Let me start out by saying that I was waiting on pins and needles for this book to be released. I read the first book in the Pickup Men series (titled Pickup Men) and absolutely fell in love with the world that LC Chase created for these characters. Pickup Men (book 1) deals with Marty, a pickup man on the rodeo circuit, and his closeted lover Tripp, a champion bull rider. It details their road to love and acceptance. If you haven’t read it click here to buy it from Riptide Publishing.
Let It Ride is set in the same place as the previous book, but this time around we get a glimpse into the lives of Marty’s best friend Bridge Sullivan and the new comer to their circle of friends, Eric Palmer. Bridge works the rodeo circuit with Marty and Kent, his best friends. Eric is introduced to the group in when he becomes the paramedic that travels with the rodeo to tend to any injuries that will inevitably occur on the circuit. The sexual tension between Bridge and Eric is enough to power NYC for a month. This is a problem because up to this point everyone thinks Bridge is 100% heterosexual. When they finally cave to their desire for one another, there’s no turning back:
“The lips on his were firm, demanding, and sent a blazing fire raging to every corner of his body. Calling it a kiss was too simple for something so packed with such intensity, something so far beyond Bridge’s imagination, but also everything he’d always wanted.”
That kiss pretty much answers any questions we have about Bridge’s sexuality: “Shit. I’m Eric-sexual.” That’s such a small line in the book, but it was one of my absolute favorites. I love LC’s writing style. She doesn’t wax poetic about the moon or stars, because these characters wouldn’t do that. Her style is very real and it makes it feel like these characters are real people.
As you can tell from the excerpt above, Bridge is all for exploring these feelings for the paramedic. Eric, however is a bit more reticent to start anything with Bridge, not because he isn’t attracted to him, but rather because of his own issues. The more you read of Eric, the more you’ll want to hug him and never let him go. Situations from his past have ingrained in him that no one will ever want him long term. When he finally does cave to his attraction, he approaches it from a ‘friends with benefits’ angle. Bridge rolls with it, but lets it be known that it’s not at all what he wants.
“Okay. I’ll play your way for now, but you’d better start thinking about how you want the crow you’re going to be eating prepared when you realize we’re going to be more than friends with bennies. You’ll see. We’re going to be boyfriends.”
And it’s lines like that that will make you fall for Bridge. He plays things Eric’s way, but continually pushes for more. The chemistry between these two was even hotter than the sexual tension. The love scenes in Let It Ride are handled spectacularly. I know a lot of authors are nervous about their sex scenes, but LC has no reason to feel anything but pride. I call on Exhibit A as proof: “He (Bridge) glanced over his shoulder, reached for his cowboy hat that hung on the bedpost, and plopped it on Eric’s head. ‘There, now you’re a real cowboy.’ Eric grinned. He tossed the shirt back on the floor and adjusted the hat to sit lower on his brow. ‘Told you I knew how to ride.’”
I’ll give you all a moment to recover….
Welcome back. Now, like any good book, there needs to be some conflict in order to make things more interesting and to cause character development. I won’t spoil the book for you guys, but I will say that the conflict followed a very natural path. I never once felt that it was forced or contrived. To sum up all my wordiness, Let It Ride is a story of love, loss, and happiness. It’s the story of Bridge finding his forever and Eric learning to let it ride. I’m giving it five stars, only because I can’t give it more than that.