It’s Steampunk in Space for Joely Sue Burkhart's new series. The Victorian-esque society is brilliantly crafted, multidimensional and intriguing. The futuristic aspects of this story will resonate with those who like such space tales as Whedon’s Firefly, while erotica fans will enjoy the ménage and bondage scenes. Burkhart has done an exceptional job of integrating these moments, and the heroine’s dominatrix tendencies, fully into the story. Readers will be anxious for the next installment in this universe!

Several years ago the brilliant inventor, Charlotte, the Duchess of Wyre, fled the planet Britannia after falling out of favor with Queen Majel. Aided by the famous assassin Lord Sigmund Regent, Charlotte made a daring escape to the newly-independent planet Americus. There Charlotte lives quietly, having sworn off the science experiments that brought her to the queen's attention. Once a year she is visited by Lord Sigmund in secret, and performs upkeep on her final invention, a mechanism that is keeping him alive. The only bright spots in Charlotte's fugitive existence are Sig’s visits and the time that she spends with the local sheriff Gilead Master. But when queen Majel’s minions track Charlotte down and put her companions in danger, the inventor refuses to be cowed. Instead she takes a daring stand against the vindictive queen to fight for the colony that has provided her shelter and the two men she dearly loves. But will Charlotte be able to gain her freedom and both men’s consent to live — and love — together? (Samhain Publishing, March, dl. $3.50)

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Reviewed by: 
Kate Girard