You know, I never thought trains were sexy… until I started reading this “Strangers on a Train” series. Ok, let me be honest… I’m not sure I think trains are sexy. But I’ll admit that some sexy stuff can happen on a train! Ok? How about that? There’s about 5 books by various authors (Ruthie Knox, Serena Bell, etc) and they all take place in, on or around a train. I started with Ruthie Knox’s book Big Boy and it looks like its going to be a very fun series!
Mandy, our heroine, is pretty awesome. Her sister died in a car accident a while back and Mandy “inherited” her sister’s son. She’s been doing her best to take care of him but it sure as heck isn’t even close to easy! She may not be the best mom in the world but she loves Josh with all her heart and can’t imagine her life without him. But sometimes, Mandy would like a little break from reality. She gets that break from a stranger she met online. From that alone, Mandy doesn’t sound so bright. But really, she is! She’s a college professor and everything! I thought that Mandy seemed very real to me. She “talked” about how there are things that kids do that you never really get used to (like the drooling) and there are things that never cease to drive you nuts (like food all over your clothes). But she also makes it very clear how much she loves this little guy and how hard she tries to do what’s best for Josh. Mandy was so well written that I found myself a little stressed out, imagining her day! But back to the online stranger part…
Tyler is the guy Mandy meets online. But Mandy doesn’t know his name and he doesn’t know hers. They meet up, once each month, for a date. But the date is role playing! Like, Tyler will email her and say that its 1954 and that they will meet at such-and-such train at the train museum. And Mandy will go out and MAKE an outfit for this date, gathering research on period clothing and styles. They meet at the location and can be whoever they want to be as long as they stay in character! How awesome is that!? Now, I don’t have a whole bunch to say about Tyler because the book is from Mandy’s POV. We learn about him as she does. I don’t want to give away the whole story but I can tell you that Tyler is a great guy and that he and Mandy would be great together!
I thought the story was really sad in a certain part near the end (which is the reason for the slightly lower rating) but there is no way the author could have left it out. You really see what amazing people Mandy and Tyler are from these couple of scenes. I just sort of felt a little sad for these two people who don’t have easy lives and you just want them to be happy. But don’t worry! The story ends on a high note and I was actually laughing at the last scene!
I would recommend this book! For anyone who reads Ruthie Knox, this should come as no surprise. This author can write about practically anything and its good stuff! Oh, but be aware that this is a novella, probably in the vicinity of 60-70 pages. If you want to get deep into these characters and their lives, you may be a bit disappointed. You’re only going to get a little snippet. But this is such a fun little book that I really hope you try it!!
Book Info: Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (April 2, 2013)
He’ll be any man she wants–except himself.
A Strangers on a Train Story
Meet me at the train museum after dark. Dress for 1957.
When Mandy joins an online dating service, she keeps her expectations low. All she wants is a distraction from the drudgery of single parenthood and full-time work. But the invitation she receives from a handsome man who won’t share his real name promises an adventure–and a chance to pretend she’s someone else for a few hours.
She doesn’t want romance to complicate her life, but Mandy’s monthly role-playing dates with her stranger on a train–each to a different time period–become the erotic escape she desperately needs. And a soul connection she never expected.
Yet when she tries to draw her lover out of the shadows, Mandy has a fight on her hands…to convince him there’s a place for their fantasy love in the light of day.
Warning: Contains sexy role-playing, theatrical application of coal dust, and a hero who can rock a pair of brown polyester pants.
17,000 words; 66 pages.