New York Series #1
By: Ruthie Knox
Releasing August 5th, 2014
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RITA finalist and New York Times bestselling author Ruthie Knox kicks off a steamy new series set in the city that never sleeps—alone, at least.
May is a Midwestern-girl, taught to behave, be nice and avoid all things that are not for “people like us”. Being quite tall (and feeling enormous) she considers herself more than lucky to be singled out by Dan, an easy-going, uncomplicated NFL quarterback, and she centers her life around him, even moving to New York, a frightening city hardly for “people like us”. But then he goes and does something unexpected, saying all things expected—wrongly—and May lashes out. In a gone-viral way. And then she’s on her own; broke, lost and, most importantly, not knowing who she is and what she wants.
Ben is on the mend. His hot-headedness made him lose everything on both a personal and a professional level, and now he’s got to find a way to stand on his own two feet. Maybe chatting up the tall blond girl with the deer-caught-in-headlights eyes, and appearing civil is just what he needs. Offering her his couch to spend the night and then become her tour guide in an effort to make her see the city he loves through his own eyes is way more than he bargained for. But he does it. And he loves it. It … not her, surely. Because if these two are to be together, they must not only step outside their comfort zone; they must make a record-breaking leap and re-invent themselves while at it. Can love be their launching pad?
Ruthie Knox is my queen. She’ll say she looks nothing like a queen just like the characters she creates are anything but royalty. Normal, everyday men and women, far from stunning and perfect. Ruthie is one of the Wonkomance ladies. All of their characters are faulty either internally or externally. (One of my favorite Ruthie characters is Sean from Flirting with Disaster, who stutters so much he won’t even pronounce Katie’s name.)
But writing-wise she’s the Queen of romance. I haven’t read anyone who’s delved deeper than her in her characters’ psyche. She’s capable of unpicking their long-ingrained threads of beliefs, prejudices, stereotypes thoroughly, slowly, expertly until they emerge cleansed and shed in a whole new glorious light.
All of her books are life lessons, and Truly is one of the most important. Mild-mannered, good-natured May with the faulty self-image is a character that will resonate with most readers. Instilling her love to self-doubting, perennially angry Ben is beyond sweet. Standing up to her life choices is beyond empowering. Ben is a chef, and him feeding May real, messy, calory-clogged food just to see her moan must be one of the most arousing, non-bedroom scenes I’ve ever read. Tasting New York as May experiences it beats seeing it through Carry Bradshaw’s eyes with a solid broomstick—dressed in a tutu (okay, that was an over-the-top Sex and the City analogy, but you get my point).
Have you guessed how much I loved this book? I laughed, cried and everything in between. Ruthie’s writing is a study on how not to write a single romance cliché. Heartwarming, funny, steamy hot, heart-clenching at times, and so gloriously real, this is a must MUST read.
May Fredericks hates New York. Which is fair enough, since New York seems to hate her back. After relocating to Manhattan from the Midwest to be with her long-distance boyfriend, NFL quarterback Thor Einarsson, May receives the world’s worst marriage proposal, stabs the jerk with a shrimp fork, and storms off alone—only to get mugged. Now she’s got no phone, no cash, and no friends. How’s a nice girl supposed to get back to safe, sensible Wisconsin?
Frankly, Ben Hausman couldn’t care less. Sure, it’s not every day he meets a genuine, down-to-earth woman like May—especially in a dive in the Village—but he’s recovering from an ugly divorce that cost him his restaurant. He wants to be left alone to start over and become a better man. Then again, playing the white knight to May’s sexy damsel in distress would be an excellent place to start—if only he can give her one very good reason to love New York.
New York Times bestselling author Ruthie Knox writes contemporary romance that’s sexy, witty, and angsty—sometimes all three at once. Her debut novel, Ride with Me, is probably the only existing cross-country bicycling love story. She followed it up with About Last Night, a London-based romance whose hero has the unlikely name of Neville, and then Room at the Inn, a Christmas novella—both of which were finalists for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award.
