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Slave: The Cat Star Chronicles    by Cheryl Brooks order for
by Cheryl Brooks
Order:  USA  Can
Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2008 (2008)
*   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Jacinth has spent years tracking her kidnapped sister and finally locates her on the planet Statzeel. However, immediate rescue is impossible once Jacinth learns that all women on the planet are slaves. To fit in she must buy a slave of her own and then have him pose as her master. She finds the perfect choice in Cat, whom she discovers could well be the last of his people, the Zetithians. She buys him from his cruel handlers, frees him from his shackles and then offers up her proposition.

Before long Jacinth finds herself wildly attracted to Cat, despite her determination to keep their relationship strictly business. Her sister's life is at stake after all - and top priority now that Jacinth has finally located her. But it doesn't take long for her to discover that Zetithians are extremely sensual creatures whose feline attributes make them highly desirable and who possess indescribable ways to pleasure their mates. Their journey to Statzeel throws various obstacles their way, but none is as great as the sizzling attraction that grows between master and slave.

Brooks starts out well enough as she sets the scene in the slave market, but it doesn't take long for the story to run into various problems: Jacinth's folksy and often-juvenile dialogue and world view doesn't work in portraying her as an experienced, tough-as-nails intergalactic pilot. Cat had possibilities, but since the story is told entirely through Jacinth's rather limited point of view, her focus rarely moves past Cat's physiology and sexual performance, giving readers little insight into other aspects of his personality and background.

Brooks has invented a mildly interesting universe, however, and keeps the pacing brisk as her two protagonists battle numerous obstacles that stand in the way of their happy ending. Readers who enjoy romances heavy on erotic titillation and light on plot and character development will probably find Slave to their liking and a good way to heat up a lazy spring afternoon lounging beside the pool.

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