PJV Quickie: A cute summer romance featuring cross-country travel, a cantankerous hero and a heroine who won’t let him get away with it!
I have been seeing great reviews for Ms. Knox’s second novel – About Last Night – but due to my ‘Book OCD’ I can’t read it without reading her first novel – Ride with Me. Ride with Me is a cute ‘opposites attract’ story; it had me alternately shouting at the hero not to be such an ass and fanning myself because the smexin’ was so hot!
Lexie Marshall loves biking. She’s been training to ride the cross-country TransAmerica Trail. She can take care of her bike, change a tire and set up her own tent, but she needs someone to camp next to, so she’s not a woman alone on the trail. She takes an ad out in some cycling magazines, but can’t find a companion to ride with. She’s getting desperate, so when she finally gets a good response, she may have ‘forgotten’ to mention in her e-mails that “TransAmAlex” is a woman.
Tom Geiger has been planning to bike the TransAm for a few months, and his sister wants him to ride with a companion, but Tom is an experienced rider and a loner – he doesn’t want or need a companion. The day before he’s set to leave, his sister calls to tell him she found him a riding buddy – “TransAmAlex” Marshall. Tom’s not happy about it but eventually resigns himself to ride with Alex at least for awhile to appease his sister. When they meet the next morning and Tom realizes “Alex” is really “Lexie”, he’s upset but knows he can’t make Lexie ride alone, so he decides to ride with her only until he can find someone else to ride with her – he definitely has no intention of going all the way…
Tom’s curmudgeonly character is a direct contrast to Lexie’s friendly, outgoing personality. The thing is, though, they’re both stubborn in their own way: Tom’s a free-wheeling, travel-casual kind of guy while Lexie’s a by-the-book rule-follower. The hot-sauce showdown in the Mexican restaurant is the first of many comical challenges between them. I liked that the attraction between Lexie and Tom took a while to build, and once it got going it was HOT (like pass-me-a-fan hot). What really made me happy though, was that once they got together it wasn’t easy-peasy-fade-to-hearts-and-rainbows; Ms. Knox writes characters with enough depth to have issues that come between them and those issues create some serious conflict. Believe me, these two bang heads quite a bit – Tom is a grumpy ass and Lexie does not put up with it (go Lexie!).
My only complaint, really, is that the ending kind of wrapped up in a page or so; it was very abrubt and I wasn’t expecting the book to end. Part of the reason I wasn’t expecting it to end was that it ended at 83% Yes, you read that right – 17% of the book was ads for other titles from this publisher and although that’s not the author’s fault it was a big disappointment.
As someone who used to ride bikes on the weekends (my poor Trek is sitting in the garage with a flat tire and a dry chain), Ride with Me made me want to ride again (my BIKE, people, my bike, lol!).
Anyone who enjoys a good “road trip”, a grumpy hero, an opposites-attract storyline, or sexy love scenes.
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