From national best-selling author Sylvain Reynard comes the haunting, unforgettable tale of one man’s salvation and one woman’s sensual awakening....
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.
©2012 Sylvain Reynard (P)2012 Penguin Audio
I ignore genre labels. Some of my favorite books are outside my genre comfort zone. Listening to audiobooks is still reading. Not theater.
I get angst. I get emotional conflict. I can even almost get that there are more than four people on earth under the age of 40 that are obsessed with Dante's Divine Comedy.
What I don't get is how a book can be written with such stilted, unnatural and totally unrealistic dialog. Nobody talks this way.
I also don't get how the reader is supposed to relate to such caricatures of real people. The hero's amoral past sounds awfully tame compared to the typical 20 something single guy. Certainly not a past that should cripple a man. And in spite of evidently being a sex and coke addict and a drunk he manages to get his doctorate degree and become a noted expert and sought after speaker on the subject of Dante.
And the heroine has so little backbone it is a wonder she is able to stand. She comes across as such a nonentity I don't know how anyone would ever even notice her enough to fall in love with her. If I were her friend I would constantly find myself slapping her and saying "Snap Out of It, for Christ's sake and grow some ..."
The Vermont farmboy/scholar who secretly loves the heroine from afar would be an even worse love interest than the hero. He is too good, too sympathetic, too understanding and too dull to pay any attention to.
And finally the premise is just plain silly. She goes to school in Toronto to see the man she has sworn to love forever and when he doesn't remember her she is either too shy or too stupid to remind him of who she is. Although the part about him not remembering her was totally believable. She isn't worth remembering.
This book is overflowing with unbelievable characters and premises that are so chock full of angst-ridden emotion and so sacchariny sweet my teeth hurt.
The only good thing I can say is the two main characters deserve each other. They can go off and bore each other silly for the rest of their lives, emoting endlessly yet saying nothing. I just wish they would put the rest of us out of their misery.
And I am really, really, really tired of all of this lower lip biting heroines seem to be doing lately. It is over done.
I enjoyed this book. Sometimes I grow impatient with timid characters like Julia. She cowered and trembled a few too many pages for my taste; but still, I remained in her corner throughout the story. Plenty of angst and tortured souls. If you're not a fan of heavy literature, some of the exchanges and references are a bit pretentious, but are necessary to reveal the inner workings of Gabriel's mind . These conversations reveal the musings of two brilliant but socially challenged individuals who have, thus far, lived very sad lives.
Anyone with a family will appreciate the imperfect and absolutely realistic characterizations of family relationships. There's a dad who can still give his adult children a scolding..and they still know they have to listen.
Be prepared..there is a sequel. This story comes to a conclusion..sort of. There are many loose threads remaining. A couple of the supporting characters were more engaging than the hero and heroine, in my opinion. All the ingredients for a series.
The performance was pleasant, although the sound of the narrator's voice and his speech patterns sound a lot like H.A.L. (2001 A Space Odyssey). Once it occurred to me who the narrator's voice resembled, it made me giggle and was somewhat distracting from time to time, but that's my problem, not the book's.
This may sound like a negative critique, but revealing my list of positives will give away too much. All in all, worth the credit, but I will likely read something a little sunnier before returning for the sequel. Something sans Dante.
Tell us about yourself!
Perfect mix of pure fun and truly thought provoking, A masterpiece!
I thoroughly enjoyed listening .My only minor complaint it is ,when the narrator continues to read a supplementary information placed in parenthesis ,to emphasize the actions or a situations, instead of interpreting them.I would like this to be fixed if it is possible .
I love being swept away by a new romance and thankfully Audible's ever growing Library means I get to indulge myself over and over again
When you prepare to dedicate over 20 hrs (or even 10 if you double speed it) of you life to listening to a book it is a bit daunting but the hours just flew by as I got drawn into the sweet and torturous love story between Gabriel and Julia. The story is completely set around their budding and blossoming romance but somehow it isn't boring and, due to the brilliant writing, it totally works.
Worth a credit? I couldn't stop listening - so that's a definite YES and I'm now downloading Book 2 Gabriel's Rapture.
More kissy than kinky. Let's face it, I read a lot of smut, and the naughtier the better. This, in my mind, does not really qualify as erotic. The story was okay, the characters a little too whiney and broken for me, and the sex was...well....fankly... a little boring.
If 50 shades was too risque for you, then this will be right up your alley.
There is the threat of a D/s scene, but it never really happens, you know, because her love fixes him. ( sorry, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit). If you like your smut charcter driven (and I do occassionally assuming I like the characters) it's not too bad.
The narration was good, audio quality good.
