Pickup Men by L.C. Chase
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed this book. Marty is a pick-up man on the rodeo circuit and he is openly gay, unfortunately his lover, rodeo rider Trick, isn't. We start the story with Marty saving Trick from an angry bull in the ring and getting hurt himself for his trouble. Trick is so in his closet that he can't even come over to Marty as a friend, in case it is misinterpreted. As Marty lays there injured, and is then taken to hospital, he realises that he can't live his life like this, he can't be the lover of someone who barely dares to acknowledge him in public. Although it breaks his heart, he calls it off with Trick. We follow the story as Trick tries to get Marty back and the obstacles and stumbling blocks that they come across.
This wasn't an overly complicated story, it was what it was - the story of Trick overcoming difficulties and long term fears to be able to accept love. And perhaps more importantly, to be able to accept himself. Prejudices that have been with him a long time need to be looked at, fears addressed.
I liked the contrast between Marty and Trick - the confident 'out' pick up man and the closeted cowboy. The family backgrounds that contributed to their current character's - how sometimes it really is as simple as being accepted by those you love. I liked how LC Chase shows that having a team of loving family and friends can give you strength in the face of prejudice. Trick shows how easy it is to feel alone. I appreciated the contrast in fortunes between Trick and his childhood friend - it shows him that his destiny is in his hands, he is the only one who can fight his own fears.
The thing I liked particularly about this story is how strongly Trick and Marty feel about each other - but how Marty is also true to himself and won't settle for being hidden. Knowing your own self worth is very important.
This is the first in a series of books and I love the questions LC Chase has put in place about some of the secondary characters and I'm hoping their story will be in a book soon. I know I will be reading more from this author.
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