Listened: Victory Conditions by Elizabeth Moon, 2008, Overdrive.com download.
Last in the series and, therefore, the end of my love hate relationship with this Vatta's War series. Thank goodness.
Ky Vatta is now admiral of a space navy fighting the space pirates led by Turek. Several solar systems have banded together their local or regional military and privateer vessels and appointed Ky as Admiral. Meanwhile the Vatta family's interstellar shipping business continues and expands into ansible production. Ansibles provide instantaneous communications across space, regardless of distance. Ansible had been the monopoly of the ISC corporation but a Vatta figured out how to make portable ansibles and those ansibles do not violate patent.
Rafe Dunbarger now runs ISC and still pines for Ky. Rafe has to rebuild the company after turmoil and murder caused by a now dead executive.
More political intrigue. Moon's universe has planets with a lot of different beliefs and behaviors. I am still annoyed at how whole planets are homogenous in their behavior and language and have a single government But, never mind that. Image is important. Facial expressions, posture, speaking tone and cadence are all analyzed by Vatta and other characters.
Class and wealth are important on every planet. Moving from one level class to another causes suspicion. Families are large and members are expected to be loyal. Trade and profit are driving forces.
Admiral Vatta leads a fight agsint pirates. The pirates escape. Vatta has to organize, refit and train her navy. A final battle defeats Turek. Rafe and Ky finally come together and do the dirty deed in a completely uninteresting romantic subplot.