|Button made by the very talented Susi! Thank you!!|
Hero name: Tom Geiger
Can you tell us a bit more about your heroine, Lexie? How did she cope with having being partnered with such a frustrating and grumpy man?
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.
Setup: Tom and Lexie have just met on the beach in Oregon. In this scene, Tom is discovering that “Alex Marshall” is actually “Lexie Marshall,” and he’s not very happy about it.
“You’re supposed to be a man.”Alex Marshall raised an eyebrow. “I never said I was a man. Sometimes Alex is a woman’s name.”
When Tom didn’t reply, she shrugged as if to say What can you do? Life throws curve balls at us all. “It’s short for Alexandra. You can call me Lexie if you like that better. A lot of my friends do.”
“Well, I’m not your friend.”
“Not yet, but you’re getting off to a smashing start.” She planted her hands on her hips, staring at him. If she’d been able to breathe fire, he’d be toast by now, but considering her size and general adorableness, it was like being stared down by Tinker Bell.
“This isn’t going to work,” he said finally.
“Because I have breasts?”
Not precisely because she had breasts, no, though at the moment they weren’t a point in her favor. Those breasts were going to make it a lot trickier for him to find the right person to ride with her—he’d have to make sure whoever it was wouldn’t take advantage of her. Which, in turn, meant he was likely to be stuck with her company for a lot longer than he wanted to be.
That was the problem. Because attractive as she was, the woman screamed Type A. One look at her bike told him everything he needed to know. It was expensive, immaculate, and tricked out with high-end components. The narrow handlebars were choked with accessories, including an air horn to scare off dogs, a flashing LED safety light, a bike computer, and a handlebar bag topped with a plastic map sleeve. Inside the sleeve, she had a TransAm trail map—annotated, if his eyes didn’t deceive him, with tiny tape flags.
His general aversion to humankind aside, Tom liked women as much as the next guy. But hyperorganized, controlling women like this one reminded him of his ex-wife, and that was a reminder he could live without.
And if she needed another strike against her, there was the eight-inch reflective orange triangle hanging from the back of her saddle, on which she’d written, in large black letters, “Lexie—TransAm—OR to VA.” It may as well have read: Hi! I enjoy talking to strangers about riding my bike! Please drop whatever you’re doing to engage me in inane conversation.
Not his cup of tea.
Tom knew better than to say any of that aloud. He stuck with “This is a bad idea.”
“Which part?” she asked, with a perplexed shake of her head. She had wavy reddish brown hair pulled back in a tight ponytail. Very pretty.
Very definitely not a man.
“Riding together,” he clarified.
“But wasn’t it your idea? You answered my ad.” She looked irritated with him, a little confused. Vulnerable. He wanted to help her out, except he was the problem.
This was exactly why he avoided getting tangled up with people. You reached out a helping hand, and the next thing you knew you were up to your neck in quicksand, trying and failing to figure out a way to get everybody back out again.
“My sister,” he said.
“What about your sister?”
“She answered it.”
“You’re kind of losing me here.”
“Yeah.” He crossed his arms and stared at her. Maybe if he was rude enough, she’d give up and go home. There was a risk she would cry first, and that would be unpleasant, but he could weather it if he had to.
She crossed her own arms, mimicking his posture, and stared right back. “Yeah.”
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