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Real Men Knit

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  53 ratings  ·  36 reviews
When their foster-turned-adoptive mother suddenly dies, four brothers struggle to keep open the doors of her beloved Harlem knitting shop, while dealing with life and love in Harlem.

Jesse Strong is known for two things: his devotion to his adoptive mom, Mama Joy, and his reputation for breaking hearts in Harlem. When Mama Joy unexpectedly passes away, he and his brothers
Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: May 19th 2020 by Berkley
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Average rating 3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  53 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Nov 11, 2019 marked it as not-released-tbr

[Credit: Josh Bennett]


hell yes to men knitting

i still remember my knitting phase. i could knit a good scarf

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Jessica *The Lovely Books*
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’m in love with love. This month—February—is all about love. So I’m happy I was able to read such a well-written and fun read about four hot brothers that knit! That being said, this book doesn’t come out until May but I promise it will be out before you know it! Read it then come back and discuss with me!

Jesse and Kerry are the female and male lead you love to root for. Sure, Jesse is a bit of a ladies man, but it didn’t take away from the sweet side that had Kerry falling in love with him.
Feb 05, 2020 added it
Shelves: poc, fiction, 2020, romance
Dear Publishing: More books like this, please.
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I contributed this review to Really Into This

Check out all of our reviews at
Happy Reading, friends!

Special thanks to Kwana Jackson & Berkley for providing our copy in exchange for an honest & fair review.

Real Men Knit is a sweet & tender novel about family, community & hope.

From the very first page, I am rooting for Kerry and Damian. They are childhood friends that are really more like chosen family. In the wake of Mama Joy's death, Kerry, the Strong
Cute friends-to-lovers romance about family and friendship. It took a while for me to get into it because the writing didn’t feel authentic and nothing happened in the first half, but once I became hooked around the 50% mark, I couldn’t put it down. I hope my boys Lucas, Damian, Noah, and my girl Val get their own books. RTC.

ARC provided by publisher through Edelweiss.
Jan 21, 2020 rated it liked it
This was so cute and I loved the characters. I really hope there are more books coming -- I'd love to see the other brothers and Val get their own stories!
Really Into This
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sarah contributed this review to Really Into This

Check out all of our reviews at
Happy Reading, friends!

Special thanks to Kwana Jackson & Berkley for providing our copy in exchange for an honest & fair review.

Real Men Knit is a sweet & tender novel about family, community & hope.

From the very first page, I am rooting for Kerry and Damian. They are childhood friends that are really more like chosen family. In the wake of Mama Joy's death, Kerry, the
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love the premise of this book, I love the Strong brothers, and I especially love Kerry! Jesse and Kerry are perfect for each other, and their romance gave me all the feels! This story has it, romance, friendship, family, community, and some sexy times! I’m already obsessed with a couple of other characters I think need to be together in a future book!
Sally Kilpatrick
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Four hot brothers who knit.

That's really all you need to know, but I'm going to tell you more anyway. Kerry Fuller is part of Mama Joy's found family so it's only natural that she wants to help Mama Joy's four adopted children keep their yarn store home open. It's also natural that she would be attracted to any one of the Strong brothers because they are each hot. Unfortunately for her, she's always been attracted to Jesse, the youngest brother who's a bit of a player and ne'er do well. Jesse is
Jan 19, 2020 rated it liked it
I loved the concept and liked the characters, but the prose was clunky and there were a number of awkward sentence constructions and grammatical errors. I hope that, since this was an ARC, some of the construction issues can be fixed before final publication because the premise has so much promise and potential.
Jillian Doherty
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a fun and delightfully surprising story; I couldn't put it down once I started!

I love a story that plunges right into the heart of it - Ch.1 illustrates how Miss Joy brought together her community, hope, and a motley crew of family members while running her beloved yarn shop. When she passes away entirely too soon, they are left picking up the pieces of their lives, finding a new sense of purpose in doing so.

Kerry and Jesse have such a great chemistry, along with how they act/react with
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
Mama Joy Strong had passed away and her four sons dont exactly know how to carry on. She adopted each of them from a harder life and shown them much love. The majority of that love was shown in a yarn shop in Harlem. Now that she is gone, the Strong brothers need to determine which path the store must take.

Jesse Strong tends to have a reputation of being a playboy as well as having a low work ethic. None of his three brothers know that what he really wants is to make a difference.

Kerry grew up
The CurvyJones
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Thank you to the author and FB page Fiction From The Heart page for this ARC.

This was a book that focused on more with 4 adopted brothers from Harlem who took over the shop after their adopted mother died suddenly than the store itself and men or women who knit. Mostly focused on Jesse and Kerry who were always in love growing up with Kerry being very involved in the store. I wanted more of keeping the store open than a love story but all in all a pretty good read.

I tried to see these brothers
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I had a bit more time for this review but in short: I really loved and enjoyed this story about family and a friends-to-lovers trope. Jesse (the youngest of 4 hot brothers and they knit!) and his childhood friend Kerry will do anything to save the knitting shop of Jesse's adoptive mom.

Great characters and a cute storyline!

*** I received an ARC via Edelweiss and this is my honest and voluntary review. ***
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
This was my first book by this author and I definitely enjoyed it. If you like reading about family dynamics, tight-knit communities, childhood crushes, fun social media ideas, and a player who doesn’t settle down until he’s with the right girl, I recommend this book! While I have some experience knitting and crocheting, the book would still be enjoyable and easy to understand for a reader with no familiarity with yarn-based crafts.
Ma Joy was a community staple who owned a shop in Harlem called
This review is based on eARC of Real Men Knit.

