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Pickup Men

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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for Pickup Men

  1. 5 out of 5

    Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

    "Pickup Men" is a sweet, light cowboy romance that didn't quite hit the mark for me. This is my second L.C. Chase book and I don't know if I mesh well with her writing style. There is something kind of haphazard about the way that she writes that puts me a bit out of sorts. One moment we are here and the next we are there... the transitions are jumpy and it throws me off. Putting that aside, there were a lot of nice things about this book. To begin with, I liked the chemistry between Marty and T "Pickup Men" is a sweet, light cowboy romance that didn't quite hit the mark for me. This is my second L.C. Chase book and I don't know if I mesh well with her writing style. There is something kind of haphazard about the way that she writes that puts me a bit out of sorts. One moment we are here and the next we are there... the transitions are jumpy and it throws me off. Putting that aside, there were a lot of nice things about this book. To begin with, I liked the chemistry between Marty and Tripp. I felt their connection and got the reasons that they fought for each other. I thought that Marty's friends were great characters (got to love platonic guy friends in m/m books!) and I liked the backing from Marty's family. I also understood where Tripp was coming from with his background with a homophobic, abusive father. There were lots of nice elements the led to a pleasant read. I like doing strictly spoiler-free reviews so I'll just say that one of my favorite scenes was when Tripp goes to San Fransisco. Everything that happened during that chapter worked for me. However, I had some... cheesiness issues with this book. Grunts and groans and harsh breaths rose and fell, creating discordant yet somehow beautiful music. The rich chorus seeped into Tripp's chest, and its echo set the dark hollows of his mind alight with each well-played note. Now, I don't know how that scene sounds to you, but I immediately rolled my eyes when I read it. I just like my sex to be a bit more... let's say, rough around the edges. The sex scenes did next to nothing for me in this book, which is a shame. And in general, there are a lot of overzealous declarations of love that seemed out of place with what any guy would say, much less a pair of stoic cowboys. I found the prose to be a bit too effusive for my tastes. I also thought it was kind of weird how Eric became BFF with all of them, almost overnight. It was odd how quickly he integrated into their very close circle of childhood friends. I think if you like cowboy books, you should give this book a try. I enjoyed it enough while I was reading it but it won't be a book that stays with me for long afterwards. **Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks Riptide!** **Find this review and others like it on myfictionnook.com**

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ingie

    Review written September 27, 2016 3.7 Stars - Romantic tender (bull riding) cowboy-love melted my heart Added the $2 audiobook as a WSfV to my $1 purchased ebook some years ago. — 5 hrs cowboy sweetness (M/M) well narrated by a terrific husky (a very manly fitting smoky) voice in Dorian Bane. — My like!! Pickup Men isn't in exceptionally unique. It isn't surprising or overly intriguing complicated either, but it is a traditional touching sweet M/M romance. I sincerely felt for these cowboys Review written September 27, 2016 3.7 Stars - Romantic tender (bull riding) cowboy-love melted my heart Added the $2 audiobook as a WSfV to my $1 purchased ebook some years ago. — 5 hrs cowboy sweetness (M/M) well narrated by a terrific husky (a very manly fitting smoky) voice in Dorian Bane. — My like!! Pickup Men isn't in exceptionally unique. It isn't surprising or overly intriguing complicated either, but it is a traditional touching sweet M/M romance. I sincerely felt for these cowboys. I felt involved in belivable problems about taking the step out from a thick closet door when you're afraid and also the sometimes deep horrible homophobia issue in very manly worlds (like in the American rodeo sport I guess). A bit of angst, both heartbreaking and lovely tender romantic moments and all in all just a big enough steam level to let us M/M lovers happy. « 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. » Glad I added the Whispersync for voice audiobook ... otherwise had Pickup Men probably been unread and forgotten in my Kindle reader for another two and a half years. Simply perfect in length for some weekdays commuting and this one gave me a captivating enough romance story. I LIKE - heartbreakers changing to tender sweetness

