Thursday, September 13, 2012

Review: Afflicted by Brandon Shire

Afflicted by Brandon Shire
4 Pants Off

A high priced male escort and a blind gay man meet by chance. What ensues is a hot, steamy romance by two men looking for something more than a one night stand. But can they reach beyond their own insecurities to grasp what they really desire?

Meet Hunter Stephens. He’s gay, tall, dark haired, and he’s hot. Very hot. But he doesn’t rely on the visual cues when appraising a man because he’s also blind. He listens to the timbre of their voice, trembles at the touch of their skin, and luxuriates in the deep richness of the aroma of man. He’s hard of the hand because he’s a black belt and takes no shit, but soft of the heart because he’s lonely and has been for a while.

Until he meets Dillon.

Dillon Chambers is straight man candy. He’s a high priced male escort that works with an exclusive agency who handles only the wealthiest of clients. But it wasn’t always like that for him. At sixteen he was thrown out of the house for being gay and struggled to survive, turning tricks on the street and finding food and a place to sleep wherever he could. He met two people that changed his life, but he has never met anyone who could change his heart.

Until he bumped into Hunter.

And now they are both Afflicted.

Seriously, this was one hot read. I am talking "balls to the walls" hot and raunchy but it’s not porn. Mr Shire is a write, a lover of words, and he is able to express his point in such a beautiful way. I first read his work The Value of Rain and it left me a freaking mess, like a blubbering mess.  Though Afflicted did not have the emotional pull of his first book, it still was an excellent read of a tale as old as time. Rent boy falls in love and decides to start a real life, but this story has twist featuring a blind protagonist.

Hunter deals in audio books and he has made a successful living off it. Being unable to see has given quite an ear to finding excellent voices. After a little disagreement with his best-friend Marge, Hunter decides to walk home alone, and that is when a prostitute calling himself Frank picks him up. Hunter knows that taking him home could turn into a bad situation fast, but he feels a draw to the man, and he just wants to fuck and be wrapped up in his smell.

The men come together in frantic lovemaking and it is hellaciously hot and intense. Hunter can’t believe he picked up a trick but it turned out to be the best night of his life even if there weren’t any genuine feelings involved and he’s out of $250 bucks. It will be a night Hunter will never forget, so it comes as a surprise when Frank who confesses to being Dillon shows up at his apartment again. There are so many risk involved in getting into a relationship with an escort but Hunter cannot find any convincing enough to give Dillon up.

The odds seem against them to have a healthy relationship because of what Dillon's job is. How do you have feelings for an escort, and can you trust his feeling for you? Are questions Hunter has to ask himself. Dillon fears being a cliché, where some rich man sweeps him off his feet and he never has to lye on his back again. I think the author manages to capture the men's feeling effortlessly. There is no declaration of love, and the picking out of wallpaper. Their emotional investment is tentative but when it comes to loving, it’s burning at lava temperatures.

I enjoyed Dillon's POV a lot more than I enjoyed Hunter’s. I could make a connection with his fears, losses, and gains. He spoke in a way that was on a realistic level and I enjoyed that. Hunter... I enjoyed him a lot and he is a truly beautiful character but he was a bit too descriptive and repetitive when it came to describing his relationship with his mother. Together though, the men are "dynomite" a truly heart-warming and beautiful relationship.

Brandon Shire is a master storyteller, I don’t know if he has lived a life of pain, or had many tragic happenings because he sure as hell knows how to write them. The book is lyrical yes, but stories are supposed to be lyrical. Like music, a fluidity of words that wraps you in its fuzzy embrace. Afflicted was sexy and I am looking forward to the sequel, because the bomb that was dropped was big one. Hunter's mom is a trip and the head cougar *waggles eyebrows*.

Another winner by Mr Shire, and I am happy I didn’t end up a blubbering mess.

SideNote- If you purchase a copy of this book 10% is used to help keep LGBTQ youths of the street, and that my friends is a very good thing.

SideNote 2- I wrote this review while waiting in the emergency. I apologize for suckage.

4 Pants Off


  1. Glad you enjoyed it Darien. Thanks for a stellar review.

  2. No such 'suckage'! Now compelled to read this book...and thinking I may have to re-write my review for the billionth time, cause its no where near as passionate as this!

    Great review!

  3. I have no idea why I've never read anything by Brandon. After reading your review I'm going to take care of that. And he's donating a portion of the sales to an LGBTQ organization to help youth? If I like this book as much as you did, then I'm highlighting it on our blog and will buy copies for friends.

    1. Its a good book and Bramdon has done a wonderful thing with his sales. All his books a portion goes to charity.

  4. That sounds like a good one. I love me a good rent-boy story. I haven't read anything by him either. You are educating the masses Darien. :-)

    1. I does what I do. His other books are quite heavy and will probably make you cry but this ne was fun and sexay.

  5. I was lucky enough to win a copy of Afflicted during a blog hop and I loved it! I thought it was a beautifully written story and I can't wait for the next one. It will be interesting to see how "that" situation plays out. ;-)

    This is the first time I have read one of Brandon's books, but it won't be the last. I've seen the reviews for his other stories and I will definitely be getting both of them. I know they will be harder to read due to the subject matter, but I look forward to each one. I think it's wonderful that he donates 10% of his sales to LGBT youth organizations. On his website he has a list of organizations all over the country that people can donate to. :)


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