Our Sweet Guillotine
by Mary Gray
A delightfully dark French Revolution-era gothic romance about a young executioner who falls for the daughter of a woman he had to kill...
Tempeste has survived much choosing to live on Paris’ streets–scavenging for food, learning survival skills from a deserter whom she paid to attack her in her sleep, and living a life her mother would approve of, one devoid of luxury. But denying oneself of food and proper bedding can stir a madness in the brain. So, when Tempeste witnesses the quick and painless death of the guillotine–the death her mother should have received–she vows to find her mother’s accuser and vivisect his spleen.
Quite by accident, Gabriel, the young executioner responsible for Tempeste’s mother’s botched hanging, falls for Tempeste. So, instead of strolling arm-in-arm with a respectable mademoiselle through the gardens of the Palais de l’Égalité, Gabriel finds himself traipsing after an axe-carrying siren through the catacombs and facing off a hostile sans culottes army.
With little choice but to fight, Gabriel determines to win the hearts of the sans culottes, while Tempeste proves she’s quite adept at swinging the blade. When the pair finally make their way to Tempeste’s sworn enemy, though, a secret is revealed which promises to sever far more than they ever hoped to gain.
A historically accurate gothic romance that will appeal to readers of all ages who enjoy exploring the dark side of humanity, but who also crave redemption and forgiveness.
Her Dark Fantasy
An Our Sweet Guillotine Prequel
by Mary Gray
A short story prequel. Average read time is 20 minutes or less.
The young executioner, he must die.
He plans to torture and hang Maman, but he cannot separate a young mademoiselle from her mother, can he?
His gentle hands place the spike into the studded boot that houses her foot, and I flinch.
“Je suis désolé,” he says sorrowfully.
Day-old blood splatters the window. My mind’s a colony of bees.
He lifts the hammer, and the light of the moon glints off the blunt instrument’s face.
I press my fingertips to the glass to reach Maman, but she is in there and I am out here, and it would break Maman’s and Papa’s hearts if I exposed myself this way.
I’ll take that fine face of his into my hands—and snap his neck.
That is what he rightfully gets, for taking my maman from me.
"Fraught with twisted love and bleeding hearts, this fascinating historical fiction grabbed me behind the eyes and made me want to don a petty coat and wooden shoes so I could follow Tempeste and Gabriel through the pages of the book. Fantastic read." - Tamara, author of Perilous series
"This was such a fascinating book. The language was incredibly descriptive and the tone is unlike anything I've read before." - AJ, Amazon
"I got really sucked in and read it fairly quickly. It drove me through a range of emotions on every page. I love the thought and detail Miss Gray put into this story, as it really brought out the characters and the world." - The Book Eclectic
"It's been quite a long time since I read a book that I continued thinking about when I was away from it. The story, characters, and struggle for resolutions all kept me on edge and wondering what would happen next." - Katie, Amazon
"It is evident that the author spent much time researching this book to make the names, places, events, customs, clothing descriptions, etc. all authentic. Well written and suspenseful." - Carl, Amazon
"This is a good, well written book. The storyline is tight and clever. Mary Gray creates visual pictures with words. I saw what was being described as it happened, it engaged my imagination." - Karin, Amazon
"The descriptive detail of places, people and events bring out the reality of people’s experiences of those events. When you are in the catacombs you can smell the space! When children who are urchins are described you can see their dirty faces and clothes and feel their hunger. There is excellent character development revealing the good and bad aspects of each person. The main characters, Tempeste and Gabriel, develop through the story and become better people, and yet remain true to their passions." - Penny, A Real Life Woman
"This is a story of empowerment and fighting for those you love. I loved Tempeste's fire from the beginning. She's loyal and brave, two traits I believe every young woman should have, even when it's difficult. Ms. Gray has amazing imagery that paints the scene for you and sweeps you into the story. I love that Tempeste and Gabriel's love story is unique and unlike anything I've ever read. Refreshing, to say the least. Gripping to the very end!" - Jo Cassidy, author of Good Girls Stay Quiet
SELECT FEATURED REVIEWS
★★★★★ By InD'Tale Magazine
This beautiful look at a frightening time in history opens the reader's eyes to brilliant revelations: the fragility of the mind, the strength of family unity, the need for satisfaction in the form of revenge. Tempeste is a study in a broken mind. Although she needs to be healed, she must first exact revenge. As her dual personalities fight for supremacy they keep her teetering on the edge. Mary Gray's attention to detail in crafting this character is superb. The quirks of a shattered mind are a delicate dance to perfect, and Ms. Gray has done it with aplomb!
★★★★★ By Vanessa, author and podcaster of Fabled
Mary Gray is a master at writing authentically broken characters, people who are so haunted by their pasts that their present decisions are infected. This book will appeal to people of all ages who enjoy exploring the dark side of humanity through the comfortable safety of a book, but who also crave redemption and forgiveness.
★★★★★ By Lindsay, Goodreads
Our Sweet Guillotine is delightfully dark. Gray describes revolution-era France so brilliantly it's like a nightmare you don't want to wake from.
★★★★ By Kelly, Goodreads
I think Mary Gray has great style. I was engaged with the flow of the language until the end.
Release date: May 1, 2017
Page count: 304
Genre: YA crossover gothic romance
Tropes: Enemies to lovers, French Revolution, Forgiveness and redemption