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ami

    As a romance story – this one was pretty average. I liked it but it didn’t rock my boat either. Let me try to do the likes vs. dislikes list again for this. What I Liked: ** That connection between Marty and Tripp was believable – it was messy and complicated (what with Tripp having baggage like an international airport) but not once did I not believe that they loved one another. They were in each other’s orbit. I liked that even with his personal demon, Tripp still fought for a chance to be wit As a romance story – this one was pretty average. I liked it but it didn’t rock my boat either. Let me try to do the likes vs. dislikes list again for this. What I Liked: ** That connection between Marty and Tripp was believable – it was messy and complicated (what with Tripp having baggage like an international airport) but not once did I not believe that they loved one another. They were in each other’s orbit. I liked that even with his personal demon, Tripp still fought for a chance to be with Marty. ** I actually had to look up in the dictionary on the internet to know what “pickup men” actually meant *lol*. But how L.C. Chase wrote those rodeo events, it was really rich and strong. ** I liked the secondary characters too – Marty’s family and friends were likeable and I enjoyed their scenes. ** There was this one scene – with Tripp going to Mexico – that really worked in Tripp’s favor of my warming up to him. What I Dislike: ** Tripp was not a character that’s easy to love. Again, I understood that he had very deep psychological issues due to his past, but he felt like going hot-and-cold with Marty, and at times, I couldn’t help think that he was being really cowardly. ** The last few chapters became humdrum when the story took the cliché path ((view spoiler)[a homophobic guy turned out to be homosexual himself, the pushing of a loved one away because one not felt worthy, BLAH (hide spoiler)] ). ** The sex scenes were also pretty wishy-washy for me *shrugs* ** Oh, and I wasn’t really into the whole metaphors using cowboy/rodeo life, e.g.: “Tripp’s heart pounded so hard and fast it sounded like galloping hoof beats”, “The demon horse in his mind reared up, striking the inside of his skull with its sharp hooves, and a shudder ran through him.”, “Relief barreled into him like a Brahma bull on a mission”. So you’re enjoyment of this story will depend on how you can warm up to Tripp and how you are accepting another story with homophobic parents. It may work out, it may not. Still, if you like cowboys, duly noted one with heavy personal issues, you might enjoy this one.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mona

    A beautiful, heartfelt and emotional ride. A story about finding oneself and shedding the past. A story about forgiveness and second chances. Pickup Men, will have you smiling, crying and wishing for a HEA, for these two amazing, yet troubled men. Marty was the only good thing in his life- the only person he didn't have to wear his heavy, suffocating armor around, the only person who could keep the demon's at bay.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Trio

    I enjoyed the heck out of this one! Really interesting characters with a fast moving plot and beautiful sex between the MCs. Plus, that's one of the most gorgeous romance covers I've ever had the pleasure to gaze at. Dorian Bane read me this one and he was, as always, just incredible.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ula'ndi Hart

    Overall book rating: 2 Audio Book: N/A Book Cover: 3.5 I think this about sums it up for me. You want some testosterone with that saddle boy? Good heavens people. I wanted COWBOY. Not Cow"boys". These two surely don't act 33 in my humble opinion. Loved the idea but this didn't work for me.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elizabetta

    3.5 stars 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 3.5 stars 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”.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa North

    Okay, let's all just take a moment to love on the perfect chin of that dude on the cover... Actually, everything about this cover is awesome. I adore it. So, inside the cover is a very sweet, somewhat melodramatic cowboy romp. Cowboys are not a genre I typically read, so this was like a nice little boots-and-spurs vacation. With a shit-ton of angst. I enjoyed the story, and I found the writing fell into a believable country voice. The editing was, as far as I could tell, flawless, and currently, Okay, let's all just take a moment to love on the perfect chin of that dude on the cover... Actually, everything about this cover is awesome. I adore it. So, inside the cover is a very sweet, somewhat melodramatic cowboy romp. Cowboys are not a genre I typically read, so this was like a nice little boots-and-spurs vacation. With a shit-ton of angst. I enjoyed the story, and I found the writing fell into a believable country voice. The editing was, as far as I could tell, flawless, and currently, that is making or breaking 90% of my M/M reads these days. Oh, and I cried. Recommended for cowboy/rodeo romance lovers, angst lovers, anyone who needs to see just what's inside that amazing cover...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gigi

    This was a super-sweet cowboy tale, but be prepared for minimal sex (you won't miss it, I swear, because the makeup sex is MIND BLOWING) and the 2 MCs broken up for the majority of the book. I absolutely loved MC Marty and his merry band of friends (Pickup Men 2: Eric & Bridge? Please?) and loved raging at MC Tripp. If you love sweet, loving cowboys, awesome makeup sex and plenty of supporting friends and family everywhere, I can highly recommend Pickup Men.

