Member Reviews

Thanks to NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books for the free eARC in exchange for my unfettered opinion.

Ride With Me is a road-trip novel with a twist: Lucy is the rebellious, daughter in a wealthy family, while Emma is the former bartender who marries into that same wealthy family...A few years into the marriage, Emma is ready to bolt, especially when her awful husband Jordan sells her beloved childhood ride –– a vintage VW West –– to his tumbleweed sister, Lucy.

The two are united in their dislike of Jordan, but their connection grows deeper as they head cross-country and face the challenges of the road. A little bit spicy, this lesbian rom-com has a lot going for it: cute characters, relationship complications, references to Thelma and Louise. If I found it a bit talky, and a touch confusing (character names and voices seemed interchangeable), that's likely my shortcoming rather than the novel's.

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This was a cute and fun book, but I did not love the characters and the storyline fell a little bit flat for me. If you're looking for an easy quick read without a lot of depth, this one might be for you!

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I received an ARC copy of this book from the Publisher via Netgalley and voluntarily leaving my review.

Lucy is returning home after distancing herself from her family who makes her feel she less even though she made a good life for herself. She decides she wants to do a road trip visiting friends before she settles down to make a home for herself. She buys a VW bus from her annoying older brother Jordan not realizing the VW bus belongs to her sister in law Emma who didn’t approve of selling it. Emma basically kidnapped Lucy she needs to buy time because she realizes she made a mistake marrying Lucy brother. Lucy and Emma decides to adventure together as they grow closer Emma starts to rediscover who she is and they both may realize what they want might be right in front of them if they can get over their baggage first. Good Read.

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Coming home after years away from her rich family, Lucy wants to set off on a #vanlife road trip before she settles down. Her brother is selling a vintage VW bus, so it's a an easy decision for Lucy to buy it. As soon as she gets on the road, she gets "hijacked" by her brother's wife (who is the real owner of the bus) who is running away from an unhappy marriage.

Okay. I know it's in the blurb, but (spoilers if you've never read a HEA romance novel) Lucy ends up with her brother's wife. If you can deal with that, read on. (Personally, I'm not sure if that's horrifying and disgusting or fun and hilarious, but I read the book, so… 😂)

This was a fun ride. The relationship between Lucy and Emma was fun, especially at the beginning as they were feeling each other out. There was a lot of baggage and emotional issues for both women. Normally, this enhances a book for me, but it felt a bit hinky to me. It really felt like two lost souls just landing in the same place to me. I did enjoy their individual journeys in finding themselves, though.

While this didn't work for me on the romance side of things, it was definitely a unique premise, and I rather enjoyed parts of it. If you like out-of-the-ordinary queer romances, you will probably like this one!

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the advanced digital reader's copy (ARC) in exchange for an honest review!

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A road trip adventure that had me hooked from the start. The VW bus, the fake kidnapping, and the hippie sister create an intriguing mix of elements that promise a wild ride, and the book certainly delivers on that promise.

Lucy and Emma's dynamic is the heart of the story, reminiscent of a Thelma and Louise duo, but thankfully without the murder! Their bond and the way they bring out the best in each other make for a compelling and heartwarming story. Lucy's unwavering support for Emma, even at the expense of her own family, adds strength to their relationship. Annie, a character introduced in the middle of the trip, is a real scene-stealer. Her quirky personality adds a delightful twist to the journey, and I can't help but hope she gets her own story in the future.

What I liked is the perfect balance between fun and poignant moments. The story has its share of sadness, but it's beautifully contrasted with Emma's journey to find her voice and freedom. It's a testament to the author's skill that these emotional arcs are woven seamlessly into the story.

This for me is a book that belongs on the re-read pile. It offers an exciting and heartfelt journey that combines adventure, friendship, and personal growth in a way that's impossible to resist. Highly recommended for anyone looking for an enjoyable and emotionally resonant read.