Jesse grew up in Mama Joy's yarn shop in Harlem along with his three foster/adopted brothers. Kerry grew up there, too, but more as a latchkey kid. Now in their late 20's, Jesse and his brothers have just inherited the shop after Mama Joy's unexpected death, and Kerry is there to teach Jesse the ropes of the yarn business. When an accident makes Kerry's apartment building temporarily uninhabitable, Jesse asks her to stay with him in the residence
Catherine Heloise
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Real Men Knit is a gentle romance about finding one’s feet and one’s purpose after loss. Jesse is one of the four adopted sons of Mama Joy, who owned a knitting shop in Harlem that was the centre of the local community. Kerry was a foster niece of sorts - her mother was around and doing her best, but she grew up in and around the shop and went to work there when she finished school and while she was studying. She now works part time in a community centre but helps out at the shop in her spare ...more
Andrea Stoeckel
[book will drop May 9,2020]

"Though she didn't want to admit it, she was putting a portion of her life on hold for their needs"

Kerry Fuller and the four boys adopted by Joy Strong were left with a conundrum when Mamma Joy died of a heart attack. What would the boys do withe their legacy: Strong Knits, a touchstone for generations in Harlem. Since Mamma Joy's funeral, the 5 of them were looking toward the future...well, the 4 men were. Kerry, who'd been connected to the store since the 4 boys were
Feb 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: review-copy
ARC via Netgalley. I wanted to like this book, but it suffers from a bad case of Not Like Other Girls. I don't object to sexually experienced heroes in romance, but Jesse didn't seem to respect any of his former partners (he was making fun of Erika with Kerry the morning after sleeping with her!!! Like if you don't like the person you just spent the night with or value her feelings enough to not mock her TO HER FACE IN FRONT OF YOUR FRIENDS, that's a bit of a red flag for future partners) and ...more
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It's so much fun to read a book that isn't the "same 'ole same ole". Real Men Knit is just that sort of book! The 4 Strong brothers are mourning the loss of their beloved adoptive mother, Mama Joy. Now they need to decide what to do with Mama Joy's knitting shop--Strong Knits. Jesse Strong is the brother that wants to get it up and running again. The family's long time friend/part-time employee Kerry Fuller volunteers to help out. Kerry has had a secret crush on handsome Jesse for years. Too bad ...more
Chris Markley
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This is a story of family, and loyalty, and finding a way to break free from the designated family roles. Jesse is the designated screw up and ladies man of the Strong brothers, but after his mother dies he struggles to break free of that role to change his life and save the family business. Kerry's role is good girl that is always there to lend a helping hand and the neighborhood has her life planned out, but she isn't sure that is the life she wants. Can Jesse and Kerry break free of ...more
Jamie Beck
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another winner from Kwana Jackson...and with three more Strong brothers in the mix, readers can look forward to this series. Although Mama Joy is dead, I loved her and think we all need someone like her in our lives! As usual, the author masterfully creates a wonderful sense of family and community with this foster-sibling set and the knitting shop community. Kerry is a great heroine and in addition to the romance, I enjoyed her personal arc with her mom, too. Jesse is the bad boy with a good ...more
Feb 13, 2020 added it
Knitting and romance novels are two of my very favorite things and this book combines the two so well. I am new-ish to contemporary romances, and confess that I need to be a bit more diverse in my romance reading, so this book was a wonderful foray into both.

The characters were well written and jumped right off the pages. While you get dropped right into the mix of the Strong brothers, you feel like you know this group right away (and they quickly steal your heart!). Our heroine Kerry is as
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the concept of Real Men Knit and the world Kwana Jackson crafted. It did take a little while for me to fall into the story, but once I did, I didn't want to put it down. Jesse and Kerry were both hurting with the loss of Mama Joy and Jesse especially was struggling over the weight of her shop but when they came together and worked together, it was clear they belonged. Honestly, I can't wait for the rest of the Strong brothers to meet their matches!
Mikaela (Booklover1974)
First I want to say that I love the title!! So funny and inviting to read. That's also why I downloaded this ARC.
I can't say that I love the book though. There is way too many repetitive sayings, like how Mama Joy would feel about different things. It's also way too much about Jesse and his life with other women, his past. That gets old really fast.

When I were at 60% it felt like nothing had really happened and I didn't feel the chemistry between Kerry and Jesse. I think the ending was the
Ottilee B.
A wonderful low-key type of book that kept me reading until the end! The road between Kerry and Jesse was littered with debris- Jes' past girlfriends- but Kerry won in the end. (Mama Joy was leading the choir: "Hallelujah!") I'd love to read about the other bros. hint!
Moon Love
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars!
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
Not so horrible that I absolutely couldn't finish it, but not nearly good enough to keep me reading when other holds and ARCs are coming in.

The narration and especially the dialogue feel clunky and unnatural.

The main characters are interesting, but fully a quarter of the way into the book it's still all set-up and reminiscing and backstory. Nothing is happening.

Recommended primarily for mid- to large public libraries where other African American romance authors circulate very well.
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Kwana Jackson is also known as K.M Jackson.
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