Monday, May 21, 2012

Ride with Me: A Loveswept Contemporary Romance by Ruthie Knox (eBook only)

  • Title: Ride with Me: A Loveswept Contemporary Romance
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre:  Contemporary
  • File Size: 1927 KB / Print Length: 207 pages
  • Publisher: Loveswept (February 13, 2012)
  • Sold by: Random House Digital, Inc.
  • ASIN: B0061C1OQ0
Author's Website

It all started with an ad:

COMPANION WANTED. TransAmerica Trail. Will start in Astoria, OR, on June 1 and wrap up in Yorktown, VA by the end of August...

He was looking forward to a little solitude:

"I'm not going to ride with a partner. It's not a vacation for me if I have to talk to someone."

She just wanted someone to ride with:

'It was one thing to be a strong, independent woman on the streets of Portland and quite another to fall asleep alone in a tent in the middle of nowhere without worrying about ax murderers. She could do it--she 'had' done it--but she'd strongly prefer not to.'

Throw in a meddlesome sister...

"I found you somebody," his sister said. 
"What are you talking about?"
"For tomorrow. I found you somebody to ride across the country with."

and anything can happen.

This was such a fun story. There were so many things I loved about it that I'm not even sure where to begin. First off, let me just say I bought this book and when I saw the Diamond Jubilee Celebration Hop honoring none other than Ms. Knox I decided to hold off on posting my review. Why the clarification? Well, I might quite possibly start squeeing like a teenager and don't want you to think my squeeing was in any way influenced by anyone other than Ruthie Knox and her characters. lol I have to confess of all the romance subgenres out there, contemporary is my least favorite. I'm not exactly sure why, but if you put a contemporary next to a historical or paranormal romance, contemporary will be my last choice. So that said, let the squeeing commence. *grin*

 I guess I'll start off talking about Lexie. She was such a fun character! She's independent, smart, and an extremely good sport although a tad bit stubborn. The fact that she's making a cross country trek on a bicycle makes me admire her. The fact she's cycling the same path her parents met and fell in love endears her to me. I've always wanted to visit the city my grandparents met in, Vienna, Austria. Hmmm...Maybe one day. Additionally, the way Lexie broke the ice between Tom and herself was smart and funny. I'll give you a hint. It involved:
That's right, hot sauce. lol The lovely display above was located at my local Firehouse Subs and immediately came to mind when I read the scene. Now, I'm not going to tell you what or how she did it. I'll leave that to your imagination to speculate about. I don't want to spoil it for you. 

Tom is a man of mystery at the beginning of the book. Something happened to him that made him retreat into himself and become a bit of a recluse. He even tells Lexie that at one point in his life he was considered charming. As the story progresses, we gradually find out what happened. What Lexie sees is a man somewhat broken with different layers to him. At one point she states, "It was like touring with half a dozen different people. Cheerful Tom. Angry Tom. Clever Tom. Sexy Tom. Bitter Tom. Silent Tom. Throw in Sneezy and Doc and she'd have the whole damn menagerie."  When they first start out she tolerates him, but doesn't exactly like him. Then as he slowly opens up and reveals the person who dwells deep inside him, she slowly starts to fall for him.

Neither set out to have more than just a passing attachment. On the surface they seem as different as day and night. I loved how this wasn't a smooth sailing romance like most are. It was a little more gritty, a little more raw with emotion and perhaps a little more truer to life. Their relationship works, however, because deep down each is what the other needs. She needs someone to teach her to be laid back and he needs someone to teach him to open up and love again. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a SHOWER rating- a cold shower is necessary (need I say more?). Some books should come with a warning - make sure your significant other is handy or your shower is in working order. lol

Overall, I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses. It was a lovely mix of romance and humor with a touch of drama added in. Additionally, I adored how the story comes full circle, beginning with Tom's initial interpretation of a passage from Thoreau's book Walden and ending with his new understanding of that same verse. It reveals just how much he grew on that two month bike trek. The passage in question: "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."  

Pictures of the more scenic views they might have seen:
The beginning - Beach at Seaside, Oregon
Togwotee Pass:

Breccia Cliffs:

Eureka, Kansas:

Photographs found on Photobucket.

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