Rating: 5 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | All Romance
Please let me begin this review with a little bit of fangurl squee. I love Jeremy and Aiden so much. I mentioned last week when I reviewed the earlier books in the series that the couple was my favorite, and it remains true. Ohmigod, you guys, this continuation of Jeremy and Aiden’s story could not be more perfect. Lane combines all of those things that I love about Jeremy—his skittishness, self-doubt, and self-recrimination—and walks him through each of them, teaching him a lesson about the man he’s become. The honest man. The honorable man. The friend. The brother and the lover.
So, Blackbird knitting in a Bunny’s Lair begins after Jeremy gets beat up protecting Stanley in Knitter in His Natural Habitat. Jeremy is in the hospital for a couple months, suffering through surgery after surgery to repair the damage done when Mikey showed up at the mill. The scars to his face have marred what, as a con-man, Jeremy thought of as his moneymaker. He’s at peace with the damage because he’s certain he deserved it for the pain and hurt he caused in his past life as a con-artist.
While Jeremy is hospitalized, Aiden is working through his own issues. The man he loves put himself in harm’s way because Jeremy thought he deserved it. And in the mix, Aiden killed a man to save Jeremy’s life. Not only that, but Aiden watches every day, helpless, while Jeremy accepts his fate and his scars, his injuries as his just desserts. All Aiden wants is for Jeremy to get better and for him not to feel the need to run when he goes home.
A lot of Jeremy’s time in the hospital is spent alone with only Ariadne as company. In this time, Jeremy and Ari form a stronger bond. They already adore each other, but here they grow into a sort of sibling relationship. It’s at this time that Jeremy learns that Ari’s baby will be born with a cleft lip and need several surgeries in the months following her birth.
When Jeremy is finally released from the hospital he’s both happy to get back home and sad to leave Ari. Back at home, he has to adjust to his new home, which Aiden has moved them into while he was in the hospital. Change has never been his strong suit.
Adjusting to working again comes slowly for Jeremy, now working Ari’s job in the shop. Once he gets his strength back, Jeremy begins knitting for the baby when he’s offered money for his creation by patrons of the store. Which sparks an idea that leads to an even bigger fundraiser idea for Ari, Rory, and the baby for the upcoming travels and future surgeries. Organizing the fundraiser, bringing a town together for a singular purpose, pulls Jeremy out of his comfort zone. He’s faced with the stigmas of his past as well as the prejudice and support of the townspeople. Jeremy will either find more love than he ever expected or retreat further into his shell.
Guys, this book is so perfect. There’s so much hope in Jeremy and Aiden’s story. Even though Jeremy found himself, the honest man, when he found Granby, there was so much more to his story. I’m so happy with the way this story is told, how it turned out. It’s a story of love, hope, and family. A story I wasn’t expecting and now can’t imagine doing without. It gives a rich finality to the relationship between Jeremy and Aiden.
So in Blackbird, we finally, finally get Aiden’s POV. And you won’t be disappointed. I love Aiden’s gruffness mixed with his soft heart when it comes to Jeremy. Aiden has his own struggles in this story—killing a man, family issues, keeping Jeremy from running, and the appearance of a sort of ex. The thing about Aiden is that his story isn’t so much of a journey as it is his life. He doesn’t change much in this story. He knows who he is, who he loves. He simply wants to be there for Jeremy, take care of him so that he’ll never want to leave. He’s a hardass with a bunny-soft heart.
So Jeremy’s story is so awesome. I mentioned earlier his post-trauma issues, what he has to deal with when he gets out of the hospital. In How to Raise an Honest Rabbit, we watched Jeremy’s growth into an honest man, and in Blackbird, we get to see his acceptance of his straight life. And it’s not an easy acceptance. He faces the attitudes and rumors of the townspeople after they discover his past. He faces Aiden’s family. He faces himself and his past. All the feels surround Jeremy. He is such a beautiful man. I can’t wait to see what’s next for him and Aiden.
One of my favorite parts of this book is the development of Jeremy and Ariadne’s relationship and Ari’s bigger presence. Ari is bigger than life. She’s like a mother to all of the guys at the mill and she’s Craw’s best friend. She and Jeremy have always had a special relationship, but the level at which it grows is fabulous in this story. I love their connection. It’s like they may not have survived the hospital without one another.
I love this story the hope that it brings but also the path of self-discovery. It’s beautifully written and reunites all three couples, plus Ari and Rory. I love the feeling of family that comes from this group. They are supportive, firm, determined, and fiercely protective of one another. There’s also the addition of Aiden’s family, and guys, I laughed and wanted to cry when Jeremy first met the family. Train wreck is putting it nicely, but it was also charming and endearing. The degrees of family in this book give the story a new dynamic and vulnerability, which makes it that much greater.
I love this book. Is that plain enough? This story is the most perfect addition to this series and to Jeremy and Aiden’s story. And geez, I cannot wait for the next book in this series. I highly, highly recommend Blackbird Knitting in a Bunny’s Lair.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.