Title: Gabriel’s Redemption
Series: Gabriel’s Inferno Trilogy Book Three
Author: Sylvain Reynard
Release Date: 3rd December, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by Berkley Trade
Professor Gabriel Emerson has left his position at the University of Toronto to embark on a new life with his beloved Julianne. Together, he’s confident that they can face any challenge. And he’s eager to become a father.
But Julianne’s graduate program threatens Gabriel’s plans, as the pressures of being a student become all consuming. When she is given the honor of presenting an academic lecture at Oxford, Gabriel is forced to confront Julianne about the subject of her presentation—research that conflicts with his own. And in Oxford, several individuals from their past appear, including an old nemesis intent on humiliating Julia and exposing one of Gabriel’s darkest secrets.
In an effort to confront his remaining demons, Gabriel begins a quest to discover more about his biological parents, beginning a chain of events that has startling repercussions for himself, Julianne, and his hope of having a family.
Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse Nuttall
Foreword and quotes chosen by Rachel McEwan.
Whooo hooo! Sharon has finally read my all-time favourite series! As Sharon says in her review, I have been insisting she reads these books for quite some time! Did I worry that she wouldn’t love them as much as I do? No way! I knew she’d love Gabriel and Julianne as much as I do. I don’t think I’ve ever received as many messages from her swooning over Gabriel and then the next minute, panicking about what she’d read! Don’t you just love it when your book buddy loves your treasured books as much as you? This is the reason Sharon and I read and review together as we love the same kind of books. So without further ado, take it away Sharon and tell us all what you thought of Gabriel and Julianne’s story *applause*.
They do say better late than never and this can most certainly be applied to my discovery of whom has become one of my best-loved authors. If it wasn’t for my sister-in-arms’ insistence who runs Kindle Friends Forever book blog with me, I would still be oblivious to the fact that SR writes exceptionally well. I could feign ignorance and even blame time; however, with so many good books to review, I just never got around to reading the series. I read the books consecutively, l was sleep deprived and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. You may ask why I decided to review the last book and not the others. The answer is quite simple. I was overwhelmed with the metamorphosis in Gabriel’s character and please don’t misinterpret me, I adored him in book one and two, besotted in this one.
Gabriel ~ “I want to see your naked skin glow in the moonlight while I’m inside of you.”
The author has described the upheavals in the terms of two academics’ relationship, perfectly. In most cases, being in love is just not enough and even though Gabriel wanted a marriage made in heaven, the author went to great lengths to show his readers that it’s not a bed of roses. I’ll talk about the bed of roses later as there are more stolen kisses in this read than in the two previous books. Gabriel knew if he didn’t face his past, it could come back with a vengeance. He had to learn to share his fears, learn to respect his partner’s decisions, learn to be more generous with his own spirit and overcome his jealousy. He had a marvellous teacher, Julia. His Beatrice. Harvard professor elite in his field and highly respected among other Dante specialists, he now has to adapt to married life. Not an easy feat for one that has pleased himself at a whim over the years. He agonizes about his past immensely, his sufferance affecting what appeared to me to be a solid bond with Julia, puts a strain on both of them in more ways than one. When there’s a will…, I was delighted that he decided to stop a bad habit, but he’s unduly protective of his wife which only adds to more frustration. He is sure his reasons are valid though. Those very reasons are entwined into the plot making this read par-excellence.
Gabriel ~ “Every night when I fall asleep her in my arms, I thank God she’s mine. Every morning when I wake up, my first thought is that I’m grateful she married me. I will never be worthy of her. But I spend every day trying my damnedest…”
The subject of having children is without a doubt, the backbone of this story. And although this causes friction between Gabriel and Julia, after much discussion, he is prepared to wait until she finishes her studies. Fortunate in being adopted my two people that loved him unconditionally, he revisits an orphanage in the birthplace of Dante, Florence, hoping to find peace of mind. By doing good deeds might give him what he craves for, God’s forgiveness. While observing him interacting with the children, she understands how he feels about his need to start a family. She questions herself. Is she being selfish because she wants to finish her studies? Is he prepared to support her wishes regardless? This is when I saw the new Gabriel.
