Sequel to Chaser
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.
Call me a skeptic, but I didn’t believe that the man I absolutely loved to hate in “Chaser” could possibly turn out to be a man that I could not only love, but admire. Bobby, a self-proclaimed slut, will take on any and all men, in any and all positions, and in any and all locations. At forty-years-old, he still looks to be in his early thirties with a picture perfect body and face and the bring-it-on wardrobe to enhance all that beauty. The only downside to his life is the fact that he lost his best friend, Caden, when he put the moves on Caden’s boyfriend Kevin during a time when Caden was out of town taking care of his dying mother. And he misses Caden—a lot. He misses him so much, in fact, that he decides to see a therapist that Caden had recommended to him—a therapist who can supposedly help him with his need to constantly have sex.
When a sudden call in the middle of the night brings the news that his father has died, he flies home to Seattle to be with his mother. While there, he has time to reflect on the many ways his father chose not to show him love and the many sad memories he has of being inferior to his father’s expectations while growing up. He meets an old friend, Wade, a stunning man who seems to be attracted to Bobby but who resists Bobby’s charm, instead telling him of his own past promiscuous ways and the resulting HIV infection he now has.
When Bobby returns to Chicago, he begins his journey to recovery in earnest, and it’s as we take this journey with Bobby that we get to see who he really is, the good man inside—the one who is masked by the slutty persona we’ve come to know and dislike. Among the highlights of his journey are: Bobby’s find of a little homeless Chihuahua he names Johnny Wad due to the size of the little guy’s anatomy and in honor of his favorite porn star; Bobby’s therapy sessions with Camille, the therapist recommended by Caden; his attendance at Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings; the development of his friendship with Aaron, a man he met during one of his slutty forays into a sex club and later found again at a meeting of SAA; his renewed relationship with Wade when the latter comes to Chicago for a visit; and finally, his long-sought reunion with Caden.
Bobby’s recovery is a lengthy and painful journey, and we witness his slips and falls from grace, his disappointments, and his triumphs. There’s so much here that it’s hard to do the story justice in a review. He delves into his past relationship with his father, his own reactions to seeking love and acceptance, his relationship with his mother and more. And throughout his journey, the author ties in the twelve steps of recovery, linking Bobby’s self-discoveries to the steps he’s taking with his sponsor. Watching his painful attempts to seek Caden’s forgiveness is heartbreaking, yet watching him with his puppy is heartwarming. This story plays on readers’ emotions and engages our hearts from the beginning.
More than anything, I appreciated the author’s attention to detail and respect for the program Bobby has entered. I was amazed and thankful that he honored the reality of Bobby’s illness and his painstaking journey to emotional health through working a twelve-step program. So many authors treat recovery from addiction facetiously and rarely offer hope through working a program of recovery like AA, NA or SAA. I’m doubly impressed by Mr. Reed’s attention to the honesty and self-reflection required to recover from the cycle of addiction which can so easily be repeated in this disease. And I even enjoyed the fact that I was kept guessing about Bobby’s future happiness—would he find love? And if so, with whom? The answer is not so obvious, and I appreciated both the mystery and the resolution the author provided.
I highly recommend this story to all lovers of M/M romance, and especially to those who enjoyed “Chaser”. Those who love a hurt/comfort theme should enjoy this as well. The narration by John Solo was also very good. He gave different voices to each of the main male characters and did a good job on the female voices too. This was a long audiobook, however the story was so good that I found myself listening as often as possible so that I could see how Bobby’s recovery progressed, and I sure wasn’t disappointed. Don’t hesitate to buy this one.