  10. 5 out of 5

    S E. Jakes

    LC is KILLING ME with the angst (which means, of course, that I'm loving it...) I should finish tonight! UPDATE: Loved. Guilt. Angst. This wasn't a book about misunderstandings or small fights - there were big, personal issues involved. A price paid for a victory...at one point I was like, 'how is she going to pull this off for these guys?" But LC did beautifully. Highly rec. Bring tissues.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Rice

    This is the last freaking time I use the Goodreads star rating button on my Kindle Voyage. I gave this book five stars, not two. How mortifying.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jenni Lea

    This was a nice, enjoyable read... Until they stopped communicating. Stupid cowboys are stupid.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Emma Sea

    *shrug* this was fine. Bland, but fine.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Manfred

    I don`t know about you, but when I read a blurb that has Cowboys or even bull riders in it, it doesn`t take a lot for me to click the "buy" button. This story even had a Lambda Literary Award Nominee 2014 sticker attached, so not much could go wrong, right?? Well, honestly it wasn`t that simple. The story about Marty an out and proud pickup man in the rodeo circus and Tripp a bull rider champion who is deep in the closet is nice and sweet and has everything you want in this kind of book. Still, it I don`t know about you, but when I read a blurb that has Cowboys or even bull riders in it, it doesn`t take a lot for me to click the "buy" button. This story even had a Lambda Literary Award Nominee 2014 sticker attached, so not much could go wrong, right?? Well, honestly it wasn`t that simple. The story about Marty an out and proud pickup man in the rodeo circus and Tripp a bull rider champion who is deep in the closet is nice and sweet and has everything you want in this kind of book. Still, it did not really touch me. I did not relate to the main characters, at last, they found their HEA but I really didn't care a lot. Everything was okay with this book, nothing really bothered me but it also did not hook me. Writing this review just one day after finishing I had to check for the names of the MC because I already had forgotten... (well maybe that`s because of my age, but I think it`s because they did not really touch me). Anyhow, if you like the blurb, go ahead, read it, it will be fun but don`t expect too much. 3.5 stars for me

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nic

    I thoroughly enjoyed this story which moved along at fairly rapid pace, keeping me involved enough to want to read it through in one sitting. From the very first chapter, there are lots of emotions and the scene is set for the rest of the book. Marty is a rodeo pickup man and makes a huge sacrifice for Tripp, a bullrider and the man he loves. The two have been together for over a year and when Marty sees Tripp in trouble, he doesn't hesitate to rush in and save him from being gored by a bull. Unfo I thoroughly enjoyed this story which moved along at fairly rapid pace, keeping me involved enough to want to read it through in one sitting. From the very first chapter, there are lots of emotions and the scene is set for the rest of the book. Marty is a rodeo pickup man and makes a huge sacrifice for Tripp, a bullrider and the man he loves. The two have been together for over a year and when Marty sees Tripp in trouble, he doesn't hesitate to rush in and save him from being gored by a bull. Unfortunately Marty isn't quick enough to save himself and as he lies on the ground, injured and in pain, he stares at Tripp in the distance. Marty realises that Tripp is so far in the closet, he won't approach even as his lover lies injured and in pain. Marty knows he needs to end their relationship. "Warm liquid slithered down his temple, and he voweed that would be the only tear he'd shed. Darkness wrapped around him, pushing out sound and thought, and blessedly, the pain of broken bones and shattered dreams." And that's just chapter one! The story follows Marty and Tripp as they move from rodeo to rodeo. There is some bull riding action but most of the story explores the emotional turmoil each man is facing. Tripp wants another chance but Marty keeps strong and his friends offer support. Plus Eric, an EMT joins their group of friends, expressing a clear interest in Marty. Tripp wants nothing more than to be the man that Marty needs "Tripp berated himself, He had to stop this, had to get over his fears somehow before he lost Marty completely." but he bears tremendous guilt from the past which does not make this easy. Losing Marty, the jealously he feels when he sees Eric with Marty, and finally a push from Marty himself, finally see Tripp taking steps to address his past. But nothing is simple and the men need to face even larger hurdles if they are to be together. I enjoyed this story and the journey that Marty and Tripp needed to undertake to be together. At times I wanted to shake them to get them to see sense. Admittedly I was also confused as to why Marty gave Tripp another chance but finally understanding his history put it into perspective. This also helped me to like his as a character more. I didn't warm to Tripp at the beginning of the book but by the end I was cheering for him! This books gets points for having some big dramatic moments and of course I love grand romantic gestures so bonus points there too! I now publish all my m/m reviews on my blog so if you want to see all my m/m reviews in one place come visit at Because Two Men Are Better Than One!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    A heartwarming story about finding love and self acceptance on the rodeo circuit! I enjoyed it, very different from the other mm books I’ve read so far! Tripp Colby is a three-time world professional bull riding champion. He’s at the top of his game in a sport that’s typically associated with super macho, rough and tough cowboys. Tripp is gay and hiding so far in the closet that he won’t even acknowledge Marty in public. Marty Fairgrave is a pickup man on the rodeo circuit and has known he was A heartwarming story about finding love and self acceptance on the rodeo circuit! I enjoyed it, very different from the other mm books I’ve read so far! Tripp Colby is a three-time world professional bull riding champion. He’s at the top of his game in a sport that’s typically associated with super macho, rough and tough cowboys. Tripp is gay and hiding so far in the closet that he won’t even acknowledge Marty in public. Marty Fairgrave is a pickup man on the rodeo circuit and has known he was gay since he was 13. His family and friends have always accepted him as he is. He’s been dating Tripp in secret because Tripp has convinced him that’s the way it has to be. When Marty is seriously injured by a bull, Tripp is forced to stand on the sidelines and watch. He’s too scared of being outed to be by Marty’s side when he needs him. Tired of being Tripp’s “dirty little secret,” Marty tells him it’s over. What follows is Tripp’s journey to win him back. He has to deal with his past, his demons and his insecurities. And then hope that Marty will give him a second chance. It took me awhile to warm up to Tripp. As we find out more about his childhood, I began to understand some of his issues. I liked Marty and his friends from the get go. I’m wondering if there might be a second book about Bridge and Eric?? (fingers crossed) ARC provided by Riptide Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lauren at Live Read and Breathe Reviews

