Author: Rachel Haimowitz
Cover Artist: Tami Santarossa
Rating: 4.25 of 5 Stars
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.
(This is a heavily revised and expanded second edition of Anchored, originally released by a different publisher in 2011. Over 10,000 words have been added.)
Rachel Haimowitz was recently a guest of Prism Book Alliance. Be Sure to check out their guest post here.
Optimist ♰King’s Wench♰’s View:
I’ve been waiting for this book for FOR-EV-VER. Shortly after reading, and falling in love with, Power Play by Ms. Haimowitz I asked a GR friend for recs similar and she suggested this. Yeah, it was out of print. This friend went the extra mile and contacted Ms. Haimowitz who said she was reworking it and to sit tight. I’ve been sitting tight. FOR-EV-VER! Then POOF! a couple weeks ago there it was at the top of the Riptide email saying it was going to release in like a minute.
Usually Riptide promotes the becheezus out of books. For months. Apparently, their publisher doesn’t roll like that. She rolls like Radiohead. Hey, new CD (in this case book) dropping like now. Peace out! It’s the promotional version of hey-get-your-ass-in-gear. Needless to say, I got my ass in gear AND devoured this.
That being said, Anchored wasn’t entirely what I expected. It contains GRAPHIC VIOLENCE ON THE PAGE. I was expecting that, actually. This is Haimowitz we’re talking about here. It was the perpetrators of the violence that I wasn’t expecting. This is the beginning of the Belonging series with Book Two (which I’ve read previously) being Counterpunch. Slavery was never abolished in this alt reality and in modern times that has translated to various races being conscripted worldwide. Once someone has been conscripted their offspring are born slaves owing to something called “the slave gene”. All of these things I struggled to understand in Counterpunch are explained here, though I’m still not clear on how slavery is economically beneficial.
Daniel is one of the lucky ones. He was bought from a cruel mistress at eleven for the sole purpose of grooming him for NewWorld (clever, huh?) television. Unfortunately, that mistress’ misdeeds took root in his psyche and his status in society maintains his oppression and never allows him to heal, so when he’s leased to Carl Whitman all those demons he’s kept at bay by cocooning himself in his little cubby hole of a dorm room resurface.
Carl is Daniel’s competition and has been enamored of Daniel for some time, so a six million dollar lease tag for a year is, apparently, a bargain. Anchored is told entirely through Daniel, but Carl does seem to be a good guy. A good guy who makes really stupid assumptions and fails to communicate adequately, or at all, which is the crux of their problem thereby triggering a domino effect of miscommunications. This is quite similar to Power Play and, in my opinion, what Haimowitz does best-piss poor communication between protagonists.
By putting the reader inside Daniel’s head we get a front row seat to the snowball effect of anxiety. How he perceives even simple gestures as aggressive, how even banal activities take on a sinister undertone, how he second guesses himself as well as his pain and anger with his place in society. All of which fascinates me because they’re all part of the human condition. Haimowitz’s version of the human condition is on steroids, but I think she captures human fallibility dexterously. Her characterization of Daniel is superlative. The secondary characters run the gamut from monstrous to fairy god mother all of whom advance the storyline.
Would I recommend Anchored to everyone? No. Heed the content warning tags. This will exceed the comfort zone of many. Did I enjoy it? In a depraved sense, no. The psychological aspects and the world building, yes. Absolutely. Plus, I respect, appreciate and in a very twisted way enjoy her ability to elicit emotion from me.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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