Gabriel ~ “Don’t cry my sweet girl. You’re my Beatrice and my sticky little leaf and my beautiful wife. I’m sorry I’ve been such a bastard. I wanted to show you how important you are to me. You are my precious masterpiece.”
Julia; Julianne, Beatrice—Dante’s inspiration, the woman who Gabriel can’t envisage living a life without. She is much younger than her husband and so gifted. Not only is her intelligence admired by her husband, try having a coherent conversation with a man who is a polyglot and constantly quotes Dante in Italian among other poets was much to my delight, splendid! Shakespeare’s Othello was not beyond her knowledge. She gave back what she was given with style and humour and this never ceased to surprise him. I must say how much I enjoyed reading these quotes without being ‘modernised’ for want of a better word. This woman is quintessential. She calms troubled waters; her honesty and her beliefs outshine throughout the story and without her, he well knows that he won’t be the new Gabriel he’s yearning for.
Julianne ~ “You can’t eliminate your past but you don’t have to be controlled by it.”
The secondary characters are as well developed as are the leading ones. Rachel, Gabriel’s sister and Julia’s best friend has her own cross to bear. She married her childhood sweetheart, Aaron, their problems with fertility making my heart break in two for a couple who deserved to be parents. I really felt that the author could have given them a little more attention towards the end, but on reflection, it wasn’t their story. I had already connected to Gabriel’s father in the first book and his wisdom never faltered. It abounds in this book as he’ll be the one to encourage his son to find his roots. I couldn’t possibly not forget to mention Christa. Messages between my book buddy who is an expert in this series, flew across the globe at lightning speed. Christa wasn’t a case of a woman scorned either. Spurred on by her desire for revenge against the only man who had refused her, actually has its comeuppance. And I shouted hooray out loud! Julia’s ex is still in the loop and never in a million years could I believe what I was reading. I thanked small blessings for Julianne’s uncle, Jack, here. Since the aforementioned person and one of his former lovers had really been a thorn in her side, I asked myself if her uncle would be able to address this problem with his adroit skills more than once.
Katherine Picton. What an outstanding character, what an incredibly important part she played in this story. English, professor in the art of language interpretation and of course, Dante. Her stance I welcomed with open arms when events reached its crescendo.
Katherine ~ “Now, I hope I’ll be invited to your house when I give my lecture series at Harvard in January. Greg Matthews always takes me to these appalling molecular gastronomy restaurants that serve deconstructed entrees cooked in liquid nitrogen. I can never decide whether I’m having dinner or sitting an exam in organic chemistry.”
I have to comment on the author’s wordmanship which I found so incandescent. Up until about two thirds into the book, it had been very old fashioned. Proper, correct and with academic finesse and flair. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Gabriel was using phrasal verbs. Brilliant. Quite brilliant! Now then, before summing up, the subject of religion and matrimonial scenes has to be raised. This is by far a much sexier read than the other two. Gabriel gives Julia confidence in the bedroom. He makes her feel beautiful and wants to please her by sharing his sexual expertise; Julia literally flowers. She wants to learn, make him happy, too. And by god, does she. They can’t keep their hands of each other and this detail, for me, was really important to the structure of the story. This showed me that this doesn’t have to be an issue when religion, faith and the love of any deity is bound by the most natural act in the world. In this aspect, utmost care was taken not to offend and I honestly salute the author. Furthermore, faith is for them, a basic necessity. Julia had it, Gabriel found it. I thought I would be lost for words, and even though I had no my intentions of reviewing; here you have my honest opinion. Sylvain Reynard, your book is a masterpiece I will endeavour to reread if the god’s above me give me a break! Bravisimo!
Rachel here again! Wasn’t that an amazing review! If Sharon hasn’t convinced you to one-click this book, I don’t know what will! As you can tell from the review, Sharon adored this book and rightly so. Just before we go, I’d just like to leave you with another quote. It’s a dirty one but then this is Professor Emerson…
Gabriel ~ “You smell like sex.”
Julianne ~ “That’s why I’m not taking a shower. We had incredible make up sex, which I’d like to remember.”
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, 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 Charities page.
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