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I won't read a book that doesn't contain a romance plot of one kind or another...

Afflicted II - Brandon Shire
After the sheer awesomeness that the first book was, I admit my expectations were so high, that this book was destined to disappoint them somewhat; however, I didn't expect to completely crash them.

Afflicted ends with Dillon's confession to Hunter that he's quitting the escort service and Hunter's enthousiastic acceptance of the news. If THAT is not a step towards a relationship, I don't know what is. Unfortunately, from the beginning of the second book, Hunter seems to be backtracking from that point and be plagued with questions about how soon it is to proceed to the next step, how serious is Dillon about him or if this is just a fling with an ending date, how good they are for each other, AND heaven help us, if he is in love with Dillon! When Margie accused him of being a drama-queen, I wanted to cry out "you got it sister!" and hit Hunter on the head with something heavy for being such an ass and worse, totally untrue to his character in book I.

Overall, the book was filled with melodrama, lots of hot -with a slight kinky feeling- sex scenes, and a hero (Hunter) who I hated more and more with each page, as he proved not only indecisive and coward, but also inconsiderate to the others and completely selfish. A man who doesn't know a single thing about his best friend's hobbies, family or personal life, is not someone I admire or can easily come to care for:(

Dillon seemed to me more like a guest star here than a main character; the book seemed to be more about Hunter insecurities and lots of hot sex scenes than getting to know both of them better and seeing their relationship evolve. It also didn't provide a resolution between Dillon and Travis; I didn't know I was supposed to be expecting a book III, because if this is the end, it left a whole lot of questions unanswered and threads dangling in the air between Dillon and Travis, Travis and Lydia, Hunter and Margie, Margie and her lover... you get the idea.

The book was heading for a 3-stars rating for me, until the very end. But Holly-Molly, the last sex scene.... it could be hot and sexy if I knew I was reading erotica, but in a supposedly emotional, angsty romance (or am I reading the wrong genre here?) it felt completely out of place and even went so far as to disgust me (not with the physical aspect of what happened but with the setting and change of dynamics that it heralded).

The more I think about it, the more I believe this is heading for a third book, because I can't believe that any author would leave so many edges hanging open. I wish I knew it before I picked it up, because I thought when I started it that I was going to read a book that would cement the trust and celebrate the deep love between Dillon and Hunter; this was definitely not it. Instead of the previous book's angstiness and affection, this was sexy but emotionally frustrating and unfullfilling. And if that last scene is what I'm supposed to be expecting in a next book... then I have to say it's definitely not for me. All in all, I wish I'd stopped at book I and never looked further:(

PS: On top of everything else, there were too many typos for me to ignore as I usually do.