Sylvain Reynard – Gabriel’s Rapture

Gabriel’s Rapture by Sylvain Reynard

Series: Gabriel’s Inferno #2
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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.

Star_full48Star_full48Star_full48

Behold! A snarky review by a sorely disappointed reader…

Is this a curse of the sequel? Or is it possibly the product of an Author who was given an offer he couldn’t refuse to produce a followup to an amazing book? I (still) love Gabriel’s Infernobut I am overwhelmingly disappointed by this follow up.

This was a re-read for me… That’s right, I’ve read it TWICE

I don’t remember being so dissatisfied with it when I picked it up in 2012…
I decided to re-read both books in preparation for reading the recently released final book, Gabriel’s Redemption

Because this work wasn’t completely irredeemable, let’s start with the things I enjoyed:

  • It is a story filled with LOVE and angst… I do get the warm fuzzys from Gabriel when he isn’t being an asshole.
  • The writing is still marvelous; Sylvain Reynard presents a completely original writing style for modern Romance.
  • The narrator has a quirky sense of humor which prevents the entire work from being unbearably pretentious.

Quite frankly, I don’t feel like I can write a standard review for Gabriel’s Rapture, so I am going to revert to a petulant GIF filled listing of my grievances… Enjoy!

WHEN I PICKED UP BOOK TWO I WAS THINKING:

BUT I QUICKLY REALIZED THAT THIS BOOK WAS GOING OFF THE RAILS…

THE BOOK SOMEHOW MORPHED INTO A SERMON.
HEAVY HANDED,
RELENTLESS,
EXASPERATING…

THE INCLUSION OF LITERARY REFERENCES IN THE FIRST BOOK WAS ENDEARING, IT PRESENTED A GREAT PARALLEL.

HOWEVER, IN BOOK TWO THE USE OF RELIGIOUS ALLEGORY BECAME OVERWHELMING…

THE AUTHOR FAILED TO RECOGNIZE THAT HIS READERS ARE INTELLIGENT.

THERE WAS NO REASON TO BEAT THE THEMES OF REPENTANCE, REDEMPTION, SACRIFICE, AND LOVE INTO US!

THIS IS NOT HOW YOU IMPART INFORMATION:

LESS IS MORE.

WE UNDERSTOOD IT THE FIRST TIME,
AND SUFFERED THROUGH IT FROM THEN ON.

IT’S CONDESCENDING TO ASSUME THAT YOU NEED TO TAKE SO MUCH TIME TO PRESENT THESE THEMES…

OR THAT YOU NEED TO CONSTANTLY REPEAT THEM…

WE ALL KNEW WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN BETWEEN GABRIEL & JULIA…

WE ALL KNEW HOW GABRIEL WOULD REACT TO THAT…

AND, WE ALL KNEW HOW IT WOULD COME TOGETHER AT THE END…

…EXCEPT FOR JULIA FOR SOME REASON?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

SPEAKING OF JULIA;

I HAVE PROBLEMS WITH THE CHARACTERS AS WELL…

JULIA:
She was starting to grow a backbone…
Then I had to watch her spine dissolve into a puddle of self-pity…

GABRIEL:
Quit trying to “protect” Julia by keeping secrets…
How many times has that worked for you?

PAUL:

CHRISTA:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I HAVE A THEORY:
IF THE AUTHOR HAD JUST WRITTEN A THOUGHTFUL EPILOGUE TO GABRIEL’S INFERNO, THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO NEED TO WRITE A SECOND… OR THIRD… BOOK.

I’VE ALREADY PURCHASED THE THIRD BOOK…
SO I’LL BE READING IT.

I REALLY AND TRULY LOVED THE FIRST BOOK…
SO I CAN’T COMPLETELY ABANDON THE SERIES…

MUCH LIKE GABRIEL, I WANT TO GIVE THE AUTHOR A CHANCE TO REDEEM HIMSELF.

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