Book Reviews

Knitter in His Natural Habitat (Knitting 4) by Amy Lane at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 01-February-2013

Book Blurb

Stanley’s life took a left turn at a knitting shop and hit a dead end. The closest thing he’s had to a relationship breaks things off to date a “nice boy,” and none of the pretty young things in Boulder’s limited gay scene do it for Stanley. He needs to reevaluate whether working as a floor designer for a series of craft stores is really where he wants to be.

Then Stanley does a peculiar thing: he starts to live the life he fell into. Stitch by stitch, he knits his life into something meaningful. Just when he does, Johnny, the store’s new delivery boy, walks in.

Johnny is like no one Stanley has ever met: he doesn’t believe in quickies in the bathroom and has a soft spot for theater and opera. There has to be a catch. When Johnny’s dark past comes back to haunt them, Stanley realizes how much he loves his cushy life in the yarn store—but he’ll give it all up to keep the man who makes his ordinary life extraordinary.

Book Review

In the same tradition as the first two books in this series, 'Knitter in his Natural Habitat' is more than a love story between two men who are each trying to deal with their pasts as well as their newfound love. It is also the story of Stanley coming to terms with what he really wants from life, and a partner, and Johnny finally getting what he's always wanted: a man to love who loves him back. And, of course, it is about knitting and the almost miraculous benefits attributed to it. I was immediately invested in this story, not just because Stanley's story proved to be particularly interesting after what we saw of him in the second book. I was also really looking forward to finding out what was going on in Granby and everybody's lives there.  

Stanley is a man who doesn’t have a lot of self-confidence, doesn’t believe he is worth being loved, and ends up having a string of one-night stands and quick encounters in club bathrooms. It takes a lot out of him, but when his most steady partner (whom he always met in the bathroom over lunch) falls in love and stops seeing him, Stanley decides it is time for a change. He wants something more meaningful, and he finally admits that what he's been doing isn't exactly the way to find Mr. Right. He withdraws from the scene and knitting becomes a symbol of wanting a commitment for him. He's never knitted before, despite working in a craft shop, but once he does, the changes are amazing.

Johnny, the new delivery man, is exactly what Stanley has been dreaming of: he is tender, doesn’t believe in quickies in bathrooms, and actually wants to date Stanley. Johnny has his own secrets, and it became pretty clear to me who he was (based on what happened in the first two books) early on, but Stanley takes a little longer. Johnny's past doesn’t leave them alone, though, and they each need to face some pretty horrible obstacles before they can be together. But both of them are determined to do this right, so they have little choice but to go by the book.

This is a touching love story, and shows some wonderful character growth in Stanley. His hesitant steps into a life where he is lovable and worth someone's attention are initially small, but it was encouraging to see how he gained confidence. His internal dialog, and his thoughts and reflections are written in a vice that is uniquely his, and I loved how real and even desperate he sounded at times. The group of secondary characters is as wonderful as ever. They are as much a part of each of these stories as the main characters, and their support makes a big difference to Stanley.

If you like lots of angst and drama, if you prefer your romances to be about real men with real flaws and issues, and if your looking for a book that will pull you in and make you suffer and cry along with the characters, then you will probably love this book as much as I did.




DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and audio
Length Novel, 212 pages/51495 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 14-November-2012
Price $5.99 ebook, $19.95 audiobook
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