Her four-book series about the Clark family of Camelot, Ohio, has won accolades for its fresh, funny portrayal of small-town Midwestern life. Ruthie also writes New Adult romance as Robin York. She moonlights as a mother, Tweets incessantly, and bakes a mean focaccia. She’d love to hear from you, so visit her website and drop her a line.
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(from Chapter One)
The bartender had begun cleaning the counter with a damp rag. He shuffled closer to her, sweep by sweep, and cleared his throat.
Nervous, May lifted her beer and drained it, realizing only with the last warm swallow what she’d done.
“Can I get you another round?” he asked.
This was it, then. Time to go.
But the line was behind her, drawn across the floor, invisible but there, and she didn’t want to leave.
She had to choose. Dan’s apartment or this bar. Before or After.
“Maybe,” she said. “Do you have a wine list?”
“I think we’ve got one somewhere in the back.” His disapproving tone made it clear that no one ever asked for a wine list here. Which, yes—she might not know Manhattan, but she knew bars—this was not the sort of place where you asked for a wine list.
“Can you look for me?”
“Sure.” He put his rag down and walked toward a door marked private. She saw him roll his eyes as he passed the guy.
The guy didn’t look up. He wasn’t interested in the bartender any more than he was interested in her. But his companion wasn’t here yet, and maybe wasn’t coming. He could talk to her for a few minutes, buy her a drink. It wouldn’t kill him.
May hopped off her stool, sucked in her stomach, and approached. “What are you reading?” she asked.
The guy canted the book so she could see the cover, but his hand covered most of the title. All she could read was the word Dying.
He didn’t look at her. He was a bent, dark head, an ear, a declaratory elbow. When she heard a low voice, it took her a second to understand that it belonged to him. “They’ve got their mother’s corpse in a coffin in the back of this wagon, and they’re taking her into town to bury her. The youngest kid thinks the dead mother is a fish, but he also thinks she can’t breathe, so he bores holes into the coffin and right into her face.”
The bridge of her nose wrinkled. A totally involuntary response.
“One of the two older sons is going insane,” he added. “The other one’s broken leg is starting to rot, and the sister’s knocked up.”
A few beats passed. She tried to think of some kind of segue into normal conversation. The best she could do was “Yeah, but is it any good?”
“It’s super.” He injected the maximum amount of sarcasm into the word.
Sarcasm didn’t scare her. Her sister, Allie, had spent her freshman and sophomore years of high school dripping it all over everyone.
“I’m May.” She extended her hand.
He looked away from the book then, though not at her face. At her hand first. Then down at her shoes, which made him frown. She allowed him some leeway there, because she was wearing dark green leather flats with bows on the toes, and she didn’t like them much, either.
When he lifted his gaze, it got stuck on her breasts for an uncomfortable period of twelve to fifteen years. “Ben,” he told them.
This offense was harder to forgive. Men had been addressing her breasts since she was thirteen. Her breasts had yet to respond to this treatment.
I’m up here.
She didn’t say it aloud, but his head lifted, and he finally looked right at her.
He had sort of sleepy eyelids that went with his broad-planed face, his full mouth—a face that made her think of bear-taming and those male dancers in the tall black boots and flouncy white shirts who crossed their arms and stuck their legs out.
Slavic, that was it.
His eyes were brown, lighter than they should have been in the middle and rimmed with black. Weird eyes.
Weirder still, he didn’t seem embarrassed to have been caught boob-ogling, and he didn’t take her hand. She had to retrieve it from the air in between them and find a place to stow it along the seam of her pants.
“What’s with the jersey?” he asked.
“Season doesn’t start until next week.”
Oh. The stupid jersey. Not her breasts.
“Believe me, I know.”
“Plus, Einarsson is a douche.”
Even back home, she sometimes got flack about continuing to wear the old jersey of a quarterback who’d abandoned the Packers for the Jets, only to lead his new team to a Super Bowl victory against the old one. She might as well be sporting a pin that read, I support Benedict Arnold!
Still, douche seemed a little harsh.
Ben sat up straighter, his eyes refocusing on something over her right shoulder. He slid off his bar stool and raised a hand. May turned just as another man came off the last basement step and into the bar. A blond, good-looking man who actually knew how to smile.