Cover Image: Real Men Knit

Real Men Knit

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Member Reviews

As a keen sewer and handcrafter the title got me. I have to admit I know many women who knit but, apart from art students, I have never known any men who do so I was intrigued.
This turned out to be a delightful read that not only clarified the title but was a warming story of life with a generous dose of romance threaded in.
My only niggle was that, if the main characters really were in such a desperate rush to get things up and going in order to save their livelihoods, why weren’t they working every possible minute available to achieve that end? 
A perfect book to curl up with when enjoying a refreshing cup of tea on a gloomy wet day.
Thank you to Harper Collins and NetGalley for this free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Real men knit? Of course they do! I have happy memories of being one of a group of knitting parents who helped teach this enjoyable and wonderful skill to various classes at my children’s school, rather a lot of years ago now! Boys and girls alike had a go, everyone achieved something and we all had a great time. I don’t know how many of those children, now adults, are still knitting, but I hope some of both sexes are. It’s lovely that it’s more usual for men to knit these days, thanks to knitter-designers like Arne and Carlos and possibly even more so to celebrities, such as Ewan McGregor and David Arquette, fessing up to their secret knitting habits!  
The bonding element of knitting – a skill usually passed from one generation to the next or by one friend to another – comes through very strongly in this unusual novel. And it truly is a strong bond. Mama Joy Strong’s knitting shop brings immense richness to Kerry’s life, although not initially to Joy’s adopted sons. Her character is what influenced them both. 
Without giving too much away, knitting eventually begins to matter to the young men too, especially one of them, and two of our characters cast on a new future together.
The pace, appropriately, is steady: reading, like knitting, is to be savoured and we need action and character development to build gradually, just like a garment or accessory gradually takes shape on a pair of needles. But it’s not all plain sailing with either pastime. Stitches get dropped or miscounted and even the most experience knitter makes a mistake in a pattern now and again. Similarly in our novel there are unexpected hitches and unforeseen consequences to surprise the reader and make them rethink a few things.
If you enjoy knitting, and even if – horrors! – you don’t, you’ll find this knitting-inspired novel very satisfying.
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Found the writing thick and clunky and terribly repetitive, and the introspection led to the characters (especially the heroine) often being unsympathetic and not people I wanted to root for, which then made this story fall flat for me. Was expecting a more lively, upbeat, and dynamic story instead of this one which was heavy and clunky and often sleep-inducing, unfortunately
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Big thank you to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book to read and review.

This book was exactly what I was looking for, apart from the smut, or lack thereof. The build up to the romance was so good, there was a good amount of tension between the characters and this book was charming throughout. I absolutely loved the Strong brothers. They are all brilliant in different ways however they are all charming and well.. strong.

The story surrounding the romance as well as the side plot of found family and a yarn shop and this just gave me all the feels. I love that Kerry sticks by the brothers as they find themselves going through one of the worst times of their lives. She never gives up and she is determined to try and help them all and get the shop up and running. However that isn't her only reason for staying. She is in love with Jesse and she always will be.

Honestly throughout this book there were times when I thought that it was going to become a reverse harem, I wouldn't be mad, however it never did.

This was a cute and charming read and I really enjoyed it.
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amma Joy has sadly passed away, but, she leaves her legacy, her 4 adopted boys and her knitting shop.

But with the knitting shop in debt and the collateral on the family home, the boys must pull together with the help of Kerry, to get it back up and running out of the red. 

Jesse's said he'll take on the task, asking his brothers to give him time.

But can Jesse truly focus on the business and keep his personal life of drinking and adding another girl's name to his bed in check?

What no one knows is he's always truly loved Kerry; the girl who grew up in the shop with Mamma Joy and her sons. Will the project together make or break them, only time will tell. 

The strong brothers!!! Yes, I fell in love with them, and I wanted to know more!!! 

Each character has a distinct ethnicity and personal background which I thought was written really well, allowing the reader to picture each character as they read. (Some authors are still scared to do this, or don't know how... if you don't, this is the author to ask for tips)

I felt the characters were realistic and there was enough that you could follow and keep up with who is who, especially when the setting is based in a community centre and a knitting shop. 