I'm a grad student with very little time to edit reviews because I'm editing research papers. Forgive the typos. They're made with love.
Spineless, shy, flower of a grad student meets brutish poet-obsessed teacher and Dante ensues.
I'm not sure what to write for this. I liked it, and it probably seems more naughty to me because I'm a grad student and what they are doing can get them in SO much trouble, but the characters were a little annoying. Julianne is NOT a graduate student. There's no way a girl like this could be taken seriously in a program. She squeaks when spoken to and practically faints if she thinks of anything too stressful. And Gabriel, as yummy as he could have been, is so wrapped up in one moment in his past that was clearly out of control that he has become an absolute bully to everyone and when you find out what it is, it's a bit of a let down. Not to diminish one man's torment over another but with all the buildup, I guess I expected something different.
This book was more a lesson in Dante than anything else, and I'm honestly wondering why it's being compared to Fifty Shades of Grey... it's nothing like it. And before you click, you should know this isn't erotica, and the romance is barely there (unless you're a grad student, then it's just teeming).
I don't mind shy heroines. My friend is about as introverted as you can get, but she's not spineless - she actually fits in the PhD world, if barely. Julianne however is waaaaayyy too wilting flower, even for a degree in Dante. I just have a problem with her that I can't let go.
I was not left with the feeling of "meh" on this one and went ahead and got the next two, but I can say there's something in this book that keeps me from giving it 5 stars. 3.5 stars
Say something about yourself!
While searching for something to follow 50 shades, but written better, I saw several references to this book and its sequel…so NOT what I thought it would be. I will admit that the story was theoretically sweet, with more mature references to fine art and adult romance, but the story seemed to go on forever, and was totally unbelievable in spots with characters going against their core nature for no specific reason other than it continued the plot. I was looking for the hotness I got in fifty shades, and got hours upon hours of BORING drab. I listened to this book and its sequel, not wanting to be one of those people that rated a book without listening to it fully, and I found both to be VERY lacking. If you want a follow up to 50 try “Bared to You” by Sylvia Day, “Beautiful Disaster” by Jamie McGuire, “Thoughtless” by SC Stephens and Olivia Cunnings “Sinners on Tour”, don’t get these books.
Oh, so many things... I found the heroine exasperating and unconvincing (gods of romance, please, please let her grow a spine). The character of the antihero unfortunately garnered neither depth nor dimension from his prenchant for whores or evident foot fetish. The narration was flat, uninspired, and quite painfully s-l-o-w. Frequently pubescent and demeaning imagery, particularly with reference to the heroine (alternately likenened to either a "little kitten" or rabbit) was the final straw.
Why would Mr. Morgan choose to s-l-o-w down a project which he so obviously did not enjoy? Listening was nearly painful. I did try "2X"ing the speed, but it wasn't enough to get me through even half of the book.
Irritation and disappointment, I wanted it to be so much more than it actually was.
Save your credit.
I read equal parts NF + F: (Follet + Tolstoy + Hillenbrand + Monk Kidd + Preston+Child), practical, hands on guides, + KidLit.
I really enjoyed how well-written this story was, which was pleasantly unexpected. This turned out to be a romance novel with graphic descriptions of all the emotional and physical activity between the lead characters, Gabriel Emerson, a Dante specialist professor, and Julia Mitchell, his grad seminar student. Naturally, she's one of those virginal, statuesque, model-like beauties with naivete and grace beyond her years and he's the older, more experienced, perfectly muscled, charming, sex machine with a past, but other than this (rather large) cliche, the characters do have depth.
As the story progresses, you realize they aren't just meeting each other for the first time, but have shared a rather significant past. As their story unfolds, it mirrors the journey through Hell in Dante's inferno, which is neatly tied into the novel in just the right amount. Don't worry if you haven't read Dante, these parts are woven through with enough explanation to give more weight to the scenes but you won't be at a loss. In fact, the story is so well-written that I learned from the author's website that many of his readers were inspired to go back and read Dante!
This novel is the first in a series of three. At the time of this writing, the second novel is available but the third is in the works without a release date.
I enjoyed this novel as a "beach" read, but for me the story of Gabriel and Julia is over. There were no cliff hanger endings here, just all the loose ends of their personal journey tied up neatly. If you enjoy most of the sexy vampire and other supernatural literature out there, I have no doubt you would also enjoy this novel. Or, if you enjoy romance novels and the whole concept of the prince sweeping the damsel in distress off her feet, this is for you. There is a bit of a modern twist with this one, where they have to save each other metaphorically speaking, but it's the same old love story all in all.
The narrator has a great voice for these characters, and lends more life to this novel than if I'd read it myself. Three cheers for John Morgan!
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