Six years ago when her sister Renata was snatched by Nedwut aliens, Jacinth (Jack) vowed to her parents that she would not stop until she found her beautiful little sister. Working as a trader and planet hopping in the hopes of locating Renata, Jack discovers her sister is now on Statzeel; a world on which all females are slaves. Not wanting to end up in captivity herself, although she finds the idea abhorrent Jack decides to purchase her own slave to impersonate her "master"; intending to release him from servitude and pay handsomely for his help.
On the planet Orpheseus Prime, Jack finds exactly what she needs in the slave market, a humanoid (though somewhat feline looking) slave who looks to have suffered plenty of abuse at the hands of his previous owners. Drawn to him Jack purchases "Cat" however decides to release him immediately when he reveals he intends to escape at the first available opportunity. Not having the time to hunt him down Jack decides to leave the planet to continue her search for her sister; however this time she has an ally, the newly free Cat who agrees to help her.
CB appears to have put so much work into her plot that she forgot to really develop her characters. There is plenty of background history revealed amid the action packed and exciting story line yet the leading lovers remained somewhat flat and one dimensional. Despite being a promising start to a new series there were parts of "Slave" that I found a little far-fetched (even in a futuristic setting) and somewhat irritating. Jack is far too trusting of Cat; literally placing her safety in his hands almost instantaneously when he assumes the role of her "owner" whilst their developing relationship is certainly rushed, almost sacrificed to the adjacent plot line in which Jack tracks her sister through space. One moment the slightly cynical, highly independent Jack is ogling the muscles on Cat, the next she is totally besotted and blabbing to everyone how much she loves him without much of an emotional bond developing between the pair at all. Lastly CB hints that Cat has some psychic abilities at the start of this book; yet she appears to forget this and it certainly isn't explored throughout the rest of the story line.
That said, I still enjoyed "Slave" and feel I may have been overly critical in awarding this book only 3 stars. It is a better than average read (although not on par with some of my favourite sci-fi romance authors) with some sizzling sex scenes and imaginative ideas, and I have every intention of reading book 2 in this series "Warrior" (just recently released) despite my somewhat negative review.