1.5 rounded up Review to follow.OookayThis was lame, uninspired, tropey, predictable, illogical and unbelievably boring I was close to not finishing this several times, simply because I nearly fell asleep over it It gets the half star exclusively because I finished it and because it contained few SPaG errors.Contrary to the assumption of some of my GR friends I wasn t in any way disgusted or inconvenienced by the non con in this book Given that this is an AU containing slavery, why should I be so However, and unfortunately, the slavery, the torture and the porn didn t titillate me in the slightest This wasn t erotic, it didn t tickle the sadist in me, and it didn t put me on the edge of my seat with empathy for any of the characters.The reasons were all these tired, much overused and awful romance tropes and I am not even talking m m tropes, I am talking m f tropes Carl is of course huge and overwhelmingly male, while Daniel is minuscule can you tell I am sick of that , in short we get a couple which is twin to countless regency romance marriages arranged against the will of the virginal wife.Daniel is a wimp Not just as a male character, if he were the Regency wifey he so clearly replaces in this sorry old plot, then he still would be a wet hanky A whiner.We get a fantastically healing cock as well, by the way, despite prior gangrape or was that supposed to be a to become gay rape Oh and yes, of course, we have the yawn Big Misunderstanding, too The one which could be solved with adult men doing some adult talking with each other Not too much to expect from high class professionals and journalists No.Also lots of plotholes That AU wasn t thought through, the characters didn t behave anywhere close to how intelligent, adult human beings behave in such situations, and we even got us a white Mammy here which I found particularly distasteful And I didn t buy the worldbuilding Today we have enough indicators to show us potential class systems or slavery in the near future, entirely without something as clunky as an alleged slave gene or religion.I m sorry, but how could this book make it through content editing like this It reads like a very rushed job, not even past the first, much needed major rewrite. This Edition Is No Longer AvailableNetwork 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 ProfitsDaniel 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 IntactHe 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 4.25 Kinda Fucked Up StarsI 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.SAY WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT 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 outIt 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 enad 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.Reviewed for Wow Compared to this, Power Play looks like putti, bunnies, and kittens This is a true Orwellian dystopiaIf you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever They can t get inside you, she had said But they could get inside you There were things, your own acts, from which you could never recover Something was killed in your breast burnt out, cauterized out1984 read it That s the paradigm in which this book sits Be warned.Wow. I would like to be able to better write in English to express correctly what I felt while reading this book my mother language is French and my English is not very good I can at least try to say what is essential.I was unable to read the rape scene at once I had to do as the main character and remind myself that I had to breathe My blood pressure climbed to levels not felt for ages One might even say that I had lost vision at some point I just think that my mind was trying to escape from what I was reading So we can say that this description is very awesome and successful.I do not attach such importance to the fact that the author did not give further explanations about her strange historical context The USA in present time, but with slaves Why not During the Civil War, if the Southerners had won, what would have happened Who knows if slavery would not be legalized in America I only questioned the absence of revolt If Daniel is so brilliant, he should have thought about the injustice of his situation once or twice, right I can well understand that Daniel is terrified to be leased like that But I had to explain it to myself because the author has not given much effort to do this for her readers Someone who has spent his life being trained in obedience, cannot overnight change of lifestyle without any problem That s what made me Carl detestable How an educated and intelligent man, who has at heart the welfare of his slaves, cannot understand that Daniel simply could not move from a world where everything is dictated to him what and when to eat, when going to bed, how long he has to train, or if he can fk, and so on, a world in which the only thing Daniel did for himself throughout his life was loving Victor and having his lover sent away without any consideration for his feelings how such a man could live without any instructions on what to do Carl never gives him any instruction of any sort The only thing Carl does is to complain each time Daniel tries to do something, as if the master thought Daniel should be a mind reader This master is a stupid ass hole Was he not able to see how Daniel was frightened How he was shaking How he was tense and nervous If Daniel were afraid as much as the author pretends, and if Carl was so concerned about the fate of the slaves she wants us to believe, then Carl should have seen these signs and tried to understand what the matter was with his new appliance But no, nothing like that And the first thing that the bastard does when he does not get what he wants is to send Daniel back to his owners, making them promise not to hit Daniel Even children know that there are as many means to hurt someone than the human imagination can invent, that is unlimited Anyone knows that You know, I know, the author knows, I am sure about that So why this stupid Carl does not know I hate him than Daniel s owners At least, they are honest bastards They have no heart, but they do not try to pretend to be good guys.Daniel s behavior changes dramatically right after he beholds the anger Carl demonstrates against those who abused Daniel for the second time because of him yeah, the first time