Type: Contemporary Romance
My Copy: Tour
Professor Gabriel Emerson, a specialist in Dante and the art of seduction, believes he has already earned his exile to the lower circles of hell. Since redemption is impossible, there is no reason to refrain from indulging in a life of pleasurable sin, using his notorious good looks and sophisticated charm as a means to gratify his every whim. But when he meets Julia Mitchell, a brilliant, lovely, and innocent grad student with the achingly familiar eyes of an angel, all of his cynical convictions are challenged. Her mysterious allure and the havoc she wreaks on his self-satisfied existence cause him to lash out at her, while her quiet beauty and innate goodness consistently undermine his control, tempting him beyond measure.
Despite surviving a traumatic childhood, nothing has shaken Julia’s faith that redemption is possible for everyone-everyone but her. Her unworthiness torments her, since the only man she will ever love has managed to forget her very existence, failing to even recognize her when they reconnect. Too naive to see that Gabriel’s hostility is a mask for his increasing obsession with her, Julia forces him to come to grips with his past while she continues to unwittingly torment his senses. His fascination grows into a dangerous preoccupation, for Julia is forbidden fruit . . .
Will Gabriel survive the inferno, or will he succumb to the flames?
On my Goodreads status I put “Sexiest book ever with virtually no sex. Wow” and I meant every word of that statement. I was, simply put, amazed with the range of emotions, sensuality and depth of Gabriel’s Inferno!
Gabriel is a conflicted and haunted character. He regrets much of his past and has found that as atonement he should basically never be truly happy again. He holds himself above simple standards and become accustomed to his cold attitude. His one true moment of happiness was with a young Julia in a orchard behind his childhood home. Chemicals cloud his brain though and when he sees Julia again years later, he has no idea she is his lifelong muse.
After a extremely bad breakup she refuses to tell anyone about, Julia has transferred to a college in Canada. It just happens to be the college her first kiss, Gabriel, is teaching at. Torn between revealing her true identity as the girl in the orchard years before and telling him where to shove his nasty attitude and condemning looks.
Slowly these two will need to open up to the past as well as the future if either of them is to grow to be what they were destined to become.
Gabriel’s Inferno was overall an excellent read. Filled with tons of sensuality and held together with misunderstandings and stoic behavior. I was constantly wavering between loving Gabriel and straight up hating him. He would show glimpses of emotion and caring and then say something completely rude or controlling. I gravitate toward alpha type males in any story. I love those heros that take over a book. BUT, Gabriel rode the line between controlling and alpha and for much of the book I was completely on the fence whether I liked him or not. After the halfway mark of the book I felt like I could like Gabriel a bit more and that seemed to evolve the closer I got to the end. By the last page I felt like I understood his behavior and tangle of emotions and could justify his actions from the past pretty well.
Julia. Ahhhh Julia. Me and her didn’t get along very well. I felt she was a doormat for the majority of the book. I totally understood her reaction based on her experience with her ex-boyfriend, but, her innocence regarding everything was annoying at times. She was a virgin, and that could account for the behavior, BUT she wasn’t a virgin with “everything” and so I felt like her acting as if she was, got old pretty fast. Sure, the experience she had wasn’t pleasant, but experience is experience. I wanted her to take control of the situations happening around her…not only in the sex department but also in the social aspect. I wanted her to just tell him she was his muse in the orchard years before. It baffles me when females think guys can read their mind. It was obvious he didn’t remember her, why not just tell him? Instead we get her hinting for the majority of the book and then when it does come to light the rest of the book is him apologizing for being an ass to her. I would have liked her to be a bit more assertive and strong.
When the two of them finally get together it is wrought with emotion and conflict. They have to hide their association from everyone since technically he is her teacher. He won’t own up to her about his past or what eludes him of happiness now. She refuses to tell him of her ex-boyfriend and the situations surrounding their breakup. However, when they touch something magical happens. The feel of the book almost completely changes from the heaviness that is Gabriel’s Inferno to this carnal sesensuality that seems to bleed from the pages into the readers lap. It’s seriously electrifying and if nothing else draws you to this book, that should. It seems to crawl around on the page, in and out of sequences, but hovering there…always present. The buildup to sex in this book is unlike anything I have ever read. Even when Gabriel is being and ass and Julia is being a bit wishy washy, there is this smoldering of emotions in their gazes to one another, this promise of what is to come. What has been set in motion years ago and there is no stopping it.
The Dante aspect was extremely in depth and gave this book another dimension on top of the romance. There were times I thought this could double as some sort of text on the subject. Reynard has done excellent research on the subject and I rather enjoyed the added information on top of the story. I wasn’t keen on the NIN references. One, I tend to like the song Closer. Two, NIN is more then just one song and I find other songs of theirs to have life lessons and great lyrics. I thought that Gabriel telling her he’d no longer listen to any music of theirs if it upset her was a bit much. Don’t listen when she’s around. But I refuse to change my taste in music for anyone. Just because a song or an artist would upset a friend or my husband, doesn’t mean I’m going to ban them from my ears altogether. What is Julia would have said she didn’t like a book because her boyfriend used to read it to her in a leering voice….should Gabriel ban that book from his library?
I found that while I had some issues with this one, I still LOVED it. Something happens when it all comes together that just sucks you into the book and holds tight as you navigate through it. Sexy, sensual and in depth, you walk away feeling like you connected on a deeper level then with most books. Maybe its the characters, maybe its the information and history of Dante and his struggles, maybe its something more…I don’t know, but I do know that Gabriel’s Inferno is worth the read. Worth your time and worth the effort you put into it.
I give Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard 4.50 stars!
All right everyone…because Omnific Publishing and KLB Events are just so cool, they are allowing me to give away 2 e-copies of this book! Along with the e-copies the winner will also be getting a bookmark and trading card! To enter the giveaway please answer the following question:
Do you gravitate toward deep meaningful conversations with your significant other? Or are you more light-hearted?
Contest open internationally and winner will be announced TOMORROW 10/4/11