Anchored: Belonging Book One

Rachel Haimowitz
Anchored: Belonging Book One
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Riptide Publishing
Release Date
September 2014
Book 1 of Belonging
Erotic Romance, Fantasy Romance, LGBTQ, Romantic Science Fiction/Futuristic

Re-published by Riptide Publishing in September 2014

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 who's owned him since childhood, decides to lease him on evenings and weekends to boost their flagging profits.

Daniel's not stupid; he knows there's only one reason a man would pay so much for what little free time he has, and it's got nothing to do with his knowledge of current events. But he's never been made to serve like that before, and he fears he won't survive the experience with his sanity intact.

He finds himself in the home of Carl Whitman, a talk show host whose words fail him time and again when it comes to ordering Daniel to bed. Daniel knows what Carl wants, but it seems as if Carl isn't willing to take it, and Daniel's not willing to give it freely. His recalcitrance costs him dearly, but with patience and some hard-won understanding, love just might flourish where once there'd been only fear and pain. Can Carl become the anchor in Daniel's turbulent life, or will he end up the weight that sinks his slave for good?

Special Content Alert: M/M, forced oral and anal intercourse

Book Review by Rho (reviewer)
Jan 22, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
409 people found the following review helpful
All I can say is WOW. ANCHORED simply blew me away!

Sometimes you come across something that affects you deeply and stays with you for days after. This is how I feel about this book by Rachel Haimowitz. She's definitely gained a fan!

Daniel Halstrom is a news anchor who is at the top of his field, but his life isn't so easy because he's a slave. He's a slave owned by the network he works for, NewWorld Media, and his neat (albeit slave) world is turned upside down when NewWorld Media leases his services out to the highest bidder. Daniel is under no illusions. He knows that with the amount of money that was paid for his services, he's going to be expected to perform acts that he's not comfortable with.

When he shows up at his new Master's house, he finds himself face to face with Carl Whitman, the charismatic host of another news show on a rival network, who also happens to be a freeman--not to mention Daniel's new Master. Daniel doesn't understand the way things work in Carl's house: the other slaves seem happy, and his Master hasn't demanded his services yet. So, he decides that if Carl won't demand his services, then he will not offer them freely. That fact causes Daniel pain in a way he could never have imagined.

However, Carl has wanted Daniel for years, and he's willing to try to replace the bad memories with good.

Ok, let me first start by saying that this book is simply phenomenal. I can't put into words just how amazing this author is to have penned such a unique piece of work. As I was reading, I went through all sorts of emotions. At first, I was curious, then riveted, and from there I became anguished (and I must admit a bit horrified), and ultimately I was hopeful. But through it all, I was absolutely transfixed by this incredible story that was being weaved right before my eyes.

The world building was fundamental in this story. We're transported to an alternate universe where slavery is still the norm. From the dorms that the slaves who work for the network live in to the main character mentioning that slaves can "apply for breeding privileges", the author descriptively illustrated a world that was close but so different than ours. Also, the characters were so real and so complex that I felt as though I was looking into their very souls by the end of the book.

Daniel is both jaded and naive. He's been sheltered as far being a slave goes, but he also knows what can happen to slaves and that scares the you-know-what out of him. He actually thinks at one point: "slaves can't say no". But overall before going to live with his new Master, he was very happy with the way his life had been going.

Now, Carl was such a mystery to me. His household was different; his slaves seemed to have freedom that Daniel didn't even think possible. And he didn't want to demand that Daniel be with him. He was warm and loving, but he did have a bit of mean streak that Daniel seemed to bring out in him. Watching the two of them tiptoe around each other was so intriguing.

The most interesting part about this book is that the reader knows what "services" Carl bought Daniel for, but there is very little sex is this book. This undercurrent thought was present throughout the story, but it was like a tease while reading. I must make note here that there is a pretty brutal rape scene in the book. It ripped my heart out to read it, but it was important to the story. I cried through the whole thing, but I kept going because I simply couldn't stop reading. I didn't want to either. In the end, Daniel got a "happy for now" type of ending, where we are hopeful that it all works out but the ending is left a bit open. I'm hoping we learn something more about what happens in a later book.

I don't want to forget to mention the great dialogue, the amazing secondary characters, or the gripping plot. I literally started reading the book a couple of hours before bed thinking that I would finish it the next day after work, but I could NOT put the book down until I was finished. I went to work bleary-eyed, but it was worth it.

I could not go to sleep immediately after reading this. I kept thinking about what would happen to Daniel and Carl. What did the future hold for them? I also thought about how I would act if I were living in this alternate universe. Would I be a slave? If I were a slave, would I accept my fate or would I fight? How would I feel to know that someone could "lease" me?

The book affected me so deeply. The characters, the story, the world-building, and the writing were just superb. I am giving 5/5 stars and would give it more if I could. This is the first book I've read by Rachel Haimowitz, but you better believe it won't be my last.
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