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Fortune's Pawn

Paradox: Book 1

Rachel Bach

Devi Morris isn't your average mercenary. She has plans. Big ones. And a ton of ambition. It's a combination that's going to get her killed one day - but not just yet.

That is, until she just gets a job on a tiny trade ship with a nasty reputation for surprises. The Glorious Fool isn't misnamed: it likes to get into trouble, so much so that one year of security work under its captain is equal to five years everywhere else. With odds like that, Devi knows she's found the perfect way to get the jump on the next part of her Plan. But the Fool doesn't give up its secrets without a fight, and one year on this ship might be more than even Devi can handle.

Heaven's Queen

Paradox: Book 3

Rachel Bach

From the moment she took a job on Captain Caldswell's doomed ship, Devi Morris' life has been one disaster after another: government conspiracies, two alien races out for her blood, an incurable virus that's eating her alive.

Now, with the captain missing and everyone -- even her own government -- determined to hunt her down, things are going from bad to impossible. The sensible plan would be to hide and wait for things to blow over, but Devi's never been one to shy from a fight, and she's getting mighty sick of running.

It's time to put this crisis on her terms and do what she knows is right. But with all human life hanging on her actions, the price of taking a stand might be more than she can pay.

Rimrunners

Alliance-Union: Company Wars: Book 5

C. J. Cherryh

Meet Elizabeth Yeager, "Spacer, machinist, temp." A refugee waiting for a ship to call home, Bet Yeager was once a marine.

Now she's on the run.

Yeager has hit bottom; she's jobless, homeless, and starving on Thule, a nearly-abandoned station in the bypassed Hinder Stars. Sleeping in toilets, killing to save her body, stealing to stay alive, she feels her hopes die... until the Loki docks. It's a spook: a mercenary warship barely legitimated by Alliance documents as a freelance bounty hunter and spy vessel – a ship whose captain has no qualms about signing on a "machinist" with no papers and a shady past, not to mention murder charges hanging over her head.

But escape from Thule is no refuge, for Loki is crewed by Bet Yeager's sworn enemies. The spooks are hunting the remnant of the outlaw Earth Company fleet... fliers considered outlaws only because they lost a war... fliers from the fleet that Bet Yeager has served loyally her whole life. Now, trapped aboard a tin can in deep space where a single wrong word might give her away, Yeager must seek and destroy her old comrades without arousing the suspicions of her crewmates.

Her position will become even more precarious when she dares to defend the ship's pariah, NG Ramey. A victim unfairly, hellishly abused by Loki's sadistic Fairst Officer, Ramey is merely a pawn in a vicious struggle between shipboared factions and ambitious officers for control of the vessel. Suddenly Yeager is in the center of the conflict. Drawing attention from all sides, she has no allies, no way to fight, nowhere to hide, no way to get out. Only Fleet training and fighting skills can save Bet Yeager now.

Because once enlisted, no one leaves a spook ship alive...