Sunday, January 5, 2014

Book Review: Knitting series by Amy Lane (@amymaclane @annalund2011)

From the blurb:

Rance Crawford is an alpaca rancher, fiber mill owner, and self-proclaimed grumpy bastard. When sweet, charming tenderfoot Ben McCutcheon moves onto Crawford’s rural road, Rance is very aware that Ben makes it a grand total of two gay men in their tiny town, and even though he is instantly, painfully smitten, any move he makes could be simply chalked up to being hard up. Using his best weapon and favorite skill, Crawford launches an awkward, wordless effort to make sure Ben is kept warm during the cold Colorado winter, every last piece of him—especially his heart.

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From the blurb:

Stanley’s life took a left turn at a knitting shop and hit a dead end. The closest thing he’s had to a relationship breaks things off to date a “nice boy,” and none of the pretty young things in Boulder’s limited gay scene do it for Stanley. He needs to reevaluate whether working as a floor designer for a series of craft stores is really where he wants to be.

Then Stanley does a peculiar thing: he starts to live the life he fell into. Stitch by stitch, he knits his life into something meaningful. Just when he does, Johnny, the store’s new delivery boy, walks in.

Johnny is like no one Stanley has ever met: he doesn’t believe in quickies in the bathroom and has a soft spot for theater and opera. There has to be a catch. When Johnny’s dark past comes back to haunt them, Stanley realizes how much he loves his cushy life in the yarn store—but he’ll give it all up to keep the man who makes his ordinary life extraordinary.

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From the blurb:

Everything about Jeremy has always been a lie—including his last name. When one grift too many ends in tragedy, Jeremy goes straight. But life’s hard for an ex-con, and Jeremy is down to panhandling and hope when Rance Crawford offers him work at a tiny alpaca farm and fiber mill. Jeremy takes him up on the job, thinking this could be his last chance to be a good man, and meets Aiden, who is growing into a better one.

As Aiden comes of age, Jeremy finds himself desperate to grow up, too, because Aiden starts looking to him for things Jeremy doesn’t know how to give. Being honest is terrifying for a man who’s learned to rabbit at the first sign of conflict—more so when Aiden gives Jeremy a reason to stay that can’t be packed up and carried in a knapsack. When Jeremy’s past comes knocking at their door, can Jeremy trust enough in Aiden and his new home to answer bravely back?

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Anna's rating:

It's probably not how it's done, but I have decided to dump these three into one review, and just tell you all that this was PERFECT holiday reading material.

Absolutely perfect.

I loved the setting, the voices, the love and the angst. And, by god, I loved the friendship, and the standing up for your friends-attitude.

Special bonus points for the titles:

The Winter Courtship Rituals of Fur-Bearing Critters 

Knitter in His Natural Habitat 

How to Raise and Honest Rabbit

Not only are these titles funny, but after I've read the books, I also feel the author nailed the deeper meaning in each of them. Kudos.

And then, the knitting. Heh. Inspiring.

Thanks for reading my review; I hope you liked it.

Buylinks are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement of or affiliation with these books, this author or the booksellers listed.

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