Alex Marshall's lifetime dream has always been to ride the Trans American bike trail. A girl, her bike, the road, a challenge - what more could she want. She has it planned to the minutest details from where each stop will be to precisely how far she will travel each day aided by the latest in bike computers and other technologies. Recognising though that life could be dangerous for a young woman on the road by herself, she advertises for a riding companion.
Tom Geiger’s sister signs him up to be Alex’s companion, being very careful not to mention to him that his riding companion for the next few weeks is going to be a woman who actually goes by the name of Lexie. He is not best pleased when he finds out the morning when they meet up at the beach that their ride is starting at. He is even less pleased when he realizes that she has the ride planned to the tiniest detail. He is more casual about how he wants his journey to be. If he fancies leaving the trail for a couple of days, so be it.
For Lexie this journey is a dream come true. She is a teacher who has taken the opportunity of the summer holidays to fulfil her dream and she is following the journey that her parents took when they met and fell in love. She doesn't expect that the same could happen for her, or that the ride will change her life so much. She does, however, recognise that Tom could be dangerous for her emotional equilibrium so she invents a husband to keep him at arms length.
Tom is a bit of a loner. He used to be in a position where he relied on his intellect and charm, until he got into a situation where acting on his conscience cost him everything, and impacted the lives of many others as well. Now, he only really has contact with his sister. The rest of the time he works in a bicycle shop doing repairs, interacting on a needs basis. He is surly and non-communicative at various stages through the journey and he is determined that as soon as he can find another riding companion for Lexie he is going to make his own way. Except, slowly but surely, her cheerfulness, attractiveness, and energy begin to draw him in and he is able to help her to be more relaxed and to be less rigid. Soon, they are both struggling to contain their interest in each other, especially Tom who has no interest in messing around with a married woman.
When they do get together though, the chemistry between these two is scorching hot, leaping off the page! Tom and Lexie are so good together. Ruthie Knox has written a book where the characters are flawed, they are funny and they are so much fun to read about. The dialogue in this book is really fresh and I was immediately looking forward to reading more from her as soon as I finished this book. For example, there was a scene where the two of them had a competition on who could eat the fry with the hottest chilli sauce on it that was pure gold. If anything, the only major issue I had with this book was that it was too short! It didn't necessarily feel rushed, but just I wanted more of the fun, more of Lexie and Tom, more of the scenery....just more.
Yes, Tom is a bit of an arse at times, but I can appreciate that after losing everything he would feel isolated and that he would then find himself feeling a little comfortable in that isolation. I also can completely empathise with someone who internalizes their emotions a lot, as that is something that I have been known to do. He got there in the end, even if it took him longer than Lexie would have liked. And yes, Lexie is a bit uptight. She would probably have driven me crazy, but both of them felt real.
This was a fantastic debut novel, and Ruthie Knox is now on my list of authors to watch out for new releases from!
As a final note, I would never in a million years have expected that reading a romance novel would make me wish I could get on my own bicycle and go for a ride, but Ruthie Knox had me at least thinking about it!
In this fun, scorching-hot eBook original romance by Ruthie Knox, a cross-country bike adventure takes a detour into unexplored passion. As readers will discover, Ride with Me is not about the bike!
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?