Author: Ruthie Knox
Release Date: 13 February 2012
Number of pages: 216 pages
Source: review copy provided by publisher through NetGalley
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon
Grade: 5 stars
2012 Top Read
Goodreads appetizer: 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?
My Thoughts: I'll start with a confession: when I read the premise of Ride with Me I had reservations: how could a story about bicycles and riding crosscountry be romantic and exciting? I had serious doubts, but as the last LoveSwept title I read was fantastic I put my faith in them and boy was I blown away!
Ride with Me is terrific!! Ruthie Knox's fluent and engaging writing gripped my attention from the start and I devoured the book in no time. You want to know why? Because the colourful and well developed characterisation makes Tom and Lexie interesting and entertaining, they become real, flesh and blood people not just cardboard characters and their well developed personalities make the reader interested and invested in their story.
My favourite part of Ride with Me was hands down the pingpong paced sparring between Tom and Lexie and their off the chart sizzling chemistry. Their constant banter is witty and funny, their bickering repartee made me laugh out several times, the sparks sure flew between these two, and it was the amazing humour which made Ride with Me such an extraordinary and outstanding read for me (one of my favourite scenes which gave me hiccups I laughed so hard was when Tom was comparing his sexual prowess to Lexie's vibrator, wanting to convince her he is the better choice, it was such a funny scene!)
Just one of those chuckle-out-loud scenes:
He tore his mouth away and swore again.
"It's your birthday," he said, his voice rough.
"So I can’t screw you up against the wall on your birthday."
She burst out laughing, and he grinned back at her, utterly gorgeous. That smile knocked her for a loop every time. There was nothing she liked better than to see Tom happy.
"It's nice to know chivalry isn’t entirely dead," she joked.
Lexie is a very sunny person, she is a smiling, friendly, optimist young woman while Tom is her complete opposite: he is taciturn, grumpy, abrupt and very antisocial, so you can imagine the collision when these two meet and have to spend time together. The development of their relationship was done very naturally: first they come to tolerate each other (which part was so much fun!), then get comfortable around each other and then when their attraction and lust grows into more it is due to the fact that they got to know each other. They don't fall in love right after falling into bed, they fall in love because they got an understanding about what the other person was like. We see that behind Tom's rude and silent behaviour he is a kind hearted, deeply feeling and wounded man, and seeing how good Lexie is for his healing made me melt. And speaking of melting, Ruthie Knox sure packed some very steamy sensual scenes in Ride with Me! She described Tom's hot kisses in such a way that even just reading about them made my toes curl and gave me goosebumps!
Ruthie Knox managed to make the road trip part of the novel (the part that I dreaded and feared would be monotone and boring) sound interesting and colourful. I very much enjoyed reading the descriptions of the sights and locals that Tom and Lexie encountered on their trip.
The final conflict between Lexie and Tom, their emotional suffering was gut-clenchingly real and deep and I can only applaud Ruthie Knox for the terrific ending, for not choosing the usual overly glossed, but rather a still satisfactory happily-ever-after that sounds real and still leaves the reader with a contented sigh and a happy smile.
Verdict: I loved, loved, loved this book! It was witty, funny, sexy, well written and kept me engrossed in the story from beginning to end. A terrific debut for Ruthie Knox and I SO can't wait to read more stories written by her! Ride with Me will suck you in and take you on a spinning journey, and oh will it be fun! Take the plunge and start on this road trip with Tom and Lexie, you'll have the time of your life! :-)