on 31 December 2013
So I've just finished the final book to this trilogy and I'm looking for something positive to say to justify my 4* rating.
Ok here goes....the author obviously knows his stuff about literature and art, or he researched well. His writing flowed and the story was easy to follow. The books have been well edited. He tied up the loose ends nicely and Karma bumped the bad guys. The story was a love story and I did actually feel that there was a genuine love between Gabriel and Julianne. That's where my 4* rating can be justified.
Did I enjoy it? Kind of. Would I read it again? No. Could Gabriel become my book boyfriend? Definitely not!
Part of the problem was it being categorised as Erotica. There was nothing erotic about this book, it was a good old fashioned love story with Mills & Boon sex scenes. You know the type, just when you thought it was getting good.... they woke up in each others arms! If I buy a book classified as Erotica, I expect it to be more graphic.
I felt that I was being lectured throughout the books. If I wanted to know the ins and outs of Dante, then I'd buy a Dante book!! There were far too many pages quoting Dante then explaining Dante.
The author himself has said he talks in an old fashioned way; that might be what floats some people's boat but not mine. It was overkill.
The whole trilogy can best be described as pretentious. If you take out the high brow arty stuff, all you are left with is a nice love story.
I wouldn't recommend this trilogy to others, but if you've already read the first two books then you may as well read the last book.
I am actually quite disappointed with it all as I've followed the hype and was looking forward to reading this and adding to my book boyfriends but it left me feeling cheated.
on 25 January 2014
For me, this novel was not as good as the previous two. I think perhaps the author had run out of ideas, but felt some sort of 'conclusion' was needed, because that is what this book felt like.
The characters began to grate on me. Could someone really put up with a man like Gabriel? So controlling and obsessed with Julianne - one would feel 'suffocated', being told what to do, what to wear, where to buy clothes - it was almost as though they were in a mentally abusive relationship.
The constant reference to designer labels was boring - I really hate it when I come across this in a book. What's the point of it, and it seemed at odds with Julianne's character. Who cares about the brand of a fountain pen or a pair of shoes?
Also, I found all the sub-stories boring. I was pleased that Paul could move on, but all the family saga stuff was tedious.
Rather disappointing all in all.
on 5 December 2013
Gabriel's Redemption (Gabriel's Inferno #3) by Sylvain Reynard
"Charity is a great virtue, and so is faith. But hope means the most to me. This is hope."
To say that I have been eagerly awaiting this book is a massive understatement...It seems like I have waited FOR-EV-ER...So once I could, I opened it up and dived right in!
It was great to see Julia and Gabriel working their way through married life, they have come on so far since Gabriel's Inferno. Gabriel is now a professor at Boston University and Julia is studying for her PhD at Harvard. If I am being honest, not much really happens as in storyline and plot, well nothing majorly dramatic, but we are treated to the beautiful writing of Sylvain Reynard as he takes us through a period of their marriage.
Gabriel has a lot of demons to fight in this book. He finds that he is being held back by certain elements of his past and he finally decides that he needs to put these to rest so that he can give 100% to his life and marriage, some of these he feels the need to fight alone.
"You tell me that I'm safe in your bed. But I want you to know that you're free in mine. All the baggage, all the things from our past, they don't matter here."
There is no debating at all throughout this book how well these two are suited. They are actually perfect for each other. They have now been together 8 years and are even more in love than ever and this radiates from the pages. Through Sylvain's writing, you feel it, you are enveloped by it and you are drawn into their life. Their emotional connection is intense and their physical connection is just off the charts!!
"So how good was the sex we just had? On a scale of one to transcendent?"
"Earth-shattering and tie forgetting."
Smugly, she reapplied her lipstick.
"Don't you forget it."
These two have a very healthy sex life and let me say, they are not shy about where they do it either!!
"(Desk sex can be very, very good, but it's important to remove the staplers first.)"
"(It must be said that superhero kitchen table sex was an even better domestic coupling than regular kitchen table sex.)"
Yes there are a lot of parentheses in this book...the majority of which are hilarious and you can see Gabriel's sense of humour coming through. I actually loved reading these.
You are always going to have the people that are jealous and are trying to prise them apart...
"I've loved him since I was seventeen. I love all of him - the light and the dark, the good and the bad. That's why he's with me. He left the others behind and he will never go back. So do your worst, *****. But if you're planning to seduce my husband, you-will-fail."
But they are so strong as a unit, the haters, they don't stand a chance. That is what I absolutely adore about these two, no matter what life chucks at them they get through it, together, they stand side by side, a force to be reckoned with, they support each other, they defend each other and they love each other UNCONDITIONALLY.
