|About the Book|
After a harrowing seventeen-year separation, Hirata Morimasa leaves his home and secure future to search for his childhood friend, Sho. Blinded by illness when they were children, Sho was sent away, apprenticed to a blind masseur (an anma) to learnMoreAfter a harrowing seventeen-year separation, Hirata Morimasa leaves his home and secure future to search for his childhood friend, Sho. Blinded by illness when they were children, Sho was sent away, apprenticed to a blind masseur (an anma) to learn his trade, and then disappeared.Desperate to find the other half of his heart and soul, Hirata willingly sacrifices the prestige and security of his father’s dojo to find him. When an anma who looks exactly like Sho crosses his path in front of a gambling parlor one day, the man flatly denies he is Sho. Hirata knows better and is determined to get the truth…and to get back the friend he’d lost. However, even though Hirata knows in his bones this man is his soul mate, Sho has…changed…in ways Hirata could not have prepared for in his wildest imaginings, changes that could continue to keep them apart…forever.Publisher’s note: Blind Love was originally published in the Friends to Lovers anthologyExcerpt:Hirata sighed and stared down at the parchment. His chest felt tight and sudden pain bloomed in his temples. Until this moment, he hadn’t realized how much hope he’d pinned on visiting the Guild. In his heart, he’d been sure somehow that he’d get the information he needed to find Sho.It was not to be.“Please do not apologize, Hoshi-san.” He fought back the emotions that threatened to burst out.“You have been most kind. If I do not find them in the next two years, I shall return and see if he has reported in.”Hoshi nodded. “I will certainly inform them of your search in case they return before that time. I wish you the best of fortune in your search, Morimasa-san.”Hirata bowed, thanked Hoshi-san for his help and left the building.A quiet place. The words rang in Hirata’s mind. Such a place could be anywhere, most likely not in a town. But where? In the forest? The mountains? Where in the world would he begin to look for Sho?Hirata stood in front of the Blind Men’s Guild, feeling completely lost. The answers he’d hoped to gain had not only been unavailable, but his visit to the Guild headquarters had left him with more questions.Why had Zatoichi been so insistent on taking Sho for his apprentice? And what was this quiet place the anma took Sho to?Hirata sighed and began to trudge down the middle of the dirt road. The late afternoon sun slanted over the curved eaves of the buildings, casting shadows over the tiles. He’d need to find somewhere just outside the city to spend the night, in a wooded spot where he could make a fire. Not wanting to spend all the money his father gave him too soon, he’d decided to avoid staying at an inn except in the coldest weather and poached game here and there instead of purchasing food in the towns he passed through.* * * * *The main problem Hirata had as he made his way back along the Tokaidō Road was that even though quite a few of the anma he met knew of Zatoichi and remembered that he took a young boy as his apprentice, no one knew the boy’s name or knew of a young anma named Sho who would have just two years left of his apprenticeship. It seemed as if Zatoichi and Sho had simply vanished.When Hirata reached Edo once again, he searched the theater district and Yoshiwara, the pleasure quarter, the areas of the city where many anma plied their trade. Yet again, no one he spoke to knew of Zatoichi’s whereabouts or of the existence of an anma-in-training named Sho.Hirata continued his search along the other four of Edo’s five great routes.