    Life in the rodeo would be bad enough but being gay on the circuit could be devastating. For Marty he is proud to be out and doesn't care what anyone thinks. But unfortunately for Marty he fell in love with Tripp who not only is still in the closet but has never really loved anything but the rodeo before. Marty is trying to be content with their secret relationship but realizes it is not enough. Due to Tripp's past he is so scared about being outed even though he may lose Marty in the end. Tragedy an Life in the rodeo would be bad enough but being gay on the circuit could be devastating. For Marty he is proud to be out and doesn't care what anyone thinks. But unfortunately for Marty he fell in love with Tripp who not only is still in the closet but has never really loved anything but the rodeo before. Marty is trying to be content with their secret relationship but realizes it is not enough. Due to Tripp's past he is so scared about being outed even though he may lose Marty in the end. Tragedy and reality kick starts Tripp in the ass causing him to re-evaluate what is important to him. In the end, is love enough? For more Live Read and Breathe: Live Read and Breathe Facebook Live Read and Breathe Twitter For more of my reviews: Live Read and Breathe

  18. 4 out of 5

    ❧Gwendolyn❧A Bookish Berkeley Girl❧

    Awww yes... no so bad........the second time around~ The first read ...I thought,..what a flop... The second...read...hummm I think if I had probably been forewarned the first time ...read some reviews, I might have enjoyed this book to the fullest (I love cowboy books,I pre-ordered it and read it quickly). So I decided to pick this back up, because I knew the intro did me in the first time, and also because , I love rodeos and I loved that pick-up men were brought to the forefront ~ as they are so Awww yes... no so bad........the second time around~ The first read ...I thought,..what a flop... The second...read...hummm I think if I had probably been forewarned the first time ...read some reviews, I might have enjoyed this book to the fullest (I love cowboy books,I pre-ordered it and read it quickly). So I decided to pick this back up, because I knew the intro did me in the first time, and also because , I love rodeos and I loved that pick-up men were brought to the forefront ~ as they are so very important in rodeo's. The book~ Okay...one of the MCs is Tripp, who is not a pick-up man. Tripp...open's the book with a disappointing bang BUT,it is only because he's dealing with coming out. This is his coming out story . In coming out, Tripp, does a disgusting act, and it is in the intro of the book, NEVER even giving me a chance to like the guy, and ultimately making him so not redeemable IMO. So for me Tripp's disgusting act ,still ruptured the flow of this read. My rating...a wee bit under 3 Stars❤

