Sunday, July 22, 2012

My POV: Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard

*This Review Contains Some Spoilers*
Kindle Edition, 518 pages
Published 

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.

NB: This book was a semi-finalist for Best Romance in the 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards.
--Goodreads
Rating:
Sex-o-meter:

My POV
This is a romantic journey of two souls that had one extremely romantic brief encounter years ago and now have found each other once again. The only problem is that one of them doesn’t recognize the other.

Professor Gabriel Emerson is a Dante specialist who teaches at the University of Toronto. He has a very strong personality and is a force to be reckoned with. In the beginning of the book I thought he was an unlikable character. He was very crass, uptight, demanding, pompous and extremely rude but we get to see a better side to him as time goes on. His journey while turning from King Jackass to Pepe le pew (hehe) was rocky but beautiful and one of the best things about this book. That being said as you read this story don’t let his initial impression fool you. Acting that way is his defense mechanism for keeping any and all people out of his heart fore he is a troubled and tortured soul.

Julianne Mitchelle is a grad student working on her MA who is attending Professor Emerson’s class at the University of Toronto. She is a kind and forgiving person with a tough past which has bruised her soul and taken a toll on her demeanor.  But this has not dampen her determination to live a loving life. She may seem to be weak but has “steal in her bones.”  She is easy to sympathies with and is someone you feel like you need to protect. She is a genuinely good person with a big heart and has a face of an angel.

At first look it would seem that these two people have nothing in common and are not an ideal match but what we learn is that these two balance each other out. And, I probably don’t have to tell you that these two getting romantically involved is a VERY bad idea in their current situation because it means violating all sorts of University codes of ethics with consequences of expulsion and termination. But this is only one major obstacle for this couple. Julia also happens to be a family friend that Gabriel has never met before, at least that is what he thinks. There is a ten year difference between the two and Gabriel has left behind a not so reputable reputation back in their home town. These two each have so much baggage it’s heartbreaking and way too much to mention in this review.

I really did enjoy this book but the reasoning behind the three hearts (which is not bad at all but I wanted to give it more) is that I felt this story was a bit too long. Also, if you have no knowledge of The Divine Comedy you kind of feel left out of the deeper meaning of reference, poems, and art. I have some knowledge of Paradise Lost and Dante’s work but still felt as if I was missing the inside jokes, so to speak. And last, I felt they took way to long to “seal the deal.” There were many sexual tension filled moments through out the book (which were great!) but I constantly felt let down and frustrated. Haha I’m sure I was just a frustrated as Julia was through out her story. I guess that is a good thing. Connection with a character is always good. That being said this book has some extremely romantic scenes and truly is a great love story and it’s only the beginning.  

Quote
Gabriel sighed deeply. "I'm going to be thrown out of Paradise tomorrow, Beatrice. Our only hope is that you find me afterward. Look for me in Hell."
***
Julia fixed him with a stony gaze, as her body began to vibrate with anger. "You begged be to come after you--to look for you in Hell. That's exactly where I found you. And you can stay there forever, for all I care."
 ***
“Beatrice?” he whispered
“Yes,” she said, moving so she would maintain eye contact with him until the last possible second. “I’m Beatrice. You were my first kiss. I fell asleep in your arms in your precious orchard.”
Gabriel sprang forward to stop the elevator door from closing."Beatrice! Wait!"
He was too late. the door closed at the sound of her name. He pressed the button furiously, hoping to reopen the doors.
"I'm not Beatrice anymore." As the elevator began its slow but unstoppable decent, Julia burst into tears.
 
***
His mouth collided with hers, passionately but briefly, until he tore himself from her lips to whisper in her ear. "Talk to me." His lower lip trailed temptingly along her earlobe.
She was silent as she felt the energy between them shift, like a serpent circling back on itself, swallowing itself whole, anger and passion feeding off one another.
"Tell me that you want me, or get out."
...."I never wanted anyone else."
***
"You could have any woman you want, Gabriel."
He furrowed his eyebrows. "I only want you."
She rested her head against his chest and smiled.
"Being without you, Julianne, is like enduring an endless night without stars."

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1 comment:

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