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.
I knew that Anchored was going to be a tough read before I even started it. In fact, I avoided requesting the ARC for just that reason. I skimmed over the synopsis a couple of times and still shied away from it. Then the reviews started popping up and even though I didn’t really read them, I could tell that this was a book that needed to be read, so here we are. I wasn’t wrong about it being a hard book to read. What I wasn’t ready for was how powerful it would be.
Anchored is set in a world very different from the one we currently live. It’s unbalanced and beyond scary. Daniel is a slave, nothing more than property and that point is driven into him on a daily basis. He is a lesser being. The Masters believe that those beneath them have an inability to feel. They are to be used, to serve and are easily discarded and punished severely when they fail to perform to the standards that the Masters and Handlers set for them. Those punishments far out weigh the ‘crimes.’
Carl is different than most Masters. He treats his slaves almost as friends. I liked him, but I still got frustrated with him. Even though he lived as a Master he was really clueless about how cruel Daniel’s owners really were. He put Daniel in a lot of danger without even realizing he was doing it. Basically, he didn’t belong in the world that they lived in any more than Daniel did. Once he got it, his determination to change things just a little for Daniel made me like him even more.
Anchored was more than a romance…. actually in a lot of ways it was far from a romance. It was more a lesson in humanity. When today’s society thinks of slavery they fall back on history where one race was deemed to be inferior and property. In Daniel and Carl’s society a gene – that scientists couldn’t even isolate – determined whether or not you were a slave. It encompassed all races and generations of those families. There was no rising above it. No chance of freedom unless you were born a Freeman.
Daniel held a spark that touched a lot of people and made them doubt what they had gone through life just accepting. His story can’t be read without making you feel… angry, scared, heartbroken…. Anchored definitely didn’t have a HEA, but it came as close as it could get. There are things, people and circumstances that this book will make me look at in a totally different way for a very long time.
Just a little warning, those punishments are written in detail. Daniel suffered both mentally and physically and no one should go into this book lightly.