Saturday, May 19, 2012

{Review} "Gabriel's Inferno" by Sylvain Reynard

Title:  Gabriel's Inferno
Author:  Sylvain Reynard
Publisher:  Omnific Publishing 
Publication Date:  April 18, 2011
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Format:  Kindle, 910 KB

Buy this book on Amazon:  Paperback  Kindle Edition
Author's Website:

Synopsis from Goodreads  
Enigmatic and sexy, Professor Gabriel Emerson is a well respected Dante specialist by day, but by night he devotes himself to an uninhibited life of pleasure. He uses his notorious good looks and sophisticated charm to gratify his every whim, but is secretly tortured by his dark past and consumed by the profound belief that he is beyond all hope of redemption. 

When the sweet and innocent Julia Mitchell enrolls as his graduate student, his attraction and mysterious connection to her not only jeopardizes his career, but sends him on a journey in which his past and his present collide.

An intriguing and sinful exploration of seduction, forbidden love and redemption, “Gabriel's Inferno” is a captivating and wildly passionate tale of one man's escape from his own personal hell as he tries to earn the impossible...forgiveness and love.
Diving In...
I don't really know where to start with this review.  I don't want to talk about the plot too much because I don't want this to be a spoiler review.  I also have a hard time putting this in the Contemporary Romance category, but I don't know how else to classify it.  It's definitely not a paranormal romance, but it's not "just another romance" novel either.  It's more of a grand love story...

Gabriel is a relatively young professor, yes, I still think that 33 is young!  He reads older because of his darkness and his intellect and quite frankly, the way he treats Julia.  In the beginning he treats her like a child.  Julia is 23 and a grad student that ends up at the college he teaches at when, due to extenuating circumstances, she is unable to go to Harvard.  Her area of study, Dante, just happens to be his specialty.  It becomes obvious quite early on that it's not a coincidence.  Clearly they have history that isn't fully revealed until about half way through the book.  

I love the darkness of this story.  Gabriel is clearly a tortured man who believes that he is completely beyond redemption.  I rarely highlight passages of the books I read but this really struck me and I had to save it. 
"I don't expect you to understand.  You're only a magnet for mishap, Miss Mitchell, while I am a magnet for sin."
That says it all for me.  This is the precise moment that I fell in love with Gabriel.  I like Julia throughout the book, but her insecurity drives me insane at times.  I know that there is a reason for it, but until that reason is fully revealed it's almost too much.  Gabriel and Julia go through a lot to be together.  Their relationship is also forbidden because of their positions in the University.  They each have demons that they have to face, and eventually share with each other to get past the darkness that they are immersed in.  They seem to be on the right path, but they still have a long way to go I think.

I am not going to say anything else about the plot except to say that , for me, it flowed well.  I think that SR did a wonderful job with the plotting and the way the story unfolded was really quite natural.  I know that it seems like Julia should have told him about their connection earlier, but for the sake of the story in it's entirety it needed to be done this way.  Otherwise it would have ended up rushing the story and the relationship between Julia and Gabriel.  The book seems long, but I was enjoying it so much I didn't want it to end so that didn't bother me at all.

In reading we do find out that SR isn't a fan of rushing into things!  There is a nice build up of tension that follows to the very end of the book.  I have read a couple of "romance" novels by men before and I will say that this one was the most sensual.  Not that men are incapable of writing love scenes, but the scenes in this book are very beautifully written and while some of them leave the characters unsatisfied they will leave you panting for the next one!

I can't write a review of this book and leave this out.  I remember reading Dante as assigned reading in some of my college classes, but this book made me want to read Dante for fun.  I loved the way he compares the Julia and Gabriel to Dante and Beatrice.  It makes me want to find out everything I can about Dante and Beatrice.  I thoroughly enjoyed Gabriel's seminars on Dante and would love to have been sitting there in class with him as a professor!

I also feel the need to state that, I only today discovered that this started as a Twilight Fan Fiction.  I sensed a theme between this and the Fifty Shades series, but never once while reading would I have thought about connecting it to Twilight.  To be fair, though, I didn't realize that Fifty Shades was originally a fan fic piece until I had read all 3 books!  Gabriel's Inferno is so much more than a comparison to these other books.  It's much deeper and more thought provoking.  While I did enjoy the Fifty Shades series, for what it was, I feel like I got so much more out of this book.  It made me think deeper and I like that it was about more than just the physical part of a relationship.  It's a very emotional story and I can't wait to continue on this journey with Gabriel and Julia.

As far as content, there is some profanity, but I don't think it's overused and it's not vulgar like some books I have read.  There are some very intense sensual scenes.

I will read this book again, I can say that with no uncertainty and if you like a good love story you will thoroughly enjoy this one.  I am on the edge of my seat waiting for the sequel Gabriel's Rapture which is being released on May 22nd.

Rating 8/10

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