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Gabriel's Inferno #1

Gabriel's Inferno

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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.

506 pages, Paperback

First published April 1, 2011

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About the author

Sylvain Reynard

23 books14.3k followers
"Gabriel's Promise" has been released and is now available across platforms: https://amzn.to/2Y6ah10

My New York Times Best Selling Gabriel Series has been acquired by Passionflix. "Gabriel's Inferno" is available in its entirety on Passionflix.com, as is "Gabriel's Rapture."

"Gabriel's Redemption" Part 1 will debut June 22nd, only on Passionflix.com

You can meet the cast, read the most recent update, and learn how to sign up for Passionflix here: http://sylvainreynard.com/film-series...

You can view the trailer to the third and final part of "Gabriel's Inferno" here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjPUG...

Huffington Post Books ranked "Gabriel's Inferno" as the best teacher/student romance novel.

My latest book, "The Man in the Black Suit, (#TMitBS), is a contemporary romance/suspense standalone novel, set in Paris: https://t.co/pdpHlvVtjO

The Florentine Series is now complete. Each paperback edition has additional content. Audio and ebooks are also available.

The second book in that series, "The Raven," was nominated by RT Magazine as Best Paranormal Romance Suspense novel of 2015.

I am honoured to have had my novels appear on the New York Times and USAToday Bestseller lists.

I was a Semifinalist for Best Author in the 2011 and 2012 Goodreads Choice Awards. "Gabriel's Inferno" was a Semifinalist for Best Romance in 2011 and "Gabriel's Rapture" was a Finalist for Best Romance in 2012, in the Goodreads Choice Awards, as well. The final novel in The Gabriel Series, "Gabriel's Redemption," debuted at #6 on the New York Times Bestseller list. It was a Finalist for a 2014 Goodreads Choice Award as Best Romance.

I'm interested in the way literature can help us explore aspects of the human condition - particularly suffering, sex, love, faith, and redemption. My favourite stories are those in which a character takes a journey, either a physical journey to a new and exciting place, or a personal journey in which he or she learns something about himself/herself.

I'm also interested in how aesthetic elements such as art, architecture, food, drink, and music can be used to tell a story or to illuminate the traits of a particular character. In my writing, I combine all of these elements with the themes of redemption, forgiveness, and the transformative power of goodness.

I try to use my platform as an author to raise awareness about the following charities: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation, WorldVision, Alex's Lemonade Stand, and Covenant House.

For more information, see my Twitter account or my website.

I also do not check my Goodreads email.

To email me, please use the below addy.

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Profile Image for Laura.
16 reviews106 followers
July 24, 2014
The only way I know how to describe how bad this book was is to share a few passages with you and give you my feedback. I've maintained the original format as much as I am able to help emphasize some of my points. Here it goes.

The Passages

"Gabriel brought his hand up slowly so as not to spook her and gently caressed her cheek." What is she? A horse?

“Don’t cry, little Rabbit.” Um, Paul is a total creep.

“But Julia didn’t want to be keyed.” And then a few paragraphs down. “Julia turned away, ashamed of the sudden and intense rush of emotions she was having, over being keyed of all things, and having him cite beloved children’s literature to her.” Ok, this whole segment has issues. First and most obvious to me was the word keyed. I know this takes place in Canada, but both main characters are American. Not knowing what being keyed meant in Canadian I went to trusty Urbandictionary.com and gave it a looksee. Definition 1: High on marijuana. Considering what a straitlaced, naïve, insult to 23 year-old virgins Julia is, I don’t think she’s high on anything, except maybe Italian poetry over-exposure. Definition 2: when ones vehicle or other expensive possession becomes defaced by someone scraping off the paint with their own set of keys. Well this is definitely something I wanted to do to her face after the first fifty pages. Definition 3: Getting completely fucked up through the use of both alcohol and marijuana. Again the use of illegal substances for our porcelain, angelic heroine I'm not feeling. But maybe she was ducking quick shots from her bottle of cheap tequila, again. If you look at the next part “sudden and intense rush,” this sounds like an ad for Trojans so maybe it has a sexual connotation? But then you throw in the “beloved children’s literature” and I’m starting to get really creeped out. This is Paul again, by the way. What is it with him and kids?!

“Beatrice,” his arm tightened around her waist as he moved to whisper against her hair, still damp from the shower. “Don’t cry.” With his brilliant blue eyes closed, Gabriel pressed his lips to her forehead, once, twice, thrice.
“I missed you. So much,” she whispered, her lips moving against his tattoo.
“You found me,” he murmured. “I should have waited. I love you.
Now Julia wept harder, clinging to him as if she were drowning and he was her savior." *gak!!!* Ok, before your panties get all wet I would like to point out the reason why our virtuous heroine’s hair is wet in the first place. Beatrice, or whatever the heck her name is, found it necessary to tidy herself up a bit after Gabriel lost control of his reflexes during a drinking episode and vomited all over her. ALL OVER HER. The last time my ex-boyfriend got the urge to regurgitate I made a point of staying the hell out of his way and you better believe he did not get the cuddle treatment afterwards. This is not something I want to be in the middle of. I will have you know that it made me personally cringe to have to rewrite the word “thrice” since, as much as the author would like to be as good as Shakespeare, he doesn’t have the sense to realize that this word looks stupid in any other context. The sobbing throughout this book made me ill, a feeling Julia experienced every time someone exposed her to anything sexual in nature. At least we both have the ability to become ill in common. Now keep in mind as we reread this passage and our hearts are aflutter, Gabriel is still very much inebriated during this conversation. Not only does he have no clue what he’s saying, but remembers none of it the next day, which leads me to the next quote.

"Why is he so angry with me? Why doesn’t he remember?" - omg, seriously? This coming from our little tart who drinks on the sly? Please tell me she’s not so naïve that she doesn’t understand, at least from an academic point of view, the potential side effects of overindulgence. I mean she is, after all, so smart she got admitted to Harvard. Couldn’t figure out how to get a full ride but, nevertheless, was a bright enough talent for the "pole-in-keister Dante specialists" of Harvard. (This keister phrase, btw, was used twice. I'm kinda of the opinion that phrases like this should be used only once in a book since they are so unique and stand out like a blinking light. But who am I to judge. I'm just the reader, not the Dante specialist.)

“He sounded like sex. Or at least, what Julia imagined sex would sound like…Oh my, Gabriel. Oh my, Gabriel. Oh my, Gabriel. Oh…my…Gabriel.” BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHA OMG THAT SOUNDS SO INCREDIBILY IDIOTIC I AM BESIDE MYSELF!!!

On her kiss with creep boy, Paul: “Julia felt his surprise in the quick clenching of his jaw. He tensed beneath her lips, no doubt in shock at her boldness.” Um, honey, there are other reasons why a guy wouldn’t be receptive to your advances. Considering Paul’s proclivity for children’s lit, I hesitate to venture a guess into what causes him to clench anything.

“He would leave her as he found her, the blushing brown-eyed angel, surrounded by bunnies, curled up like a kitten in her little chair.” There is something about this book that is just child-molesty. Maybe because everyone has the maturity level of a 12 year old. This is not a Paul quote, btw.

“It was the lyrics about fucking like an animal, and the look on his face as he brought his forehead to hers and whispered it to her, staring straight into her soul…she’d believed she heard the voice of the Devil. Julia had wrenched herself from him and fled to the ladies’ washroom, looking at the pale and shaking girl in the mirror, wondering what the hell had just happened. She did not know why he had spoken to her like that or why he had chosen that moment to confess. Nevertheless, she knew him well enough to know that the repeated lyric was a confession of his deepest and perhaps darkest intentions and not just a mindless repetition.” Holy, moley. What the hell did I just read? The only thing this girl is shaking right now is her head. (This whole scene is referring the Nine Inch Nails song, Closer.) Something visually that I did not care for in this paragraph was the use of italics, which is overused in general in this book. In this paragraph it's emphasizing something that I personally don't think needs the emphasis, especially when coupled with eye-grabbing words like "fucking." Furthermore, the addition of these force the reader to hitch when reading, thus interrupting the flow. Overuse of these devices can tend to lessen their impact to the reader, leaving them with a choice. They can either make the emphasis and feel like they're mentally riding a dirt track or ignore it completely and enjoy the smooth ride. Thus begs the question, was this device even necessary to begin with?

"Gabriel? Sweetheart, don’t listen to that kind of music anymore, okay?” She sounds like my mother when I was a teenager.

“The other photo took Julia’s breath away, for it was the most overtly erotic, and she was instantly repulsed by its rawness and aggression…Julia was disturbed by the photo,” but not so much that she didn't stop to describe it in full detail, “and immediately looked away in embarrassment.” Methinks something wicked this way comes and she’s in total denial of it.

kemfn: I still can’t find a translation for this word. Can’t say I particularly care too, either. Too many blasted different languages in this blasted book.

"He smashed a chair. He smashed a metal chair." And yet she still walked in the room. Wow. That's healthy.

”Look at me when I’m speaking to you.” I knew someone who said this. It pissed me off like you wouldn't believe.

