The synopsis :
Professor Gabriel Emerson has embarked on a passionate, yet clandestine affair with his former student, Julia Mitchell. Sequestered on a romantic holiday in Italy, he tutors her in the sensual delights of the body and the raptures of sex. But when they return, their happiness is threatened by conspiring students, academic politics, and a jealous ex-lover. When Gabriel is confronted by the university administration, will he succumb to Dante’s fate? Or will he fight to keep Julia, his Beatrice, forever? In Gabriel’s Rapture, the brilliant sequel to the wildly successful debut novel, Gabriel’s Inferno, Sylvain Reynard weaves an exquisite love story that will touch the reader’s mind, body, and soul, forever.
My review :
It’s amazing how a book series can touch a person’s soul the way the Gabriel’s Inferno series touched mine. I fell in love with Gabriel’s Inferno ( of which you can find my review here, Neda’s review here and Tamie’s review here) –first book of a trilogy ( yes, a trilogy ) where we witnessed the love story unfold between the handsome and tortured Professor Gabriel Emerson and the shy and kind Julia Mitchell. The sequel, Gabriel’s Rapture, surpassed all my expectations and gave so much more than I could hope for.
The story starts where Gabriel’s Inferno had left off– Professor Gabriel and his beloved Julia are spending some days in Florence and they let themselves surrender to passion. Gabriel shows Julia the arts and pleasures of lovemaking while Julia stirs in Gabriel feelings he’s never experienced before. But soon their relationship is put to a hard test by University rules, by the envy and pettiness of some students, and the jealousy of a former lover. Will Gabriel and Julia have to give up on their love?
Sometimes sequels don’t live up to the hype, but this definitely isn’t the case with Gabriel’s Rapture. Sylvain Reynard never disappoints with his writing. It seduces the mind and leaves you wanting more.
I was deeply moved by how Gabriel and Julia’s relationship evolves in this novel. They both have to walk through the path towards redemption, a path full of obstacles but that brings them to discover the real meaning of
loving truly and of being loved unconditionally in return, of forgiving and being forgiven. It is a very sensual tale of discovery, both physical and emotional, and several scenes left me breathless and made my heart beat faster.
The beauty and sensuality of the love scenes in this book are hard to find in novels. Let me tell you that you’ll find yourself rereading them several times.
In Gabriel’s Rapture I loved Professor Gabriel even more than I did before. He proves to be a man who wants to change his previous self, to find forgiveness and give Julia everything in his power to make her happy even if it
means making a few sacrifices and fully uncovering the secrets of his past… And if the words he says to Julia don’t make you melt, I don’t know what would.
Julia shows an inner strength and will power that make her one of my favorite female characters. I was pleasantly surprised by how she faced up to the different challenges that presented themselves. She always has the
kindness and compassion that characterize her, two of the traits I love the most about her , but she also proves to be a woman who knows what she wants and she’s ready to fight for it.
As in Gabriel’s Inferno, we find a lot of references to literature, music and beautiful pieces of art, all elements perfectly interwoven with the story. Once again, I felt myself enriched in more ways than one.
There are books to which reviews don’t do justice and that need to be read to fully understand their greatness. Gabriel’s Rapture is one of them. A story which proves that unconditional love, acceptance and
forgiveness can really change people’s lives. A really superb novel.
I give this book 5 of 5 stars.
Some of my favorite passages:
” ‘I’m honored to have been your first.’ He leaned forward, his eyes unblinking. ‘But I want to be your last.”
“You’re the only one who has ever been my lover in the true sense. ‘ He kiseed her gently in solemn confirmation to his words. ‘The anticipation and the allure of a woman are crucial to the experience. I can safely say that your allurements and my anticipation were like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.”
“You were very gentle and very generous. I’ve never known such joy, and that’s because you loved me with more than just your body.”
“Your face, your breasts, your beautiful back. St. Thomas Aquinas would have had to add you as his Sixth Way if he’d ever been blessed enough to see you. You must have been designed and not merely made. “
“Everyone wants to know where evil comes from and why the world is riddled with it. Why doesn’t anyone ask where goodness comes from? “
I’m so happy that Gabriel’s Rapture WON’T be the last installment! We’ll have more Professor! Sylvain Reynard has announced that he’s writing the THIRD book of the series. Big SQUEEEEEEEEEE! You can read the official announcement here . I can’t wait to have it in my hands! Thank you SR!