04 September 2014

Pulling Leather Tour Stop!

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.

Every so often I come across a book that not only provides a wonderful story but gives an awesome message.  L.C Chase did that in this book.  Pulling Leather is not only a story I enjoyed about cowboys and bull riders but I am proud to review it because everyone needs to see how the unfounded fear of different lifestyles can not only destroy other people lives, it can destroy your own.
You are not going to get more of the story from me in this review because to be honest, you just need to experience it as the plot unfolds. Instead you are going to hear about how homophobic behaviors changed Scott Gillard’s life along with his best friend.  Being a bull rider there was a certain expectation from him among his peers.  Gay men were not to be supported nor accepted and Scott made some choices that continued to fuel his anger and bitterness.  When that finally came to a head he lost everything.  Now making amends to people and forgiving himself for not doing what he could have to stop this belief, he finds his true meaning in this world.  He also finds Cory Ackerson, another person who has been affected deeply by such behavior.
We watch as Scott and Cory try to find a balance that will give the friendship what it needs to survive.  As we learn more about the truth behind Scott we also see more than friendship form.  While I started out hating Scott, as each page turned I began to understand him and what was behind his anger.  He went from demon to yet another victim from society’s ignorance in my heart. 
I loved how the author made Cory and some other characters the medicine that Scott needed to heal his soul while using Scott’s journey as an aid to help heal Cory.  Speaking of other characters, the author gave us some intense moments with a few that broke my heart and reaffirmed my belief in forgiveness and the power of friendship. 
I wish more people could get over the m/m protest and would read this book and look at the message.  It is 52,000 words, wrapped up in a smooth and talented way by the author, which gives you the real look at how homophobia not only destroys a person but our society as a whole.  Maybe this wasn’t what the author was trying to do, get such a strong message out, but that is what I walked away feeling.  I would recommend this book to people who could go in with an open mind and willing heart to hear the turmoil inside the minds of everyone involved.  

I have to say that this is a first for me. Gay cowboys? you ask. Nope. I love gay cowboys. What was novel about this particular gay cowboy book – for me – was that Cory is an effeminate gay cowboy. And I have to say that as much as I love two alpha males together, I am head over heels in love with Cory. He is such a freaking sweetheart and I admired the fact that he refused to judge Scott based on gossip and waited to form his own opinion once he got to know Scott.

Scott and Tripp were best friends, so close they were like brothers. So Scott felt blindsided when Tripp came out publicly and Scott never knew. Because of the homophobic comments Scott made all the time, Tripp didn’t feel comfortable telling Scott about his sexuality. What Tripp didn’t know was that Scott’s outspokenness was due to him refusing to accept his own sexuality. Sadly, Tripp was ambushed by some other rodeo cowboys and nearly died – actually had they not bragged to Scott about what they did, Tripp would have died. Fast forward two years, and we learn that Scott has been getting professional help learning to deal with his anger and accept his homosexuality. As part of that, he goes to Tripp to apologize for not accepting him and not doing more to prevent the attack. Although Scott has not come out to anyone other than his therapist and Tripp, Tripp invites Scott to help out at an upcoming gay rodeo event so that he can interact with other gay rodeo participants. Reluctantly, Scott agrees and faces some rather chilly welcomes from rodeo riders who knew the old Scott. Despite everything, he perseveres and befriends Cory. As their friendship grows, Cory’s suspicions about Scott’s sexuality become stronger until he asks Scott outright. Still having problems accepting his sexuality, Scott can only say yes or nod to confirm his sexuality. While Cory has always accepted who he was and lived “out” he understood Scott’s issues and they kept their relationship quiet. But Cory can deny who he is for only so long and Scott’s closeted tendencies begin to wear on the relationship.

As Pulling Leather is more of a romance, sexual activity is limited, but what does occur is hot – Cory definitely redefines “pickup” men. Ms. Chase has written a really great story that is heavy on the romance with just a sprinkling of physical intimacy to keep readers stimulated. I enjoyed the way that Scott responded to Cory, finding his mannerisms comforting whereas many would find his chatter annoying. Although this is the third book in the series, it can be read as a stand-alone because the prologue gives the reader enough backstory to understand Scott. This was a great read and I look forward to picking up the previous books in the series, especially Tripp’s story. 

Cover artist by day, author by night, L.C. Chase is a hopeless romantic and adventure seeker. After a decade of traveling three continents, she now calls the Canadian West Coast home. When not writing sensual tales of beautiful men falling love, she can be found designing book covers with said beautiful men, drawing, horseback riding, or hiking the trails with her goofy four-legged roommate.

L.C. is a 2014 Lambda Literary Award Finalist for Pickup Men; a 2013 EPIC eBook Awards Finalist for Long Tall Drink; and a 2013-2014 Ariana eBook Cover Art Awards Finalist. She also won an honorable mention in the 2012 Rainbow Awards for Riding with Heaven.
You can find out more about L.C., story extras, works in progress, and cover designs at her website, on her blog, or on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads. L.C. is also a proud member of Art= a collective of artists who donate a portion of their art sales to GLBTQ charities.

In celebration and thanks, I’m offering goodies for two lucky readers . . .
1 - COWBOYS IN PIXELS: One ebook copy of any title in my backlist. Open to worldwide entries.
2 - COWBOYS IN PRINT: One signed paperback copy of Long Tall Drink, the extended edition, Pickup Men or Let It Ride. Open to worldwide entries.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the reviews!

    Trix, vitajex(at)Aol(Dot)com