#CBR11 Bingo: Travel
Tom is a brooding loner with a past, who gave up the corporate life and now works as a bike mechanic. He’s estranged from most of his family, with the exception of his sister. Determined to cycle the Trans-America trail, from Oregon to Virginia, he’s annoyed when he discovers said sister has been e-mailing someone (as him) to arrange for a riding partner. When he finds out that the “Alex” his sister has been e-mailing is, in fact, a Lexie, he is even more frustrated. He doesn’t want company, but he also feels bad about leaving Lexie without any sort of protection on the journey. They agree to cycle together until Tom can find someone else for Lexie to ride safely with.
Lexie’s parents met on the Trans-Am trail during the seventies, and she and her brother had always planned on doing the ride together. Then her brother went and married a woman with no interest in cycling, and Lexie has to decide whether she wants to do the ride by herself. Since no one answers her initial ad for a companion when it’s obvious that she’s a woman, she places a new one that seems more ambiguous. She figures that once all the details are ironed out, whomever agreed to ride with her could be persuaded to go along with the plan. She’s not really expecting to meet a really hot, but taciturn and angry guy, with what seems to be very sexist views of female cyclists. Because he seems to take it as read that she’ll be attracted to him, Lexie makes up a fictional husband to make sure the arrogant man is put in his place.
While both are incredibly annoyed by the other, they eventually grow to like one another and become friends over the course of their journey. Tom manages to get Lexie to relax more and rely a lot less on fixed plans, maps and her bike computer. Lexie gets Tom to open up more and gradually begin to interact with the people around him. Of course, the more time they spend together, the more the attraction between them grows, as well, and that fictional husband of Lexie’s becomes quite the obstacle. Tom was cheated on by his now ex-wife and is determined never to be a part of any form of adultery. Having cycled thousands of miles together perpetuating the lie, Lexie is worried about how Tom will actually react if she tells him the truth.
As far as I can recall, this is the first romance novel I’ve ever read focused on cycling. It’s a road trip romance, but the mode of transportation is bicycles, rather than a car, and these people are pretty serious about their hobby.
Full review here.
Bingo #7: Pajiba (My Sister, the Serial Killer), The Collection (We are Never Meeting in Real Life), Travel (this), Illustrated (Ms. Marvel, vol 3+4), Science! (The Lawrence Browne Affair)