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The new LoveStories.com Book Club has chosen MY SOUL MATE IS MISSING by Rocky Romance (aka "The Love Detective") as our Book of the Month for February, 2013. LoveStories.com book editor, Grace Grinder, reviews Mr. Romance's book here:
This Debut Novel is fast, sexy, and witty!
Combine a young James Bond and Jack Reacher with some hellacious fight scenes…mix in a damsel in distress from a 1950s Raymond Chandler novel—the kind of dame that has sharp nails and a knife hidden behind her back…add some of the steam you find in today’s explosion of romance-erotica…and you have one rocking adventure with plenty of humor, danger, and enough sexual tension to blow your top.
Her Soul Mate Is Missing by Rocky Romance—and starring Rocky Romance (this guy, whoever he is, has plenty of energy and ego)—is a debut short novel that absolutely took us by surprise in the best kind of way. Fast, sexy and witty!
Rocky has our “5 Star Page-Turner” recommendation. We can’t wait to see if he can keep it up on his next novel!
For Mature Audiences. We must admit, however, this is one of the funniest, sexiest tongue-and-cheek thrillers you will ever find between the covers. GG, LoveStories.com Book Editor
LoveStories.com's very first interview with The Love Detective
LS: Mr. Romance, I've got to ask you--is Rocky Romance your real name? If so what were your parents thinking!
RR: All you have to do is look me up in the phone book or look at my driver’s license and you’ll know Rocky Romance is my real name. I used to get offended when people asked if it was my real name but it’s happened so often I've lightened up. How I got my name is pretty straightforward. When great grandpa immigrated to America he kept the full Romance name. A lot of Italian immigrants found ways to shorten Romance. He was proud of his name and wasnt' about to shorten anything. As far as Rocky, my parents met and fell crazy mad in love the year the first Rocky movie came out. Dad swears I was conceived on the back row of a movie theater on opening night. My mom would say he was making it up and gives him a nice punch to the ribs. But she always turned red. So I’m inclined to believe dad on this one.
LS: You are known as "The Love Detective." Does this mean that you only chase after cheaters, or what?
RR: If you’re a private detective in Southern California—or really, just about anywhere else these days—you’re getting hired for one of two reasons: to investigate insurance scammers or to provide ammunition for divorce settlements. I worked my first case as a freelancer—not very smart in California, by the way—doing the latter. But something strange happened. I looked at the couple involved. Both were in the wrong, but in some strange way I could just see they were made for each other. I may have left a few details out of my report and helped steer them back to each other. It worked. Not all cases go that way. But I've learned that every relationship, even the best ones, get rocky sometimes. You just have to figure when it’s time to let it go and when it’s time to hold on tight. That’s how I do my business.
LS: What inspired you to become a private eye? Did you play with guns as a kid, or what?
RR: I went to Iraq and a few other places I can’t mention with my Uncle Sam. Even though I already had my college degree in business, when I got back, I couldn't think of anything I wanted to do. I was always a workout warrior so I did some personal training at a poplar LA chain. One of my clients asked me to help her find out if her husband was cheating on her. The truth was, their pool boy was getting plenty of action too. But her husband caught me breaking into his house to grab some evidence—and shot me. Sounds like I’d get out of the business as fast as I could, but that ended up being my first case. The son of a bitch helped me set up my agency.
LS: You are a vet of Desert Storm, what affect did that experience have on you?
RR: Desert Storm was George H.’s invasion of Iraq in 1992. I went to Iraq ten years later for George W.’s Operation X. I was “outside the wire” a good part of the time, and not just in Iraq and Afghanistan. I saw and did some crazy things. Unless I’m with some former teammates, I really don’t like to talk about what I did. There’s probably a part of me still over there that I can never get back.
LS: Can you share with me a couple of your craziest cases?
RR: Shakespeare said all is fair in love and war so in some ways they are all crazy. People have a way of making something that requires not a whole lot more than courtesy, attention and affection into something as fierce and dysfunctional as Operation X. What makes my practice a little different is that I help some of my clients and their loved one figure out how to hold things together and stop hating on the ones they love. That makes me unconventional. Throw that into the mix and crazy turns into incredibly crazy. One case in particular was when a college prof had a bout of temporary insanity and got involved with a student. He was blackmailing her into keeping the relationship going—or at least having sex with him—long after she came to her senses. We got it sorted out and through some unconventional techniques, convinced the young man to get out of her life forever. He complied but will probably always walk with a limp.
LS: You’re a good-looking guy Rocky. Tell the truth. Have you ever become romantically involved with a client?
