As I have mentioned in a few other posts in the past I have found a love, a kinship if you will, with romantic novels. Not just any novels mind you, I will admit, I like them spicy, racy perhaps even taboo, not unlike 50 Shades of Gray which started my obsession.
I have read countless books since I discovered Christian and Anna over a year ago. I would venture a guess that it is nearing 100 books now! As a result I have really been able to peg down what it is that I like in a romance/erotica novel.
As you may have noticed the trend in many books it that they be written I a continuing series. Not sure how I feel about that and I think that is for another discussion. As this is the case with many of the novels I have read it has taken me forever to complete and form an opinion on a book, its characters and events.
One such series was Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard. I absolutely adored this series. I waited for what felt like a lifetime to receive the final instalment to the series and was not disappointed. Sylvain Reynard is one talented writer. He can tell a tale of romance, broken hearts and dreams. He drew me into the story of Gabriel and Julia to the point that I was attached to these characters.
In the first book of the series, Gabriel's Inferno, we are introduced to graduated student Julia Mitchell and Dante specialist and Professor Gabriel Emerson who had crossed paths many years prior. Of course Gabriel has a lurid history and many events lead him to believe that his meeting with young Julia was just a hallucination. For years Gabriel pines for what he believes to be a figment of his imagination.
Julia has loved Gabriel since she was a teenager. Years later they are brought together at the University of Toronto and reconnect over their love of Dante and a shared past.
Both characters are complicated, having suffered in the past and struggle to find their way together. I like how Reynard builds up the passion between the couple. The first novel in the series is actually relatively sex free! Oh my! There are some intense kissing scenes but not until the very end of the book do they consummate their relationship, yet you can't feel anything but butterflies in your tummy when you think of Professor Emerson!
In Gabriel's Rapture, the couple struggle to keep their relationship going while they encounter adversaries and drama all around them. This novel is full of heartbreak and I admit I was pissed off at Emerson at one point! Julia grew to irritate me at time, she just seemed way too weak for me and I really wanted to cuff her upside the head, but in all, I felt for the couple and wanted their love to only grow.
Nearly a year later the final instalment of the series, Gabriel's Redemption was released. I was so excited I finished it in one day! I will admit though, that I am not sure the final book was necessary, it just felt like the authors attempt to appease readers and give them more of their beloved characters even though their story had been told. I did enjoy the book, but honestly wouldn't have missed it if I didn't know to expect it.
In all what captivated me about the series was the telling of a tale of two people who were damaged souls. Gabriel and Julia had been through some traumatic experiences that shaped who they were as adults and therefore how they dealt with love and relationships. This story proved that if you work towards a common goal, trust in your partner and most importantly forgive their past sins, that you could overcome the most troublesome obstacles.
On the spicy meter from 1 to 5, this book receives a 2 1/2. It was not erotic but the author managed to create the illusion of eroticism without even really going down the path. Powerfully suggestive!
This is a great book for a person who might find the hardcore sex scenes of books like 50 Shades of Gray or Bared To You, to be a little too intense and tacky. It is a wonderful love story with hints of passion sprinkled throughout.
I highly recommend the series and give it 2 thumbs up!