  19. 5 out of 5

    Candice

    3.25 stars I really don't know how to review/rate this story. It was a well written story and I liked the story for the most part. With the way the story started, I kinda felt like I had missed a part of the story, the beginning of Tripp and Marty's relationship. The story starts about a year after they first got together. I liked Marty alot, along with Ken and Bridge, they were true friends. My feelings for Tripp were mixed. While I get his reluctance with coming out because of his career, how h 3.25 stars I really don't know how to review/rate this story. It was a well written story and I liked the story for the most part. With the way the story started, I kinda felt like I had missed a part of the story, the beginning of Tripp and Marty's relationship. The story starts about a year after they first got together. I liked Marty alot, along with Ken and Bridge, they were true friends. My feelings for Tripp were mixed. While I get his reluctance with coming out because of his career, how he treated Marty just made me mad. I actually was hoping that Marty would end up with Eric instead. No one should be treated like that. Yes, he deals with his past and all, I just still couldn't connect with him and therefore really didn't think he deserved Marty. The parts about Scott seemed thrown in, especially towards the end. Maybe that will be addressed in another story. I am curious about Bridge and Eric and whether there is anything there. While I enjoyed it, there just was something missing for me.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    This was ok. It didn't hold my attention and my mind drifted a lot. There was drama for dramas sake, which I hate. The MCs were...hmm...predictable so I wasn't surprised by anything they said or did. The drama was confusing and silly at times. I knew from almost the first minute the story behind the "bad guy" motives for being said bad guy. Seriously doubt I will continue to book 2. Rating more like 2.75 stars. Narration was good, give that 4 stars.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    I read the author's recent Christmas story release and found her writing engaging and poignant. It was no hardship to take up this book- cowboys, rodeos, tough road to love? You won't get a 'no' from me. And, that was before I heard Dorian Bane read me a story. I will definitely listen to more books narrated by him. The story, characters, and feel of this story had a strong impact on my emotions. These are real people who live and love, make mistakes, deal with complications, and ultimately find I read the author's recent Christmas story release and found her writing engaging and poignant. It was no hardship to take up this book- cowboys, rodeos, tough road to love? You won't get a 'no' from me. And, that was before I heard Dorian Bane read me a story. I will definitely listen to more books narrated by him. The story, characters, and feel of this story had a strong impact on my emotions. These are real people who live and love, make mistakes, deal with complications, and ultimately find their way. This was a pain-filled coming out story and romance set against the rodeo world. I listened to it in one day. I couldn't click it off aka unputdownable in the audio world. The story opens with Marty Fairgrave seeing the man he loves in danger from the bull he is riding and come to the rescue by racing into action on his horse and picking up the bullrider before the bull can hurt him. Marty got busted up as did his horse, but that pain is nothing compared to the pain of seeing Tripp way back in the crowd of onlookers refusing to come to Marty even then. Tripp is so far in the closet and Marty has given him plenty of time to sort things out. Marty loves Tripp, but he can't continue to be the man's dirty little secret especially if seeing a lover injured is still not enough for even to make sure Marty is okay. Marty ends it with Tripp and heads back to the home ranch to recover. Tripp Colby, champion bull rider on the pro circuit, has an image to keep up to keep the good opinion of his sponsors, his friends, and his fans. This image doesn't include being gay or living openly with the man he loves. He only has to make it a couple more years and then he can be with Marty. But after letting his fear keep him back and letting his lover's pain-filled eyes fill with betrayal and then knowledge of rejection, he knows he might have just lost the most precious thing in his eyes. Nothing short of stepping out into the open will get Marty back. And he is determined to do so, one painful step at a time. Alright, so this was an emotional, angsty, yet powerfully engaging story. Normally, I am not one for the angst, but in this one, it was organic to the story. One guy is pained to be treated like he's not good enough to be with openly and honestly though he loves the other so much and the other guy has been hog-tied by his past and fears and guilt so that he can't see his way clear until he loses the only good thing in his life. Their road back isn't easy. Each time I thought they had it all worked out, whoosh, big hairy ugly twist. I gulped back tears at one point. I liked both characters and liked them together. I really pulled hard for them to get their happiness. The story is told in alternate points of view with Marty getting the lion's share. Marty is a straight forward, hardworking guy who just wants to do what he loves and be with someone who loves him. He stands firm and talks straight up. I felt he gave Tripp every chance and then some. I enjoyed the scenes with Tripp and with his loyal group of friends. Tripp is something of a mystery when this story starts. I resisted the urge to smack him in the head for breaking Marty's heart and not even going to him in the guise of friend. Something told me things weren't that simple with this one. And lordy how they weren't. Yes, he needed to untangle things and deal, but man, what he faced when it came to demons wasn't easy. He needed to lose Marty or the incentive to work through all that he need to wouldn't have been enough. The posse of Marty's friends who worked the rodeo circuit with him and then back at the ranch with his family were the light elements that the story needed for layering and some easy relationships. Marty's friends are a crack up and the camaraderie was fun and good. I so want to know what's up with Bridge and Eric. And then there is Marty's dad who could intimidate a grizzly beside his warm-hearted mother. Down home folks! The romance is obviously a slow burn with the two being separate for most of the book. The author knows how to captivate and make the romance sizzle just with smoldering gazes, brief words, and the longing expressed by both. But when it finally got down to brass tacks, it was passionate and hot. Now, the narration... Dorian Bane was a new to me narrator, but I plan to look up more of his work. I remember thinking more than once that I was reading a pair of narrators because of the versatility of his voice. There was so much range from Bridge's deep rumbling bear voice to Marty's mom's high soft one. Nice slow drawls of the ranch and rodeo folk to Eric's New Yorker and a few lighter San Francisco accents. Inflection was good as was pacing. Natural storyteller. This was the first book in the series and I will definitely be back for more. Bring on Bridge and Eric. Want that one. All in all, this was a fantastic story with good storytelling. It twists the heart, but makes the HEA all the sweeter when it comes. Loved the story set against the backdrop of the rodeo circuit. I would recommend this one to m/m contemporary western romance fans who like slow-burn, poignant and passionate stories.

