Series or Stand Alone: Malibu & Ewe trilogy, book three
Release Date: June 2009
Author Site: http://www.christieridgway.com/index.html
My Rating: 4/5
Source: Won in a giveaway from Literary Escapism
Conclusion to the trilogy that started with How to Knit a Wild Bikini and Unravel Me.
Malibu & Ewe’s owner, Cassandra Riley, is about to turn thirty and wants to celebrate with her knitting club and her newfound half-sisters, Nikki and Juliet, in a big birthday extravaganza. But with Juliet on her honeymoon and Nikki with her fiancé, it seems everyone’s paired up—except for Cassandra. Until a series of near-death accidents causes Cassandra to run straight into the arms of the one man she’s avoided most.
I can’t remember exactly when I won this Uncorrected Proof of DIRTY SEXY KNITTING, but it was quite some time ago. I knew it was the last book in a trilogy so I was in no hurry to actually pick the book up. I’m a huge stickler to series and keeping/reading them in order. So I was actually planning on getting the first book through Paperbackswap or something but I never did. Point is I broke my series rule and read the book anyway. Good news: really enjoyed the book! Bad news: I now know how the other two books end =( So reading this book out of order was definitely a bittersweet experience for me. But enough about that…let me tell you about the book itself.
DIRTY SEXY KNITTING is a romance book that actually had more emotional depth than I was expecting to get. The “hero” of the book is Gabe. He’s the landlord/neighbor of the “heroine” Cassandra. Cassandra owns Malibu & Ewe, which is THE place to be if you’re into knitting. She’s also the one to call when some bartender needs to get Gabe out of their bar after another one of his benders. Cassandra has been taking care of Gabe for far too long and she’s frankly tired of picking up the broken pieces of a man she has really come to care about.
Cassandra’s thirtieth birthday is coming up and she’s decided to dramatically cut down the time she spends worrying about Gabe and taking care of him. Granted Gabe has had some pretty traumatic things happen to him with the loss of his wife and little girl to a drunk driver. But Cassandra wants to move on and stop pining for a man that is basically hopeless. Both of her half-sisters have found their happily-ever-after and Cassandra yearns for her own.
After Gabe’s latest bender he wakes up in Cassandra’s bed, naked, and without any memory of the night before. Now that Cassandra wants some space between them Gabe can’t help but wonder if he somehow took advantage of the closest friend he has. Gabe knows Cassandra deserves a great man in her life, someone way better than him, and yet he can’t find the strength to leave Cassandra alone.
Even though I had absolutely no previous knowledge of these characters or their stories I still found myself completely drawn into their lives. The range of issues in the story were realistic and emotionally compelling. I was drawn to both Gabe’s wounded but passionate personality and Cassandra’s nurturing strength. I was rooting for their romance to work and I loved their interactions together. There was also a secondary romance in the novel that was just as intriguing as Gabe and Cassandra’s. Marlys and Dean are from one of the previous novels in the series but there was a good enough description of their relationship and their previous actions to put all the pieces together.
Overall I absolutely loved the book! I did think the end of the story wrapped up too quickly and the epilogue was a big ole’ sugary bow placed on a present. The emotional depth I found in the entire novel just disappeared in the ending and epilogue. But it doesn’t matter – I still had a huge smile on my face when I closed the book. The only thing I’m worried about is going back to read the other two books and not enjoying them as much as I would have had I read the trilogy in the correct order. But I’m still going for it!!