I think this would be great as a series. Each book being about a different strong brother. Please say you're going to write more about the strong brothers?!?!?!

This is a novel I really enjoyed and one I hope continues.
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Originally, I went into this thinking that Jesse and Kerry were the best of friends when they were younger. But, that is not actually the case. We have the classic trope of the girl who has always been there by the side of the male love interest but he has always ignored her and seen her as a little sister - or so she thinks. To start of with the negatives and finish with the positives about this book; it does lean into a lot of stereotypes in this book in terms of setting up the dynamics between the characters. Jesse is your typical misunderstood 'bad boy' character in that he moves around girls like there is no tomorrow and is reckless with his drinking and one night stands. Everyone judges him for it and believes he will never dedicate his life to anything worthwhile. It is nice that in this book, he proves people wrong but his character is a little stereotypical in that way. It is nothing we haven't seen many of times before. 

In terms of the writing style, I thought it was okay for the most part however, to say that it was a third person perspective, it almost read like a first person because of its conversational style. I was not a fan of some of the internal monologue that we got from the characters as it felt a little repetitive at times. I also openly cringed when the word 'convo' appeared in the text - conversation would have done fine. It was only small problems that I had with it that I could put aside to enjoy the novel as a whole but, they were still there. 

Now, moving on to the more positive aspects of this book because there are plenty! In terms of characters - I LOVED the element of men being able to have a more emotional side and do a wide range of professions, not  just the typical 'manly' ones. You have the main storyline relating to knitting and you have the brothers who are all in different professions from fire-fighting, to business to being a dancer. I loved the variety there and think this was a very important part of the positive representation within the characters. My boyfriend did suggest that the 'Real Men' part of the title is a little problematic in that sense however, I think this is overruled by the acceptance of the may professions within the book. In terms of race representation, you also have characters in here of many different ethnicities which is always good to see and something I would like to read more of in romance in particular. 

An important part of a romance is, of course, the romance itself. I was rooting for these two to get together so much! One of the major selling points of this one was the incredible sexual tension that came of the page. The smut when it finally happened was also great and is just enough to make the reader feel a little hot under the collar. The attraction itself was great. Again, there is a little too much emphasis placed on the miscommunication or misjudgement trope in this one and the ending was a little too cringe for my liking. However, that being said, it was a very fast paced book as as a reader, you are just eagerly anticipating that final moment. 

It is a bit of a mixed bag of a review. I loved the sexual tension and overall relationships with this book - both familial and romantic. However, there were lots of little things throughout that I didn't enjoy as much. I would have rather a more private resolution at the end - though this is personal preference - and, as I have said, some classic character archetypes were laid on a little thick. All that being said, I still am so glad that I read this book as it does contain some important messages, especially surrounding unpicking the assumptions surround masculinity as well as the traditional family.
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I love knitting and reading about knitting shops but, this story just didn’t cut it for me. I found it a little too sickly and predictable which spoiled the book for me entirely. I guessed the ending very quickly and some of the dialogue between the characters left me cold. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.
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Strong Knits is a staple landmark in the neighborhood; people come to socialise, buy yarn and learn a new craft. Its owner, Mama Joy, is as much part of the fun as the store in itself - until she unexpectedly dies, leaving 4 handsome adoptive sons behind. Initially, they want to sell the store, but one of them, Jesse, an avid knitter, insists that he can save the store with the help of Kerry, who has worked there part-time for most of her life and also loved to knit. Being a knitter myself, I felt like this story was perfect as a concept; I absolutely had to read it. 

I read it, and it fell a bit short of my expectations. It was a nice story, but the dynamic between Jesse and Kerry is somewhat strange; they're a bit awkward around each other, having had a secret crush for each other since childhood, then suddenly - and I mean, really suddenly - it changes, and then it changes again out of the blue, and so on. I couldn't quite relate to them as a couple because it felt like there was a huge build-up, all so that what it was building up to happened without the necessary transition.

A few more chapters focussing on this transition between each change of dynamic could've perhaps helped. Jesse also stressed me out a bit with his reluctance to believe in anything positive about himself; the character growth that I was expecting, where he would gradually come to terms with his failings and embrace who he was completely never happened, which makes me question how healthy a relationship can be when you constantly believe you're a total fuck up.