  22. 5 out of 5

    SoCalBookReviews

    Audio - I enjoyed listening to Dorian Bane’s narration of this book he did a really great job and I am looking forward to his narration of the next two books in this series as well. He’s got such a deep and sexy voice that sounded perfect to me for all of the different cowboys in this book. Cover – I don’t normally talk about the cover on books, but I LOVE the cover. The guy on the book is sexy with the best face and bone structure and is the perfect looking cowboy. He was a really Great pick fo Audio - I enjoyed listening to Dorian Bane’s narration of this book he did a really great job and I am looking forward to his narration of the next two books in this series as well. He’s got such a deep and sexy voice that sounded perfect to me for all of the different cowboys in this book. Cover – I don’t normally talk about the cover on books, but I LOVE the cover. The guy on the book is sexy with the best face and bone structure and is the perfect looking cowboy. He was a really Great pick for this book cover. And I like how the horses and Bull are incorporated at the bottom as well. This book is really pleasing to look at. Book - Alright, now let’s talk about the main characters in this book. I Freaking Hated Tripp, like with a passion hated him. His character is written well, be he is just not a likable character and he’s lucky he kind of redeems himself with like 5% left in the book. He is such a Jerk to Marty throughout the entire book, I just wanted to smack him over and over again. Lol. Marty puts up with a lot of BS thrown his way not only from Tripp, but from other cowboys as well since he is one of the first “out” cowboys in their rodeo circuit. I liked Marty’s character and I know he Loved Tripp and that’s why he put up with so much, but I struggled with how he let people treat him, he didn’t stick up for himself as much as he should have. But at the same time I am really glad he had some great friends that totally had his back during the book. The story was alright and the narration was good and the cover is great. I liked this one overall.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    Beautiful cover and great story about heartbreak, prejudice and true friends. Marty Fairgrave is a rodeo Pickup man. On the circuit he is known as being gay and out and proud. Marty has the support of his family and his two best friends and fellow cowboys, Bridge and Kent, who he knows since school. Tripp Colby is a bull riding champion and deeply closeted. Very deeply closeted, thanks to his intolerant father. He has learned to hide who he truly is but falling in love with Marty has complicated Beautiful cover and great story about heartbreak, prejudice and true friends. Marty Fairgrave is a rodeo Pickup man. On the circuit he is known as being gay and out and proud. Marty has the support of his family and his two best friends and fellow cowboys, Bridge and Kent, who he knows since school. Tripp Colby is a bull riding champion and deeply closeted. Very deeply closeted, thanks to his intolerant father. He has learned to hide who he truly is but falling in love with Marty has complicated that. Although Tripp can't bring himself to confess or show his feelings Marty is trying to be content with their secret relationship. A Brahma bull changes everything in a few minutes and Tripp and Marty are sent on a whirlwind of heartbreak... Marty is just wonderful. I fell in love with him instantly. Tripp comes a long way by the end of the book and even though he stumbles along and sometimes takes one step forward and two steps back he's a loveable character. The story takes you on an emotional, sometimes angsty trip out of the closet. There are some big dramatic moments and you see the anguish that can be caused on both sides by hate and homophobia. Highly recommended for lovers of rodeos and hot cowboys!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Teri

