Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Gabriel Emerson is a professor of Dante studies, and Julia is one of the graduate students studying under him. On the surface he is reserved, cold, and arrogant. But, he finds himself intrigued by and drawn to the naive young woman and they share both a secret history and a powerful connection.
I have very mixed emotions about this book. On the one hand I really enjoyed the style of writing, and the character of Gabriel was a mystery that I enjoyed trying to puzzle out. However, i did have some serious issues with the story, especially towards the end of the book.
First of all, the character of Julia was infuriating at times. I understand she was supposed to be meek and innocent, but there is such a thing as TOO meek, and that about sums her up. And I understand the whole parallel between Gabriel/Julia & Dante/Beatrice but that also grew a bit heavy-handed at times. And while the sexual chemistry was intense and for the most part well done, the Big Scene at the end left a lot to be desired. It came off as a bit clinical. And Gabriel's obsession with not wanting to have sex with Julia because he was convinced she couldn't handle his passion...please. Give Julia (and the readers) a little more credit.
Having said all that, with all the problems I did have...in the end I am still interested to see where the story of Gabriel and Julia goes next.
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