Dextra by J. C. Ryan (Dexta 1)

C. J.Ryan is a pseudonym for an author alleged to live in Philadelphia/Boston writing randy SF.

The protagonist is Gloria van Deen a low level bureaucrat in Dextra, the organization that runs the Empire. She is also a stunning beauty and the ex wife of the Emperor. But Gloria has set out to make it by herself.

The story begins with the aliens of one of the planets Gloria monitors killing off a few humans. Gloria has this one night stand with the emperor at about the same time, he wants her back. When the news about the night is leaked to the press, Gloria decides to stand her ground and publicly make it known that it was just a mishap between former lovers and she might se him again in five years or so. She then continues to take control of her destiny by deciding to go to the trouble spot herself and deal with it.

So she and Petra, her new assistant takes off for the trouble spot. This book reminds in not so tiny bits of Barbarella, where the main point was showing off the heroine as nude as possible and as sexually active as allowed. Gloria takes on the indigenous revolt and the human corporations’ maneuverings to exploit their holy drink that by the way work as a strong aphrodisiac with bravo and personality.

It’s not the best SF ever written, but it is a good read and Ryan pulls it off with a great deal of humor and panache.