It's the year 2202. Earth is grossly overpopulated and seriously polluted. Rita Songworth has spent half her twenty-two years trying to escape the dying planet. It's taken the last five of those years to realize making it in the hard-ass infantry is her only way out, via space transporter Earth Ship Siren.
But the journey to Unity, the new colony, isn't easy. Rita has to resist an attraction to hard, brutish prisoner, Tristan MacFallan, whose masterful hands create more than the beautiful art he's been assigned to make. His forbidden touch affects her profoundly and he sees things in her no man ever has before. But obeying Kane, her ex-lover and malicious lieutenant, who is appointed to keeping the prisoners under guard, comes at a high price. Is she willing to sacrifice everything to keep her secret and her lover safe?
Rita is a career soldier who has worked her ass off to get where she is. Now on board the Siren, she begins her journey to the place they have named Unity, but leaving her family behind to face certain death is not easy for her to do. She's heavily involved with Kane, her lieutenant, but it's a relationship that is quickly turning sour. He's a brute and it's clear to Rita that breaking up with him is the sensible thing to do, but Kane is not the sort to go quietly. Rita is fascinated by one of the prisoners, Tristan, known as prisoner 1588 but his crimes are heinous and he is categorised as a "white" prisoner, meaning he is one of the most dangerous on board. Yet when Rita looks at him, she sees a man with the soul of an artist and seeks him out whenever she can. Life on board the Siren is fraught with danger and corruption though and as Rita gets closer to prisoner 1588 her secret fantasies are about to come true, but there's one man on board who will stop at nothing to hurt Rita. Kane doesn't share and he doesn't give up what he thinks is his, if he uncovers the truth, there's no way he will walk quietly away. Rita is well and truly caught in a situation that's getting worse by the minute with nowhere to turn but in space, anything can happen!
So, Yours To Uncover is admittedly short but had quite a lot happening in it. There's a sense of immediacy about it that I liked and from the start I felt empathy for the heroine, Rita. She's never going to see her parents again and has thrown her lot in with Kane in the faint hope that in this new world they are being thrust into, he will protect her. I guess some will see her as weak for that, but I think I can understand she is trying to be practical and choose strong allies. Unfortunately, what Rita hadn't realised was the fact it might be Kane himself who she needs protection from. He is a bully and a bit of a sadist, but he is in a privileged position on board ship and there's none who would seek to challenge him.
The character of Tristan or prisoner 1588 felt a little less realistic to me. He has been convicted of murder and it's either agree to join the fleet traveling to a new world or face certain death. As a highly thought of artist, his paintings will be a valuable record of the journey and transition, so he is forced to paint what he sees. I just kept asking myself why they just didn't take photographs. Although I do understand valuable talents and skills would be in great demand as a new colony of humans emerged on their new planet. I have no wish to ruin the story with lots of spoilers, but the crime he has been convicted of is far more complicated then it seems at first.
So, Yours To Uncover is well written, although it did seem to speed up towards the end. I hated Kane and thought he was a most obnoxious and twisted individual. If you are in the mood for a quick and sexy read, then this would certainly fit the bill, but it has quite a rushed ending, which for me let it down slightly. The next book, Yours To Command, is Shona Husk's offering, so it will be interesting to find out what she contributes to this journey.