“She recognized the top photograph as the fifth one, the one that had been over the bed. It was gently erotic and almost tender. He shouldn’t have been ashamed of this one.” Wait?? Didn't she look quickly away in embarrassment? How the heck does she remember specifically which photograph this is and where it was hanging?! Mmmmm...She is so censorious and judgmental. It’s sickening.

The Flower References:
• "You blossom under kindness, don’t you? Like a rose." Omigosh, how seriously lame can you be!
"She does blossom under kindness. Just like a rose, opening her petals." Gag!! Apparently incredibly lame!
• "Her shoulders were hunched, and her head was down. He’d made his little rose wither. Any blossoming had now been completely undone." You know, one of the best things anyone ever said to me is this. No one forces you to feel anything. Those feelings are something within you and no one but you can control them. With that said, could this chick get just a little more anemic please?
• "She would be a rose in his eyes, and she would flower beneath him." God bless it, no more!
"I want her petals to open,' Gabriel breathed softly," TO HIS SISTER, NO LESS! CREEP!

The Incessant List of Pretentious Shit:
• Chopin’s Nocturne 9, Op. No. 2
• Henry Holiday’s Dante meets Beatrice at Ponte Santa Trinita
Venus de Milo and Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne
• Botticelli’s complete set of illustrations of The Divine Comedy, original sixteenth century reproductions and the only complete set in existence, naturellement. The Vatican doesn’t even own this.
Serego Alighieri Vaio Armaron Amarone 2000: And yes, just in case you were wondering, this IS the wine from the vineyard that Dante's son purchased in the fourteenth century. So there. O.o *phooooooooo*
• Meisterstück 149: a rather ugly (in my humble opinion) fountain pen that costs more than I would like to spend on twenty such writing instruments.
Cyrano de Bergerac: I didn't want him to feel left out
The Velveteen Rabbit: I’m sorry but for some reason this whole kids lit stuff creeped me out big time!
• Mozart’s Requiem Lacrimosa: I happen to like this piece of music (I actually listen to the whole piece, not just the one track on repeat like some people), but I’m going to be giving it a break while I contemplate the complete translation into English. Give me a break, please!
• Rodin’s The Kiss, which “Julia had not purchased a replica of it when she visited Musée Rodin in Paris because she found it too arousing.” …ugh…followed by a vocabulary lesson in French on the usage of the word baiser and it’s double meaning of “to kiss” or “to fuck,” which probably made her ill and had to rush off to the ladies' room. This chick is so frigid, I swear.
• Freaking Beowolf!!
• Laphroaig: “a single malt Scotch whiskey” with just a drop or two of spring water to “open up the taste.” She should have known that with all her wine swishing capabilities.
• One paragraph: “My family is like a Dickensian novel, Julia. No, it’s worse.” – I agree, this could get much worse, wait for it – “We’re a twisted mix of Arthur Miller and John Steinbeck, with a bit of Dostoyevky and Tolstoy thrown in.” - Oh ga! She didn't! But wait, we're not done!
• Three Thomas Hardy references occurring in the following paragraph: Mayor of Casterbridge, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, and Jude the Obscure (Oh, is that who wrote this book?)
• Hem’s Rabbit Songs featuring the eternal hit, Half Acre
• Complete 1st stanza from John Donne’s The Flea. I actually had to look up the name for this one since the author did not provide it for once.
• “Gabriel liked it because they sold a particular kind of Trappist Ale that he preferred, Chimay Première, and it pleased him to have pizza in the Neapolitan style to pair with that beer.” Holy shit, you have got to be kidding. It would please me if you would just eat the damn pizza. It's not polite to swish your beer in public. And please don't ask me what was going on with that lambskin rug right after this. I tried not to look.
• The ongoing references to Héloïse and Abelard (which I just kept picturing Big Bird’s cousin Abelardo on the Mexican Sesame Street. I think I know something more obscure than the author. Wooopeee!)
• Edith Piaf’s La Vie en Rose <-- I am so sorry Ms. Piaf to drag you into this!
Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin vintage 2002: I think my nose just turned up an inch.
You and Me by Matthew Barber, who?
Far Far by Yael Naim. Apparently I’m not playing along; 67 other people highlighted this part of the book. I am not one of them.
"Hands of the Precious, Gollum.”
Buena Vista Social Club
All the Pretty Faces by The Killers, preceded by two shots of that cheap tequila.
Prospero’s Speech by Loreena McKennitt: I’m really out of it on this one and the 113 people who highlighted this passage.
• da Vinci’s La Scapigliata This is really beginning to give me a headache.

…and the list goes on and on and on and on…

My Concluding Thoughts

”She’s been broken, you jackass.” Sister Rachel to Brother Gabriel. And what, may you ask was our dear Julianne so broken about? The answer is something so incredibly lame it doesn’t even warrant repeating and would, in fact, ruin what little suspense this book contains.

There is nothing healthy to be learned from this book unless you include the prologue where Beatrice leaves Dante standing on the road like a fool. If your ideal future life involves codependency and psychological abuse, please, be my guest, read this book and add to the rave reviews it has received thus far. It has most assuredly not gained any esteem from me.

Profile Image for Juliana Philippa.
1,010 reviews917 followers
August 18, 2011
2.5 stars
I'm almost afraid to write a review, because this book is apparently universally loved ... and I definitely - obviously - did not feel the same way. I was so looking forward to the book and love pairings of a dark and tortured hero with a sweet and innocent heroine. Reynard definitely delivered on that last count - far, far too much: Julia was put up on a pedestal - and for reasons that I'm not sure warrant her being put there - and everything else was evil and dark and sinful.

{ Praise }
Gabriel was a very interesting character and for the first ~2/3 of the book I really liked him. He was a total a-hole at the beginning - wanted to slap him upside the head a few times - but it was fun watching him then immediately after do something in a gruff off-handed manner to make up for it. There was definite darkness to the character and I was really looking forward to exploring and unraveling that.

I liked their relationship in maybe the 3rd fifth of the book and I really enjoyed their class ... discussion. The chemistry between them was surprisingly good and the kisses - especially that first one! *sigh* - were pretty sizzling. And before he got far too sickly sweet (see #5 below) I loved how tender and caring Gabriel was with her.

{ General Criticism }
I'm going to get these things out of the way, because the rest is all about my main issue with the book:
(1) The POV switching was very, very odd and not at all smooth. It would switch between paragraphs - sometimes even between sentences - from Julia to Gabriel to the waiter at their table. It was confusing at times.
(2) Paul drove me nutso. Absolutely 100% nutso. He and Julia probably should be together, with their sickening sweetness. He was ready to practically sacrifice his life for her within a few minutes of speaking with her and he could not stop calling her Rabbit every 5 seconds.
(3) The ending is unbelievably rushed and not only that, but we're given a definite hint before then that there are going to be repercussions for something ... and then nothing happens. Very weird.
(4) The whole thing about Beatrice-Dante and Julia-Gabriel became overused and their entire first encounter is difficult to believe, in the sense that I don't think either of them would have acted that way. All way too teenage-perfect and unreal.
(5) The last third of the book is so sappy and corny. Gabriel and Julia are way, way, WAY too sweet all the time - to the point of not being at all enjoyable. I wanted to scream, Enough already! Go carve your names into a tree, get those matching necklaces with half of a heart, and exchange promise rings. IMO, it got to be so over the top. (I know, you couldn't tell I thought that).
(6) The author crossed the point of subtly showing us that he knows his stuff (Dante, history, music, etc.) and went into the area of making us feel like he was trying to prove it

{ My Main Objection }
I was looking forward to her character, because I love shy, wallflower-type heroines, but by the end of the book, Julia / Julianne / Beatrice / whatever was really driving me nuts. Julia was far, far too "innocent" and we hear constantly - CONSTANTLY - about her purity and innocence. She's naive and perfect and beautiful and stands on a pedestal and is light personified and on and on and on. She was absolutely "perfect" and therefore, to me at least, absolutely boring.

Even though she's supposed to be this angel of utter perfection (don't even want to county how many times she is referred to as such), the truth is I did not find her perfect at all. For the middle of the book, I found her to be very judgmental and intolerant. Also, at one point she says that has "unfortunately" been hit on by women before and it came off sounding a little homophobic. Interesting note: the only two bisexual women in the book - or at least, women who are open to sleeping with another woman - are evil / mean ... hmmm.

I hated that Gabriel is supposed to be this horrible, dark, tortured guy who has done all these bad things and because he is so sinful and unforgivable, he has to beg Julia to forgive him and love him anyway - even though he doesn't deserve it, which we hear over and over and OVER again - so that he can bask in her light, blah di blah di blah.

I hated that there's this sense Gabriel can't fully disclose things to her about his past because she's too innocent and fragile. That she's scared of his darkness and he has to protect her from it and doesn't want to pollute or corrupt her by even telling her about it. I hated that her reaction to any type of variation in the bedroom is one of horror and that we're told through both of them that making love has to be tender and gentle and anything else is degrading and wrong and immoral.

I know that she is a virgin and she's been through a bad relationship previously, but to me that didn't equal an explanation for what we're told. Which is that using the word "f*cking" for having sex is a capital sin. That having had troubles and made mistakes means you're stuck in sin and destined for hell and darkness until, if you're lucky, you get to go into the light and be with an apparently perfect (but really not so much) angel in human form. That having a one night stand is the worst thing on earth. That lust is evil and shameful and that artistic but erotic art is disgusting. That a woman being on her knees is offensive - and not even only in the mind-in-the-gutter sense (though that as well) but just in general, i.e. you're picking something up that you dropped (I kid you not).