    Ride 'em cowboy! Its funny because I really used to try and avoid cowboy stories...seems like I can't get enough of them these days! 3 stars I enjoyed the story overall. I really liked Marty and really felt for him. His best friends were awesome and I liked his family even though we only got a very small glimpse of them. Tripp was kind of an issue for me. I did feel for him, honestly I did--once I knew what was going on. It was awful and I understood why everything was hard for him. Having said tha Ride 'em cowboy! Its funny because I really used to try and avoid cowboy stories...seems like I can't get enough of them these days! 3 stars I enjoyed the story overall. I really liked Marty and really felt for him. His best friends were awesome and I liked his family even though we only got a very small glimpse of them. Tripp was kind of an issue for me. I did feel for him, honestly I did--once I knew what was going on. It was awful and I understood why everything was hard for him. Having said that...I still had a hard time with him, especially (view spoiler)[ with his reaction to being told he can't rodeo anymore (hide spoiler)] I was hella disappointed in him. Would recommend for fans of cowboys! I loved the side characters and I will be reading the next one!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Katrina Passick Lumsden

    I liked this one. But just like. A lukewarm like. I enjoyed the dynamic between Marty and Tripp, I thought their relationship was pretty believable. What I took issue with was the haphazard way Chase plotted this entire story. It seemed to jump around frenetically, any attempt at cohesiveness bogged down by too many plot devices jockeying for position. We've got a hospital breakup, heartache, jealousy and yearning and hurt, then a dark past with serious guilt issues, then a side trip to deal wit I liked this one. But just like. A lukewarm like. I enjoyed the dynamic between Marty and Tripp, I thought their relationship was pretty believable. What I took issue with was the haphazard way Chase plotted this entire story. It seemed to jump around frenetically, any attempt at cohesiveness bogged down by too many plot devices jockeying for position. We've got a hospital breakup, heartache, jealousy and yearning and hurt, then a dark past with serious guilt issues, then a side trip to deal with Tripp's guilt, then a fiendish, over-the-top homophobic assault, then more ridiculous wangst from Tripp and Marty... These two couldn't communicate for shit, and I got real tired of watching them act like 12 year olds.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Trisha Harrington

    I liked some of it. But there were certain parts I didn't really like, so it's about a three...

  27. 5 out of 5

    Harper

    Beautiful cover, great story potential, but I had trouble reading this one--the writing was very uneven. I had to re-read some sentences several times to understand them. For example: “Marty had no idea what the look he shot his friends said, but he felt the red haze of anger it lashed out on.” “Tension that had etched sharp lines around their mouths and eyes relaxed.” “That was one of the many things he loved about Marty; he was so easy to make happy.” “He’d been riding so high on the whirlwind of Beautiful cover, great story potential, but I had trouble reading this one--the writing was very uneven. I had to re-read some sentences several times to understand them. For example:
 “Marty had no idea what the look he shot his friends said, but he felt the red haze of anger it lashed out on.” “Tension that had etched sharp lines around their mouths and eyes relaxed.” “That was one of the many things he loved about Marty; he was so easy to make happy.” “He’d been riding so high on the whirlwind of freedom after his meeting with Timothy that he’d made a phone call that had led to an impromptu meeting in Los Angeles that in turn had meant missing the first day of the last rodeo on the regular California circuit.” Huh? Then there were things that made me impatient: An MC “shimmies” up the bed. More than once. C'mon. He's a cowboy. An MC “bloomed.” And then there's “glorious” body parts or connections between body parts. Again:cowboy. Demon horses inside Tripp’s head. Enough with the metaphoric thundering hooves. Budweiser. Is there no other type of beer? Using the phrase “buckle bunnies” once was fun, but describing women with that phrase repeatedly felt derogatory. (view spoiler)[A three-time bull-riding world champion disappears for days after he comes out of the closet, and no one but his lover looks for him? Then he’s found gay-bashed, crippled for life, and there is no media attention, no investigation? (hide spoiler)] Marty forgets to charge his cell phone; OK, that could happen, and it increases the suspense. But then he does it again--that just makes the suspense phony. So to speak. BTW--What does PRCA stand for? Or PBR? Pabst Blue Ribbon? (I thought they were Bud drinkers?) Something to do with rodeo associations? Never mind. I don’t care anymore.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    I really enjoyed this story and am eager to move on to the next one. While it was a somewhat typical story of an out and proud man (Marty) trying to deal with his deeply closeted lover (Tripp) while both are working on the testosterone filled rodeo circuit, I thought it was done with a lot of emotion and set up a romance that I really wanted to work. While Marty is understanding of Tripp's predicament, he really doesn't know where the deep rooted fear is coming from, but after a year together, w I really enjoyed this story and am eager to move on to the next one. While it was a somewhat typical story of an out and proud man (Marty) trying to deal with his deeply closeted lover (Tripp) while both are working on the testosterone filled rodeo circuit, I thought it was done with a lot of emotion and set up a romance that I really wanted to work. While Marty is understanding of Tripp's predicament, he really doesn't know where the deep rooted fear is coming from, but after a year together, when Tripp denies Marty in a heartbreaking manner, Marty decides that love just isn't enough to keep things going and breaks things off. Their work will keep them in the same places so there is no way of there being a clean break and both men obviously love each other. When Eric, the sexy EMT who treated Marty becomes a regular on the circuit and someone who would obviously like to be closer to Marty, Tripp realizes that he has to make a tough decision, and Marty is more than happy to give him a little push. When that decision has unexpected consequences, the two men find themselves torn even further apart. Usually I don't like it when a couple is separated for much of a story, but I thought it worked really well here. There are a lot of serious issues touched on, but a couple were not as developed as I'd hoped they would be, and there are some plot strings that are not completely resolved, that hopefully will be addressed in future books. The secondary characters were well drawn and I am really looking forward to Eric and Bridge's story. Recommended for anyone who likes their sexy cowboys to have to work hard for their happy ending.

