GUEST BLOG: “What is Romance?” by Rick R. Reed

Posted: June 7, 2013 by sidlove in Blog Tour, Guest Post
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The Blog of Sid Love heartily welcomes Rick R. Reed as he makes a stop here, while on his promotional blog tour, to reveal the romantic side of his latest release “Raining Men”!


What is Romance?

A Guest Blog By Rick R. Reed

 Lily and RRR at Gas Works

So one of the comments I’ve been seeing since the release of my new book, Raining Men is “this is NOT a romance.” Ironically, almost all of these reviews have been raves, so it’s NOT a complaint at all. But I cringe when I see it.

This bugs me for a few reasons:

  1. Such a comment has the potential to turn romance readers away. And what romance author wants to do that? Romance readers are my main target market. Besides, see below for why I think saying such a thing isn’t correct.
  2. Such a comment is magnanimous, setting the speaker up as the authority on what constitutes romance. I just spent about an hour researching the term on line and I couldn’t find a list of specific rules that a book must follow in order to qualify as a romance. The only common denominator I could find in all the information I sorted through boiled down to two words: love story.
  3. Raining Men was written with the intention that it is a contemporary romance and I believe, with all my heart, that it is.

Now, is it a typical romance? No. Is it a formula romance? No.

But is it a romance? Oh yes.

And I’ll tell you why and what, to me, constitutes a romance and how my books fits in that category. First and foremost, Raining Men is a love story. It is about two men, both damaged, both in varying stages of the process of coming to terms with who they are, falling in love and find their happily-ever-after with that one special person. I think it’s this business of “coming to terms with who they are” is what may have prompted some people to comment that this is not a romance. They say that it is, instead, about a journey of self-realization.

The book is, indeed, that. We’ve all heard the old adage, “you can’t love someone else until you learn to love yourself” and that’s really what Raining Men is all about. My main character is a wounded and often vain and despicable man, who did not understand nor value himself. His journey in the book is all about discovering who he is and loving what good there is within him.

But the purpose of taking that journey was to find love, one special love that went beyond all the endless hooking up my main character did before he took this journey to find the good person hiding beneath his porn-star handsome exterior.

And how could a journey whose ultimate destination is about finding one’s own true love not be a romance? Beats me.

You can say Raining Men may not be your cup of tea. That’s fine; that’s your personal opinion. But please don’t say it’s not a romance because it really, really is. Really.

How we define romance, how we define love stories, hell, how we define love itself varies from person to person.

I think broad labels are fine. They help us find things; they help us determine where things fit. But I think it’s also a good idea for each person to keep an open mind about what constitutes a particular genre and what doesn’t.

In the end, you may find that if you keep that open mind, you may open yourself up to some pretty wonderful stuff that you may not have even realized you would like.

The same goes for food. At least that’s what Mom and Dad always told me and they were right.

So, if someone tells you my new book Raining Men is not a romance, you tell them: “I’ll be the judge of that.”

Blurb for Raining Men

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.

Rick R. Reed Biography

Blue Shirt MSRick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love. He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). Lambda Literary Review has called him, “a writer that doesn’t disappoint.” Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever “at work on another novel.”

Visit Rick’s website at or follow his blog at You can also like Rick on Facebook at or on Twitter at Rick always enjoys hearing from readers and answers all e-mails personally. Send him a message at

Buy Links for Raining Men


Dreamspinner (paperback):

Dreamspinner (ebook)


ATTENTION! I am giving away a free signed copy of Raining Men on Goodreads. Go here to enter:


  1. Dani says:

    Thank you very much for the explanation Rick because i have to admit I was one of the people who didnt know if i wanted to read it or not because of the whole romance or not discussion
    I did buy the book because i am curious for the story and because i guess i had a different opinion of chaser that the general opinion So i will make sure to read it
    Thanks Dani

  2. The fact that “Raining Men” didn’t follow the conventional formula was the reason I liked it so much. I love it when an author takes the story in a direction I didn’t expect. That’s the reason I read… to be surprised, entertained, and sometimes enlightened. Those are the books I remember.

    • rickrreed58 says:

      Thanks, Mel. And I am with you 100% as a reader (and as a writer, too, I guess–I would get bored if I didn’t bring something new to the table when I sit down to work).

  3. rickrreed58 says:

    Thanks for having me, Sid (on a bed of lettuce, slathered in olive oil and a squirt of–lemon juice). The photo, for those of you wondering, is a recent one of me and my girl Lily at Seattle’s Gas Works Park on Lake Union, near our house (taken by my husband, Bruce).

  4. Elin Gregory says:

    Awww Lily!!

    I’m with Mel. I don’t read much romance because of the formula but a friend recommended Chaser, which I really enjoyed, and I was eager to see if the obnoxious yet somewhat pathetic Bobby would be able to redeem himself. Its a super story. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

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