Reviewed by Elizabetta

TITLE: Pickup Men
AUTHOR: L. C. Chase
PUBLISHER: Riptide Publishing
LENGTH: 166 pages
BLURB: It takes a pissed-off Brahma bull named Shockwave to show rodeo pickup man Marty Fairgrave the cold hard truth about champion bull rider Tripp Colby: Tripp will never leave the safety of his closet or acknowledge Marty in public. Sometimes loving someone just isn’t enough, and after a year of hiding what they are, Marty finally sees the light—and it’s no longer shining on Tripp.

Tripp Colby would do anything for Marty. Well . . . almost. He’s never loved anyone before, and isn’t quite sure how to handle it now. But he knows Marty is his everything, and in order to win him back, Tripp will have to overcome his darkest fears and step into the light.

But no matter Tripp’s intentions, the cost might be too high and the effort too late for these two cowboys to ride off into the sunset.

REVIEW:

The opening action scene in this rodeo romance is so well done. It’s almost like being inside the corral, you can almost feel the heat and dust, smell the horses, hear the churning hooves of the bull trying to toss a man off its back. Expert competition bull rider, Tripp, completes his dangerous, timed turn on the back of a very angry, 2000 pound brahma and is narrowly saved from death or certain maiming by pickup rider, Marty Fairgrave.

The rodeo pickup man is responsible for clearing the bull away once the trick rider has dismounted, and Marty is very good at what he does. He is also very much in love with Tripp and puts himself in harms way to protect him. What happens after this is just too bad. Too bad that an in-the-closet bull rider can’t publicly admit his feelings for out-and-proud pickup man. Not even after he’s just saved his butt and lies seriously injured in the dust. Can’t even lend a hand, can’t even say thank you.

The author has her work cut out for her making Tripp Colby so hard to like right from the get-go. He just doesn’t do right by Marty, their relationship is made up of late-night bootie calls. Tripp is so deep in the closet, tightly-wound by his inner turmoil. He grew up abused by a ruthless, homophobic father who threatened him constantly with conversion therapy camps. Making matters worse is the homophobia rife in Tripp’s rodeo world, adding difficulty to an already dangerous job. Tripp feels he has no choice but to stay in the closet— he is a three-time world bull-riding champ and has sponsors to worry about.

Marty is the opposite— easy to like— but he comes from a different world. He’s comfortable in his skin thanks to self-confidence and a loving and supportive family. He’s the lowly (but critically necessary) pickup rider, so he doesn’t carry the burden that Tripp does in his work. He is good at what he does, he’s a “roughstock whisperer”. He has also lost his heart to Tripp but he’s finally reached the end, tired of the hiding and fronting, he can no longer “live in Tripp’s closet” and can’t figure out how to “whisper” Tripp to living a truthful life.

If I have any issue with the story it’s that Tripp is so hard to cozy up to— despite his background, he comes off as cowardly. Still, this is a heart-warming read about a man overcoming ingrained mental abuse with the help of abiding love. The fact that Marty remains so true to him is endearing. Readers who like a rodeo theme with some good action, a fair amount of angst and cowboy lovin’ will enjoy “Pickup Men”.

Elizabetta’s Rating: 535px-3-5_stars-svg

PRE-ORDER LINK: Riptide Store

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Elizabetta is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: ELIZABETTA’S REVIEWS
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