It seems that before writing the Crow Creek series, Nya Rawlyns thought it was a good idea to take concepts which readers dislike from the romance genre and write them into her stories. In Ash & Oak there was insta-love and in Pulling Leather we encounter a love-triangle scenario (which is really a love-square!). Despite the fact that I think this trope is sadly over-done, somehow Nya Rawlyns makes it work within the confines of her story. It is the confused love Jesse, Ash, Oak and Luc have for one another which asks them to visit ghosts from their past and confront an unknown future.
The characters of Oak and Ash which we meet in Pulling Leather are virtually unrecognizable as the two loved-up men from their first story. This anxiety is made worse by the presence of Ash’s ex-lover, Jesse, and Oak’s developing friendship with farmhand, Luc.
I have to admit that I disliked both Ash and Jesse, all the way through Pulling Leather, hoping that Oak and Luc would realise how perfect they were together. Oak’s quiet cockiness has disappeared and he is now a shell of the man who originally seduced Ash. It was during one of the couple’s most difficult scenes that I ugly cried!
So whilst Ash and Oak’s relationship is falling apart, Jesse and Luc’s is just beginning. Jesse is experienced and jaded and Luc is a virgin with a fiery temper. There is little which helps us to understand Luc’s attraction to the older man, past the way he idolized Jesse when he was younger, but there is a sexual tension between them which ignites.
Although there is a passion which exists between the different pairs of men, Pulling Leather is not a sweet romance. It is an emotional and raw story which left me desperate to begin Strapping Ash.
Former rodeo champion Jess Carpenter’s been rode hard and put up lonely. Lucas Santiago has anger management issues and a passion for the livestock in his care. When they meet, the fanboy crush on the older bronc rider turns into a fierce attraction, for both men.
But Jess’ visit to Crow Creek Ranch brings a complication–a history with owner Ash MacBryde that ignites an emotional firestorm. It threatens not only Jess’ budding feelings for the young wrangler Luc, but it also drives a wedge between Ash and his married partner Oak.
While Ash and Jess struggle to understand and control their still smoldering feelings for each other, the two young men who would love them unite in desperation, making the kinds of bad choices that lead to jealous rage and soul-searing hurt.
To save Oak, Luc will do whatever it takes, including jail time. To save themselves, Jess and Ash must finally confront what they’ve hidden for years.
Four men vie to hold onto the things they hold dear. Riding for the time. Riding for the glory. And it takes only one misstep to disqualify any one of them from the competition … and from love.