Story Rating: 4.5 stars
Audio Rating: 3.5 stars
Narrator: Dorian Bane
Length: 5 hours, 53 minutes
Let it Ride is the second book in the Pickup Men series and is, in my opinion a standalone novel. You may need a bit of time to figure out the character dynamics, but not much.
Bridge Sullivan was happy with his life in the rodeo, and when Bridge’s friend Marty is injured in the ring, paramedic Eric Palmer is the first responder on the scene. Openly gay, Eric quickly becomes friends with Bridge and the gang, and has an unexpected effect on Bridge in the form of erotic dreams. Months of downtime from the rodeo don’t diminish the dreams, but Eric is a friend, and Bridge doesn’t want risk their friendship.
Their return to the rodeo for the new season brings Bridge and Eric back together, and Bridge can’t stop thinking of the sexy paramedic from New York. Bridge’s best friend Kent suspects something is up with Bridge, but thinks that Bridge has a woman on his mind, and all the while, Bridge is sending mixed signals to Eric who doesn’t know what to make of his friend’s confusing behavior.
Far from his home in New York, Eric is thrilled to have been accepted into the group of rodeo men, however Eric’s past leaves him insecure about being tossed aside yet again. Added to the insecurity is the fact that Bridge has been acting oddly since their return from the off-season and Eric is a mess. Why would Bridge flirt with him? Is Bridge flirting? Is it worth the risk to confront the gorgeous pickup man?
Bridge and Eric appear as secondary characters in Pickup Men and make for a fun second book. It was apparent that there was something between them in the first book and I was happy to see them get their own story.
Considering who Bridge is friends with, the fact that he was conflicted about his sexuality could have been weird, but somehow Chase wove the doubt and confusion so well into the story that it never felt off. Eric on the other hand, hmmm. Already out, not afraid to admit it, and yet he is the one who doubts what is going on between them.
The fact that it is the big tough cowboy who experience the emotional upheaval and faces them head-on was well done, and since we the readers are privy to Eric’s inner thoughts, we get to understand his motivation for (nope, no spoiler here) what happens to pull them apart before they can get their HEA. I was particularly pleased with the significant growth exhibited by the characters, especially since that is my favorite aspect of a story.
Dorian Bane was the right choice for the narration, that’s for sure, with convincing western accents, a somewhat stereotypical New Jersey/New York accent for Eric, and good character definition. I will say that the pace was a big issue for me — from chapters 1-7 it was like a big run-on-sentence. Fortunately, the pace improved after that and I was truly able to immerse myself into the story.
Let it Ride was a sweet story with just the right amount of conflict, confusion, and some seriously good character development for both Eric and Bridge. I can easily recommend the Let it Ride audiobook for an overall satisfying experience.