Lady Doctor Wyre by Joely Sue Burkhart
A dangerous technology could conquer the universe. Love could set it free.
Charlotte, Duchess of Wyre, once held the Queen’s highest confidence—and the technological secret that keeps the royal heart beating. Fearful of what atrocities that Britannia might commit with her research, Charlotte turned to the galaxy’s most infamous assassin, Lord Sigmund Regret, to stage her own death.
Even without the simplest of luxuries, seven years hiding in the Americus colony is preferable to one day in the Tower of Londinium. Until a bounty hunter’s bullet forces her to revive her research. Now the same nanobots that keep the Queen alive also run rampant in Lord Regret’s body. Making his yearly Solstice visits increasingly…intimate…and complicating her courtship with the safe and honorable Sheriff Gilead Masters.
When the Americus colony declares independence, and her humble sheriff makes a shocking confession, Charlotte has had enough. Weary of running, tired of living without tea and silks, she fires a warning shot across Britannia’s bow: cease hunting Lady Wyre, or lose the technological power the crown holds so dear.
Her next task isn’t so simple. Somehow she must keep the two men she loves alive—and prevent them from killing each other.
Warning: Ladies in positions of power, stylish spaceships, BDSM. A ménage a trois featuring a duchess on the run, a gentlemanly assassin, and a rough-and-tumble sheriff willing to gun down anyone who gets between him and his lady.
Full disclosure: I was given the honor of beta-reading this story before it was published. Also? I didn’t pay for it.
I find myself utterly dismayed to not have another page of this book to read. And this is considering I’ve already read it once before. I don’t know how the author does it but with each read I find myself more and more captivated-ensnared-by her stories. Joely Sue Burkhart really out did herself with the world building behind Lady Doctor Wyre, because the world breathes like a fully realized character all it’s own on the page. There is a lot to love about this new (tentative) series. It’s a cross-genre of epic scale-reminiscent of Serenity and the Firefly series, and that can be read as nothing more than a compliment. In all of 73 pages readers get a dash of steampunk, a helping of science-fiction, a smidge of the old west, regency, and a smoldering pot of romance.
But Joely’s real talent lies in the depth of her characters. They are none-of them, and never have they been, of the cookie-cutter variety. But I find that’s even more true here. The Lady Wyre is a brilliant scientist, and at times calculating and cold. To a degree, Ruthless and meticulous. But that’s not all she is. She is also a hot-blooded, passionate woman and God help the fool that ruins her silks! I loved that she was an ambitious established woman in power and yet fully sustaining her femininity. She likes to shop. Adores pink stockings of all things, and yet can stand her own against any woman of greater title. Without giving away spoilers, my favorite scene (a subtle but powerful one in my opinion) was the meet and greet between our Lady heroine and the President of Americus. (I’m choosing to blame it on a year’s worth of watching The West Wing.)
I unfortunately can’t delve too deeply into the fascinating way she handled Lord Regret-spoilers ahoy! But I will just say that I found both him and the Sheriff to be more than suitable and drool-worthy heroes for Charlie to conquer, in more ways than one. But of course, Joely doesn’t just handle her main cast fabulously, her secondary characters are so intriguing that I’m seriously hoping they all get their own books. I am undoubtedly to be sorely disappointed. Laffite stole the scene. Her only scene, and I’m desperate for more camoes of her if she doesn’t end up getting her own book. The Marshals Gatlin and Colt drove me to so many giggles that I hope one day they get fair ladies of their own.
And then there’s Queen Majel. Who fascinates me to no end. She is by all intensive purposes the antagonist, and her iron-sifted rule strikes fear into the hearts of many who inhabit this world Joely has superbly crafted. And yet….there is this vulnerability to her that screamed off the screen to me. But no, of course I’m not going to say more than that.
Do yourself a favor-buy this book. It’s the perfect escape and a fantastic, engaging read. You can pick yourself up a copy in March at Samhain, Amazon, and B&N. If you’re disappointed, then I’m guessing you’re on the wrong review site.