REVIEW by Ginny: Ours is Just a Little Sorrow by Gwen Hayes – To be released October 2nd! (@gwenhayes , @puretextuality )

The colony of New Geneva has risen from the ashes of her dying mother planet, Earth, by rebuilding a society based on a time before everything went horribly, horribly wrong…the Victorian Era…

Violet Merriweather first sets eyes on Colonel Winston when he purchases her at auction from Witherspoon Academy, the orphanage where she’d been raised after her rescue from Earth. Dutifully, as she was taught, Violet pushes away her fear of the monstrous, forbidding Thornfield Abbey, and throws herself into her work as governess to the Colonel’s youngest son.

But the Colonel’s elder sons have other ideas.

John and Gideon Winston are as different as night and day, and each wants to claim Violet for his own. John immediately charms her with his intelligence and cordial demeanor, while Gideon, the dark rogue, delights in flustering her at every opportunity, awakening a yearning she doesn’t understand and most assuredly does not want. She tries to deny her pull to both men, but an uneasy midnight bargain with one forges a new alliance as she’s dazzled by an underground New Geneva she hadn’t known existed. And temptations she cannot resist.

But something is preying on the women of New Geneva, something that threatens to unleash the ghosts of Thornfield and drag them all into hell. And that something wants Violet most of all.

My brain and I are fighting. See, my brain likes to go “wouldn’t it be crazy if…” and run through every possible scenario for a book before I actually get to the end. As a result, it’s very rare that “shocking twist” endings are a surprise to me, and if they are they were usually too stupid to see coming.

Reading “Ours Is Just a Little Sorrow,” sent my brain into “what if” fits, so I wasn’t shocked when I got to the end. Well with part of the twist anyways. The other part of the twist? Well that just left me slack jawed, blinking dumbly at my Kindle going “I did not see that coming.” And I’ve kind of been having horrific nightmares because of it.

But that’s the end… and we’re going to repress that for now… because really the rest of the story was so much fun.

Set in New Geneva, “Ours” is the story of a futuristic world gone back to Victorian ideals because of the best possible reason. No seriously, I did not see that explanation coming and when it arrived I was all “oh my glob that is so much win.” It centers on Violet, a refugee from the now dying Earth who was raised in an orphanage before being sold as a governess to Colonel Winston. As she attempts to acclimate to her new life, one of the Colonel’s three sons seems bound and determined to rock her world view. To make her see that she’s worth more than their society is taught to value women and servants.

I really want to put a joke in here. Something about how he also wants to teach her the value of what’s in his pants. Or maybe something involving the words “tension builds” and “release.” But that would be childish and immature so I won’t.

I really love Violet. I think she’s a good strong female character who knows her lot in life and is willing to do what she can to make herself happy in that role. At the same time, she seems to want the best for others, often willing to help those who aren’t willing to help themselves. The Winston men are flushed out equally well. Her charge, for example, is freaking adorable. A precocious little imp who views reading as a silent torture.

Ok… really I want to tell you about his brothers, but I know I’d give something away. Mainly because from the blurb you know one is the good choice and one is the bad choice… and you all know how I feel in those cases. (GOGO TEAM BAD CHOICE!) So instead of talking about the two brothers virtues, and why I’m on team “don’t go for the nice but boring guy because what’s behind door number two is so much more exciting” I’ll show you the picture of the hedgehog I used to get this eARC.

Isn’t he adorable?

I will admit I was a bit worried when I read that the book was about brothers fighting over the same woman. I always worry with adult books featuring brothers that I’m one bottle of wine away from a “this is in no way okay” three-way. Don’t worry though; this isn’t that type of book. In fact, if there were any naughty scenes and I’m not saying there are, but if there were tawdry bits, they weren’t graphically explicit. Thus proving my theory that no one writes romance (well) anymore without spelling out what went where wrong. I have never been happier to have a hypothesis shot to hell.

It does feel a bit rushed towards the end, and there’s that snippet of “saw it coming” but otherwise it’s a really solid book. So solid that I ran out and bought “Second Son of a Duke.” And then swallowed it whole. I desperately want either a historical or steampunk novel of the full length variety from Gwen Hayes, and I’m more than willing to hold my breath until I get it. If I can’t get that… well, Min might want a story of her own… Just sayin’.

4 stars. A great little story full of tawdry fun… and the fact that I love the word tawdry and was able to work it into the review means you should totally pick it up.

Tension builds between Violet and her employers until it erupts in a most unexpected way.

Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

OH! AND BEST PART!  You can’t pre-order this title yet, but don’t worry (too much) about forgetting it because we’ll have an interview and eBook giveaway for you on October 2nd!!


Links to be added after release!

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