IDK why I keep trying with these Berkley books. I really try to come at them with an open mind but by the time I got to the end of this one I was just annoyed with everybody.
Real Men Knit probably has one of the best log lines of 2020: Four brothers begrudgingly come together to reopen their late mother’s Harlem yarn shop.
Our heroine is 26-year-old Kerry Fuller, a fixture in the yarn shop who is about to start her career in childhood education. She agrees to help Jesse Strong, the partying, playboy youngest Strong brother, revamp the shop for the grand re-opening.
The four brothers constant bickering and picking felt immature after a while and the story has a lot of Not Like The Other Girls vibes which is my least favorite thing. I couldn’t figure out why Jesse wanted to settle down with Kerry and more importantly, I’m not sure what she sees him ? In my re-read to write this review, I’m realizing Jesse is a 27-year-old man without a job who wasn’t even helping his mother run the shop he lived above rent-free ???
This is a closed door romance and I’m not someone who is bothered by closed-door romance but I think it did a real disservice in this book because so much of the characters’ relationship could have been developed in those scenes. They just randomly sleep together at around 60% and suddenly we’re supposed to think their endgame material.
As you can guess from the title, it does do the thing where it challenges ideas of masculinity around knitting. All of the brothers can knit and they show the boys in the community that it’s okay to be into fiber arts too. I thought that was fun to see and I liked the community aspect, this book felt very Harlem but the main didn’t work for me.
The audiobook was narrated by Keylor Leigh, who is new to me. She has a great voice. She didn’t do a lot of character voices and I like that sometimes in a narrator. It just feels like hearing someone tell a story.