Merchanter's Luck - Sandor Kreja is Captain and sole crewmember of the trader Lucy. He runs marginal cargo, tries to break even, and stay clear of the law. This was a family ship, but most of his family was killed in a raid by Mazianni pirates when he was much younger. The only other survivor, older brother Ross, had set up recordings and automation so that they, and then just Sandor, could run the ship alone. On Viking Station, he meets Allison Reilly- beautiful, clever, from the gigantic and successful merchant ship Dublin Again. Knowing it is folly, he falls in love, and becomes entangled with authority when he follows her to Pell Station on a stunt, recklessly piloting multiple shifts alone. There he is in trouble and in danger of losing his ship- until Allison and Dublin Again step in: offering Allison as second-in-command and a crew from her ship, and even a contract- military cargo bound for the Hinder Stations. For Allison it is an opportunity to get command experience years ahead of what she would be in line for on Dublin Again, and a risk of betrayal by Sandor, whose background is unknown. For Sandor, he fears that Allison and her crew will take his ship, and that the links to his past will be discovered and ridiculed- for operating alone and trusting no one is a hard habit to break. And then there are the Mazianni- lurking along Lucy's route... are they aware that this military "cargo" is bait to draw them out? After Downbelow Station, this is my favorite of Cherryh's "Merchanter" books, and easily makes my "top 100" list.