Now, before anyone attacks me and accuses me of being some sex maniac who hates virgin heroines, let me tell you that while Julia is a 23-year-old virgin, I'm a 25-year-old one, and that already at the beginning of the book she has more experience in this department than I do. Okay? So this is not a case of me disliking this book because virginity and innocence are glorified and I feel personally attacked.

{ Bottom Line }
This book was not for me and I won't be picking up the sequel. Julia is boringly "innocent" (don't even think that's the proper term), the book feels a little preachy and a lot judgmental, and the last third of the book was so corny / sappy / sweet that I had to stop myself from skimming.

(Written August 16, 2011)
Profile Image for Jeanne.
518 reviews299 followers
November 1, 2014
Let's set aside the unethical practices that lead to this book (aka Twilight Fan Fiction) being published and just focus on the story. This is a giant turd-nugget of misogyny wrapped in romance stereotypes and sprinkled with the most basic understanding of classic literature. No literally, if you read Dante's Inferno for Dummies you will walk away with a better comprehension of that classic work than the author of this humongous joke of a novel.

The sad part is the author is skilled at manipulating readers into believing that a story about a young college coed being mentally, emotionally and intellectually manipulated by her professors is sexually arousing, and laughably romantic. No seriously, the overwhelming amount of agency that is given up by our leading female is so devastating that every time I see a female reader give this book anything more than two stars I feel the woman's movement take a full step backwards.

It would be refreshing to read a book with literary themes that didn't show a female heroine who has to use her vagina to win love and respect from her male counterpart, but alas Gabriel's Inferno is not it. Not by a long shot.

Additional note: I have a theory that part of why this book is so well loved has a lot to do with effort justification(See my comments below). I'd write a detailed analysis, but this piece of crap series doesn't warrant the effort.
Profile Image for Ivana S..
132 reviews53 followers
February 10, 2017

Once again, I dislike the book everyone else obviously loves.

First of all (and I NEVER thought I'd say this about a book) - it is too long. It would be fine if it had action-driven plot, but for a story like this I think that reducing the number of pages would be a significant improvement. This way, I had a feeling that I was reading the same thing over and over again – every encounter between Gabriel and Julia looked almost exactly the same like the previous one. It just dragged on and on and I was seriously worried that I will have to break my own rule of finnishing every book I start and put this one aside. I didn't, but even if I did, it wouldn't make any difference because the second half was even worse than first.

Second, it was waaay too predictable. I usually don't mind that, but this was just too much. There wasn't a single moment of surprise and at some point it just came down to waiting to happen something that I already knew is going to happen. It became boring.

Third – I hated Julia. She's just too ''perfect''. That amount of perfection just doesn't work for me, it made her dull and annoying and I was irritated by her from the beginning . There are two different personalities in her and for a while I hoped that she was just acting in some situations. Unfortunately, she wasn't. So, one side of her is a (virgin) pocket Venus, too sexy and beautiful for her own good. Even the way she eats is so sensual that noone – men, women, boys, professors, students – you name it – is able to resist that amount of beauty and sexiness. On the other hand, she is pure, naive, caring, nice, shy and innocent (this one was repeated so many times it made me nausious). So, we have a pure, innocent virgin who is sensual and sexy beyond reason. I'm not saying it isn't possible, I'm saying that in this story it wasn't presented in a way that would make her interesting (or credible). And she is just too damn sensitive and fragile for my taste. Instead of unique, interesting and exciting girl, she just seemed boring, at least to me. I didn't care for her one bit.

Fourth – I had a hard time liking Gabriel. I tried, I really have, but still failed. I am a big fan of bad, disturbed and dark characters and I expected to fall for Gabriel at instant, but it didn't happen. Instead of being dark, all he did was talk about how he's dark. Some parts of his past fit in that description, because what happened to him and what he did to others made him edgy and dark, BUT… With Julia he was just too corny. He was too gentle, too sweet, too careful to say and do the right thing at every moment. He didn't want to hurt her so much that he was afraid to tell her the truth about his past, and he just dragged on and on with it. He praised her beauty and innocence and appologised for him being… well, him, so much I wanted to vomit every time. And he gave her too much presents. Again, I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with all that, but it just doesn't fit in a damaged guy he is supposed to be.
Bad boys just aren't like that.
Yes, they do want to change when they feel there is something worth the effort. Yes, they can be ridiculously romantic and sweet. Yes, they can be overprotective. I know all that from experience. But they don't talk like Gabriel talks. They don't compare people to roses, they don't repeat how someone is innocent and sweet in every single sentence and they don't apologize for who they are all the time. Gabriel did that all the time, he was like ''I am dark, and not good enough for you. Sorry for who I am. Oh, you are so pure and innocent and sexy at the same time. I'm sorry I'm not worthy of you. You are a beautiful, INNOCENT rose and I need to keep my hands off of you. But I am bad, so I won't do that. Sorry.'' He just didn't seem real.

The emails and messages they sent to each other were… Well, I had a few (actually more than a few) ''kill me now'' moments.
And the sex thing – oh they planned their first time for weeks, talked about it through pages and pages, and finally, it lasted forever while they were doing it. And of course, it was PERFECT.
It wasn't exciting. It was boring. They made sex so… not sexy.

Fifth – changing the POV so much made my head spin. It wasn't that difficult to follow, but all that jumping from one POV to another… I don't know, I just didn't like it.

I could go on and on about what I didn't like, but I'll stop being negative and say what I did like. So here we go. I liked the title, as soon as I saw it I couldn't resist reading this book. I liked the writing style, it was clever, detailed and funny AT TIMES and I can see a great potential here. If the writer didn't repeat himself so many times, I would like it even more. Anyway, there are some good sentences in this book and they are not to be ignored.
The author's knowledge of Dante and Italian art is really impressive. Actually, I would like to read a book about that and ONLY about that, becouse while describing some pieces of art he managed to show his talent somewhere in between all that crap with Gabriel and Julia.

1 star from me, because I was annoyed by Julia and Gabriel and their boring relationship.
Profile Image for SueBee★bring me an alpha!★.
2,417 reviews14k followers
January 5, 2020
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★★★★★! Gabriel’s Inferno, book 1 of 3. Professor Gabriel Emerson’s courtly seduction of his chaste student Julia!

“Then I’m glad I’m your first.”

Books in Gabriel’s Inferno trilogy should be read in order:
Book 1: Gabriel’s Inferno
Book 2: Gabriel’s Rapture
Book 3: Gabriel’s Redemption

Gabriel’s Inferno, book 1 opens up with Professor Gabriel O. Emerson, Dante specialist for the Department of Italian Studies at the University of Toronto giving a seminar. MA Grad student Julianne Mitchell, Julia is in class, but not paying attention. Professor Emerson addresses her in front of class which only causes her to shrink in her seat and not respond. When he catches her a second time he asks her to see her after class. But their meeting never happened and so they are off to a very rocky start.

It should be noted the brilliance of Sylvain Reynard’s plot and writing. Set against the backdrop of Dante’s Devine Comedy the Gabriel’s Inferno trilogy is rich on symbolism, depth, history and divine message. The ingenuity of using Dante’s journey in professors Emerson’s lectures, life lessons, experiences and parallels that can clearly be drawn between Dante – Gabriel, who after having moved through hell meets up with his Beatrice – Julia, to be guided from hell to ultimately enter paradise. Simply divine!

“I’m going to be thrown out of Paradise tomorrow, Beatrice. Our only hope is that you find me afterward. Look for me in Hell.”

Their romance will be a slow blossom…. the epitome of courtly love. Quite the contrast to the previous life of Professor Emerson, respected and praised scholar by day and hedonist by night, roaming the clubs of Toronto for his next fuck.

He finds himself irked by Julia, but after learning more about her situation he feels both pity and sympathy while fighting a growing attraction to his student. Julia in turn appears to have love-hate for her professor. Both are broken with secrets they rather keep. More will unfold throughout and not everything is at it seems!

Add to that the university’s strict non-fraternization policy and you have nothing short of a forbidden whirlwind romance with suspense, intrigue, villains, lies, deceit, jealousy and love against all odds!

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Professor Gabriel O. Emerson, or as Dante’s Divine Comedy would have it, Dante Alighieri. But don’t forget Gabriel the fallen angel… He has been through hell and he needs rescuing, except he thinks he is without a soul and unredeemable.

"She was both perfect and untouchable, a brown-eyed angel dressed in resplendent white, while he was older, world-weary and wanting."

A larger-than-life hero, on my top -10 shelf. Nine words to describe Gabriel: Pretentious, mercurial, jaded, brilliant, broken, corrupted, enigmatic, commanding and unforgettable.

“I will always be conscious of your absence.”

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And just like Beatrice came to guide Dante to paradise Julianne Mitchell, Julia has come to rescue Gabriel. Nine words to describe Julia: Shy, stubborn, smart, timid, chaste, tenacious, fragile, loyal and patient.

“I don’t expect you to understand. You’re only a magnet for mishap, Miss Mitchell, while I am a magnet for sin.”

