by Noelle Adams
Publication Date: July 7, 2014
Ethan was Ashley’s secret crush, until he became an asshole. Asshole is too good a word for him. It’s bad enough that he stopped talking to her brother, who was his best friend since preschool. It’s even worse that he went wild and got involved with criminal types. But the worst thing of all is the way he trapped her on this ridiculous road trip. That’s what it is. Ridiculous. It just isn’t normal for a girl to get dragged from Virginia to South Dakota in a stolen car with just $1000 in cash. With Ethan Moore, who is way too hot and way too infuriating to be tolerated. But she’s stuck with him on a trip that is taking way longer than it should, sharing cheap hotel rooms, destroying cars, and eluding bad guys. Yep. There are bad guys chasing them. Even worse guys than Ethan, and that’s saying a lot. Plus, she’s having trouble keeping her hands off Ethan. In fact, she’s falling for him hard—when she isn’t wanting to wring his neck. So, for two crazy weeks, her pride, her heart, and her life are all threatened. Ashley isn’t sure which she’ll lose first.
They finally made it up to their room—a good sized chamber with a private bathroom, decorated in what was commonly referred to as “country-style.”
Ashley and Ethan looked at each other. Then looked at the double bed.
Well, Ashley decided she was going to be cool and nonchalant about the whole thing. Act like she slept with men all the time.
Which she absolutely, positively did not.
“I’ll get ready for bed first, if you don’t mind,” she said lightly, picking up the ivory nylon nightgown Elaine had left for her. It had thick straps edged with lace, and a satin ribbon to pull it in under the breasts.
“Go ahead,” Ethan told her distractedly. He was still staring at the bed.
Ashley felt kind of silly and awkward as she came out of the bathroom wearing the frilly nightgown. Ethan had taken off his shirt and was pacing the floor.
He went into the bathroom as soon as she left it, and she tried not to listen to the sounds of his getting ready for bed. It felt too intimate, too personal.
Instead, she crawled under the sheet and quilt and stayed as far on her side as she could.
When Ethan came out a few minutes later, he turned off the light and crawled in beside her. “You all right with this?”
She assumed he was talking about the sleeping situation. “Of course. As long as you don’t hog the covers.” She was pleased that her voice reflected no hint of her anxiety. She could feel Ethan next to her. Feel him. Like his body was generating heat, vibrations, or some kind of invisible force field.
“Surely tomorrow will be better.”
“That’s what you said yesterday. And look what happened today.” She shifted some to get more comfortable, but then stopped abruptly, not wanting to disturb Ethan. “Tomorrow we’ll probably be attacked by giant snakes. Or hoards of killer bees.”
“Or both,” Ethan added, getting into the spirit. After a long stretch of silence, he said, “Try to get some sleep. We have a long trip tomorrow. Assuming our newly obtained truck can handle the journey.”
“Goodnight,” Ashley told him and turned on her side so her back was to him. She clung to the edge of the bed, trying to keep enough space between herself and Ethan’s body. Ethan’s warm body. Hard body. Very fine body.
She forced herself to stop thinking absurdities. Instead, thought about the reality of the situation.
She was in Polksville, Kentucky, a town that barely made it on the map. She was staying at the home of the manager of a gas station. Her feet were covered with Band-Aids. She was wearing someone else’s nightgown, and she was sharing a bed with Ethan Moore.
This was definitely not in her good-girl plan for her life.
The idea of a couple stuck on a horrible road trip together really intrigued me, but I had a hard time connecting with this story. The endless amount of bad luck they faced eventually became too much for me.
Ashley and Ethan grew up together, but they haven't spoken in almost two years. He was best friends with her brother Mark, until they got caught up in an illegal moonshine ring. Ethan was blamed for Mark's involvement and things haven't been the same between them since. Mark went off to college and Ethan has continued to be the town bad boy, distributing moonshine.
Ashley is pumping gas one day, when she looks over and sees Ethan at the pump next to her. She's always had a crush on him, but she can't get over him corrupting her brother. He's trying to have a conversation with her when bullets start flying.
Ethan has been trying to get out of the moonshine business, but the leader of the ring, isn't going to let that happen so easily. Now that the thugs have seen Ethan and Ashley together, they have no choice but to flee town and find the one person that can help them bring down the ring. A limited amount of cash, a few crappy vehicles and the tension between them makes for a crazy trip.
Ashley and Ethan shared some cute moments together, but mostly I just felt their relationship was awkward. Especially the sex scenes. They weren't sweet or passionate...just plain weird and uncomfortable.
About the Author
Noelle handwrote her first romance novel in a spiral-bound notebook when she was twelve, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She has lived in eight different states and currently resides in Virginia, where she teaches English, reads any book she can get her hands on, and offers tribute to a very spoiled cocker spaniel. She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances.