Actual rating 4.75
Brandon Shire’s Afflicted
left readers hanging; angst and hope, lust and buckets of unresolved baggage just stopped (after some really great make-up sex). It was absolute, wtf, that’s it? In Afflicted II
, it’s all back with a roller coaster of passionate randiness and just sex with dollops of heartbreaking sorrow and a dash of visceral meanness from Dillon’s family. It’s also laugh out loud funny, between the hotness they are some hilarious moments, especially with Connie.
Hunter is described as sexy and hot, he has a black belt in karate and has the body to prove it. Never does Mr. Shire ever trot out all of the usual trite descriptions others use for blind people and while that is satisfying for the reader the reason is because Hunter, for all that he is a successful businessman and very attractive is fiercely independent and a little defensive about ‘sightlings’ perceptions. He’s always “felt like an experiment with other guys,” but Dillon gets Hunter and relishes the nuances that make Hunter’s understanding of Dillon unique in all his experience.
There is a kind of fairy tale (no pun or slight intended) aspect to the stories. Yes, there is the obvious prostitute with a heart of gold falls for an amazing man. But I mean the literary device. In Afflicted
, Dillon uses a metaphor learned from Shu-shu to explain love and commitment to Margie, it wins her over so she no longer thinks he is taking advantage of Hunter. In Afflicted II
, Hunter uses something he learned from his grandmother to soothe Shu-shu’s wife and thereby leads to a new direction for Dillon. Dillon is perfect for Hunter; because he grew up close to his blind cousin, he knows how to behave, what expectations are appropriate around a blind person. He is also drop-dead gorgeous, and while Hunter cannot see that, having Dillon in his life goes along way towards losing his hang-ups about how other gay men see him. They are both Sleeping Beauty and Prince Charming for each other; the catalysts for a new life with that perfect someone.
Favorite quote: “It was just the two of them; just the want and desire which stretched out and went so far, far beyond the fervor of lust”.