Even better the third time around! Book 1 ends in a good place, but with much more to come so I am happy to jump over to book 2, Gabriel’s Rapture for the continuation of their story.

As for ingenuity, symbolism and depth this is by far one of the best romantic fictions I have ever read! Brilliant, inspiring and interesting plot! Masterfully told! Unforgettable and swoon-worthy professor Gabriel Emerson! And… enough intrigue, suspense and romance to keep you glued throughout their saga! The coveted 6-star shelf!

“You’re gorgeous, Gabriel. You always were, you know.”
“Nature’s cruelty— the fallen angel retains his beauty. But I’m ugly on the inside.”

Hero rating: 5+ stars
Heroine rating: 4 stars
Sex scenes rating: 5 stars
Sex scenes frequency: N/A
Storyline concept rating: 5+ stars
Storytelling skills rating: 5 stars
Story ending rating: N/A
Book editing rating (5 = no edits spotted): 5 stars
Overall rating: 5+ stars

Would I recommend this series: Yes.
Would I re-read this series: Yes.
Would I read future books by this author: Yes.

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Profile Image for Christy.
3,814 reviews32.4k followers
April 20, 2015
Re-read of Gabriel’s Inferno

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Professor Emerson... you’ve stolen my heart once again! I think this re-read made me love this book even more than the first time I read it. Gabriel’s Inferno is one of the most beautiful and well written romances I have ever read. I can’t wait to do a re-read of book 2 and am anxiously awaiting the release of the third!

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“When I am an old man and I can remember nothing else, I will remember this moment. The first time my eyes beheld an angel in the flesh. “I will remember your body and your eyes, your beautiful face and breasts, your curves and this.” He traced his hand around her navel before dragging it lightly to the top of her lower curls. “I will remember your scent and your touch and how it felt to love you. But most of all, I will remember how it felt to gaze at true beauty, both inside and out. For you are fair, my beloved, in soul and in body, generous of spirit and generous of heart. And I will never see anything this side of heaven more beautiful than you”
Profile Image for Kristin (KC).
251 reviews25.1k followers
October 11, 2014
*5 Stars* (edited review)

The reread is even sweeter...

It has been said that no two persons ever read the same book. I'd also venture to say that no one person ever reads the same book twice. Each reread holds a different experience; a separate opportunity to view the story in a new light, this time with pockets full of insight. And since my experience, although equally wonderful, was different this time around, I feel compelled to compose a new review reflecting my current feelings.

Gabriel's Inferno is a book that speaks to me on various levels, many of which oppose one another. This story is insanely sexy, but tender and romantic. It's sweet but fierce; dark but light. It's serious and emotional, but entertaining and funny. It's fresh and original, but has an old fashioned, timeless feel that keeps me coming back for more.

What makes this book stand out amongst others in its genre is the exquisite writing; writing that transports the reader precisely where the story leads, with a unique style that's lyrical, eloquent, and romantic. It offers a cast of genuinely complex and intriguing characters, and has introduced me to one of my favorite fictional couples to date: Gabriel and Julia.

Gabriel is Julia's professor in her Dante seminar, and this is where the forbidden element arises. Their reluctant relationship is slow to build, but passionate and romantic with the perfect amount of angst and sexual tension.

Gabriel is a brooding, pretentious, alpha-type hero whose initial arrogance reaches comical heights. But he has a sweet filling. He's the product of a painful past, and takes himself way too seriously. But luckily, this story offers a third person perspective with a sometimes-snarky narrator who likes to poke fun at Gabriel's various idiosyncrasies — such as his obsession with fountain pens and his "medieval" mannerisms. It often appeared as though Gabriel was just released from another decade, and I adored this quirky aspect of the storytelling.

Julia is a loving and genuinely kind heroine. She may appear weak and innocent, but she does have backbone. She strives to see the good in people and believes that evil is better left alone, where it's free to discover itself. And although it seems she'd be Gabriel's saving grace, their need for each other was balanced.

This book draws inspiration from the passionate love story of historical figures Dante and Beatrice, offering a modern day spin that is simply stunning. There are multiple themes presented within the plot — "redemption" being the focal point. I fell in love with this story at first read, and it has become one of the rare few that I will continue to make time to read despite my ever growing TBR list. Just beautiful!

For if you truly believe that kindness is never wasted, you have to hold tightly to that belief even when the kindness is thrown back in your face.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Book Stats:
▪ Genre/Category: Contmeporary romance
▪ Steam Caliber: Moderate/Very sexy
▪ Romance: Slow buildup, passionate, gorgeous.
▪ Characters: Sexy, brooding, but sweet hero. Strong and lovable heroine.
▪ Plot: Forbidden love. Professor/student. Redemption themed.
▪ Writing: Eloquent, poetic, original and completely breathtaking.
▪ POV: 3rd Person Perspective
▪ Cliffhanger: None
▪ Next Installment: Follow up

Profile Image for Bibi.
1,282 reviews3,268 followers
July 13, 2020
I see the appeal of GI and had I read when it was initially published I would, at the very least, have stuck with it to the end.

However, the forbidden teacher-student-rich alpha male-virgin female trope has become so boring and redundant. It doesn't help that this- with its copious allusions to Dante and Frodo blah blah- is slightly too pretentious for my taste. DNF @ 50%
Profile Image for Sylvia.
Author 118 books120k followers
July 2, 2012
Lovely! Especially loved their backstory.
Profile Image for Hulya Kara Yuksel.
904 reviews1,080 followers
November 6, 2019
Update 3 : You have to watch this teaser! :D

Introducing Julia, played by Melanie Zanetti, and Gabriel, played by Giulio Berruti...

Melanie Zanetti (Julia)

Giulio Berruti (Gabriel)


Update 2: Awesome news from Passionflix! 😍😍😍



Update 1: OMG my lovely GR friends. Please look at what Sylvain Reynard just shared. :) Ahhh I'm soooo happy right now. :D

My film and television rights are now represented by Alice Lawson of the Gersh Agency. What this means is that Alice has generously taken up the helm with the #GabrielsInferno series in an effort to bring a movie or series to life. Wish her luck, #SRFans!



Everyone should meet the Professor! He's smart, sexy and so romantic! I love him so much and this book is one of my favorites now. : )

Profile Image for Ramona Popescu.
371 reviews135 followers
December 3, 2016
I have a passion for teacher and student love stories, and this is by faaaaar the most delicious and intriguing book I have ever read upon this subject.

I quickly became addicted to the story, for me this being like a roller-coaster of emotions.
First you have the heroes: Julia- a shy but determined student, that dreams of becoming a Dante Specialist.

We get to see her journey of discovery, that is by far a complex one, from a girl to a woman. Gabriel- a conflicted yet charming Dante teacher, with a strong personality and intimidating posture. The 2 of them know each other, but one does't remember exactly the connection that they have, only when their feeling became too strong and the recollection is inevitable.
Their love story is unique and tormented by both heroes past, the insecurities and mistakes they made are here to hunt them and keep them apart.


In the first part of the book we see them struggling with their feelings, being aware of the impossibility of their relation. The heart battles reason, right battles wrong. In the second part we get to explore more of their relationship, and how can they cope with the obstacles they face. Although at the beginning, we believe that they are different, we will get to see throughout the book how much they are alike, this resemblance between them being the first thing that clicks them together, but also ignited some feisty scenes.

Gabriel became one of my favorite heroes of all time because of his complexity as a character. You have 2 sides of him: the one that remained in the past, tortured by guilt, bad decisions and hate, and the one that you can see and explore thanks to Julia: loving, tender and thoughtful. Besides that, he is extremely smart, stubborn and has a huge impact on everyone he meets. His development in the series is outstanding, and by the end of the books you will love him more ( if possible) :)


Second, the book is so well documented and full of artistic and literature references that will blow your mind away. It is very well kept together by it and supports the action and the love story of the heroes. I don't think that we have one page that doesn't have an artistic idea in it and 5 stars to Sylvain for putting this book together in this amazing way. It was well documented, with a strong base and not a word in it was unnecessary.

In a few words, this series was it for me, having every ingredient to keep on reading and connect with my heroes at a deep emotional level.

5 stars and keep on counting!!


For more reviews please check https://readwithloveblog.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Pearl Angeli.
622 reviews950 followers
August 15, 2016

"You are a only a magnet for mishap, Miss Mitchell, while I am a magnet for sin."

4 I Burn for You Stars!

There are three things I loved the most about this book:

Gabriel Emerson


Gabriel Emerson




Gabriel Emerson aside, I loved all the things about this book. I was pulled in the moment I started reading it because of Sylvain Reynard's unique and captivating writing. The storyline, although you can call it cliché, is usually the kind of story that holds my interest. Forbidden student-teacher love? Right up my alley!

Gabriel's Inferno is written as a 3rd person POV. It follows the enigmatic Gabriel Owen Emerson, a Dante specialist and professor at the University of Toronto. As a professor, he is not allowed to get romantically involved with any of his students, but when he met the innocent, vulnerable and somewhat familiar graduate student Julia Mitchell, he wasn't able to resist the physical and even emotional attraction that he felt for her.