Julia really matures in this book too, she gives as good as she gets and is determined not to be overshadowed by Gabriel in a professional capacity, even so far as a paper she delivers totally contradicts one already published by Gabriel. She becomes a lot more independent and self-focused. This does lead to discussions surrounding family and children etc but these two talk it out. The sacrifices that Gabriel is prepared to make only goes to show just how committed he is.
In summary this book is a journey of love for Gabriel and Julia, the longer the journey takes, the stronger they get and the deeper they fall. They may not agree all the time, but between them they get through it, when surprises happen, together they can deal, as long as they have each other, that is all that matters.
I must admit I am sad to see the end of these two, it is the end of an era and one of the best teacher/student series I have read. As usual, perfectly written and a joy for any romance reader to devour. With all loose ends tied and the i's dotted and t's crossed it is with a heavy heart I bid goodbye. I am so glad they got their HEA, after all they deserved it. Gabriel and Julia you will be missed, hope you all enjoy your date with "The Sexy Professor" as much as I did.
on 15 September 2015
Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse Nuttall
Foreword and quotes chosen by Rachel McEwan.
Whooo hooo! Sharon has finally read my all-time favourite series! As Sharon says in her review, I have been insisting she reads these books for quite some time! Did I worry that she wouldn’t love them as much as I do? No way! I knew she’d love Gabriel and Julianne as much as I do. I don’t think I’ve ever received as many messages from her swooning over Gabriel and then the next minute, panicking about what she’d read! Don’t you just love it when your book buddy loves your treasured books as much as you? This is the reason Sharon and I read and review together as we love the same kind of books. So without further ado, take it away Sharon and tell us all what you thought of Gabriel and Julianne’s story *applause*.
They do say better late than never and this can most certainly be applied to my discovery of whom has become one of my best-loved authors. If it wasn’t for my sister-in-arms’ insistence who runs Kindle Friends Forever book blog with me, I would still be oblivious to the fact that SR writes exceptionally well. I could feign ignorance and even blame time; however, with so many good books to review, I just never got around to reading the series. I read the books consecutively, l was sleep deprived and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. You may ask why I decided to review the last book and not the others. The answer is quite simple. I was overwhelmed with the metamorphosis in Gabriel’s character and please don’t misinterpret me, I adored him in book one and two, besotted in this one.
Gabriel ~ “I want to see your naked skin glow in the moonlight while I’m inside of you.”
The author has described the upheavals in the terms of two academics’ relationship, perfectly. In most cases, being in love is just not enough and even though Gabriel wanted a marriage made in heaven, the author went to great lengths to show his readers that it’s not a bed of roses. I’ll talk about the bed of roses later as there are more stolen kisses in this read than in the two previous books. Gabriel knew if he didn’t face his past, it could come back with a vengeance. He had to learn to share his fears, learn to respect his partner’s decisions, learn to be more generous with his own spirit and overcome his jealousy. He had a marvellous teacher, Julia. His Beatrice. Harvard professor elite in his field and highly respected among other Dante specialists, he now has to adapt to married life. Not an easy feat for one that has pleased himself at a whim over the years. He agonizes about his past immensely, his sufferance affecting what appeared to me to be a solid bond with Julia, puts a strain on both of them in more ways than one. When there’s a will…, I was delighted that he decided to stop a bad habit, but he’s unduly protective of his wife which only adds to more frustration. He is sure his reasons are valid though. Those very reasons are entwined into the plot making this read par-excellence.
Gabriel ~ “Every night when I fall asleep her in my arms, I thank God she’s mine. Every morning when I wake up, my first thought is that I’m grateful she married me. I will never be worthy of her. But I spend every day trying my damnedest…”
The subject of having children is without a doubt, the backbone of this story. And although this causes friction between Gabriel and Julia, after much discussion, he is prepared to wait until she finishes her studies. Fortunate in being adopted my two people that loved him unconditionally, he revisits an orphanage in the birthplace of Dante, Florence, hoping to find peace of mind. By doing good deeds might give him what he craves for, God’s forgiveness. While observing him interacting with the children, she understands how he feels about his need to start a family. She questions herself. Is she being selfish because she wants to finish her studies? Is he prepared to support her wishes regardless? This is when I saw the new Gabriel.
Gabriel ~ “Don’t cry my sweet girl. You’re my Beatrice and my sticky little leaf and my beautiful wife. I’m sorry I’ve been such a bastard. I wanted to show you how important you are to me. You are my precious masterpiece.”
