Gabriel’s Inferno : Book 1 https://journeythroughawomansheart.com/2020/05/29/gabriel-inferno-sylvain-reynard-book-1/
Professor Gabriel Emerson has embarked on a passionate, yet clandestine affair with his former student Julia Mitchell. Sequestered on a romantic holiday in Italy, he tutors her in the sensual delights of the body and the raptures of sex. But when they return, their happiness is threatened by conspiring students, academic politics, and a jealous ex-lover. When Gabriel is confronted by the university administration, will he succumb to Dante’s fate? Or will he fight to keep Julia, his Beatrice, forever?
In Gabriel’s Rapture, the brilliant sequel to the wildly successful debut novel, Gabriel’s Inferno, Sylvain Reynard weaves an exquisite love story that will touch the reader’s mind, body, and soul, forever.
I devoured this book in a couple of days. Like the first Gabriel’s Inferno I could not put it down. Although this is told in modern day, there’s a regency or renaissance type of feel, perhaps because their world is very academic, intellectual and artistic. Complete with passion, lust, love and all the feels, but with none of the crass or crude language or improper grammar when speaking. While Gabriel is not perfect, he is still a prototype gentleman for how men should treat their woman because there’s nothing he won’t do for Julianne. And when they’re together, he always puts her first. Julianne started to demonstrate her own independence and Gabriel began to see her more as an equal partner although she wasn’t treated that way initially. They learn to rebuild trust and honesty. Heavy on the romance and literary references, I felt swept away by their relationship.
One of the strengths of both Gabriel’s Inferno and Gabriel’s Rapture is the many references to food, wine, languages, art, architecture, music, literature and the knowledge of the local shops and eateries of the great cities of the world. Even fashion – and surprisingly women’s fashion – does not escape the notice of author Sylvain Reynard.
Having read quite a few romance novels by many different authors across most of the sub-genres of romance, I have never come across any author who is so well-versed in the fine arts, with such a comprehensive knowledge of literature. The 12th century love story of Abelard and Heloise for example, is not commonly known I think, but it was cleverly written into this story and parallels in many respects Gabriel and Julianne’s own love story.