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This story was a bit surreal, although it was still quite entertaining. Lucy is a woman from a well-off family but she is a bit rebellious and has always tried to confront her parents and siblings. She is a lawyer but is not willing to sell herself to the interests of her father, who wants her to follow in her footsteps. But she has chosen a career more on the side of non-profit organizations and that kind of thing. She intends to take a vacation and to do so she asks her brother for his van, which turns out to be not her brother's but her sister-in-law's. And from the moment she picks up the keys and sets off, the trouble begins. Because inside the van is her sister-in-law, Emma, who at gunpoint forces her to take her with her, a true kidnapping. Lucy hasn't had much of a relationship with either her brother or Emma, so she has no idea why she's running away from home or what she's up to. Only that she wants to get as far away from her husband as possible. All these premises lead to a development that is fun at times, sad at other times, but surprising. Lucy has her inconsistencies, since deep down she is a bourgeois by education and environment, no matter how much she wants to avoid it. And Emma has complexes and insecurities that she has not left behind with a comfortable marriage. So, in their complexity, they open up to each other and discover that they may have more in common than they initially thought. I really liked this story, I think it is highly recommended.

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would like to thank netgalley and the publishers for letting me read this book

a vintage vw bus
a lawyer
and an abused wife

lucy has for years been wandering mostly away from her family but now she is back and wants that final adventure before she puts down roots

her brother jordan is selling a vintage vw bus and she goes round to buy it... no much love is lost between them so the deal is struck and she is off on her last adventure

but its not long before she realises she has a stowaway and one that then abducts her by gun point and the vw bus

interesting read loved the adventures in a vw bus and new orleans always sounds the best place to go

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3 stars - Well written and edited, yet I wasn't as engaged as I wanted to be.

Emma is in an unhappy marriage to Jordan. The last straw is a physical altercation and an argument that ends in Jordan selling off her beloved VW "Westie" van.

Unaware of any of this, Jordan's sister Lucy is back in the States and arrives to buy the van for a cross-country trip. She is considering settling down and wants to see a bit of her home country, visit friends, and figure out where she wants to live—hopefully as far away from her family, and especially her brother, as she can get.

Lucy and Emma meet when Emma pops up from her hiding place in the van and hijacks Lucy's vacation. As they travel across the US, they get to know each other and start falling in love.

While the setup sounded fun, the story just didn't work for me. I wasn't drawn in at all. I was constantly checking how much of the book was left and watching way too much TikTok when I should have been reading. I didn't really click with either character, and I didn't feel the chemistry between them. I was just kind of bored. Because this was an ARC, I powered through it but confess I did a bit of skimming to get to the end.

The end and epilogue were very cute, and I enjoyed the way the story wrapped up with the HEA.

Thank you, NetGalley, and Bold Strokes Books for the opportunity to review this book.

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Digital copy provided by #NetGalley.

I really enjoyed this book, specially the first half. The second half was a bit dragged out and felt a bit previsible. That aside, I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style, descriptions and characters. I also always love to find queer romances that are not about discovering your sexuality but your person. Very cute book!

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The kidnapping wasn’t very realistic but I enjoyed the characters well enough to finish the book. I love a good road trip story!

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Neither Emma nor Lucy have had an easy time in life, but their resilience, strength, and determination make both of them compelling characters. Emma is fed up with the life she's been living for the past six years and has finally taken a stand. She technically does kidnap her sister-in-law but at no point does Lucy ever feel like she’s in danger. Lucy’s easygoing personality and curiosity about Emma’s life allow her to stay in the van…bus…with Emma for the duration. Lucy is trying to figure out her next steps and is planning to use her solo cross-country trip to find herself. She certainly got more than she bargained for when Emma revealed herself in the VW’s backseat!

Emma’s marriage to Lucy’s estranged brother Jordan has taken a toll on her mental and physical health. She’s spent years, even more years than her marriage, feeling like an impostor. She’s a caretaker at heart and spent her teenage years taking care of her father and younger sister after her mother left. She wants to feel needed which is why she’s continued to stay in her less than happy marriage. As details about her past are slowly revealed, it’s clear that Emma’s feelings have finally been validated and Lucy is the only person in her life who accepts her without reservation and judgment. I appreciate Emma’s ability to hold strong to her convictions despite the difficulties.
Lucy’s always been made to feel less than by her family and many of her life choices she’s made to spite them. Despite her rebellious ways, she’s built herself into an extremely successful adult with so many fulfilling life experiences under her belt. I absolutely adore her vibe! She’s intelligent, adventurous, quirky, and loyal. I could easily visualize every outfit she donned, especially the tux and tophat she wore for Emma and Jordan’s wedding. She’s extremely patient and an excellent listener. All of these wonderful qualities she possesses help Emma become comfortable in her presence and lead to Emma falling for her.

