Ruthie Knox’s debut novel Ride with Me is a great example of how two very different people can come together and create the perfect bite. Tom is a hard-around-the- edges, anti-social, broody, bitter and disillusioned man. He’s been through the emotional ringer and he just wants to be left alone. Lexi is a highly organized (bordering on control freak) happy-go-lucky people person and ready to start an exciting new adventure that she's been planning for years. To put it simply, these two are each other’s worst nightmare. So what does Ms. Knox do? In a clever plot that is unique and fun the author puts these two together as partners on a cross country bike trip. A scenic, often comedic, and grand adventure with two of the most refreshing protagonists I’ve read in a long time.
The TransAmerica cross country cycling trip is a long and arduous adventure but Tom is looking forward to a few months of peace and self-reflection. However his sister Taryn worries about him going it alone. So when Taryn sets him up to take a partner along for the journey Tom balks at the very idea of being saddled with anyone let alone a stranger.
"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."
Both Taryn and Tom are surprised when they meet Alex – they thought Alex was short for Alexander NOT Alexandra or Lexi as she likes to be called. Now Tom’s stuck with a woman who is so off the charts different than he is, he’s not sure he’ll last a few days with her much less a few months. But off they go and their adventure begins.
Ms. Knox is a great story teller and has a definite way with words. The repartee between her characters is spot on and quickly gives you an insight into who they are as well as their motivations and desires. The clever use of a cross-country cycling trip is used to perfection and gives the relationship between Lexi and Tom an entertaining and enjoyable foundation. Both Lexi and Tom are interesting and engaging characters with down to earth sensibilities and the chemistry between them is electric. Ride with Me is a contemporary romance with style, humor and great characters. I’m looking forward to seeing what Ms. Knox will come up with next.
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