Firstly, yes, this is slave fic, and yes, it's self-published, but God, I really didn't expect it to be what it was. And what it was was heart-warming, well-written, and one of the first things I've really devoured in a long time.
The main thing about this story is how well the characters are crafted. I fell in love with Bran straight away, and I quickly grew to care about the other characters, and what happened to them. I mean, Holden made me mad a few times, but hey. He's a blind fool, but damn, he's good at what he does.
And it's been a few days since I've read this now, and I cannot get the world and the characters out of my head. And that's high praise, indeed.
(In fact, in the past few days I've devoured the other two novels and am currently devouring all the little one-shots on the Livejournal page).
To be honest, my enjoyment level of this is probably enough to give it five stars. But, technically, I'd give it four, so I'm erring on the side of four. There's editing notes, and a few typos, and a random scene inserted with a note saying it should be somewhere in Chapter 10, but hey. This wouldn't have bothered me on Livejournal, but in a self-published book, it did. But only a little bit.
Also, I wish it was longer (because I did love it), but I think that Maculategiraffe ended it in a good place. I'm not sure what she could have added, but... you know, I just wish it had been longer.
Maculategiraffe does a really good job of making a modern day world where legal slavery (in an English/American type country) seem plausible. Whilst making a bit of a social commentary on the whole idea of slavery too.
Oh, and, for the first time in a while, I didn't find myself skimming the sex scenes, because they were so integral to character development and story. And they were hot. ;)
So, yes, if the idea of slavery in fiction doesn't put you off, I'd highly recommend this. I'm such a sucker for character-driven smut. <3