A quick synopsis is: 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 enrols 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. SIGH!!
Just reading the synopsis is making me want to re-read this book. Its everything it says a well written magnificent forbidden love story. it's not your typical love story though, Sylvain has set the pace rather slow but it compliments the sweet heroine of the story Julia. Julia Mitchell is in graduate school going for her masters and studying Dante. She is sweet, beautiful, shy, timid, caring, innocent and has had a troubled childhood and a bad past relationship. You watch Julia bloom into a better version of herself she didn't know existed from what she was in the beginning to the end of the book.
Gabriel Emerson is a Dante Specialist Professor. He is dark, has a tortured past, puts up a cold front to hide what he is battling inside, passionate and just well WOW.
When Gabriel realizes exactly how sweet Julia fits into his past he cant help but want her, obviously she feels the same (she has since their night in the orchid many years ago) there has been nobody but Gabriel for Julia. Of course there are rules and regulations about student and professor relationships, only allowed if they are professional. Because of this rule, Gabriel must keep a professional relationship with Julia, though he is becoming more and more attracted to her which is making it difficult to fight his feelings for her.
Its not the perfect love story by far. There are emotional heart-aching scenes for Julia, she cries, she gets angry, she gets sad and well she has Gabriel to blame for that (when he is a pompous-ass to her in the beginning).
When he finally realizes Julia is his long lost Beatrice that had to be one of the most emotional scenes out of them all. Gabriel has a few gut-wrenching scenes as well.
This first long kissing scene in Gabriel's office is hands-down the most sultry and erotic description of a kiss that I've read EVER. Each of their kisses from then all mean something to them, they are slowly building their relationship and foundation of love.
I loved how well the description of the touch of hands, fingers, and thumbs was described, it was so well-written and subtle.
If you don't know a thing about Dante's work you will after this, Reynard has definitely has done his research and a lot of homework on this one. I have not read anything by Dante Alighieri so I got a little lost a times but it all fell into place and you end up getting a history lesson without knowing.
If your ready to get emotional in a book then read, it is full of forbidden love, heartache, despair, lust and redemption. You cant help but feel connected to Julia and Gabriel, the authors well-written words make sure of that, you feel as you are the characters living through what they did and are.
A thing I might mention is that Sylvain Reynard is a man author, I did not know this until after I finished. I've never read a book written by a man before so this was new and exciting once I knew. It's not that I have chosen not to read a book by a man before, I've just never come across one before I wanted to read, until now. The intense scenes are different to any other romantic book I have read and we have Sylvain to thank for that. The scenes written from a males perspective was incredible!
It started of slow in the beginning but once you found out about each character I had many late nights and early mornings getting consumed by it.
5 Inferno hearts out of 5