Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Book Review: Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard

Book Description:

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.

Book Review:

This book was pretty strange and I can’t quite decide whether or not I really enjoyed it. It had some good parts to it, was well-written, editing was pretty decent, but I didn’t really like the main characters. Oddly enough though, that doesn’t necessarily mean I can’t enjoy a book. For example, I’ve read the Twilight series oh, about 5 times but I really didn’t like Edward OR Bella. I just loved the story.

A few things bothered me about Gabriel’s Inferno. 

1. It felt like the author was trying to write a “literary novel” (and didn’t quite succeed). References to paintings and works in other languages abounded. I guess this could be just me, maybe I’m not “cultured” or “smart” enough to enjoy this (I don’t think that’s the case as I do enjoy literature and going to museums, etc.)

2. It took waaaaaay too long for us to discover what Julia’s issues involved. She should have told Gabriel much sooner. I got the gist of what had happened earlier, but I felt like the author delayed divulging the information much longer than the story warranted.

3. The relationship was a little bit troubling (professor-student) but the author did a good job with keeping them apart until that was not an issue (but it does set up the conflict for the next book), also pointing out that they had been in contact before, kind of family friends.

4. The way Paul, a fellow student, and Gabriel treat Julia was weird. I realize that’s not really very descriptive and I realize the author was attempting to convey how much these men valued her and would cherish her but it felt kind of creepy. Paul called her “Rabbit” and treated her like a porcelain doll. Gabriel treated her also like a porcelain doll but the cherishing part was a bit overplayed in my opinion. I honestly can’t believe I am saying that, because I ADORE feeling cherished (husband is awesome at making me feel cherished) and am a sentimental sap when it comes to reading romances and seeing the man just take care of his woman. I eat up old-fashioned stuff like that! I say all this to say that if I say it felt overdone, I’m not speaking from a position of feminism. 

I did enjoy the end. Honestly, that’s why I’m even contemplating reading the next book, Gabriel’s Rapture. The author wrapped up the story with Julia’s past and set the stage for the next book.

The chemistry between Gabriel and Julia was well-done, the dialogue was enjoyable for the most part and felt pretty natural (not much worse than reading an adult book that read like a middle-schooler wrote the dialogue).

If you enjoy books that deal with more literary topics, you will probably enjoy this book (for that kind of audience, I would probably give the book 4 stars). For people like me, probably 3 stars. For people who want a quick, uncomplicated story, probably 2 stars. This is a pretty lengthy book (I took 2 days to read it and I’m usually a book-a-day kind of gal). This is a complex book, entertaining at times, but it is not one I would recommend for everyone.

Rating: 3 stars

Sensuality: many kissing/petting scenes, one sex scene. Well done, probably not a book for teens, especially early teens.

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