Author: Ruthie Knox
Publish Date: February 13, 2012
Source: Romance at Random
Why You're Reading This Book:
- You're a fiction fan.
- You love a good, steamy romance.
From Goodreads.com: "When Lexie Marshall places an ad for a cycling companion, she hopes to find someone friendly and fun to cross the TransAmerica Trail with. Instead, she gets Tom Geiger—a lean, sexy loner whose bad attitude threatens to spoil the adventure she’s spent years planning.
Roped into the cycling equivalent of a blind date by his sister, Tom doesn’t want to ride with a chatty, go-by-the-map kind of woman, and he certainly doesn’t want to want her. Too bad the sight of Lexie with a bike between her thighs really turns his crank.
Even Tom’s stubborn determination to keep Lexie at a distance can’t stop a kiss from leading to endless nights of hotter-than-hot sex. But when the wild ride ends, where will they go next?"
My Two Cents:
Sometimes you just want to sink into a book with a great, steamy romantic story and some great characters. This book totally fits the bill. Lexie wants to spend a couple months riding a bike on the TransAm trail, a cross-country trail. It doesn't seem to fit in with her usual persona: a relatively staid schoolteacher who doesn't like to take a lot of risks and likes to follow the rules exactly (a girl after my own heart really). Riding the TransAm trail that goes from Oregon all the way to Virginia would be a grueling and very lonely trip for anyone but would it be more bearable with a partner? Lexie isn't necessarily forward when she advertises for a riding companion but will the end justify the means? In this case, its a resounding yes.
Enter Tom. He's a little rough and definitely someone that Lexie has to work a little on to crack. And he is exactly the kind of romantic hero I like. He's strong. There's way more to him that meets the eye. I love that Lexie has to kind of work a little bit to figure out what his story is, why he's so offstand-ish, and what he might be hiding from her. I think through that whole process, you really get to find out a lot about the characters and they become more 3D. I think that a lot of times that flat characters are a real issue in a romance. This is definitely not the case here! And on top of it all, Tom's dreaminess factor is definitely high. The steam factor is even higher.
Bottom line: This is a great romance with great characters to pull it along.
And Now a Word from Lexie Marshall, star of Ride With Me:
Have you ever been camping alone?
I'm going to guess most of you are women, and the answer is probably “no.” Women don't usually camp alone. I've done it, and I have to say, I can't recommend it. It's one thing to walk the streets of Seattle or New York or Boston by daylight, strong and unafraid, and quite another to lie awake in a tent in the woods alone and manage not to worry about, well . . . everything. Every noise could be a stranger come to kill you, or a rampaging bear, or a cougar, and you find yourself breathing too fast and wondering, Do they even have bears here? Just how big does a cougar have to be in order to eat someone? And was that guy back at the filling station by the park entrance really leering at me the way I thought he was, or was that my imagination?
It's not really funny, actually. It's just one of those things about being a woman that we have to put up with.
My problem was that I wanted to ride 4,200 miles across the United States on the TransAmerica Trail, and I didn't have anybody to ride with. My parents met and fell in love on the trail back in the BikeCentennial summer of 1976, and I can't even remember a time when my brother and I weren't planning to retrace the journey when we were old enough. We grew up, moved out, went to college, and every year, we'd say, “This is the summer we're going to ride the TransAm,” but every summer we'd put it off. Then last year I was turning thirty, and my brother got married to a very nice woman with acrylic fingernails who wouldn't be caught dead on a bike. And I thought, This is it. I have to go now, or I'm never going to do it.
So I put an ad for a cycling companion on Adventure Cycling's website. They have this “Companions Wanted” column that's like the personals for long-distance cyclists. I figured I could find somebody to ride with -- probably some man, since most of the Adventure Cycling folks are middle-aged, upper-middle-class white guys -- and it wouldn't be a problem. I'm easy to get along with. We could swap stories and share dinner and all that, and we wouldn't have to be best friends or anything. I set up an e-mail account, TransAmAlex@gmail.com -- my name's Alexandra, and my family always called me Alex, rather than Lexie, which is what my friends call me -- and I waited for the replies to start rolling in.
And they did, which was cool. But everybody I corresponded with assumed I was a man, and when they found out I was a woman, they backed out. Apparently, the wives of the country's fifty-something intrepid adventurers don't want their husbands crossing the country with a hot young thing.
Which, okay, fine. I can understand that. But damn it, I'm not a sexual predator or anything, and I really, really wanted to ride across the country. So when the next guy e-mailed me about wanting to ride the TransAm with me -- a guy named Tom Geiger -- I just . . . didn't mention my complicating gender at all. Let him assume wrong, I thought. He'll figure it out on the beach in Seaside, on our first morning, but by then it'll be too late.
Not my finest moment, I know. I felt guilty about it for months. I felt guilty about it right up until I met Tom, actually, and discovered he didn't deserve my guilt, because he was a jerk. He was a bit, fat, tall, dark-eyed, incredibly good-looking jerk, and all of a sudden he was my jerk, and I was stuck with him for 4,200 miles.
And when I told him I just wanted a warm body to pitch my tent next to, you know what he said? He said, “I'm not going to sleep with you, either.”
So I told him I was married. Because, well . . . screw him, right?
That's how I met Tom. As for what happened next . . . you'll have to read the book.
Introducing Ruthie Knox:
Ruthie's Website: Http://www.ruthieknox.com
Ruthie Knox figured out how to walk and read at the same time in the second grade, and she hasn't looked up since. She spent her formative years hiding romance novels in her bedroom closet to avoid the merciless teasing of her brothers and imagining scenarios in which someone who looked remarkably like Daniel Day Lewis recognized her well-hidden sex appeal and rescued her from middle-class Midwestern obscurity. After graduating from Grinnell College with an English and history double major, she earned a Ph.D. in modern British history that she's put to remarkably little use.
These days, she writes contemporary romance in which witty, down-to- earth characters find each other irresistible in their pajamas, though she freely admits this has yet to happen to her. Perhaps she needs more exciting pajamas. Ruthie abhors an epilogue and insists a decent romance requires at least three good sex scenes.
Do you have any meet-cute or meet-awful stories of your own? Tell us about it.
One lucky commenter will be randomly chosen to win a digital copy of Ride with Me. Winners will pick up their copy through Net Galley. Good luck to all! Make sure you leave an email address so you can be contacted. Giveaway extended until 3/12.