** 3.5 out of 5 Stars **
**WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD! Read at your own risk!
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?
Ride with me is a light read without a lot of drama. It would be great to take on vacation. The characters were well thought out and they had depth. I wasn't particularly fond of Tom in the beginning. He seemed like a real jerk. Lexie seemed like she had a stick stuck up her butt in the beginning as well. I couldn't figure out how these two would ever be able to find any common ground to begin building a relationship. I read the blurb and thought it would be an easy book and it was. I liked the plot. I haven't ever read a book about a cross country trip on a bicycle so it was different. It was easy to get caught up in the characters. They had me laughing quite a bit. Overall it was a light, fluffy, feel good read. The only real problem I had with the book was the ending. I was trucking along and then bam it was over. I literally sat down to finish it up thinking I was a little ways from being done, maybe a couple of chapters. I turned the page and it was over. I didn't feel like everything was wrapped up in the end.
It just ended very abruptly...
I'm giving it 3.5 stars because while it was good, it isn't a book that I'm gonna remember in a few days. I'm also doing this because of the ending. I would have liked more. I definitely felt like it could have used an epilogue. If you're looking for a short, sweet, easy read this is the book for you.
Tom is a 35 year old man who is tattooed, anti-social, unfriendly and has the attitude and temperament of a Pit Bull. He works in a bicycle shop but at one time was VP of his family's company. He was married and had the perfect life but because of circumstances lost everything...including his wife who is now married to his brother. He's a loner and likes it that way.
"Taryn, I'm thirty-five, single, tattooed, and antisocial. I'm the serial killer."
Lexie is 29, very talkative, has an out-going personality and is very friendly. She is very Type A. She likes things in order and always has a plan. She isn't go with the flow and she tends to get angry when things don't go her way. She's one of the most stubborn characters I've ever read. She's a high school English teacher with 2 failed engagements under he belt.
Lexie needs a partner to travel 4000 miles with while she bikes across the country. Tom's sister sets him up with her thinking she's a guy. They meet for the first time at the beginning of the trail. He's isn't pleased to have a partner but especially when he realizes that she's a woman. The initial plan is to stay with her until she can find someone else. He isn't friendly to her at all and she invents a husband to keep him from thinking she wants to sleep with him. They begin the trail and literally don't speak for 3 days...at all.
There's a hot sauce incident at a restaurant that gets them finally talking and from that point on he tries to play nice with her. Things are running smoothly for the most part. They ride until early afternoon, sometimes talking sometimes not. They pitch their tents next to each other at whatever campground they stay at over night. She's insanely attracted to him and he wants her so bad he can't see straight.
They keep their distance until her water bag leaks all in her tent in the middle of the night soaking everything, including her, inside. She ends up sleeping in his tent and they get close with him kissing on her neck until her remembers she's married.
After the tent issue he returns to being what she calls "angry Tom" and begins looking for someone to take his place on the trail. It's find someone or he's afraid he's gonna do something stupid like sleep with a married woman. They end up riding with a guy named Paul. He's older and not in the best of shape. Tom doesn't like him and he bores Lexie to tears. Tom makes arrangements to let Paul take over. When she realizes what he's done they end up fighting and she kisses him. Things get out of hand between them but he stops it and then walks away from her.
She's supposed to ride with Paul but leaves him behind and ends up riding with a guy named Lance. 4 days into riding with her new partner she's about to pull her hair out. She misses Tom and Lance is a little hands on with her. Tom is miserable without her too. His sister finally makes him realize that it's very possible that she isn't married. At first he continues to ride away from her but he's brain gets the best of him and he just has to know. He waits 3 days for her at a camp ground. At the camp ground it becomes very obvious that Lance doesn't know how to take no for an answer and Tom ends up having to help her. He threatens the guy and takes Lexie to his tent and informs her she will be sleeping with him.
He asks her if she's married and once they work out that she isn't and why she lied there are choices to make. Neither wants anything serious but yet they both want each other. Tom comes up with the perfect arrangement. They will continue to ride together while sleeping together. Once they reach the end of the trail they will part ways and go on with their lives. Both of them are too stupid to realize that it's way to late for a no strings relationship. The man just waited 3 days to catch back up with her after all. She agrees to his proposal and they make it official by sleeping together.
Weeks pass and things are good. He treats her more like a girlfriend than a friend with benefits. He teaches her to loosen up and she teaches him to open up. By this point they are both head over heels for the other. Tom isn't willing to admit it to himself while Lexie knows exactly what she's feeling. She tells him she loves him which causes him to act stupid. The arrangement comes to an end. She begins sleeping alone again. She rides ahead of him, won't look at him, and isn't talking to him. He feels alone and hurt. It's then he realizes that he's in love with her too. She has a wreck on her bike and it's a close call. At this point he realizes that he can't be without her and he's got to figure out a way to keep her in his life permanently.
The night before they finish the trail he asks her to dinner. Once there he presents her with guides to other trails. Instead of going home, he wants to bike home. He tells her about his plans for a tour company which include her as his partner. He finally tells her he loves her and he wants to be with her. She finally got what she wanted and then left him sitting in the restaurant by himself. It takes her a few minutes but after thinking and seeing how scared he is she will reject him, she agrees.
Then it...ENDS. Yes it ends in the parking lot outside of the restaurant. There is no epilogue. We don't get to see them make it home or how they ended up together.