.

I am hopeful that with some edits at least some of the more problematic errors and syntax issues will be smoothed out. The amount of rambling and internal dialogue bogged down the plot so completely, it was sometimes hard to figure out what was going on, and who we should be invested in. Perhaps if the story were told with first-person narration, these problems would be fixed. It's clear to see that the intention of this story is to focus future books on the rest of the Strong brothers. To be honest, I'm not very interested in reading about them after reading Real Men Knit. Hopefully, that changes with some good editing and beta reading.
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My only complaint about this book is wanting more. I want more of the other brothers, and I wish there was not as many time jumps. I sometimes felt like I was missing something due to these jumps. But a great story with great characters and a whole lotta heart
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I was excited to read this, and while I did enjoy it, it wasn't my favorite. It seemed to lag and the characters often ended up rambling more than doing and saying anything useful. Still, it was a fun read and a nice change.
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I loved this book! A combination of my favorite interests. I was rooting for them the whole time and was so glad there weren't any really bad obstacles.
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I really wanted to like this book. It has a lot of elements that I like: the knitting and the knitting store, strong characters and conflict. 
But the amount of rambling and internal dialogue bogged down the plot so completely, it sometimes was hard to pick up the trail again. 

In the end, this story wasn't a good fit for me. 

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.
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Thanks to NetGalley for making an eARC copy of this book available to me.

I really like the premise (and title) of this book.  I just found the execution to be a bit lacking for my taste.  Too many times multiple paragraphs were taken to explain and re-explain the feelings of the protagonists.  I also felt like it was never explained how the tens of thousands of dollars were made (and in a very short time) that were necessary to get the shop out of debt.  The author hinted at the protagonists having many good ideas for making viable changes, but the few that were at all fleshed out wouldn't seem to be able to make that big a dent in the debt.

I'm sure that this book will work just fine for some audiences.  The author has it nicely set up to allow for books about the other three brothers, for any who would like to see the story continue.  It's just not for me.
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This was an interesting premise, but it fell a little flat for me. Four brothers take over their adoptive mother’s yarn shop after her death, and one of one the brothers falls in love with his childhood friend/employee of the shop. 

Parts of the story were cute, but I wanted more feeling and depth from the characters. The ending was a bit of a let down too. It seems like a setup for a series, so I’ll probably give the next one a chance.
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I loved the idea of reading this book but struggled with the reality of it. The characters had no depth for me and as much as I was dying to, I could not connect with any of them. This one may find it's readers, but they don't include me.
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This was such a sweet surprise! I had not heard of this book but got preapproved, and thought I'd give it a try. This was an absolute delight. I feel like I fell into this world so quickly. The setting of a yarn shop made it feel so colorful and sunshine-y. Jesse and Kerry were a nice slow burn, and I loved watching them admit their feelings for each other. I loved pretty much every single Strong Brother, I'm excited to see if they get romances too!
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Well dang. Loved the premise, the setting, the family, the extended cast of characters, the representation, and THAT COVER. Sadly, the writing just didn't do it for me. It was in serious danger of being a DNF. I wish it had a chance at a good developmental edit so it could meet its 5-star potential!

When Mama Joy unexpectedly dies, leaving her Harlem knitting shop and brownstone in the hands of her four adopted sons, Jesse (the youngest) is determined to prove his worth and keep it open. Lucky for him, their girl-next-door family friend, Kerry, is willing to help. But Kerry is on her own quest to prove herself, a quest that may demand she distance herself from the shop and from Jesse. How and when will they discover their mutual long-standing crush? How and when will they discover a way to save the shop? 

It was definitely the how and when that let me down. The pacing seemed really off (I don't think we got to see a real man knit until like 17 chapters in!). The writing structure also seemed unrefined and repetitive, the characters underdeveloped, and even the dialogue, which had cute, snappy moments, was inconsistent and hard to follow at times. Especially in the first half, we spent far too much time moping around in our main characters' heads. Yes, they had just experienced a significant loss, so yes, it made sense for them to be sad and introspective, but it didn't make sense for readers to be that fogged for that long. 

If you like diverse, slow-burn, friends-to-lovers stories that heavily feature family dynamics and include main characters (a strong female lead! a sensitive male lead!) that challenge each other, then perhaps you'll be able to overlook some of the writing issues and enjoy this one far more than I did. Plus, there are three more hot Harlem brothers to write into a series and yes, #WeNeedDiverseRomance.

Content notes: foster care system, death in family,  objectifying language, off-screen drug overdose, absent parents
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Real Men Knit is a story about community. The love and care those that are committed to Strong Knits have for the brothers trying to save the shop comes through loud and clear. The work done at the community center with children and the encouragement given to a young boy being bullied becasue he likes to knit was touching. The romance between Jesse and Kerry is very much in the background for most of the book. When it does come to fruition right at the end it's so fast I felt like I was missing out. But for all the other good things this story accomplishes with it's varied characters it was worth the read for me.
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I really loved the premise of this book (so here for a focus on family, neighborhood dynamics, and subverting some gender norms with yarn) but the execution was very clunky. The pacing was all over the place, with so much time spent building up to reopening the store and Jesse and Kerry getting together and then no time at all to enjoy either of those things before it was over. The structure of switching between third person POVs of Kerry and Jesse in the same chapters with no distinct separation was also often confusing, since their voices were not as different as perhaps they should have been. Overall I'd still be into another book if this became a series, the author left herself three hot brothers to focus on in a sequel and I did like the world she created here.
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A sweet romance that takes place in Harlem while trying to keep a beloved knitting shop open once the owner dies, leaving her four foster boys in charge.
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Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson was one of my most highly anticipated TBRs of the year. For years I've been trying to knit (with varying success), so finding a romance book (which is one of my top 2 genres) centered around knitting was a super exciting concept for me. I was over the moon seeing that I could request this on Netgalley and floored when I actually got my eARC review copy. It got pushed to the top of my list for that week's readings, yet the more I read the book the more unhappy I became. Books are my life. I work with them, they are my hobby, my primary form of self-care, and almost always on my mind. But for the life of me I can't write anything resembling a book. With that in mind I hate writing harsh reviews or disliking a book, but sadly I really disliked Real Men Knit. 

The book started off with the aftermath of a character death. I was happy to see that the death wasn't glanced over and the the character's grief was shown. But the romance was SO slowly built up, it almost felt like half the book. Then once it started it was glossed over in favour of talking about other topics, with no communication between the main characters. The book literally jumped from the climax to the solution in one page. At every turn I gave the book another chance, yet I just kept getting more and more disappointed. 

Even with all of this in mind I wouldn't discourage people from reading the book. It just wasn't for me, but others may enjoy it. If anything I also feel like if the book was labelled as a fiction novel vs a romance I wouldn't have been as upset with the lack of romance in the novel.
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As a former small biz owner, I wanted to love this book so hard. But I didn’t.

Mama Joy and her knitting shop were the heart of her Harlem community but she died. Can her four adopted sons and the young women she mentored keep her legacy alive? Or will they be forced to sell the store?

I loved the premise of knitting bringing a community and the brothers together. It was great to see men, especially alpha male types, doing something like knitting.

Ultimately, the writing style just didn’t capture me. It felt flat and repetitive. Because I loved the premise, if Kwana Jackson writes another Strong brother book, I’ll definitely give it a try.
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