I'll be honest with you. There was a slow build-up of the plot and the romantic development here, but I thought it was a good thing. I love stories that begin with enough prelude before getting into intimacies. Julia and Gabriel's romantic development gave me goosebumps. The fact that they started their relationship as platonic.... it was sweet and breathtaking.

I especially adored the classical sound tracks that were mentioned in this book. I am a fan of Andrea Bocelli and his song Sogno was featured here, so it automatically made me swoon. The dialogues in this book were also charming. I cannot properly formulate a thought on how I enjoyed the way Julia and Gabriel had deep conversations and how they connected Dante's The Divine Comedy to their own story (Although I honestly don't have the knowledge about The Divine Comedy lol). When it comes to my favorite scene, it happened in Chapter 15. Man, that was some fiery exchange of dialogues.

I thoroughly enjoyed the way the story climbed as a whole. It was slow burn but so worth it. I am so excited to delve into the next book!

Pearl's Book Journey (1)

Profile Image for "That's All" Ash.
158 reviews1,926 followers
July 30, 2014
If I had to only use one word to sum up this book?


I wasn’t supposed to read this book, you know. And I absolutely wasn’t supposed to like it. I had read an excerpt from it about a year ago, and immediately scrunched up my nose while simultaneously turning it up in conclusion that it just wasn’t my cup o’ tea. I was like, “A professor and a student version of Fifty Shades of Grey, eh?” Pass.

And then I did read it.
And. Then. I. Fucking. Loved. It.

So here, let me introduce it to you…

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She met him when she was sixteen.
Out in a twilight orchard, she came across a very beautiful and apple-sweet boy. ♦
♦ And he was gone in the morning.

A couple of years go by, and that boy is now a haunted man.

And he’s her professor.

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“… Miss Mitchell?” Professor Gabriel Emerson’s voice carried across the seminar room to the attractive brown-eyed young woman who was seated at the back.

“I expect an answer to my question, Miss Mitchell. If you’d care to join us.” His voice was glacial, like his eyes.

The young woman opened her mouth minutely and closed it, staring into those unblinking blue eyes, her own eyes wide like a frightened rabbit.

“Is English your first language?” he mocked her.


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Though Gabriel doesn’t quite remember her… there’s still a black wire of sexual attraction between the two. And he tries like hell to stay far, far away from it because he knows that he’s surrounded by sin and she’s enveloped by everything… good.

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Quite frankly, Julianne’s *terrified* of Gabriel and tries to stay as far away from him as she possibly can. But the two of them keep running into each other through circumstance, and the more she sees of him… the more she’s intrigued.

And that intrigue soon turns into something else entirely.

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In terms of the whole Fifty Shades of Grey comparison… there definitely are similarities. But where FSOG was more… sexual and perhaps potable; Gabriel’s Inferno is more sensual and emotionally consuming.

I think E.L. James told the better story, and Sylvain Reynard told the story better.

This is a book that’s going to have you tearing through its pages like it’s a 20-page picture book. Because it’s just written so fucking well! I sat down to read a couple chapters, just to give it a second chance and 500 plus pages later…
Here I am.

That’s all.
Profile Image for Blacky *Romance Addict*.
465 reviews6,257 followers
March 25, 2015
This book is just too long, it would have got 3 stars from me if it was atleast 100 pages shorter. The anoying thing is the main female character, Julia. She spends 2/3 of the book staring at her feet because she's so shy. Not much happening in the book, mostly Gabriel and Julia talking about the same stuff over and over again. Although, there are some very nice and emotional scenes, that's why I gave it 2 stars :)
Profile Image for Sarah Maxwell.
82 reviews
April 12, 2011
I had the privilege of reading an unpublished version of this book. I fell completely in love with this story, which became my reading addiction for nearly a year. I was there for every chapter update and would obsessively think about the characters in the interim. I fangirled the author, and became a complete freak over this story. I would STRONGLY suggest this book to any of my friends. It's an incredible love story. 5 stars.
Profile Image for Lucia.
733 reviews805 followers
November 9, 2013
My Julia and Gabriel:

Wow! This is a phenomenal book!

Gabriel's Inferno is the best story about forbidden love I have ever read. All characters were believable and real. They have their ups and downs, fears and dreams, past issues and hopes for future. This is very compact and smart book. It has everything - romance, erotica, art, religious elements. I really enjoyed reading it, it made me cry, laugh, smile, anxious... Reading Gabriel's Inferno was really a fulfilling experience! And I absolutely love all those references to another classic literary works, especially the ones considering Lord of the Rigs.

Main female character, Julia, is kind, sweet, smart and reincarnation of pure goodness. But also, she can be very passionate and angry when needed. She has definitely become my favourite female heroine. She always did exactly the same thing I would do if I was in her shoes. And Gabriel... he went thought various changes during the book and I have no other choice than fell in love with him. He may have a dark past and intense personality, but he is a true gentleman and he knows how to spoil a woman. I felt so much compassion for all characters, not just for Julia and Gabriel. Most of the time it was a sensual and pleasant reading but sometimes it was very heart-wrenching and my heart was racing when something bad was about to happen or something tragic to be discussed (and there is not many books that would do that to me).

Dear SR, you have earned a prominent place on my favourite bookshelf with this book and you gained another devoted fan who is eagerly awaiting sequel.

MORE REVIEWS ON MY BLOG Reading Is My Breathing
Profile Image for Tigris Eden.
Author 46 books460 followers
May 1, 2011
I was asked to review this book by Omnific Publishing and the funny thing was is that I won a coupon on Twitter from them and this was the book I had selected as what I wanted to read. I am a sucker for The Divine Comedy and any references Dante's Inferno. Hence Gabriel's Inferno caught my attention. I hadn't even read the blurb just saw the title and immediately related it to Dante's Inferno. I have never ready anything by Reynard and had no clue what so ever... A virgin reader to a new author and I am just going to say that from the moment I picked up my Kindle I could not....Literally would not put my Kindle down. I was seduced, entranced, and completely satisfied after I reached 100%.

This is the story of two people with equally troubled pasts. I can't even begin to make sense of the story and sound the least bit intelligent. I was a virgin to the world that Reynard created for his characters. The narrator, and its characters were equally charming and sinful. There were characters in the story that I detested for reasons the reader will understand when they pick up this amazing read. I always give little quotes here and there for most of my reviews and I will do it for this one as well, because the words were amazing, colorful, powerful, and most definitely seductive in a way that has the reader pulled into the story, living all the emotions that Julia lived through as well as the destructive and tormented nature of Gabriel.

Professor and Student, Idolized Love and Dream, Awakens a powerful story that is Gabriel and Julia. The story opens up in Florence 1283 with the poet standing next to a bridge watching his secret love approach, and of all things the last thing he expected was far the beautiful muse to stop and actually talk to him but she does even if its only for the briefest moment. Then she leaves and he is left wondering if he will ever see her again.

Then fast forward to present day. The setting is a class room with a very occupied Julia Mitchell as she is basically staring off into space and is interrupted by a Professor Emerson who is calling on her in class. She isn't able to answer her question. He is obviously upset with her, is even rude with her and the entire class notices. Julia is embarrassed but is quickly rescued by the handsome gentlemen sitting next to her who passes her a small note. That calms her nerves a bit. The note simply reads. "Emerson is an ass". When she giggles a bit this gets her into more trouble with Professor Emerson who requests her to meet him after class.

The journey begins here.

Its a story of the forbidden as well as a story of forgiveness and strength. I really don't want to give the story away, truly and honestly. But believe me when I say that you definitely want to embark on their adventure. Its a sensual and erotic journey into the lives of not just Julia and Gabriel but all the other players in the game. Reynard makes reference to some of my favorite stories. One in particular as a child I use to love The Velveteen Rabbit. This is actually a pet name that is given to Julia by Paul the handsome student that rescue's her from Professor Emerson.

There is a dark and light side to this book, and it visits places that other authors have tried to visit and have not even been able to brush the tip of the iceberg. By a long shot! I don't considered my self a quote on quote top reader, but I do consider my self a worldly reader, and I read a little bit of everything from sonnets, to classical, all the way to biographies. My first love is Romance Paranormal to be factual. This is not a paranormal romance. This is a contemporary romance and it touches on Dante's Divine Comedy La Vita Nouva, and even the Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien. Not in story but references made one I loved is when Julia compares Christa to a monster from the hobbit. I will let the reader figure that one out...

Gabriel Emerson and Julia Mitchell are not suppose to be together, the teacher/student fraternization policy at the university is very clear on that, but the two manage to overcome that along with some other interesting obstacle and secrets as their relationship progresses. It's a turbulent start in the beginning that turns to a raw burning desire, a flame that has never gone out for Julia and one the good professor had always believed to be a dream. Its an amazing read and I can't wait for the next book... The journey doesn't end! I am excited to see their next adventure. The entire time I was writing this review I was tempted to go back and start the story again. That is how brilliant Reynard is.

So its time for a quote... Its small and quick... But deep all the same. "Now his blessedness appeared"

Profile Image for Naksed.
2,987 reviews
July 13, 2018
The basic proposition of this book is that only making love with someone you have a deep emotional and spiritual bond with is acceptable and non-sinful. Anything else is sinful. In fact, it would be better not to have sex at all and just worship your love from afar, the ideal of courtly love as illustrated by Dante and his Beatrice.

