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 and 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.
Where to begin to express my love for this book? Every time I sit down to write a review about it, I feel like there aren’t enough words to describe its beauty. I read it in April 2011, when it came out, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it ever since. I fell in love with it and it’s now one of my favorite books of all time. It’s one of the very few stories I’ve given a 5 star rating because to me this book is perfection.
Sylvain Reynard is one of the most talented authors out there, he enthralls you with his writing in such a way that you won’t want to put the book down.
This is the story of two broken souls that find love and forgiveness with each other. Professor Gabriel…well, how not to fall in love with him? He’s a man who knows how to seduce a woman and indeed I fell under his spell. He’s handsome, extremely intelligent and an excellent lover. Yes, he possesses great love making skills and he knows how to put them to excellent use. He also has a dark past that haunts him and his anguish tugged at my heartstrings. He wants to be good, but his past prevents him from really seeing his self worth. And then there’s temptation, ever present…Will all that change? Professor Gabriel is one of my favorite male characters and once you meet him in Gabriel’s Inferno, you won’t be able to put him out of your mind.
Personally, I also love Julia Mitchell’s character. She’s considerate and caring, her sweetness and goodness made her very dear to me and I loved how she was able to break havoc on Gabriel’s world just by being herself. No pretension, no hidden agenda. Just Julia, with all her insecurities but with a big and loving heart. She has a few dark secrets as well and it’s interesting to see how she and Gabriel choose to cope with their own demons.
Their love story touched me deeply, because to me it’s so much more than that. It’s a story that proves there’s always a chance at love even if you are the worst of all sinners. It’s about embracing and accepting our frailty, about being able to love and be loved deeply despite all the doubts that might plague us, about always holding onto hope. I loved, laughed, and cried with the characters and seriously, after finishing the book you won’t be able to let them go. Gabriel and Julia will stay with you long after you turn the last page in the book. I dare say you’ll never forget them. I’m sure I won’t.
Sylvain Reynard’s writing is superb and he takes the reader on a beautiful journey made of passion, wit and meaning. He’s an author who’s very skillful at writing sizzling scenes between the two characters. There are a lot of passionate moments that made my blood pump faster in my veins. I suggest you have a fan handy while reading, because you’ll need it ;)
The amount of research and knowledge he puts into the story is astounding and the reader not only enjoys a wonderful and engaging tale, but they also have the chance to come into contact with literature. There are lots of literature references scattered throughout the book that go from Dante’s Divine Comedy ( as the title suggests), to J.R.R. Tolkien, The Bible, Shakespeare and much, much more. We also find several mentions of works of art and beautiful, sensual music. I felt enriched after reading Gabriel’s Inferno, on so many levels.
This is a book where second chances reveal themselves in unexpected ways, a story that leaves you breathless at every page and that everyone should read. You won’t regret it and I mean it.
I give it 5 of 5 hearts.
And now some of my favorite passages:
“Gabriel kissed Julia as if he knew her, as if she belonged to him. His kiss was passionate and full of emotion, as if every fiber of his being had melted and spread itself on his lips only to be given to her.”
“For the rest of my life I’ll dream of hearing your voice breathe my name.”
“He took her hand in his, and the same familiar spark coursed across her skin. As he waited for her to respond, he felt her still beneath his touch., and he wondered at the strange reaction she was having to him. It seemed as if his charm was actually working, even though she’s been shaking a moment before.”
” ‘Facilis descensus Averni,’ he whispered, his ominous and preternatural words striking her very soul. ‘The descent to Hell is easy.’ “
“He stared into her eyes before he initiated the kiss. Lips met tightly, warm breath against warm breath, mouths wet and slick. Gabriel’s right hand smoothed across Julia’s cheek and slowly past her ear, before moving to the nape of her neck. As his mouth engulfed hers, he began to rub his thumbs across the surface of her skin, coaxing her to relax. Their lips floated together, sliding and smoothing. After a moment or two, he tilted her head back slightly–a silent plea.”
“He swore he could hear their heartbeats, echoing a frantic but almost synchronous rhythm in the silence of his office. She did this to him. She bewitched him, blood and flesh. “
“You disappoint me Julianne. I’m not one to kiss and tell. I’m going to protect you, I promise.”
“As soon as I touched you I knew…and when I touched you again…I remembered you.”
“And the Angelfucker makes his move.”
“If I were to taste your mouth now, I couldn’t answer for the consequences. So I can only adore this beautiful neck. “
” I already hunger for your body, Julianne. I’m not strong enough to touch you chastely, not if you were laid out before me wrapped only in a bed sheet.”
“It was all hunger and promise and giving and need.”
“Their tongues moved together, slowly. He was unhurried. It was just the two of them in an almost empty museum. He kissed her lips and her cheeks, walking her to a corner of the room, hesitantly backing her toward the wall.”
“When I told you that I was intending to worship you with my body, I meant it. With all my heart. I will never take from you. I will only give. In my bed and outside of it.”
The sequel to Gabriel’s Inferno is coming out in May 2012! *BIG SQUEEEEE*
The Professor and his Julia will be back soon!!! I can’t wait to put my hands on the sequel! May, hurry up! **goes to re-read GI for the umpteenth time**