Big Boy by Ruthie Knox
The month-long Strangers on a Train extravaganza continutes! Welcomt to week 3. For week 1’s review of Ticket Home by Serena Bell, click here. For week 2’s review of Tight Quarters by Samantha Hunter, click here.
Each Friday for the month of April (plus the first Friday in May), I’ll be reviewing one of the 5 novellas in the Srangers on a Train Collection from Samhain, which released this month. Up this week is Ruthie Knox‘s Big Boy. Don’t forget to leave a comment below to enter Ruthie’s giveaway!
Now for my review of Big Boy:
Big Boy can be summed up as a role-playing romp after hours at a train museum.
Talk about a fun ride! I loved this novella from start to finish. Mandy is a young professor seeking tenure who is thrown into the role of mother when her sister and her brother in law die in a car accident, leaving her the sole custodian of their 4 month old son, Josh. Juggling a demanding career and an even more demanding toddler, Mandy allows herself only one escape per month, a role-playing date with a guy she met on an internet dating site who insists she always come in costume, never share personal information, and meet him on various train cars displayed at a local museum. Tyler is quirky and sexy and way too young for Mandy, but she can’t stop going on their unusual dates, even though there are like a million red flags.
It’s clear Tyler has a secret, but Mandy can’t guess what it might be. Heck, she doesn’t want to guess. She doesn’t want to ruin what they have, however bazaar it is. She needs her monthly escape with Tyler, and she suspects he needs it too. But when their personal lives intersect and Tyler pretends he doesn’t recognize her, everything changes. Mandy wants more. She deserves more. She’s crazy for wanting more when it’s obvious Tyler doesn’t. She might be a wee bit conflicted. So sue her. She’s stressed and sleep deprived and should not be held responsible for poor decisions, especially when her heart keeps overriding her brain.
I loved watching Tyler’s mystery unfold. I loved how he sometimes fell apart with Mandy, how the role-playing sometimes dissolved and his genuine passion for her showed through. He’s a man smitten, but for his own personal reasons, he won’t let himself have Mandy in the real world. Seeing these two characters trust each other with their secrets touched me deeply. I hope it touches you too.
If you haven’t already picked up Big Boy, click on the image above for the Amazon link, or hit Ruthie’s website for more buy options. In the mean time, here are a few lines to whet your train whistle (I know, lame):
“Tell me a secret,” I say, reckless. “Tell me something nobody knows.”
I know all about him. He hates the smell of lilies. His grandmother died in a factory fire. He wants to visit Fenway Park on day.
The trouble is, I don’t know what’s true, or if any of it is. He’s better than I am at disguising his real self.
Tonight I want a sliver of honesty to pierce the illusion. A splinter of reality to carry in my pocket all month, to cherish with my fingertips, thinking of him.–Kindle Location 130.
This guy knew something I didn’t. He knew how to change identities nimbly, with a gleam in his eyes that said I’m having more fun than you are.–Kindle Location 159.
Nobody has ever played with me the way he does, and the freedom of it is intoxicating. To be able to put on another self, a body, a persona. To be wearing the clothes, saying the words of an imaginary person, but to know he’s making love to me, to me, only to me. I think he must care about me, to be this way. He must.–Kindle Location 472.
And what is officially now my favorite line in any book ever:
“…I’ve lowered the bar so many times, it’s rolling around in the dirt, and I still haven’t found one guy, not one guy, who made me feel even a tenth as happy as you look every single morning after a date with your weirdo.”–Kindle Location 573.
One lucky commenter will receive an ecopy of Big Boy. Just leave a comment below. Answer one of the following questions if you want, or just say hi:
If you could have a love affair in the guise of some person from the past, what era would you chosse?
If you could take a train trip anywhere, where would it be?