Any female character who has any sexuality outside of the non-sinful realm is mercilessly slut-shamed as a whore, half woman, half beast, with serpentine eyes, fake hair, showy cleavage, pink tongue darting out, definitely belonging to the hell circle of Dante's poem. The sweet, virginal, pure heroine calls them the Emerson whores, Gollums, heartless succubus. Isn't she so sweet?

The virginal heroine on the other hand is likened to a vulnerable prey in need of a big male's protection. She is likened to a frightened rabbit, a fluttering bird, a curled up kitten, a rosy-cheeked lamb, stumbling at every step, crying at the drop of a hat (she cries over pie for God'sake!), chewing on her lip, gaping like a codfish.

A 23 year old virgin who has slept with the picture of a man she does not know but worships from afar under her pillow every night, as she cuddles a velvet rabbit and falls into troubled slumber. A character so infantilized by the author that it gave me completely creepy pedo vibes. Yet we are supposed to believe in a first rate intelligence that allowed her admission to Harvard, failing which she had to settle for the Harvard of the North, the University of Toronto.

There is so much shame in this book about sex, thinking of it, doing it, even listening to a song like Nine Inch Nails' Closer or watching a Tarantino film is made akin to a sin. Right then and there, I knew I could never like an author who trashes Trent Reznor. And I had to laugh out loud at the character calling Tarantino too dark. I mean, what would happen if she ever watched a Lars Von Trier film?

The hero is self-hating, self-loathing, a fallen angel who has had "sick shit" in his past and therefore too tainted to even touch the snow white heroine. The heroine is made out to be so self-sacrificing and strong because she tries to accept him despite all his sins. His sins consisting of a sexually active life for a 35 year old unattached man.

And of course there is that pesky obstacle of the non-fraternization policy between a Professor and a student but no worries. Hero is on speed dial with his attorney, trying to find loopholes. The rest of the time, these two will just have to sneak around and lie to family and friends. So ethical. So moral. So non-sinful. So romantic.

Courtly love, my ass. They are both in love with fictional, literary characters. Not even the real Dante and Beatrice but the characters that the poet made up, including the fictionalized version of himself, in order to construct an epic poem. She is in love with a picture and some fuzzy memories from one night six years ago then gets angry when the real flesh and blood human being that she decided would be the perfect vessel for her warped and absurd worship turns out to have feet of clay. He can't even see her for who she is. Keeps calling her Julianne when her name is Julia, or more nauseatingly, his Beatrice. This is not love. It's delusion.

Last but not least, all the designer label porn. Yes, good excuse to name drop all these nauseating brands by making your main character a prissy, snobbish, materialistic dandy. But what about Tiny Tim, our frail, destitute heroine? Hard to believe this abused, frightened rabbit/lamb/kitten/bird would have sharp enough Eagle vision to detect Armani brand glasses from across a crowded auditorium, or stash Louboutins next to her hot plate and electric kettle in her one-step-away-from-the-homeless-shelter abode.

I can't really believe this author was in earnest when writing this. It had to be a cynical in-joke, deciding on a paint by number approach to contemporary romance with all the worst tropes available, and throw in some pseudo-intellectual veneer by invoking the Italian Renaissance to dress up this dull and tedious story, simply in order to capitalise on the success of recent best sellers in this genre.
Profile Image for Shari.
Author 2 books41 followers
October 3, 2012
What to say about this wonderful book? When I read, I enjoy losing myself in the atmosphere, finding that I can "see" what is being played out before me on the page. This book and this talented author have that just ability. From the beginning, I was hooked; a poet longing for a woman, his muse. A passing of two people, a bright smile and he is forever lost. Fast forward to the present, where an irksome and pretentious bastard of a Professor berates his seemingly meek and mild graduate student. Why? What could she have possibly done to receive such treatment? Immediately I found that I wanted, no needed, to know why the Professor was so angry. An overheard phone call immediately made me change my feelings about the both of them. (I will divulge no more, you have to experience this level of captivation.)

From that very moment on, I found that I needed to read more and more. This was a book that I could not put down. With each chapter, a little more peeled back and revealed. The characters grow and develop. To me they felt like real people; like people I could know, not some contrived character created to do amazing and astounding things as often seen in the popular literature. They experience true pain and hurt, but they also are capable of receiving and giving love, even for feeling hope. There is so much more beyond the surface of these characters.

The reading of this novel rekindled my love of Dante and the Divine Comedy. It has awakened a deep desire to visit Italy. More times than not, I felt as though somehow the author was able to write in a way that resonated deeply for me. He was able to describe feelings I had and have held deep; how was he able to express so exactly what I could not say myself. I felt a closeness and connection with these characters that has me longing to learn more about them and where their journey will take them into the sequel. And of course, I must add that the presence of a snarky narrator kept a constant smile upon my face.

Beautiful, touching and enchanting writing – this book deserves to be read and enjoyed. I cannot say enough good things about it.

Profile Image for Yeasmin Alo .
190 reviews292 followers
November 24, 2020
I am dropping by real quick to let you know

If y'all loved Gabriel's Inferno Book then make sure to watch the Movie asap

I am still so raw after watching the last part
I was a total emotional wreck
Even after 3 days I can't get this movie out of my head

I have never watched any book adaption this good
It was definition of perfect

I am saying it again
Gabriel's Inferno Movie is the Definition of Perfect


First things first
I was quite hesitant to pick up this book
But then I saw two of my absolute favorite authors rated it generously so I had to go for it
And that was the best decision I made ❤ I thanked Allah three times during reading it because I found this art ❤
The story telling was amazing
I think this is the only modern Rom fic I've read is narrated in Third Person and I really enjoyed it

Grazie e ti benedico dio di tutti i romanzi romantici, della sensualità e della lenta seduzione 💜🌹

There are so many quotes in this book that touched my heart
I am going to recite an infamous one and stop my blabbering

"Sometimes people, when left alone, can hear their own hatefulness for themselves. Sometimes goodness is enough to expose evil for what it really is."
Profile Image for Natalie.
287 reviews65 followers
October 14, 2018

★★★★ Poetic, beautiful and profound, forbidden and breathtaking. A sexy professor embraces in a dangerous affair with his beautiful student.

MOVe OVER CHRISTIAN GREY. GABRIEL O. EMERSON IS IN THE BUILDING! Gabriel's Inferno was utterly beautifull, completely stunning, spectactular and breathtaking, no matter what worlds I'll use I don't feel i can make this book justice. It is when I have read a masterpiece like this, that I simply adored, I wish that my english was better so I could convince everyone to read this hypnotic book. Everyone should get to meet Julianne and The Professor. Their love story is so beautiful. The way it started, the way it grows, the way it blossoms...I love that Gabriel was such an ass towards Julia, his poor student, at first. It was so much fun to read. Seriously, he was a first grade jerk!

Sometimes he was such an intimidating douche that I almost wanted to pee my pants in Julia's place. I am suprised that she didn't. I didn't think it was possible to absolutely adore a novel this much. I love almost everything about this. Evert single page, and the writing is exceptional. It is amazing really how many times I can read this and still want more and more. The unique writing style, the plot, the characters, the pace and so on. I usually prefer when books are written in 1st POVs, but 3rd POV is perfect for this book. I have read this several and I cant seem to get tired of it. This is not one of your typical romance books, boy meet girl, they fall in love, get married, have kids - this is a much more complicated novel with a lot of drama and suprising twists.

I can´t recommend it enough. This book is beautiful on so many levels. After reading this for the fourth time, I began to see the heroine, Julia, in an entirely different light. While I've always regarded her as a weak mouse, afraid of her own shadow, I this time realized that I couldn't been more wrong. She is so strong. She stands up for herself complletely and she always makes decisions that is right for her in the long run, even if it will hurt. She is anything but spineless. And listen to this: I found myself agreeing to everything she said, and every decision she made. That's the first time I can say that. And she is pure goodness.

And The Professor, Jesus!, that is something so sexy over him and his bow ties , he gave me butterflies everytime a word came out of his mouth. Seriously, he is one of the sexiest male characters ever. It doesn't help that he is drop dead gorgeous and is an old fashioned gentleman. When he isn't being an ass, of course. He ruins panties everywhere he goes and he is on every womens fuck-me list. And he was a major man whore before he met Julia. I adored the way he persued her, and how much he loved her. This book between The Professor and his student, ten years his junior, is by far the best book I read when it comes to forbidden romances, and one of my very few, favorite books ever! Have I mentioned how sexy I find the professor, where the hell are men like that today? Do they even exist? How he courted Julianne...oh my. It was perfect. He is perfect. The Professor's seduction skills get an A ++

DAVID GANDY is The Professor. Spot on! Dark, sexy, mysterious...
Profile Image for Richa.
50 reviews1,177 followers
March 16, 2013
Wise men say only fools rush in...

But I can't help falling in love with you.......

Oh gods of wonderful books and voracious readers and all that is love and true and holy, thank you for the existence of this book!

One of the best romance stories I've read this year....one of the most sensual stories I've ever come across...I'm going to create a special category for this book...One-of-the-best-romances-with-the-best-kisses-and-wonderful-sensuality-and-story-that-left-me-sighing-endlessly-my-favourite-kind-of-romance-surprisingly-written-by-a-man (Surprising not because I think that a man can't write such a story, surprising because I'd never come across such a story written by a man before this one :D).....

