Title: Pulling Leather (Pickup Men #3)
Author: LC Chase
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 177 Pages
Rating: 5 Stars
Blurb: The toughest ride of his life is all in his head.
Bull rider Scott Gillard has a reputation for quick fists and harsh words. What no one knows is where that anger comes from. After a shocking incident sends him into a tailspin, he knows he needs help: he’s been fighting a battle he could never win. Now he’s trying to navigate a new life and embrace his true self, but some days are easier than others.
Pickup man Cory Ackerson has suffered his share of harassment, but his light still burns bright. He doesn’t let anything or anyone keep him down, so when he meets the rugged cowboy with a battered chip on his shoulder and regret in his dark eyes, all he wants to do is help.
As their unlikely friendship grows into something deeper, Scott must overcome his past to be the man Cory deserves, or lose his best chance at his own happily ever after.
Review: It’s no real secret that I have been a fan of this series from the very beginning. So that means that I have been there since the first book, and I got to see the horrible person that Scott was. When I found out that he was going to get his own story, I just couldn’t fathom how LC Chase was going to be able to redeem the irredeemable. How in the world could an author take a man like Scott Gillard and make me like him, let alone make him worthy of a HEA? Well, I have to say that LC Chase not only made me love Scott, but she had me rooting for him and yeah, he totally deserved his HEA.
When we last saw Scott Gillard he was being led away in handcuffs for the questioning in the assault and near murder of Tripp Colby. With his homophobic words and actions, we all believed they had found the man who beat and almost killed Tripp. It seems there was more than meets the eye going on at the time, however, and that is where this story picks up.
After Tripp almost died, Scott realized the road he was traveling was a dangerous one. He also realized he hadn’t been happy in a very long time. He decides that he needs to change his ways and that is exactly what he sets out to do.
After a long period of therapy, and a lot of honesty with himself, Scott begins the long road of making amends. He starts with Tripp and Marty. He is not surprised at the hostility and doubt he receives when he shows up, but what does surprise him is the olive branch offered to him by Tripp to work with him at the gay rodeo.
Even though Scott has come a long way with self-acceptance, and he still has a long way to go, he does accept Tripp’s offer. When he shows up at the rodeo, he meets what could very well be his entire future.
Cory Ackerson has never been in the closet, and he doesn’t have much tolerance for the men who live their lives that way. When he first meets Scott he is completely enamored with him and ends up feeling very protective of the man everyone else hates. His very over protective big brother does his best to keep Cory away from Scott, but one thing Cory isn’t is the type to give up easily.
Scott and Cory form a friendship even though both men are wildly attracted to one another. Scott still has a ton of issues to work through, but he finds working through them with Cory at his side is much easier than going it alone. When their friendship turns into more, Scott finds himself fighting his true nature. Cory believes that if Scott faces his past, he will be able to build a future. There are definitely setbacks, but eventually these two men get it together, and it is absolutely a HEA.
As I said before, I didn’t know how LC Chase was going to accomplish making Scott into an MC that we could like and root for, but I wholeheartedly believe she did it and did it well. Scott’s struggles were real and wholly believable.
There weren’t a lot of smexy times for the men, but I feel that led to the realism of the story. Scott had way too many hang-ups with is sexuality for him to be comfortable enough to be out there having sex all willy nilly.
Through her writing, LC Chase has opened up the world of the rodeo and the hearts of these men. I hope there will be more to the series, but if there isn’t, I think Scott’s story was truly the gem of the bunch. I highly recommend this title and the entire series.
You can buy Pulling Leather (Pickup Men #3) here: