Title: Granby Knitting Stories
Author: Amy Lane
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: November 4, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 734
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Alpaca rancher and fiber mill owner Rance Crawford is instantly smitten with his brand-new neighbor Ben McCutcheon, in The Winter Courtship Rituals of Fur-Bearing Critters; he just has to find a good way to show his interest. Jeremy, an ex-con hanging on to his last bit of hope, thinks life might be looking up when Rance Crawford offers him a job, in How to Raise an Honest Rabbit, but when Jeremy meets Aiden and his past comes knocking, will Jeremy have the courage to stay and fight? Stanley is stuck in a rut, in Knitter in His Natural Habitat, unsure if he’s happy with his personal life or his professional life as a floor designer for craft stores; then Johnny into his life, trailing a dark past, and Stanley has to decide what he’s willing to give up to keep Johnny. In Blackbird Knitting in a Bunny’s Lair, Jeremy barely survives a horrific beating, and he’s left with the scars to prove it; between the Jeremy’s long road to recovery and a friend’s baby who needs special care, Aiden and Jeremy might find the common ground necessary to firm up their shaky relationship.
Full Disclosure: While I admire those of the crafty persuasion, I don’t knit, crochet, sew, bedazzle or applique. However after reading Amy Lane’s “Granby Knitting Stories” I may actually darken the door of my nearest craft store … and pause for a while by the knitting supplies (let’s not get carried away here). The stories are set in Granby Colorado with a cast of characters who mostly work at the the Craw-Daddy ’Paca mill and are passionate about knitting. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I’ve included a short review below, as well as links to full reviews by GBR reviewers.
The Winter Courtship Rituals of Fur-Bearing Critters – Rance Crawford, the orneriest cuss in Granby falls hard for city-slicker Ben McCutcheon. This short novella is from Rance’s POV and tells how the (hysterically funny) grumpy bastard win Ben’s heart by knitting him a hat, scarf, mittens and a Very Special Accessory. Read’s Belen’s 5+ star review here. My rating: 4.5 stars.
How to Raise an Honest Rabbit – After the humor of Rance and Ben’s insta-love, Jeremy and Aidan’s story is much darker. Jeremy, raised by a con man, thinks love may be the biggest con of all yet he falls hard for Aiden. Lane uses the metaphor of a rabbit for Jeremy, scared and scarred by his past. “You hold still, and you gentle them, and then you get firm so they know they’re safe.” My rating is 5 stars. A GBR review from 2012 gives 5+ stars.
Knitter in His Natural Habitat – Stanley, a yarn-store manager with hair plugs and a long list of short hook-ups, finds himself in the unlikeliest of relationships with Johnny, a hot Italian from Jeremy’s past. Johnny’s past just wrecks me and I seriously love that these two lonely, loving men find each other. Here’s a GBR 4.5 star review from 2013. My rating is 4.5 stars.
Blackbird Knitting in a Bunny’s Lair is the culmination of the intersecting lives in the series with Jeremy and Aiden overcoming a horrific event, and everyone working together to support their coworker Ariadne through a difficult pregnancy and beyond. If Jeremy didn’t break your heart the first time around, this story and its angst will do it. I would have liked to have a bit more about Stanley and Johnny, and of all the stories, the pace of “Blackbird Knitting” felt slow. Belen gave 3.75 stars and my rating is 4 stars.
“Granby Knitting Series” is a wonderful collection of stories for knitters, and non-knitters alike. It’s not about the knitting – it’s about the love:
Don’t save it for later. Wear the scarf now. Craw’ll knit for you. He’ll knit until his fingers shrivel, and when he can’t knit, I’ll knit, and Ariadne’s baby’ll knit. But don’t save love because it’s ‘too special’ to wear. You wear love every day, and it’ll never wear out.”