The chemistry between Emma and Lucy is apparent from the start and as their relationship rolls from friends to lovers, the transition is seamless and without much drama and fanfare. They’re like those complicated puzzle pieces, the ones you look at and think won’t fit, but when you give it a try, they fit perfectly. Yes, Emma is Lucy’s sister-in-law and infidelity is a part of their story, but without Emma’s turbulent marriage to Jordan, the two would never have even met.

The supporting characters, especially Lucy’s best friend and Emma’s sister Mick are well-developed and extremely important to who Lucy and Emma are. Lucy’s sister and parents play a small but integral role as does Jordan, Emma’s husband and Lucy’s brother.

This is a really entertaining read and I highly recommend it!

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“Ride with me” tells the very unusual love story between Lucy and Emma. Lucy comes from a rich family, but she’s always felt like an outsider. The first time they met was at Emma’s wedding to Lucy’s brother, and their paths cross again years later when Emma decides to leave her husband and rebel against him selling her old VW to Lucy. From that moment on they go on a journey throughout the country, discovering themselves, falling in love and figuring out what paths they want to take in their lives.
This is Jenna Jarvis’s second novel, but it’s my first experience with her writing.
The book was so funny and caught my attention from the first page. I loved how the characters were so strong and full of opinions. Annie, Lucy’s best friend, was one of the best characters and she deserves so much love.
Jenna represents a lot of how it is to be queer and how family is something we found.
I also would like to say that this book has SO many great jokes and references to old country songs.
I really recommend it!

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This was a quick, fun read. The ‘kidnap’ is not very realistic but this is fiction and the artistic license trumps. I enjoyed this one, not familiar with the author but I’s pick their books in the future.

Free ARC via NetGalley.

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Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!

I decided to not continue reading this book. I did like the storyline (Roadtrip, Emma is running away from her awful husband with her sister-in-law Lucy). The writing was good, but somehow I didn't get invested in the characters, and especially not Emma. Also maybe I'm too European to enjoy the story, there were two instances that I found really not okay, they may be normal in the US so it is okay if they happen like this in the story. But I expected at least some discussion about it, but they were just brushed over and not even challenged / discussed.

my reasons for not continuing to read contain spoilers, so I only added them in my storygraph review:

Short spoiler-free summary: I know it probably is realistic, that in some parts of the USA no one bats an eye if a gun ist just lying around, and a person has no problems handling it, and that lots of people are addicted to alcohol and painkillers. I just don't find it okay how the story totally brushes over these things, they just happen or are mentioned and not challenged at all. I wish it would have been discussed how this is harmful and for example how the person could get out of her addiction.

I won't say you shouldn't read the book, if you don't mind the things I mentioned, go for it and you'll probably have a good time! But it is just not a book for me.

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This was such a fun read! I literally have no notes for this and I read it in one day. What I loved about Ride With Me is its pacing, lightheartedness, humor, representation, and the characters.

I have read lots of books where I can't help but think, "this should've been (amount) pages shorter" or "this chapter/s should've been removed" but in this book, everything was perfectly added. Nothing needs to be removed or shortened. It also never bored me, and it would always pain me to put my Kindle down to do quick chores because I'm simply hooked to the story! For the humor, it doesn't feel forced at all, which I honestly appreciate.

For the characters, I loved how they're flawed but likeable and relatable. Lots of books have characters that are flawless I always think that it makes a lot of sense to cast extremely attractive actors for the main roles if the book gets adapted but in this book, the characters feel human and real, like if you look at a crowd, any female can be Emma and Lucy.

Jenna Jarvis wrote this book seamlessly everything just flowed nicely. She introduced the story, sequencing of events, the characters, and included representations so smoothly nothing felt forced it seriously didn't feel like I was reading a book. It felt like I was seeing real people with their real people problems and real people emotions have their real people love story.

I'm really really hoping this book and Jenna get the recognition they truly deserve. Amazing work!

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