Title: Granby Knitting Stories
Series: Granby Knitting
Author: Amy Lane
Length: Bundle (524 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (4 Nov 2016)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts
Blurb: 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.
Review: The Granby Knitters Stories is the bundle of Amy Lane’s novellas from the Granby Knitters series. The bundle is a wonderful to read the sweet and exciting storylines woven together and the different characters that the stories focus on. What makes this better is that this series really does blend together well as one book since the timeline between each of the stories flows one after the other.
At the forefront of this is all is the first book, The Winter Courtship Rituals of Fur-Bearing Critters, is alpaca ranch and mill owner Rance Crawford (aka Crawford or Craw) as he meets his good looking, younger neighbor Ben McCutcheon. Craw is a grumpy guy with very few social skills, but he does know how to show his heart through knitting and it is so heartwarming and sweet.
How to Raise an Honest Rabbit moves us onto Craw’s employees, Jeremy and Aiden. Aiden is a local boy who started working at the mill after school and has since found his passion working with wool. Jeremy has a tragic past; he grew up always performing some con or another with his father. But seeing his father’s murder and 2 years in prison has changed Jeremy. The thing is though, despite being happy at the mill for the past 3 years, the developing romantic relationship between him and Aiden scares him witless, especially since he is a good ten years older than Aiden though he has yet to develop that maturity as an adult.
Knitter in his Natural Habitat moves us onto Stanley and Johnny. Both guys are featured in the books before this point. Although we only just met Johnny at the end of Jeremy and Aiden’s story, he is a really interesting and in many ways he is a lot like Jeremy. Stanley on the other hand is a less gruff version of Aiden, where Aiden was a less gruff version of Craw. These guys have a great story – nice and quick to read – but I can’t say anything without giving anything away from previous books!
The final book in the series ties up all the loose ends, mostly to do with Jeremy and Aiden – although Stanley and Johnny are pretty prominent and Ben and Craw make frequent appearances too. This really steps up the danger element introduced in Jeremy and Aiden’s first story and is a really fun way to end the story.
One final note to end on, as I mentioned before with my comparison between Craw, Stanley and Aiden – they are varying degrees of a similar personality – the gruff tough guy. Actually Stanley doesn’t fit in that category so well, but there are elements there. However, the point is, many of the characters have varying degrees of similarity to each other. But I think that works well, because the couples have a wonderful attraction and the chemistry was on point. It also helps because Craw and Stanley, although were fuck buddies, it is clear that they could never be anything more when Ben entered Craw’s life. Whereas it is Craw and Jeremy who have a complex over the age gap between them and their respective lovers, so in some ways you can see Craw’s influence on Jeremy. In the end though, I think it’s clear that all these characters are somehow moved by Craw and he is like the unofficial leader of their little band of knitters.