Hi everyone! I hope you’re all well. Today, I’m here to talk about Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson, which I had the pleasure of reading in February thanks to Edelweiss.
When their foster-turned-adoptive mother suddenly dies, four brothers struggle to keep open the doors of her beloved Harlem knitting shop, while dealing with life and love in Harlem.
Jesse Strong is known for two things: his devotion to his adoptive mom, Mama Joy, and his reputation for breaking hearts in Harlem. When Mama Joy unexpectedly passes away, he and his brothers have different plans on what to do with Strong Knits, their neighborhood knitting store: Jesse wants to keep the store open; his brothers want to shut it down.
Jesse makes an impassioned plea to Kerry Fuller, his childhood friend who has had a crush on him her entire life, to help him figure out how to run the business. Kerry agrees to help him reinvent the store and show him the knitty-gritty of the business, but the more time they spend together, the more the chemistry builds. Kerry, knowing Jesse’s history, doesn’t believe this relationship will exist longer than one can knit one, purl one. But Jesse is determined to prove to her that he can be the man for her—after all, real men knit.
Real Men Knit is a cute friends-to-lovers romance about family, friendship and community. It took a while for me to get into it because the writing felt clunky, the dialogue feels unnatural and nothing happened in the first half, but once I became hooked around the 50% mark, I couldn’t put it down!
The story is dual POV following Kerry and Jesse after the sudden death of matriarch and beloved community member, Mama Joy. Mama Joy is Jesse’s adoptive mother and he comes together with his brothers (Damian, Lucas, and Noah) to figure out what to do with the family business. Kerry is a childhood family friend and employee.
Kerry and Jesse’s friendship was kind of awkward at first, but once we ease into the plot things improve greatly and I spent the rest of the book anxiously waiting for the “good stuff 😈” I loved the brothers relationships with each other and their protectiveness of each other and Kerry. I hope Ms. Jackson has more stories planned because I’d love a book about my boy Lucas fighting fires and turning up the heat in that firehouse (if you know what I mean 😉).
Even though it took me a while to get into this, Real Men Knit was right up my alley because I love books about siblings bonds and friends to lovers. It’s a cute story worth checking out if you’re in the mood for black romance with hot adoptive brothers, knitting, and friends-to-lovers.
Find Real Men Knit on Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, & Book Depository.