Synopsis: Network news anchor Daniel Halstrom is at the top of his field, but being at the top 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 at 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.
Companion: Where He Belongs (ebook collection of vignettes) - a bit rubbish I'm afraid.
Book cover: I quite like the concept but not the execution.
As published gay slavefics go, this is far better than most of the ones I've tried, although it does have problems. It has a compelling central character, interesting alternate universe, well written if fairly simple plot, and is thoroughly gripping - I really couldn't put it down.
I love that Daniel isn't just a pleasure slave. I love that he's intelligent, educated and doing a skilled job which (if he were free) would be highly paid. I love that he's a strong character yet is still credible as somebody raised from birth in slavery - he isn't dominant or defiant. I also like the little glimpses we see into the lives of other slaves as well as the differing personalities of the freemen in the novel. The man who leases Daniel - Carl - is a fairly convincing master - someone who doesn't see slavery as wrong (having been raised in a society where it's normal) but also isn't cruel or sadistic and genuinely cares about Daniel.
The one major problem I have with the book is one regular slavefic readers (or, for that matter, readers of other types of angst) will recognise - the "sex means a happy ending" trope. Daniel is brutalised and gang-raped and yet somehow "consensual" sex with his Master is meant to make that all okay? It's not quite Stockholm Syndrome but it's uncomfortably close. It doesn't help that the book is marketed as a gay romance - it's published by Noble Romance Publishing and has "erotic romance" in big letters on the cover - when really the only thing close to romance in it is those final pages with the questionable sex.
Despite the ending, I do recommend the novel to anyone who likes slavefic - so long as you're also okay with reading fairly explicit scenes of corporal punishment and rape.