Julia; Julianne, Beatrice—Dante’s inspiration, the woman who Gabriel can’t envisage living a life without. She is much younger than her husband and so gifted. Not only is her intelligence admired by her husband, try having a coherent conversation with a man who is a polyglot and constantly quotes Dante in Italian among other poets was much to my delight, splendid! Shakespeare’s Othello was not beyond her knowledge. She gave back what she was given with style and humour and this never ceased to surprise him. I must say how much I enjoyed reading these quotes without being ‘modernised’ for want of a better word. This woman is quintessential. She calms troubled waters; her honesty and her beliefs outshine throughout the story and without her, he well knows that he won’t be the new Gabriel he’s yearning for.
Julianne ~ “You can’t eliminate your past but you don’t have to be controlled by it.”
The secondary characters are as well developed as are the leading ones. Rachel, Gabriel’s sister and Julia’s best friend has her own cross to bear. She married her childhood sweetheart, Aaron, their problems with fertility making my heart break in two for a couple who deserved to be parents. I really felt that the author could have given them a little more attention towards the end, but on reflection, it wasn’t their story. I had already connected to Gabriel’s father in the first book and his wisdom never faltered. It abounds in this book as he’ll be the one to encourage his son to find his roots. I couldn’t possibly not forget to mention Christa. Messages between my book buddy who is an expert in this series, flew across the globe at lightning speed. Christa wasn’t a case of a woman scorned either. Spurred on by her desire for revenge against the only man who had refused her, actually has its comeuppance. And I shouted hooray out loud! Julia’s ex is still in the loop and never in a million years could I believe what I was reading. I thanked small blessings for Julianne’s uncle, Jack, here. Since the aforementioned person and one of his former lovers had really been a thorn in her side, I asked myself if her uncle would be able to address this problem with his adroit skills more than once.
Katherine Picton. What an outstanding character, what an incredibly important part she played in this story. English, professor in the art of language interpretation and of course, Dante. Her stance I welcomed with open arms when events reached its crescendo.
Katherine ~ “Now, I hope I’ll be invited to your house when I give my lecture series at Harvard in January. Greg Matthews always takes me to these appalling molecular gastronomy restaurants that serve deconstructed entrees cooked in liquid nitrogen. I can never decide whether I’m having dinner or sitting an exam in organic chemistry.”
I have to comment on the author’s wordmanship which I found so incandescent. Up until about two thirds into the book, it had been very old fashioned. Proper, correct and with academic finesse and flair. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Gabriel was using phrasal verbs. Brilliant. Quite brilliant! Now then, before summing up, the subject of religion and matrimonial scenes has to be raised. This is by far a much sexier read than the other two. Gabriel gives Julia confidence in the bedroom. He makes her feel beautiful and wants to please her by sharing his sexual expertise; Julia literally flowers. She wants to learn, make him happy, too. And by god, does she. They can’t keep their hands of each other and this detail, for me, was really important to the structure of the story. This showed me that this doesn’t have to be an issue when religion, faith and the love of any deity is bound by the most natural act in the world. In this aspect, utmost care was taken not to offend and I honestly salute the author. Furthermore, faith is for them, a basic necessity. Julia had it, Gabriel found it. I thought I would be lost for words, and even though I had no my intentions of reviewing; here you have my honest opinion. Sylvain Reynard, your book is a masterpiece I will endeavour to reread if the god’s above me give me a break! Bravisimo!
Rachel here again! Wasn’t that an amazing review! If Sharon hasn’t convinced you to one-click this book, I don’t know what will! As you can tell from the review, Sharon adored this book and rightly so. Just before we go, I’d just like to leave you with another quote. It’s a dirty one but then this is Professor Emerson…
Gabriel ~ “You smell like sex.”
Julianne ~ “That’s why I’m not taking a shower. We had incredible make up sex, which I’d like to remember.”
on 20 February 2014
I have loved all of the books in this series and gave eagerly awaited the release of book number 3. The wait was worth it, it was a beautiful read and I enjoyed reading about the trials and tribulations that Julianne and Gabriel go through in their marriage. Gabriel is so sweet and loving with Julianne, I think I fell in love with him all over again. Julianne has become so strong and confident and the love they share knows no bounds and is so intense and passionate. Both go through the normal marital ups and downs but then some of their past comes back to haunt them both, but they are both each other's rock. Gabriel's demons come back to haunt him and a life changing occurrence makes Julianne look at her life plans. As always this book is beautifully written, connection with the characters is so strong, their story is an emotional roller coaster and you feel every up and down as you read. And it is also a beautiful conclusion for Gabriel and Julianne. I was sad that the book had ended, I miss reading it already. If you haven't read the three books in this series I seriously urge you to as these books are epic, they are at the top of my list of books that I have read and loved.