All in all, there was a lot of room for improvement, but I did like the story behind it and diversity is as abundant in this story as it should be in every book out there. I think, with time, Kwana Jackson will write some really awesome books.
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When I saw this book I was excited. Romance, tick. Knitting, BIG tick.

The truth is I have such a soft spot for knitting romance books, like the Blossom Street series.

However, for me, this book missed the mark. The knitting aspect felt a bit shoehorned in. The romance was definitely the main focus here.

It had a nice slowburn, which I appreciated. However one of the reasons I like a slow-burn romance is that it gives the characters room to grow and develop alone. Add this to the sizzle and anticipation of a blossoming romance and you're on to a winner. But again, I felt like this book fell short. 

The characters felt a bit flimsy and I didn't really understand their motivations, or find them particularly likeable. 

Sadly, not one for me.
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Loved this! Adored the characters and the writing, flew through this in one afternoon. The Strong boys were by far my favourites and I’d love to read more about them. I laughed and I cried, so many emotional moments for me. I would happily read a sequel as I think there is so much back story I’d be excited to learn about.
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‘Real Men Knit’ is the latest book by Kwana Jackson.

Kerry Fuller has worked at Joy Strong’s knitting shop – Strong Knits – for years. And she’s had a secret crush on Joy’s son, heartbreaker Jesse Strong, for even longer. When Joy unexpectedly passes away, Jesse vows that he will keep the shop open, no matter what. And with no idea of where to start, he reaches out to Kerry for help. Soon Kerry is teaching Jesse all the knitty-gritty parts of the business – all the while trying to keep her heart from getting broken. The longer they spend together, the closer they become. But Kerry doesn’t believe their relationship can last longer than she can knit one, purl one. It’s up to Jesse to prove her wrong.

This was the perfect book to curl up with this morning, a story of love and friendship set in New York.

The story is seen through the narrative of Becky and Jesse, as they deal with the aftermath of losing their foster mother, Mama Joy. A huge spirit who helped many children including Jesse’s other brothers Damian, Lucas and Noah find a stable and loving home. With her passing, the brothers and Becky are determined that her knitting shop will continue.

Jesse and Becky are great characters. Jesse is a bit of a womaniser who leaves a string of broken hearts in his path and is adamant that Mama Joy’s knitting shop will be a success with him in charge and determined to prove his brothers wrong. He’s always had a bit of a soft spot for Becky but she’s completely oblivious whereas Jesse always had a piece of her heart. But when she has to move in with him when her apartment is being renovated, it’s interesting to see the dynamics between the pair of them. Becky witnesses the women coming and going and Jesse has to deal with new feelings with Becky as well as process his own grief over Mama Joy. I loved Becky’s spirit and her passion and she made for entertaining reading. The dual perspectives are also a great addition to the story as they interacted with each other and misinterpreted actions and words.

Although not blood brothers, Jesse and his brothers are always there for each other. Sweetly written with great characters, ‘Real Men Knit’ is a great story, that no matter the gender, everyone can knit and and it’s a powerful message that you don’t need to be connected by blood to be family.

You can buy ‘Real Men Knit’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.
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I would like to thank Netgalley, Harper Collins UK and Kwana Jackson for the e arc copy of this book. 
We meet the four Strong bothers, Damian, Lucas, Noah and Jesse. Their adoptive mother has passed away and they must decide what to do with her knitting and yarn store Strong Knits. All four brothers are opinionated and Jesse’s brother don’t think much of him – he has never really settled to anything. When he persuades them that he can run the store and make it a success they are very sceptical. With his brothers help and that of Kerry, a friend who has work in the shop since childhood, they get the store ready for re-opening. As we meet not only the brothers and Kerry but the people in the neighbourhood, we learn what the store means for many people. We also see Jesse learn more about himself and to develop as a person. He helps people and in particular a young boy. His relationship with Kerry changes but can the new relationship last?
A lovely read.
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Romance, humour and knitting, how can you possibly resist Kwana Jackson’s delightful new novel, Real Men Knit?

