Title: Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together
Author: Ari McKay
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (2nd Edition)
Length: 111 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Holiday
At a Glance: All in all, I’m glad I picked this one up. If you’re looking for an extra sweet romance, this one is worth the read.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: When a Christmas shopping expedition brings Tomy Peralta into Jason Winters’s 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 to knit, Tomy teaches him to dance in return. Just when it seems Tomy is ready for a new romance, Sean shows up, wanting Tomy back. Will Tomy give his heart to Sean once more, or will Tomy finally see Sean for who he truly is, and choose the man who helped him knit his heart together again?
Review: Christmas in July! Usually I try to keep my Christmas crazy under wraps…but, my love of shmoopy Christmas stories is hard to contain. So, when I saw that Ari McKay was rereleasing their previously published novella, Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together, I couldn’t resist picking it up. Though it was perhaps a bit too schmaltzy for me at times, it definitely gave me my holiday romance fix, and I enjoyed the story.
At first glance, Jason Winters and Tomy Peralta might seem an unlikely pair. What could Jason, a former NFL player, and Tomy, a competitive ballroom dancer and instructor with a long family legacy in dance, possibly have in common? Well, as it turns out, the answer is quite a lot. They are both athletes and competitive. But, they are also both sort of introspective and family-oriented. They both enjoy the simple things—reading and watching old movies and just spending quiet time getting to know each other. I really liked these guys together. I liked the slow burn and how the authors allowed the relationship to develop over time. They weren’t just physical chemistry; there was much more to them than that.
Both the knitting and dancing parts of the storyline were fun. Jason blew out his knee during his second season in the NFL, took up knitting during his rehab from knee replacement surgery, and now owns a yarn shop. Tomy, whose mother and sister are both accomplished knitters, meets Jason while picking out some yarn and books for Christmas gifts. Unable to act on their little spark of attraction because Tomy is about to propose to his boyfriend, Jason must watch Tomy walk out of his shop and, presumably, his life. A month later, however, he sees Tomy again when he comes in to ask for knitting lessons to distract him from his broken heart. Jason sees the change in Tomy, from how full of life and energy he was when he came in during the holidays, to now, listless and defeated. He decides he wants to be the one to help put a smile back on Tomy’s face.
Jason would love to spend more time with Tomy but is respectful of the fact that he’s newly out of a relationship and that it’s a delicate situation. So, he carefully takes things niiiice and slow. Tomy doesn’t even realize he’s being courted until it’s too late, and he’s already falling for Jason. One of the ways they end up spending more time together is through dance lessons, which Jason requests as a way to help him learn a few dances before his sister’s wedding. The lessons allow them to spend a lot of flirty, sexy time together, which is fun.
There were a few small things that took away from the reading experience a little bit for me. I already mentioned the schmaltz factor. I know it’s a romance, and Christmas romances are sometimes a little schmaltzy by nature, but there was quite a bit of extra cheese sprinkled in places on this one. Also, the language, mostly some of the dialogue, felt way too formal at times. It just didn’t read like characters in their twenties or early thirties would typically sound.
But, there were also lots of things that worked really well. I loved that Jason wasn’t your stereotypical football player. In fact, I loved both Jason and Tomy and how kindhearted and sweet they both were. I enjoyed the structure of the story, how it took us, month by month, from one Christmas to the next. And, I really loved the ending with the big Christmas recital at the Peralta’s studio, and Jason’s big surprise. All in all, I’m glad I picked this one up. The pretty new cover and rerelease through Dreamspinner should gain some new readers and give a little breath of life to this sweet story. If you’re looking for an extra sweet romance, this one is worth the read.
You can buy Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together here:
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