He pressed their lips together, and she sighed, resting her head against his chest and listening to the steady, contended rhythm of his heart. Time passed or stood still. Two almost-lovers entwined beneath a dark November sky, the stars and moonlight their only illumination.


He embodied all the seven deadly sins....especially lust...

She was the brown-eyed angel....filled with the seven virtues...especially chastity..

He was the Darkness...

She was his light....

He was in Hell...

And she.....his Paradise...

He was her Dante...

And she his Beatrice...

"You could have any woman you want, Gabriel."

He furrowed his eyebrows. "I only want you."

She rested her head against his chest and smiled.

"Being without you, Julianne, is like enduring an endless night without stars."

But he was The Professor and she, his student....

Will they find a way to be together??

Or will they burn forever in The Inferno??....


The story begins with The Professor, Professor Gabriel Emerson being Professor Ass to Miss Julianne Mitchell. He is charismatic, enigmatic, sexy and well, needless to say, gorgeous. With his sapphire eyes hidden behind a pair of black Prada glasses, warm brown hair, and impeccable dressing sense, he was the kind of professor who never had a dearth of female companionship, the kind who had all the females ogling him, fantasizing, and focusing more on him than his lecture. Oh and did I mention that he had great, sensual lips?

She realized immediately that not only had she never seen a professor as attractive as he before, she had never encountered a professor who was so studiously put together. He could have appeared in an advertising campaign for Prada, something no prpfessor had ever done before.

(For it must be noted that university professors are not usually admired for their fashion sense.)

I can't seem to find my Gabriel, so for now just imagine the man below with more hotness, more elegance, more sexiness, more everything just oozing out of him... Oh gods of all pictures and hot men, please help me find my perfect Gabriel...

Usually painfully poilte to everyone, he acts like a jerk towards Julia, a graduate student pursuing her MA under his supervision. For some reason, she irks him, arouses unknown emotions and feelings in him, feelings he has no idea what to do with...

Miss Mitchell tasting wine was the most erotic thing he'd ever witnessed.

She was not merely attractive; she was beautiful, like an angel or a muse. And she wasn't merely beautiful; she was sensual and hypnotic, but also innocent. Her pretty eyes reflected a depth of feeling and radiant purity that he had never noticed before.

Miss Mitchell was a Calamity Jane, a vortex of vexation.

But despite knowing that disaster might result from their association and destroy them both, he couldn't seem to resist her...because she seems so familiar ....so much like his Beatrice...

"Wrath is one of the deadly sins," she remarked, turning away from him to gaze out the window, trying to alleviate the burning sensation in her middle.

He laughed bitterly. "Remarkably, I have all seven; don't bother counting. Pride, envy, wrath, sloth, avarice, gluttony, lust."

She lifted an eyebrow but did not turn around. "Somehow, I doubt that."

"I don't expect you to understand. You're only a magnet for mishap, Miss Mitchell, while I am a magnet for sin."

Both their lives had changed irrevocably six years ago....a night spent in an apple orchard...a night he couldn't seem to remember and a night she couldn't seem to forget...their entire relationship was based on a single night, a night she relived in her memories over and over again....

"Beatrice." He smiled and handed her the apple.

She stared at it entranced, as if it were a treasure.

"Come, Beatrice." He held his hand out to her.

"Have you ever lain next to a boy and looked up at the stars?" He pulled her down to the blanket and watched her as they lay on their backs.


He threaded his fingers through hers and placed the connection that was theirs on top of his heart. She could feel it beating slowly beneath her touch, and she took comfort in its steady rhythm.

"You're beautiful, Beatrice. Like a brown-eyed angel."

"Have you ever been kissed by a boy?"

She blushed deeply and shook her head.

"Then I'm glad I'm your first."

She managed to close her eyes before his perfect mouth found hers. She floated.

He kissed her as if he knew her, as if she belonged to him. His kiss was passionate and full of emotion, as if every fibre of his being had melted and spread itself on hs lips only to be given to her. Her heart skidded in her chest at the thought. She had never dared to hope for such a first kiss. Somehow, as the pressre of his lips lesssened, she felt like bursting into tears, knowing that she'd never be kissed like that again. He'd ruined her for anyone else. Forever.

"What are you thinking?" She shifted herself so that she was curled up at his side, close to but not touching him with her body.

"I was thinking about how I waited for you. I waited and waited, and you never came." He smiled at her sadly.

"I'm sorry,..."

"You're here now. Apparuit iam beatitudo vestra."

"I don't know what that means." She sounded shy.

"It means now your blessedness appears. But really, it should be now my blessedness appears. Now that you're here." He pulled her closet, snaking his arm beneath her neck and down to her waist where he splayed his hand, fingers wide, at the small of her back. "For the rest of my life, I'll dream of hearing your voice breathe my name."

In their orchard, which was Paradise, there were only two almost-lovers and no one and nothing else.

But both of them have secrets...secrets that could tear them apart forever...maybe.....Will they survive the forces working against them?

He released her hand and rolled onto his back, gazing up at the ceiling. "I lost my soul, Julianne."

"What do you mean?"

"You're looking at one of those precious few who have committed the sin unto death."


Gabriel sighed. "My name is the bitterest irony. I'm closer to a devil than an angel, and I'm beyond redemption because I've done unforgivable things."

Can they love each other even with their dark sides?....


This book was like a fresh breath of air after a long time in this genre. Absolutely loved it!! :))

It was full of sensuality without vulgarity. The author has woven a web of passion with his words and I was caught in it. A willing victim. I absolutely loved the fact that there was no F*cking in it. Loved it, loved it, loved it! Ever since f*cking became so hot and the in thing, all you could see in the stories was f*cking here, f*cking there, f*cking, f*cking everywhere!!! Aghhhhh!!!! Thank you author for not doing the same here. No, seriously, thank you!

I'll admit that it's not a perfect story....nope, not at all. It has some pretentiousness involved, sometimes too much crying (by the heroine) and pain, the heroine (although intelligent and lovable) was too shy sometimes (made me want to roll my eyes a lot of times), and various other flaws I couldn't care less about. I didn't care about them...still don't. Because despite these flaws the story simply grabs you and sucks you in. This story seemed to draw a lot of inspiration from the Twilight series but still managed to create an originality of it's own.

Kiss. Kiss. Kisses. Making Love. Where are these things in today's stories? They seem to have become extinct...like a lost art. This book revives that culture...a culture in which the journey leading to ecstasy was more important than the final act of experiencing ectasy itself. Where kissing could be more erotic than anything that comes after that. And I'm grateful for it. Filled with passionate kisses, sweet kisses, slow kisses, and desperate, urgent kisses...this book is bursting at the seams with sensuality in it's true sense, electric in it's potrayal of courtly love, eros, and simply true love....and the lost concept of "making love".

This is a story of one man's salvation and one woman's sensual awakening.....

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Sometimes people, when left alone, can hear their own hatefulness for themselves. Sometimes goodness is enough to expose evil for what it really is.

Lazy but curious hands caressed naked skin, exploring gently but chastely. Sighs commingled in the dark as two souls breathed as one. Two heartbeats synchronized when they recognized one another. And two troubled, conflicted minds finally came to rest.

"Your body and mine together. You came to me last night, Julianne. You came to my bed. Why did you do that? Why did you tell me you couldn't stay away? Because we're soulmates, just like Aristophanes described- one soul in two bodies. You're my missing half. You're my bashert."

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Julia was breathing his breath, hot and moist inside her mouth. He was her oxygen. She couldn't stop kissing long enough to truly inhale, and her head began to float. It made the feel of his lips more intense, so didn't fight it. She just gave in, licking and sucking and moving...

Gabriel retreated minutely, breaking the kiss.

He let his thumbs trace the curve of the naked skin at her waist. She inhaled quickly, and he hugged her close, wrappin his arms around her and feeling her breasts pressed up against him.

"You need to become accustomed to my lips, Julia, because I intend to kiss you a lot."

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Two bodies pressed tightly together in a lover's dance, eager with anticipation.

"I can feel your heart beating." she whispered.

"For you," he said , with a smoldering expression.

"When I am an old man and I can remember nothing else, I will remember this moment. The first time my eyes beheld an angel in the flesh.

I will remember your body and your eyes, your beautiful face and breasts, your curves and this...."

"I will remember your scent and your touch and how it felt to love you. But most of all, I will remember how it felt to gaze at true beauty, both inside and out. For you are fair, my beloved, in soul and in body, generous of spirit and generous of heart. And I will never see anything this side of heaven more beautiful than you."

"I love you. I just want to make you happy, to watch you smile. Forever."

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Lightness and darkness, innocence and experience, kissed and caressed in the warmth and acceptance created by their love. The dark angel whispered to his muse in Italian until she fell asleep in his arms, happier than she had ever been. She was loved.

Gabriel Emerson was an unexpected delight, like a dark chocolate bar with a sweet surprise centre. :P There were so many surprises lurking beneath his boorish, pretentious exterior surface like ...his sweet talk and gentleness. So many surprises lurking beneath his handsome, ogle-worthy, sigh-worthy face and body...so many surprises in his soul...