Kerry Fuller cannot remember a time when she didn’t have a secret crush on her employer’s son Jesse Strong. Heartbreaker Jesse is the man of Kerry’s dreams, but sadly it looks like her love for him will remain unrequited. Kerry has long resigned herself to the fact that Jesse will always see her as being nothing more than his mother’s employee. However, when tragedy strikes and Jesse finds himself needing help to keep his mother’s store Strong Knits open, he realises that he doesn’t have the first clue about running a knitting shop. Jesse is desperate. He needs help and he knows the right person to help him out of the hole he has found himself in: Kerry!

Having worked at Strong Knits for eons, Kerry knows the business like the back of her hand. Spending time with the man she has been in love with for years might not exactly be ideal, but Kerry owes it to her late employer to help her son out in his hour of need – even if it means getting her heart broken in the process all over again. Finding herself thrust in very close proximity to Jesse, Kerry knows she should focus on teaching Jesse the knitty-gritty of the business, but it soon transpires that they’ve got a whole lot on both their minds than dropped stiches and yarn!

As the two of them become closer and closer, will their professional relationship give way to a love that could last a lifetime? Or will there be more heartache and disappointment for Kerry?

Real Men Knit is an absolute delight from start to finish! Kwana Jackson has written a cosy, uplifting and heartfelt contemporary romance that readers will absolutely love as it sparkles with warmth, wit and pathos. The chemistry between Kerry and Jesse is absolutely electric and you will certainly not need any cable-knit sweaters while reading this book as their love story will certainly get your temperature rising!

A compulsively readable tale romantics will not want to miss, make sure you add Kwana Jackson’s Real Men Knit to your auto-buy list!
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An interesting concept but this book wasn’t really for me. As a keen knitter I normally enjoy fiction books based round this subject, but it took me a bit too long to get into this book.
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I saw the sweet cover a while back and knew I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to participate in this blog tour. Of course I was guilty, as I often am, of judging a book – this book – by its cover.

Real Men Knit presents itself as a cute, sweet romance with the added extra of knitting. Upon reading this book, though, I discovered that there is more to it than that. The book begins with the aftermath of the death of the matriarch, Mama Joy, who has not only nurtured the very different Strong brothers’ but she has also run the knitting shop — Strong Knits alongside. Yes, it is about how these boys — and Kerry — get the shop up and running, but this book is a sharp, emotional showcase of how it feels to lose someone who meant to much to so many (something I think a lot of us will have experienced over this past year).

Admittedly, the book felt as if it took a long time getting started but — I will say — I did enjoy it once it did.

It was a bit predictable, and the romance wasn’t as electrifying as I thought it might be, but it was an easy, family filled story which filled me with comfort…even if I know I’d be hopeless at knitting!
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I really enjoyed this story and the character development. I am hopeful that we will get the other three brothers' stories in the future! There were lots of lump in the throat moments as well as laugh out loud ones. A really fun uplifting read that will completely enthral you as a reader
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I am a sucker for a good love story and this absolutely gorgeous cover caught my eye and was instantly one I have wanted to read.

This is a feel good read which I have devoured in just one sitting and really enjoyed. The plot had been unique to anything I’ve read previously and has really made this one stand out to me. The characters in this book are likeable and realistic. I have really enjoyed the journey through this one with them.

This has been more of a family fiction novel for me, with a slow burn romance thrown in. This hasn’t been a negative point as I have loved to see the relationships grow and develop. It has been easy to see the characters grow as I’ve read page after page.

The author has a great writing style, I have been completely pulled into the pages of this one and definitely not disappointed. This is a read that has left me smiling and I cannot wait to read more by this author.
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I didn’t get on with this book. It failed to grab my attention at the start which unfortunately meant I struggled to get into it and therefore didn’t get very far with it.
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You know that scene in me before you where he says to Lou Clarke she has so much potential? This is exactly how I felt about this book. It could have been a five star read but was just slow and the characters had no depth and I just couldn't get on with it.
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I tried my very best with this book, unfortunately it wasn't for me. I found the characters well written but I couldn't finish this unfortunately.  This is not to say the book wasn't good just not to my taste
I give this 3 stars still. Thank you to Netgalley and the author and publishers for the opportunity to read this book for my honest review
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