Why Don’t We Do It on the Road?
So my debut novel, Ride with Me, released two days ago. It’s a romantic adventure story set on bicycle-back, of all things. The hero and heroine cross the TransAmerica Trail together, which is a 4,200-mile route that takes them from Oregon to Virginia. They are reluctant companions—the heroine, Lexie, a cheerful, people-loving optimist, the hero, Tom, a grumpy, reclusive bike mechanic—who clash, spark, burst into flame, and finally settle down into a nice, cozy happy-ever-after glow.
As the tagline says, “Ride with Me is not about the bike.” Really, it’s a road-trip story, full of humor and inconvenience and adventure in the hallowed tradition of movies like Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and The Sure Thing. To celebrate my release and hopefully entice you into wanting to read the book, I give you Four Great Reasons to Love It When Romance Meets Road Trip.
(4) Virtual tourism. Not interested in riding your bike across the country? That’s okay! You can play virtual tourist and experience the journey through Tom and Lexie’s eyes. It’s easier that way, and there aren’t nearly so many boring parts.
(3) Built-in disaster. There’s no such thing as a road trip where nothing goes wrong. Send characters across 4,200 miles of pavement, and they’re going to run into trouble. Thunderstorms. Flat tires. Dehydration. Dogs. Really gross campground showers. Logging trucks that drive too close. You name it, I’ve probably subjected Lexie and Tom to it. All those challenges give them something to bear up against—after all, personal growth doesn’t happen in a vacuum.
(2) Forced intimacy. Get your mind out of the gutter—I’m talking about the pressure of close proximity here. Road trips create a situation where the characters have nobody but each other to talk to, and no choice but to keep confronting their differences, arguing their arguments, and ultimately moving forward in their relationship. Sending them on a 4,200-mile trip together is really not all that different from locking them in a room and hiding the key in my pants. Long, exhausting days plus forced proximity is a recipe for interpersonal conflict. Or large quantities of tent sex. My characters choose both.
(1) And speaking of tent sex . . . If nothing else, a road trip offers varied and interesting locations for the hero and heroine to have sexy times! Tiny tents, seedy motels, haystacks, ditches—the mind boggles. And we all know that a hero who’s forced to be creative in finding somewhere to bed the heroine is a hero worth paying attention to.
Ride with Me, available from Loveswept on February 13, 2012!
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?
Ruthie Knox figured out how to walk and read at the same time in the second grade, and she hasn’t looked up since. She spent her formative years hiding romance novels in her bedroom closet to avoid the merciless teasing of her brothers and imagining scenarios in which someone who looked remarkably like Daniel Day Lewis recognized her well-hidden sex appeal and rescued her from middle-class Midwestern obscurity. After graduating from Grinnell College with an English and history double major, she earned a Ph.D. in modern British history that she’s put to remarkably little use.
These days, she writes contemporary romance in which witty, down-to- earth characters find each other irresistible in their pajamas, though she freely admits this has yet to happen to her. Perhaps she needs more exciting pajamas. Ruthie abhors an epilogue and insists a decent romance requires at least three good sex scenes.
One lucky commenter will be randomly chosen to win a digital copy of Ride with Me. Winners will pick up their copy through Net Galley. Good luck to all!
Be sure to answer the following question:
Would you ever take a trip like this? Why or Why Not? What would you like to see along the way?