RR: I have a rule that comes from my honor code. No married women. I’ve never knowingly broken that promise I made. Since most of my clients are married that gives a pretty broad answer.
LS: I hear some semantics in that answer, Rocky—but I should probably let it go. Let me just make sure I understand, If a smoking hot blonde came into your office—and her husband was a lousy, no good cheater—you would turn down her request, no matter how urgent, for special comfort? In other words, your zipper would stay zipped up?
RR: Okay. You have me thinking. Hard. Very hard. But let’s look at this logically. First of all, I love women. And not just smoking hot blondes. I think brunettes, redheads, and raven-haired can sizzle. But if my sister is half right, and I am truly guilty of being sensitive and romantic who is still looking for the perfect woman to share his life with—she says my tough guy persona is a cover up—then that wouldn't be my style. Just remember, I said if my sister is “half right.” Who knows? I might have found the perfect woman for me already and the timing isn't right. But back to the smoking hot blonde, I know for sure the timing in that situation isn't right for her or me. So yes, I would keep my zipper zipped up. That doesn't mean I've not been tempted a few times. But there are a lot of lovely, interesting, captivating single women—all shapes and colors—in Southern California or wherever else my work takes me. I’m sticking to the code.
LS: My Soul Mate Is Missing is your first novel. What inspired you to write?
RR: The guy who helped set me up in business as a private investigator is a very successful B-level movie producer and director. He isn’t going to win any awards but he knows how to make a buck. He’s always told me he’s going to make a movie about my life. I’m never sure how serious he is—especially after he’s downed a few scotches. But he did get me thinking about my life and what I've done and do. He’s not the only one that tells me I’m interesting. I started writing one of my cases down—changing names and details to protect the innocent and guilty, of course—and next thing I knew I had written a short book. Couple of friends read it and next thing I know it’s being published. I’ll just add that none of my clients ever have to worry that I will reveal who they are.
LS: I've read on your Twitter page that you are quite the work out warrior. You look in as good of shape as guys in their early 20's. Any secrets? Any vices?
RR: I played football from second grade through college and on the practice squad for NFL teams for most of three years. I couldn't quite break through. It wasn't for lack of determination. And really, my size and strength were fine. I was blessed with great genetics from my parents, so I’m not going to complain. Plain and simple I was a step slow. My secret for getting as far as I did, for staying alive in some tight spots overseas, and for hitting the iron like a maniac is simple. Determination. Try it. Cultivate it. Test yourself. It works.
LS: Any vices?
RR: I’m disciplined on the food I ingest. I’ll have a fat, juicy steak occasionally, but usually it’s grilled chicken and fish. I don’t have a sweet tooth so I limit sugars. I do love a cigar. I've always thought that any day that ends in a cigar was a good day. I have a lot of good days. I don’t inhale but that may be rationalizing. I have a bourbon or glass of red wine probably four nights a week. I rarely overdue it but I've hammered a few too many a few times. My real vice health wise is sometimes staying up all night. Americans don’t sleep enough and it definitely affects weight and overall health. I’m not answering any questions on what keeps me up all night.
LS: What advice would you give to women, say in their 40's and 50's, who think their husbands are cheating on them--but they don't want to say anything in an effort to not rock the boat?
RR: I make indirect suggestions to my clients on what they might do but don’t tell people what to do or not do. The only decisions that matter in life are the ones we fully own. This isn't good for business, but I’ll say it anyway. Pictures and other proofs of affairs cost a lot of money but really don’t get you that much extra in most settlements. But what I find people really want is knowledge. They’re tired of being suspicious and wondering if they are crazy for being suspicious. After I confirm or deny what’s been rolling around in their minds is when they feel freed up to determine what they want to do. I don’t recommend it but I’ve seen more than a few marriages with infidelity that do just fine. Not for me but it works for some. And incidentally on the way you phrased the question, there is plenty of cheating both directions.
LS: I take it that your work is sometimes dangerous. I mean, how many times have you had a gun pointed at your face or felt that pistol in your back?
RR: I grew up playing a sport known for torn ligaments, broken bones, concussions and worse. Then I got a job where everyone I dealt with was a trained killer—and fully armed. I’m thankful my Uncle Sam made sure I had the best training and the best weaponry, but let’s face it, we lived in hostile territory where even your trusted allies might be your biggest threat. I got shot on my first case and in my most recent case had a psychopathic couple with his and her 9mm Berettas both pointing a barrel at my head. It’s not every case, but danger goes with the territory. My shrink—excuse me, I mean my therapist—keeps asking me if I am addicted to danger.
Editor's Note: To purchase MY SOUL MATE IS MISSING, click HERE.