Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
When a Christmas shopping expedition brings Tomy Peralta into Jason Winters’ yarn store, both men feel an immediate and intense spark of attraction, but dance instructor Tomy intends to propose to his boyfriend Sean at Christmas. Unfortunately for Tomy, marriage isn’t on career-minded Sean’s agenda. Heartbroken, Tomy throws himself into his work until his mother convinces him that learning to knit might help take his mind off his failed romance.
Jason falls hard for Tomy, but he knows Tomy needs time to heal and to trust in love again. As Jason teaches Tomy how to knit, Tomy teaches him how to dance in return to prepare for his sister’s wedding. Just when it seems Tomy is ready for a new romance, Sean shows up, wanting Tomy back. Has Jason helped Tomy knit his heart together again, only for Tomy to give it to Sean once more, or will Tomy finally see Sean for what he truly is?
It’s rare that the authors known as Ari McKay make a misstep, let alone two (or more) in my opinion. Normally, they can do no wrong. In fact, that’s one of the major reasons I was so excited to read this story. Ok, I’m always happy to pick up any McKay tale but I’m a knitter so I was intrigued to see how they would fold such a tactile and favored element into this story.
Honestly? Disappointed in how underused the craft of knitting is here, from Tomy learning to knit (which is supposedly a huge deal), to Jason who dyes his own yarn, detail after sensuous, vivid yarn/knit related detail is left out of the romance and therefore out of the story. We are told Jason teaches Tomy to knit, we hear briefly about the yard shop and that he dyes yarn? But the particulars that actually bring all that alive? Totally missing in action. And I have read several stories from other authors that use knitting as a framework that make you want to jump into the nearest bags filled with skeins and make you want to start madly knit away at your own projects. Or go off and start fondling some yarn. Not here, which is a problem with a story that has a titled called Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together. Someone’s heart was not into the knitting part at all. And that sort of includes the character of Jason. He’s nice but something is missing…
Then there’s the element of dance. Tomy and his family have always owned a dance studio and competed professionally. Truly this book should have been called Waltzing your Broken Heart Back Together. Because its in the descriptions of dance, dancing together, the feeling of “floating” and being a partner in a sensual embrace on the studio floor where this story comes soars. In short, the descriptions of dancing have everything that knitting lack. You can tell, that one of the author’s interest was vested here in dance, not knitting. The part’s of the story in the dance studio? They sang! The main characters exhibited a connectivity that didn’t happen earlier in the story (certainly not when talking about knitting) and it’s dancing that brings them together.
Anyway, it takes them a while to start dancing cheek to cheek, to its a slow burn sort of romance as Tomy gets over his disastrous love affair and finds himself ready to love again…with his partner on the dance floor. It is a sweet romance with cute relatives (Tomy’s) and relatively angst free story.
As I said, the only thing that just feels a let down is the total fail with the knitting from the cover, title and the blurb. Change it over to dancing and you have a winner. Honestly. did someone not read this story? It’s all about the dancing.That’s where it dances away with the story.
Cover art: Bree Archer. Lovely cover. Would work great for a book actually more about knitting.
Kindle Edition, 2nd edition, 125 pages
Expected publication: July 6th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published December 16th 2014)