Rating: 5 stars
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“Forgiveness can be one of the most powerful and freeing gifts we can bestow on ourselves.”
Bobby Nelson is a manwhore. Sexually addicted, borderline pathetic, Bobby is driven from one sexual encounter to another, each tipping dangerously toward a lack of care for his body and, most certainly, his soul. He is, essentially, alone, having betrayed his one and only friend by trying to steal his boyfriend from him. Now, desperate and reeling from a tragedy that leaves him in a self-destructive downward spiral, Bobby realizes he must face the demons inside himself or spend his life lost. While most would look at this successful, attractive man and see only his alluring exterior, it will take someone special to love the hurting man within. But before Bobby can expect someone else to love him, he must learn to not only love, but forgive, himself–a daunting task for a con artist who excels at staying hidden.
First, let me clarify that Raining Men by Rick. R. Reed is indeed a sequel to his first novel, Chasers. If you are like me, you simply adored the main characters in Chasers, Caden and Kevin, and most likely absolutely despised the smarmy, unethical Bobby Nelson. Hence when this novel came out, I was thrilled, hoping I would see more of the two lovers and was almost put off by the fact that this book would be about the “bad guy” from the first novel. Well, all I can say is READ THIS BOOK! I do believe that is could be read as a standalone if needed, but I would recommend reading Chasers first simply because like Raining Men it is an excellent novel. Did you catch that–“like Raining Men–excellent”? For all my reluctance over who this story centered around, I am so glad I dropped my preconceived notions at the door and traveled further into the amazing imagination of Rick R. Reed and his compelling characters.
Bobby is perhaps one of the most rich and in depth written portrayals of a man on the edge of an abyss. Literally, running from himself and the guilt he carries over so many things in his past, he flings himself pellmell into mindless sexual encounters that leave him with everything from STDs to self-loathing. My heart just broke for this man and, in my opinion, this type of character is exactly why Mr. Reed is an author of excellence. To take someone whom we found truly despicable in the first novel and reveal his brokenness and tortured soul in the second installment–well, it completely transformed my thoughts about Bobby–turned them on end! That is just really fine writing!
Along the way, we meet new characters and, yes, visit with some familiar faces, but really this story is all about Bobby and his journey. As I wrote this review, I wanted to quote so many passages from this book, each more lovely, and at times, more heartbreaking than the one before. I believe this one below sums up just what has been the impetus behind our hero’s self destructive behavior.
He looked up at the therapist with eyes that pled for understanding. “I just wanted someone to love me.” There it was. The raw truth.
The beauty of this novel is that Reed created in Bobby and “everyman.” Each of us can see just a piece of ourselves in this character–our failures, desires, and, yes, our addictions. But most importantly, we can relate to Bobby’s cry for love. I highly recommend Raining Men to you, dear reader. It is a remarkable journey you will not want to miss.