Ride With Me by Jenna JarvisRide With Me by Jenna Jarvis is a forced proximity, contemporary romance about falling in love when you least expect it.

After years of living as far away from her family as she possibly can, Lucy returns to the States in order to take a great American road trip before settling down, a destination yet discovered. The vintage VW bus that her pompous older brother is selling is the perfect vehicle for it.

But Jordan’s wife, Emma is the bus’s real owner and is furious and not willing to let it go. She’s fed up and ready to get away from her marriage so she isn’t above hijacking her own bus to make that happen.

When Lucy’s vacation to find herself becomes Emma’s chance to remember herself, they both realize that everything they’re looking for could already be sitting right next to them – if they’re willing to take the leap.


After reading the publisher’s synopsis of Ride With Me, my interest was piqued and I knew I had to read. I’m honestly thrilled that I did. The book contains some really heavy topics and each of those topics was handled delicately and with so much care that it made the details manageable. Despite the heaviness of the plotline, Jenna Jarvis’s infusion of humor, sarcasm, and breezy dialogue enabled this book to be extremely approachable. The plot moves quickly and the stops along their cross-country journey are perfectly detailed. At times throughout the story, I felt like I was in the backseat riding along with them!

Pros And My Favourite Parts

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.

Heads Up

Trigger warnings for infidelity, mention of mental health issues, mild homophobia/biphobia, misogyny, mention of past miscarriage, and substance abuse.

The Conclusion

Ride With Me by Jenna Jarvis is a fast-paced cross-country adventure with two dynamic main characters whose time together is as intense as it is amusing. While there’s heartache and despair, at the core, this story is about the positivity surrounding change and embracing that change in order to move into the next phase of life. There’s humor, sarcasm, tears, steam, and a lot of delicious food! I thoroughly enjoyed riding shotgun during Lucy and Emma’s travels and plan to reread it in the future.

Excerpt from Ride With Me by Jenna Jarvis

She could smell perfume, almost tricking her into thinking she wasn’t alone, and she frowned to think of Emma, who she hadn’t seen the whole time of her visit. Not well. She shook her head. She didn’t envy her. Emma had seemed sad before her wedding and a little lacking in enthusiasm during it, but that had been before several miscarriages.

Jordan was certainly rich and handsome enough, but Lucy couldn’t see him as a romantic. He probably had a PA booking all their anniversary dinners and buying Emma’s birthday gifts.

Sometimes, Lucy caught herself hearing an internal monologue of similar cadence to her mom’s in her brain, making her worry she was going to be alone all her life and that friends and a career wouldn’t look after her the way she needed in her old age. But then, after ten minutes in the orbit of people supposedly happily settled, she remembered why she was grateful that such a cloyingly heterosexual lifestyle had no hope of claiming her.

As she moved to turn on the radio, she paused and nearly stopped. The unfamiliar scent was almost definitely residual, but that was breathing she’d just heard. Someone was breathing in the seat behind her. She really wasn’t alone.

Just as she steeled herself to turn and look, she was stopped by a hand clutching her right shoulder.

Her breath caught in her throat. Maybe she was going to die, and of course, she had to do even that alone. Because she hadn’t thought she’d needed company because she’d—

“All right.” The voice was low and a little shaky but frighteningly certain. “Stop driving and switch seats. I’ve got a gun, and there is no way I’m driving around in the back seat of my own fucking van.”

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Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 978-1636794990

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books

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