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Oh, and did I say that I absolutely love this cover? Very sensual, very clever.....the picture conveying only a hint of something sinful, promising to fulfill your desire for a passionate love with only a suggestion of sensuality (which it more than fulfills...)

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All in all, it's a book with a blazing inferno of wild passion and love...tread and read carefully lest you get burned...

"Will you come back?" Her voice was almost a whimper.

Gabriel sighed deeply. "I'm going to be thrown out of Paradise tomorrow, Beatrice. Our only hope is that you find me afterward. Look for me in Hell."

He gently rolled her onto her back and placed his hands on either side of her hips, hovering over her-eyes wide-staring longingly and intensely down into her very soul.

And then he brought his lips to hers....

Oh god of all such authors and all such sensual stories, thank you for making me stumble upon this one and buying it. Thank you for making me take notice of the cover and picking it up. Thank you! :P

*sigh* Enjoy...*sigh.........*

Oh, one more thing....The Professor had a high heel fetish... ;)

....she couldn't have known this, but Professor Emerson had a thing for women in exquisite high-heeled shoes. He swallowed noisily as he took in her breathtaking and obviously designer black stilettos. The Professor wanted to touch them...

Now, enjoy! :))

Profile Image for Susana.
988 reviews243 followers
August 22, 2012

Before i talk about the things that i didn't like in this story, i am going to mention what i liked:
I liked the writing. There's a lot in this book that i will compare to "fifty shades of grey". The quality of the writing isn't one of them. In fact there are certain phrases that are beautifully written. So more's the pity for the route that the story took...

Now, on the review, the beginning of this story had me a little scared...and i don't scare easily, but for the first pages it looked like i was going to read another "fifty shades of grey", luckily without the sex....
Julianne is this annoying character who throughout the entire book is portrayed as....a very irritating, constantly blushing and biting her lip, always looking in the direction of her shoes, perfect, beautiful, full of compassion and virtue....saint!!!!
Oh, and on this one, we have "gods" instead of "goddesses": "She silently thanked the Gods of Graduate students for coming to her aid..just in case"(pg 17)
But on a far lesser scale.

She's twenty three years old and she's shy....oh that's so sweet! You know, i'm shy or maybe i'm just a reserved kind of person. But when i talk to someone, i look him/her in the eyes. If someone is mean to me, i don't turn the other cheek. That is a behaviour that i - for my part _ have given up during high school, as a way to survive it, at least with some sanity. Because unless one, has a full "group" of white knights always at your beck and call, just waiting to rescue you, of your daily ordeals, that atittude will only transform you in a fu....ng doormat!
But, oh wait, she's so good, and kind, that during most of the book she is entitled to her own sugared white knight in shining armour. Who, i might say, is as tiresome as she is. What Julia says about Paul: "Even his skin was kind"(pg 123) ahahahahah, not.

Then there's Gabriel, the one with the name of the fallen angel...the dark and brooding hero with a twisted and tormented past, who really likes to nail himself to a..._jesus, this review just really makes me want to swear...a lot _...a cross.

This one, is the opposite of Christian, boring, i want to hit you in the head with a very large piece of furniture, Grey....
Well he is conservative, and he starts out as a rich snob, and a little bossy, but he has a very good heart, who would simply shrivel and die, if by chance any of his actions, or words, would accidently manage to hurt his precious little flower/Beatrice/Julianne/Julia, also Known as Rabbit _ dont even get me started on this one _ or even duck....
Now, the precious part, reminds me a part that was kind of funny. Julianne refers to Gabriel as her "precious" _ the author really wanted to show her readers the extense of her literary knowledge. There's constant references to various literary pieces, that after awhile just becamed tiresome _ and then there's this "tart" who is referred to as "Gollum"..."stay away from the precious.." she would say. That was nice.

But on and on, the characters kept saying and doing things, that were just unbelievable stupid:
_this is kind an absurd thing to mention, since i really hope no children sets his eys on this story, but apparently things that children should know, Julia, isn't aware of them. For instance, when one breaks a piece of glass, one doesn't fall on his hands and knees trying to pick up the pieces! For heaven sake she's twenty three not three years old. An adult behaviour would be nice for a change!

Then there's the constant weeping/crying throughout the book. Enough is enough. She wasn't raised in a convent.
She's good.
He's a demon.
She's kind.
He has lost his soul.
On, and on...on how he doesn't deserve his brown eyed angel, because he has sinned. Because in the end he is a human man with vices, who has made mistakes in the past, and that feels, that for that he doesn't deserve this angel that he has placed up in a pedestal. I don't know why! There's even a scene where she behaves in the most atrocious way towards him.

So after a while even their dialogues becamed tiresome_ i do keep using this word, a lot _ their sweetness, became...boring. And i couldn't wait to finish this story.
Like i said in the beginning, i even liked the writing. But in the end, this turned out to be too mushy for my tastes. Half the pages, for this story, would be more than enough.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,077 reviews13.3k followers
Want to read
February 16, 2020
Had to DNF at 180 pages. This book is sooooo slooowwww. And I wasn't a fan of how innocent and naive the main character was. Too bored to want to continue for another 300 pages...
Profile Image for Maria Clara.
995 reviews505 followers
June 28, 2020
Hay libros que soportan muy bien el paso del tiempo, otros, en cambio, no tanto. Hoy en día las mujeres son más decididas que nuestra querida heroína en esta novela; es más, el aceptar el carácter tan difícil de él, el modo en que él siempre está regalándole algo y un largo etcétera, hace que involuntariamente evoques un estilo muy concreto de novela (o título) y que pierdas la emoción de leerlo.
Profile Image for Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾.
2,017 reviews12k followers
July 26, 2012
I really truly wish that I had read the negative reviews before purchasing this book, because they were absolutely dead on.

I feel like I'm being generous giving this a 2 star review. The only reason I have added 2 stars is b/c the 1st half of the story is actually quite good...and then it takes a dramatic spiral down for me. Gabriel goes from being one extreme to the other. Tortured and mean, to tortured and cheesy.
Julia was just way too "pure" for me to like.
The dialogue between the 2 turns incredibly cheesy and unrealistic for me.
The POV skips around so much, that I ended up skipping through a lot of pages.

People that have compared this to Fifty Shades, I have to ask: did we read the same book?

It renounces any sex other than "making love" as dirty and degrading.
Even though Gabriel is only 33 years old, by his interaction with Julia I felt like he was 50. He refers to her as darling,pure, angel, and my sweet girl so many times, that I wanted to barf. Plus, what is with the bowties? really?

I can continue, but I don't want to give the plot away too much.

I will say this. If you are looking for something similar to Fifty Shades...this is NOT the book for you. I would not qualify this as an erotic romance in any sense of the word.

If you are looking for a lit. book filled with Italian and Spanish poetry and quotes (which are not always translated for those of us not gifted with knowing the language), way too much angst, cheesy dialogue, choppy POVs, and 2 very unrelatable protagonists...well then...by all means...give this book a try
Profile Image for Shurrn.
559 reviews838 followers
April 19, 2015
This review marks the second time I've this book, and although it didn't pack the same punch as the inaugural reading, Gabriel's Inferno will remain on my "Favorite Books" list. Professor Gabriel Emerson is my ultimate book boyfriend. Sylvain Reynard has created a romance which is unforgettable, beautiful, and mesmerizing.

I was re-reading in preparation for the recently released third & final book in the trilogy, Gabriel's Redemption. I did a buddy read with the amazing Wendy (Wendy's Thoughts) we had a wonderful time analyzing characters, motives, and plot devices. I feel that this book would make a fine addition to any Book Club's roster!

This book represents so many of the themes that I have a tendency to scoff at… Several of the principle elements are overplayed, over hyped, formulaic, & predictable in the Modern Romance Genre:
The wealthy, emotionally scarred, alpha-male, over protective sex god…
The nerdy, blushing, social outcast, low self-esteem virgin…
He doesn't believe he's capable of love...
She doesn't believe she's worthy of him…
The power of love will save them both…

So why do I LOVE this book?
It truly is a beautiful romance.
It's sweet. Almost too sweet at times.
I adore the parallel of Dante / Gabriel.
There's passion, but it's not hyper-sexual.
The connection between Gabriel & Julia is believable and lovely.
There is a clear character progression for both main characters.
The book is filled with quirky humor… I believe that fans refer to the "Snarky Narrator"

I have a personal connection as well. I have a Fine Arts degree with a minor in Art History. I've been educated in the texts and works of art which are heavily referenced in this book… Quite frankly, it's kind of an ego-stroke to constantly have my education validated with every turn of the page. That's not common in this genre. Though, I don't think that the average reader would feel alienated by the academic undertones of the predominant themes.

I often find myself recommending Gabriel's Inferno to readers interested in romance who are weary of Erotica... Which is an odd request for me to get, considering that I am a Professional Reader of Erotica... This book is filled with love and passion, and while I generally pass on "deflowering" stories, I will keep a place in my romantic little heart for this book.

Some of My Favorite Moments:
Profile Image for Anna.
483 reviews375 followers
Shelved as 'currently-reading-for-months'
October 23, 2013

It's time to meet the professor ....
let me get my visuals ❤❤❤

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