  29. 4 out of 5

    JR

    I loved, loved this book. I am in heaven if you give me cowboys, but it is nirvana if it involves rodeo. I congratulate L.C. Chase for getting the rodeo part right. Rodeo for the most part is a very tight, closed world. This story illustrates that, but at the same time shows how close the relationships are. The story revolves around champion bull rider Tripp Colby and his pickup man Marty Fairgrave. Marty is openly gay, he comes from an accepting family, and has a very stable life. Tripp comes I loved, loved this book. I am in heaven if you give me cowboys, but it is nirvana if it involves rodeo. I congratulate L.C. Chase for getting the rodeo part right. Rodeo for the most part is a very tight, closed world. This story illustrates that, but at the same time shows how close the relationships are. The story revolves around champion bull rider Tripp Colby and his pickup man Marty Fairgrave. Marty is openly gay, he comes from an accepting family, and has a very stable life. Tripp comes with a family past rife with homophobic trappings. Conversation therapy is lingering around in Tripp's past. Marty and Tripp love each other deeply, but Tripp is so deep in his closet, the sun that is Marty can not reach him. They have been in an affair several years, but Marty can not take it any more. He wants Tripp out and proud. When Marty risks his life to keep a bull from maiming him, they part when Tripp doe not come to the hospital to check on Marty. There are many of the same elements I have read in other cowboy stories, but never kept me from loving this one. If you love cowboy mm, ever wondered what rodeo was like, pick this one up. This one comes out of the chute bucking and never lets up. I give an arena full of stars.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Siria

    Pickup Men is a romance that deals with some deep themes—homophobia, bigotry—but is fundamentally a sweet, light book. Tripp is a closeted rodeo champion; Marty is one of the few cowboys on the circuit to be openly gay. The novel begins with them already in a relationship, and L.C. Chase does a good job at both showing the ongoing, genuine if messy chemistry between the characters and showing how internalised homophobia could keep them apart. However, Chase isn't quite so good at maintaining bal Pickup Men is a romance that deals with some deep themes—homophobia, bigotry—but is fundamentally a sweet, light book. Tripp is a closeted rodeo champion; Marty is one of the few cowboys on the circuit to be openly gay. The novel begins with them already in a relationship, and L.C. Chase does a good job at both showing the ongoing, genuine if messy chemistry between the characters and showing how internalised homophobia could keep them apart. However, Chase isn't quite so good at maintaining balance and tone—some of the segues between scenes and chapters are awkward; some of the conflict feels forced and melodramatic; and the prose occasionally drifts towards the purple (excising the epithets would have helped immensely). Still, a sweet and engaging read.

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