Free Publicity Friday Strangers On a Train Edition

Thank You for Riding by Meg Maguire

The month-long Strangers on a Train extravaganza continutes! Welcomt to week five of five. For my reviews of Ticket Home (Serena Bell), Tight Quarters (Samantha Hunter), Big Boy (Ruthie Knox) and Back on Track (Donna Cummings), click on the links. This week, I’m reviewing Thank you for Riding by Meg Maguire. Don’t forget to leave a comment below to enter Meg’s giveaway!

Thank You for Riding (Strangers on a Train)I struggled over the star rating for this one. I was torn between 4 or 5. I think I finally decided on 4.5 stars.

What I loved: Caitlin’s inner dialog was hilarious. I so got her and loved her. She would totally amp her self up for things in her own head, and then Meg Maguire would totally shut her down with something unexpected (like a dumping by her boyfriend near a half-dead ficus and a laser printer when she expected to get him so hot with her slinky, sparkly outfit that he’d hump her in the broom closet at the company non demoninational holiday party).

I also loved Mark. He is the perfect romance hero. Like perfect.

What I wanted to be a little different: I wanted Mark to have a flaw that Caitlin could help him overcome. I wanted the story to be longer and have some romantic tension other than Caitlin’s guilt over flirting with Mark at the blood bank while she’s still with office-boyfriend guy.

That said, the story was so cute and fun, and I seriously couldn’t put it down. Yes it was light on tension, but it also thoroughly entertained me. So, it gets a high rating even though there wasn’t a ton of ups and downs and twists and turns plot-wise. Once Caitlin is dumped, things with Mark (the the blood bank guy) go swimmingly. And it’s hot and fun to read.

And because Meg Maguire set up Caitlin having unrealistic, over-the-top-cute expectations romance-wise, when she started her patented, adorably-optimistic inner dialog over Mark, I thought, oh no, something’s going to go horribly wrong. But then it doesn’t, not relationshipwise, anyway. It’s smooth sailing, if you don’t count the annoyance factor of getting locked in the subway in the middle of a freezing night, which I don’t because that actually led to some pretty sweet coat-sharing and kissing action. But that in itself was a surprise. I thought for sure Meg was setting me up for some twist or something going horribly wrong for Caitlin, and when it didn’t, I was like, nicely done, Meg, I am surprised and entertained, and I love you for making me smile with your peppy, adorable writing.

I get the sense that Caitlin’s head was her own worst enemy in this piece, and Caitlin conquered…herself by ignoring the inner voice of caution and following her heart with Mark. Overall, I loved Thank You for Riding and highly recommend it.


One lucky commenter will receive an ecopy of Thank You for Riding. Just leave a comment below. You could answer the following question if you want: in Thank You for Riding, Meg Maguire makes the cold floor of a dark subway tunnel an oasis of love for her characters. What utterly non sexy place would you like to see turned into an oasis of love for the right hero/heroine? 

OR just say hi in the comment box! I love to hear from my readers, and I know Meg would love your support.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes. I decided to limit them to Caitlin’s inner dialog since those lines were so funny they tended to steal the show:

    Ask me out, she beamed to Mark.
   Yeah right, dum-dum. You told him you just got dumped. If he’s smardt, he’ll run screaming, and if he’s a creep, he’ll think you’re all vulnerable and easy.
   Who cares? He’s hot. Maybe I am easy.–Kindle Location 406.

   Here, let me help you with that… How do you like your eggs? Call in sick to work and have sex with you all day? Oh, Mark, I really mustn’t. But I will. Paint my front hall in nothing but your mangy work jeans, you say? Excuse me while I orgasm.–Kindle Location 421.

   A strange man you basically just met is kissing you in one of the shadier corners of the MBTA. You really ought not to get turned on right about now. He could be some kind of homeless vampire smack-fiend pervert.
   F*** you, intuition. You should have warned me about Kevin dumping me when I was ordering that stupid martini shaker or mentally booking a room in the Berkshires.–Kindle Location 709.

Thanks for stopping by!


About Jessi Gage

Jessi lives with her husband and children in the Seattle area. She’s a passionate reader of all genres of romance, especially anything involving the paranormal. Ghosts, demons, vampires, witches, weres, name it, she’ll read it. As for writing, she's sticking to Highlanders and contemporaries with a paranormal twist (for now). A career student (aka indecisive and inquisitive bookworm), Jessi brings her love of research to her worlds and characters. Her guiding tenet in her writing is that good always trumps evil, but not before evil gives good one heck of a run for its money. The last time she imagined a world without romance novels, her husband found her crouched in the corner, rocking.
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13 Responses to Free Publicity Friday Strangers On a Train Edition

  1. Interesting question, Jessi, and I’m intrigued at how Maguire manages to make something that sounds so unpleasant so sexy.

    Hmm, an utterly unsexy place. Okay, a battlefield. And now, my author’s brain is demanding I go figure out how to make that sexy. Uh-oh, Jessi, what have you started! 😉 The battlefield is a bit dark though. Maybe something less gristly. A graveyard. I think I’m noticing a theme.

  2. Amy Raby says:

    Hmm, an utterly unsexy place. I’m thinking of that time I went to the ER and was in a ridiculous amount of pain (I would end up needing emergency surgery) and the nurses and doctors were all ignoring me. And then there was a shift change and a male nurse saw my plight and put a blanket over me (I was shivering uncontrollably) and gave me morphine. He is my hero. So I’m going to say the ER.

    • Jessi Gage says:

      I love that story, Amy. When are you going to write it up? I know you don’t do contemporaries, but you could have a healer’s assistant offer compassion to an overlooked servant girl who’s working despite being obviously sick… I’d love a EFR (that’s epic fantasy romance for those who don’t know) about a compassionate male healer:)

  3. Hmmm… Non-morbid, but utterly unsexy place to see a hero/heroine get all hot & heavy? Maybe a laundromat? Or the shared laundry room of an apartment building? Or maybe in a mechanic’s garage?

  4. M.Q. Barber says:

    Unsexy, cramped, dirty, sweaty, and filled with a sickly-sweet smell: inside the cotton candy / elephant ear / fried Oreo stand at the county fair while cleaning up for the night when the crowds have shuffled off.

    (And you’re right, that inner dialog sounds delightfully snarky.)

  5. Jane says:

    How about the kitchen or bathroom in a fast food restaurant? They just have to steer clear of the hot oil.

  6. Ooh, great question! How about the surgical suite at a vet hospital? With all the overnight doggies and kitties watching? Totally unsexy. And a bit icky, now that I think about it. . ..

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