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This is a heavily revised and expanded second edition of Anchored, originally released by a different publisher in 2011. More than 10,000 words have been added.
Network news anchor Daniel Halstrom is at the top of his field, but being at the bottom of the social ladder—being a slave—makes that hard to enjoy. Especially when NewWorld Media, the company that’s owned him since childhood, decides to lease him privately on evenings and weekends to boost their flagging profits.
Daniel’s not stupid; he knows there’s only one reason someone would pay so much for what little free time he has. But dark memories of past sexual service leave him certain he won’t survive it again with his sanity intact.
He finds himself in the home of Carl Whitman, a talk show host whose words fail him when it comes to ordering Daniel into his bed. Carl can’t seem to take what he must want, and Daniel’s not willing to give it freely. His recalcitrance costs him dearly, but with patience and some hard-won understanding, affection just might flourish over fear and pain. Carl holds the power to be an anchor in Daniel’s turbulent life, but if he isn’t careful, he’ll end up the weight that sinks his slave for good.
Ugh this book fucked with my brain. So much that I can’t think straight and I cried at the end of it. Who does that? Me, that’s who.
So this book, it’s one that I heard was a tough read, a brutal read and one folks seemed to stay away from. Having read the author before, I decided that I would see for myself what it was all about. You know what? This book was sad. It was so sad and broke my heart over and over again and I am tearing up as I write this damn review.
I admit I held my breath reading the prologue. Getting an 11yr old Daniel so afraid and his mistress telling him he was a lousy fuck made me read cautiously. I don’t usually blend my real life into books but this time it was hard as my middle son is the same age as Daniel. I was justified in my trust of the author and led through the prologue to meet Daniel, 25 years later.
In a new world with a new class system, there are slaves and freemen. Being a reader who doesn’t like the work of reading alternate universes, it was nice that the world building of this story read effortlessly. It was more than easy to settle into and get lost in the story. Lost is a good for word for what I felt, I was so lost and so caught up that last night, I fell asleep when my head hit the pillow from exhaustion yet I sat up, grabbed my Nook and had to read. I had to know what was going to happen.
Daniel, I want you to want and not second guess what a slave is supposed to want. I want you to have a voice for your wants and I want to deprogram you so you can have it all. You are a slave but you are revered. New World knows what they bought 25 years ago and the public that sees you knows how special you are too. So does Carl Whitman and that is why the man paid six million fucking dollars to simply LEASE you for a year. Lease, not buy because you are not for sale, but lease you for weeknights and weekends. How the hell does shit like this happen? Oh yeah, it’s not the world as we know it and I am okay with that.
But Carl? How could I not fall for you immediately? I tried not to like you but you were not what I expected. Really not who I thought I would get; you are compassionate, caring and likeable (you do love The Holy Grail after all) and so head over heels for Daniel that you paid out the ass for mere moments of his time. I know that in this world, you would never be able to have a relationship with him, you’re not of the same class, but to lease him? Good lord. That just hits me square in the heart and makes me adore you. Not that you are perfect, you have no idea how to ask for what you want and you won’t force it out of Daniel and good lord, man. Ugh. Just freaking fracking ugh.
“Hey.” The master’s voice was light but strained, just as it had been at dinner. “So I leased this slave, guy named Daniel Halstrom? Brilliant, funny, sharp tongue, quick on his feet, puts everyone at ease in a heartbeat. You seen him? Maybe you could go get him for me; I think we’d get along great.”
I am so freaking lost from this. Talk about two men who needed to talk it out. Daniel doesn’t want to be where he is yet he knows what he is supposed to do to be a good slave. Carl doesn’t quite believe all the propaganda about slaves or the slave gene and he just wants a companion in every way and he wants it all with Daniel, but then he tries to do what’s right and it goes so terribly wrong.
Daniel would take it, endure it. But to give away freely his desire—the one single thing that was his alone to control —to taint those thoughts and feelings forever and pretend to enjoy it? No. He hadn’t been able to do that and he couldn’t make himself do it now, either.
I am probably not making any sense at all. My brain is toast from this. Thank goodness it did happen to end in a vast valley in the continent of where I wanted, no needed it to be. I needed to have some of that to be okay. But I am really not okay because that end made me cry. Yes, I am the girl who read this book and cried.
“Things are what they are.”
“Yeah. But maybe they never should’ve been, and maybe they don’t always have to be. Maybe things can change.”
Anchored may not be a book for everyone but it was so a book for me.