HEA USA TODAY reviews RIDE WITH ME – Thanks Mandi!!
REVIEW By Mandi Schreiner , USA TODAY
Genre: Contemporary romance
Tom Geiger is ready to cycle across the United States on the TransAmerica Trail. Planning to start in Oregon and ending up in Virginia, he is looking forward to a couple of months of peaceful cycling and sightseeing as he heads east. But his sister, Taryn, has other plans for him. Worried that he is too much of a loner, she secretly places an ad for a riding companion for him and finds someone named Alex. She arranges for Alex to meet Tom at the starting point of the trip, much to Tom’s dismay. But since Taryn is really his only friend, he doesn’t want to disappoint her.
“Please, Tom. You can’t ride your bicycle across the country alone. It’s insane. You’ll end up being slaughtered by a serial killer.”
“Taryn, I’m thirty-five, single, tattooed, and anti-social. I’m the serial killer.”
But when Alex shows up, Tom gets a surprise. Alex is a woman.
Alex is also a control freak. A high school English teacher, she has been planning this trip her entire life. She has every hour of the trip mapped out. She has a special computer on her bike and other high-tech gear. One look at Tom and she knows there is going to be a problem. Tom has an old bike and isn’t even wearing proper riding gear. She tried really hard to find another woman to ride with, but no one showed interest. So now she is stuck with Tom, who is extremely anti-social and surly. She also doesn’t want Tom to get any ideas at night when their tents are pitched right next to each other, so she blurts out she is married, although she is very, very single. Off they go on their cross-country journey.
Ride with Me is the debut book by Ruthie Knox, and I really liked it. She does a great job pairing up two very stubborn protagonists and making it a fun, amusing story. Tom is so anti-social and cranky. His ex-wife cheated on him with his brother, and he has a lot of family drama in the past. He works now as a bike mechanic and goes on crazy bike rides all over the world. His downfall is that he feels guilty about a lot of things. He would feel very guilty if he left Alex behind so he grudgingly agrees to be her companion. They butt heads many, many times at the beginning as they are so different. Alex is prim and proper and refuses to be spontaneous. But Tom finds her very attractive and slowly gets her to lower her defenses.
When Tom can get her to look up from the 27 gears on her bike, he pushes her to take a side road and see the sights. They start to fall into a friendship of sorts, although with an intense edge because they each find the other extremely attractive. My one gripe with this book is that Alex hangs onto the pretend-husband story for a little too long. There comes a point where they both want to dive into the sleeping bag together, but Tom still thinks Alex is married. It takes a phone call to his sister to realize maybe she is lying and that seemed a little farfetched. I wish Alex would have just told him sooner. I did like her apology, though, when the truth finally comes out.
Once they get past all of that, there is some hot lovin’! Who knew sexy times in a tent could be so hot? When Tom starts to lighten up and Alex sees that side of him, their romance really takes off.
Ride with Me is a sexy, contemporary. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book about two people who cycle across the country. I’m a sucker for road-trip books, and this one definitely fit the bill.
Mandi Schreiner started romance review blog Smexy Books in 2009. She is obsessed with reading romance novels and collecting fictional boyfriends.
So – what do you think? Did this review help you decide if it is a book you’ll want to buy? And, if you have bought it & read it — did you like, RIDE WITH ME? comment below — every week we randomly choose 5 winners to receive a random book — winners announced on Sunday – good luck!