Review: Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together by Ari McKay

Rating: 3.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novella


Looking to make everyone as happy at Christmas as he is, Tomy Peralta heads to a local yarn shop to get his mother and sister the perfect gifts. He meets the owner, ex-football player Jason Winters. There’s sparks between them, but Tomy is in love and about to propose to his boyfriend.

After the holiday, Jason learns that Tomy’s boyfriend said no and he’s sad that Tomy is in pain. Tomy’s mother drags him to the yarn store for knit night, convinced learning to knit will help him focus on something other than the hurt. Jason and Tomy strike up a friendship, and then Tomy returns the favor by teaching Jason to ballroom dance.

Jason wants Tomy, but he knows he has to wait. Tomy isn’t ready. Friendship blooms between them, and as Tomy slowly heals and learns to trust himself again, things move forward with Jason. The two men find an easy, happy relationship between them. But as Christmas rolls around again, Jason’s looking to make this year everything the last Christmas wasn’t.

As an avid knitter and yarn dyer, I could not turn down a book with knitting at it’s focus. And I liked the way the authors tied that into the plot. This story is sweet and cute, with a little bit of angst. I had a few issues, but it’s a nice read.

The characters were cute and interesting. There were times when I wished I had more from both of them, as they became a little two dimensional, but I enjoyed them nonetheless. Tomy is a big hearted, open and caring person, and he suffered a blow when his boyfriend turned down his marriage proposal. I thought the authors did a great job showing how it shook his confidence, and how he navigated the grieving process. Jason was almost to good to be true, but it worked for this story. He’s sweet and thoughtful, and he knows he wants Tomy. But he never pushes, and is willing to wait while Tomy gets through his process.

I liked the slow build of their relationship and very much enjoyed their friendship littered with hints of their attraction. These guys had definite chemistry, and even though they were attracted to each other, it was about friendship first and then it moved to more. This whole part was written well, and I enjoyed the journey they were on.

But as I said, there were a few issues. Not only did the characters fall flat on occasion, but there was a lot of exposition in the pages. It was couched as conversation, but it didn’t work that well for me. There were things Jason said that didn’t seem to fit his character, or at least, not something that would be said all in one paragraph without much explanation. This happens early on in the book, when Jason barely knows Tomy. But he’s expounding on pain Tomy must feel and how it will pass. I found it…odd and not quite natural. Fortunately, after the first few chapters, this doesn’t happen, or at least it works a lot better as we get to know the characters and they get to know each other.

Conversely, I think things could have been fleshed out more that weren’t. Jason played football and then an injury ended his career. It played a small part in his character, and to me, it felt like it should be more fully explored. I wished, too, that we got to see more of Tomy’s process. As it was, each chapter was a time jump to a new month and we were told about his feeling after the fact. I felt slightly removed from the story at these points and I wished we’d been able to see more.

But overall, it’s a nice, quick read. Definitely a feel good story without a lot of heaviness. And Jason and Tomy are so wonderful together. Plus, and take it from someone who knows, the knitting is A plus. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a happy, warm read.

A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.

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