too, since Daniel was distracted because he was about to be leased to Carl This behavior change is too sudden, too easy Talk to anyone who has been raped, particularly if it was a violent rape, one does not heal of such a shock by snapping our fingers.Still, I gave this book a three because I was unable to let it down until I finished to read it But there would be room for a lot of improvements historical background and a little consistency in the characters psychology And as another reviewer said, we should have seen in action all the fine qualities of Daniel to really believe that he had them. 4.5 Stars The story was very interesting, out of the ordinary to what I m used to reading and way out of the box I would say it borders on a 4.5 rating, but I m still stunned and a little detached from this book by the vivid cruelty and details of the multiple rape scene that poor Daniel had to endure This story is in no way a romance if that s what you re hoping to gain here with this one It s slavery, it s control over other human beings and I wouldn t even say this is D S It makes me come to realize that it s a damn good thing the world isn t like it is in this book today There were so many moments while reading this story I felt deflated and a little disconcerted by the treatment one character was subjected to and given the choice I couldn t have accepted it myself Otherwise the story held a morbid amount of intrigue apart of the detailed violence which is quite frequent throughout this story Not for the faint of heart or true romantics but reading material for the strong and not the squirmish type. Holy shit That was beyond fucked up But I do like the story I m amazed how they changed Trigger warning there s an implication of child abuse off page I mean, in our world would be that way But their world is so much different than ours It s normal for them Ok, I know in our world slavery still exists We just can t see it Or refuse to see it I don t know.Warning non con, gang rape. After reading Counterpunch I decided to try reading Rachel Haimowitz s take on the modern world with ingrained slavery Short version I prefer all things British.Long version Make no mistake, this is an erotic BDSM novel, and not a romance For a moment I thought about giving this book an extra star for not romanticising the Master and slave dynamics but then I stopped to think about all the other things I found disturbing and decided not to.Counterpunch worked, for me, because Brooklyn had been born free He grew up making his own choices and knowing who he was He only lost that privilege due to an unfortunate sequence of events Brooklyn was and is an unyielding character who s never resigned himself to slavery Here, Daniel has presumably been born into slavery He may not have been groomed to be a sexual companion to anyone willing to pay for his services, but he s been beaten and schooled to obey his Master Daniel doesn t know what freedom is He doesn t have any idea what the concept of consent means He s not capable of willingly submitting to his master.What s worse, Haimowitz writes Daniel as an overgrown child All the aspects of his life have been carefully controlled and Daniel never experienced the joys of child s play or eating until he s too full to eat any The only thing he does know and take pleasure in supposedly is his work The tasks and chores given to him to be performed like any trained monkey I used the word supposedly because the reader never actually sees Daniel enjoying his job or taking solace in it The closest he comes to using the news as a crutch is reading his Master s morning paper And when he most needs the comfort, Daniel chooses to watch an unnamed anime instead of his precious information broadcasts Where Brooklyn would brace himself and face the forced assignations, Daniel seems to have grown up in a cocoon where proper sex didn t really exist I could maybe buy Daniel s virginal inexperience hadn t the author contradicted herself We re supposed to believe a pair of slaves wouldn t have a five minutes for themselves while trusted slaves are left to roam free in the weekends Also, I refuse to believe Daniel could be good at his job and have spent years reporting from the field without stumbling on people who actually enjoy sex Then there s the fact that for an erotica this book isn t very erotic The first half is spent on explaining how inexperienced Daniel is and highlighting his unease with his uncaring and thoughtless new Master whose name I ve forgotten Said Master spends night after night sleeping in the same bed with Daniel without demanding anything from him We re supposed to believe he s caring and kind because he doesn t force himself on Daniel, that he s a good Master who just never bothers to make the rules clear to his new slave If the Master truly were such a good Master, surely he d know what he wants from a slave and how to make his will known with words and without scaring the new toy Finally, when the sex happens view spoiler it s rape No, it s not the Master who leased Daniel, but it s brutal, detailed, and it s treated like a kink that offers the reader the sexual gratification they ve been looking for in this book It s the pinnacle of the story hide spoiler I love the writing and the alternate reality setup Then again, I like dystopian It is a harsh world where capitalism has taken the extreme and everything has a bottom line, including people Profits fall and need to be made up in other ways how about leasing individuals rather than just sales I actually scared myself something serious before I read this, and this is not light and fluffy, but it is not the horror I thought it would be from the chatter.Now, the characters Daniel and Carl.Daniel perfect corporate employee and when he isn t he s well aware of it.Carl the lessor, and I m sorrybut freakin dumbass See spoiler for rant and critical details, read after book view spoiler Seriously Day two of your lease and the goods come home strapped so bad he s useless and nearly catatonic and you don t understand his reactions You re a journalist who s suppose to be intelligent and aware No Daniel s a mess and terrified Carl gives no ground rules or expectations and doesn t get why he s twitchy And then the deal with feedback to the company not even gonna comment other than smack the crap out of the idiot Carl hide spoiler