Review by Heather & Sid
TITLE: Raining Men
SEQUEL TO: Chaser (Read: our review for Chaser)
AUTHOR: Rick R. Reed
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
BLURB: The character you loved to hate in Chaser becomes the character you will simply love in Raining Men.
It’s been raining men for most of Bobby Nelson’s adult life. Normally, he wouldn’t have it any other way, but lately something’s missing. Now, he wants the deluge to slow to a single special drop. But is it even possible for Bobby to find “the one” after endless years of hooking up?
When Bobby’s father passes away, Bobby finally examines his rocky relationship with the man and how it might have contributed to his inability to find the love he yearns for. Guided by a sexy therapist, a Sex Addicts Anonymous group, a well-endowed Chihuahua named Johnny Wadd, and Bobby’s own cache of memories, Bobby takes a spiritual, sexual, and emotional journey to discover that life’s most satisfactory love connections lie in quality, not quantity. And when he’s ready to love not only himself but someone else, sex and love fit, at last, into one perfect package.
First of all, I would like to go on record and state that this is NOT a book that I would usually choose to read on a normal day. But I recently read and enjoyed Chaser, so I just had to know what happens to Bobby!!
Second, this is not a romance…well, not the typical romance we are all used to reading. No, this Bobby’s journey to loving himself.
We all hated, or strongly disliked, Bobby when we read about him in Chaser. If you can’t remember him, or maybe never read it, he was the narcissistic man-whore that tried to steal Kevin away from his best friend, Caden. Of course, all of his lies were found out, ending Bobby’s friendship with Caden. Now it’s several months later, and Bobby is still up to his bad habits of trolling the online hookup sites, the bars, the bathhouses, sucking and fucking guy after guy after guy…sometimes many guys in one day…one afternoon. And suddenly I find myself no longer hating Bobby, but feeling really sorry for him. He is a broken and insecure man, suffering from a lifetime of yearning for someone to love him. You see, Bobby has some major daddy issues going on: never has received open affection or love from his father. So, when his father suddenly dies, Bobby hits the lowest of his lows. And I swear, if I hadn’t already been so invested in the character and the story, I probably would have DNF this book before I ever got to the funeral. Like I said, this isn’t something I would normally read. It’s not happy, sappy romance fluff. No, it’s realism to the core! Disturbing and dark and not something easy to escape.
A few months after his “breakup” with Caden, Bobby starts seeing Camille, the same hot therapist that Caden used to see. Not long after his father’s funeral, Camille suggests that Caden attend a Sex Addicts Anonymous group, thus officially beginning his journey to recovery, reconciliations, and love. The journey will not be easy, and Bobby will not be cured over night. So, be prepared for him to “fall of the wagon” a few times. Would it be as realistic and meaningful if it was so easy to not succumb to temptations of the flesh?
I’m not going to tell you who Bobby eventually finds his HEA with, that’s really not what this story is about. But, I will say that Bobby finds two loves: one is a single, flesh and blood man who loves Bobby regardless of his past transgressions, and the other is Johnny, the ugly little stray Bobby rescued from behind a Dumpster following a very regretful afternoon.
As captivated as I was with this story, I did have some issues with it. The biggest complaint I have is the rushed ending. I wanted a little more romance leading up to the HEA than what we get. But even though that is my biggest complaint, I can still sit back and say “Yeah, I’m okay with that ending, I believe it.” But then we also get the extended, internal monologues and overly descriptive scenery that I remember reading in Chaser. I’m pretty sure this may just be Rick’s style of writing, so when I sit back and think about that, I can accept it, too.
So, in the end, despite all my screaming and pleading with Bobby not to do the things I knew he was going to do anyway, I really enjoyed this story. It took me on a journey, a dark and seedy journey that I found all too realistic.
I think those who are willing to give Bobby a chance should definitely give him the opportunity to let you love him.
Heather C. is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love
Before I begin my review, let me clear this – Heather says in her review “… despite all my screaming and pleading with Bobby not to do the things I knew he was going to do anyway” – It is an understatement really, because this lady was going nuts while reading the book (lol) and she refrained from backing down with her constant “OMG” statements. [Not that, I was any different] I am amused she managed to finish the book without losing her sanity. (Ha!)
Seriously, though, this book is powerful enough to get that kind of reaction out of people. I should forewarn you all that this book might not work for everyone because it is different.
For me, it was good different. Something that I have never found in M/M genred books before. Raining Men has been conceptualized well, and like Heather said, it is not only about Romance, it is the whole awakening of one guy who, although seems like he has everything in the world, is actually lost and lonely. This story is about how he not only discovers his true image in himself by the end but also finds the man who appreciates him for him. Oh yeah, there is an HEA alright, and a good one too. But we will get to that…
This book is about true power of friendship. In Chaser (If you haven’t read that book, you should! Though Raining Men can be read as a stand-alone.) Bobby hurts his best friend so badly that even I thought that I would never be able to forgive him. In my review for Chaser, I did say that I don’t understand why Caden would consider someone like Bobby as his best friend. But after reading RM, I feel like shoving my foot in my mouth as far as it will go. I mean, the extremes to which this guy goes to, in order to win his friend back, it is amazing! I like to believe Caden was the one of the most important reasons why Bobby takes the first step towards his transformation. Bobby is a good guy, I believe… he just had no idea how to handle his own feelings. The final scene with Caden and Bobby talking on the beach was the best scene written by the author, according to me!
Raining Men is also about a family – Bobby’s family, which suffers a loss of an important member. Though Bobby never thinks of his father as someone who was close to him, he realizes too late that everything wasn’t the way he thought it was. I was pleasantly surprised to see how thoughtfully Bobby treats his mother and helps her through her rough time.
And finally, this story is about the biggest mystery of the era – who Bobby Nelson will end up with after all? The whole sequence is nail-biting, though I must say it was more so for Heather – she was literally pulling her hair out! It is engaging and you find yourself hoping that Bobby gets the best. If it is surprising for you now, wait till you read it. Meh! I was vouching for the wrong guy all along, even though I sort of had an idea on who would be the lucky guy to get Bobby. In my defense, he was really really cute, and their first date was simply breath-taking!
There are some really disturbing scenes in the book. The things Bobby does is pretty awful. It was difficult to get past the first half of the book, where it seemed Bobby could never find his redemption from where is, or what he has become. But then, it starts to get better. With help and support of different people, Bobby begins to improve his ways of dealing with his emotions and I thought the whole process was realistic and logical. I said this to Heather and I will say it here too – I am glad that the author wrote that first part (however filthy it was!) of the book, because otherwise it wouldn’t have made sense. Bobby is addicted, and wearing out an addiction is never a one-day process at all. It takes time and Rick R. Reed gives Bobby the time.
The ending wasn’t to my liking, to be honest. Again, Rick rushes with wrapping up the book without giving us much time to enjoy the loving moments between Bobby and his new found love. In fact, there was a time when I found myself lost. It was a change of scene where previously they are at the airport, talking about dinner (and till this time, Bobby hasn’t confessed his feelings for this man) and then suddenly, they are in bed. I am usually sort of in a trance when I read a good book, so I had to stop twice and go back to read it again to make sure what was happening. That is my only complain that when the author can give us a detailed account of what Bobby does in the bathhouse or with some worthless men who come and go in his life, why can’t he spare at least a scene to give us some love-making between these deserving boys. I believe he at least owed that to Bobby!
But otherwise, it is definitely a keeper. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to look beyond the aspect of M/M Romance in a book. This is a real deal, with a believable storyline and some great writing by a very talented author.
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