Red Phoenix – Brie Lives Her Fantasy

Brie Lives Her Fantasy by Red Phoenix

Series: Brie #4
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Brie’s fourth day of Submissive Training is upon her – Auction Day! Brie finds herself in the hands of a new Dom, one who has quite the reputation. The sexy Russian fulfills her fantasy in creative ways she never expected. It is a day filled with anticipation and hot steamy sex. But not all the girls are as lucky as Brie…

This delicious novelette continues Brie’s fourth day of sexual adventures as a student at the Submissive Training Center.

Brie has eagerly anticipated Auction Day, curious how her Dom will be able to fulfill her favorite fantasy. The man who wins her turns out to be a highly respected Dom from Russia (which only means good things for Brie). Sadly, one of the girls fails to disclose an important part of her past and suffers greatly for it. It is a lesson none of the girls will forget. To end the day, Brie has a brief moment alone with Sir – the first time since the huge fallout.

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Recommended: Buy the Box Set
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Red Phoenix – Brie Learns Her Power as a Submissive

Brie Learns Her Power as a Submissive by Red Phoenix

Series: Brie #3
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Brie’s third day of submissive training is a hot sexy mess. She has no idea that her actions from the day before have serious consequences. Training becomes intense, stretching Brie in ways she could never imagine as the trainers determine whether she should remain in the program. In the midst of the turmoil, Brie comes to understand her true power as a submissive.

The novelette, Brie Learns Her Submissive Power, continues the sexual adventures of the Brie Bennett as she explores the Dominant/submissive world via The Submissive Training Center.

Extended Description:

Ms. Clark is not happy with Brie’s performance after the second day and makes it her mission to put Brie in her place. Unfortunately, that is not the only issue. Others know of her intimate session with Sir after school hours. Such an infraction could tarnish the school’s reputation. Brie is about to discover new avenues of fulfillment – just not in the way she would have preferred. Her final practicum includes a passionate encounter with Marquis Gray, the ghost-like man with eyes that pierce the soul.

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Amazon (US)
Recommended: Buy the Box Set
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Red Phoenix – Brie Learns to Obey

Brie Learns to Obey by Red Phoenix

Series: Brie #2
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Brie’s second day of submissive training tests her level of obedience and brings a sexy new Dom into her life, but she risks it all to stand up for one of the other girls. Fortunately, the proper punishment is handed out and her evening doesn’t end after training is over. Oh no! Brie enjoys a private session with Sir who has a little surprise waiting for her in his office.

This naughty novelette, sequel to Brie’s First Day of Submissive Training, continues the adventures of Brie as she learns what it takes to be a true submissive.

Extended Description:

Brie is anxious for her second day of training to begin. Sir has promised to take her in the most intimate of ways. As the night progresses, Brie becomes friends with the other girls in her class. Unfortunately, one girl will betray the group, one will be punished, and another will leave the program for good. Brie’s dogged obedience grants her the privilege of Sir’s coveted touch, but she finds there is one command she cannot obey.

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Amazon
Recommended: Buy the Box Set
Amazon

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Red Phoenix – Brie’s First Day of Submissive Training

Brie’s First Day of Submissive Training by Red Phoenix

Series: Brie #1
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Brie’s life changes the day Sir comes to her tiny tobacco shop. His invitation to The Submissive Training Center is about to rock this young woman’s world. The renown school is famous for its submissive instruction. She has no idea the things that will be asked of her or the boundaries that will be pushed. Join Brie on her first day of training where true Subs are separated from the wanna-be’s.

This steamy novelette follows Brie as she is introduced to the erotic world of submissives and her own true desires.

Extended Description:

Brianna studied to be a serious filmmaker, but finds herself working retail just to make ends meet. In walks Sir, a charismatic individual who leaves her with a business card. Brie becomes curious about The Submissive Training Center, but fights the urge to join. Irresistibly drawn to the mysterious world, she enrolls in the six-week course. One thing is certain, Brie is about to learn more about herself in one day than her previous twenty-two years.

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Recommended: Buy the Box Set
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Tara Crescent – The Professor’s Pet

The Professor's PetThe Professor’s Pet by Tara Crescent

Source: Review by Request
Copy Provided by Author
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

***The perfect blend of bondage, dominance, submission and love ***

Have you ever been dangerously attracted to your professor?

Jake Ballard. He is smug and mocking, but his body is the stuff of epic fantasy. Now, through an unfortunate twist of fate, he holds my smut-filled Kindle in his hands.

I have a decision to make. Can Professor Ballard be my instructor in this world of bondage, dominance, and submission? And, eight weeks later, when my class is at an end, can I walk away from Jake?

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Magic 8-Ball, is this book worth reading?


Answer: Outlook is positive.

The basic set-up is absolutely fantastic…
Emily accidentally switched out her Kindle with her former Professor’s while at a coffee shop. This is a great big problem for multiple reasons:
1. Emily just filled her Kindle library with smutty BDSM books (wouldn’t know anything about that myself, obviously. LOL).
2. She has a HUGE crush on her former professor (like everyone else in her department).
3. Professor Jake Ballard is a Dominant who takes BDSM seriously, and is not pleased by her taste in erotica.
4. The Professor decides to show her the difference between her fuzzy-handcuff bodice rippers and the reality of true submission.

Oh Hell yeah, how could I possibly pass this book up???

Professor Jake Ballard

“BDSM – in many ways, it’s a game. But like any game, the people that play it take it seriously. And then your Kindle was filled with fluff; the kind of books that trivialize and distort the games we play, and it bothered me.”

Dr. Emily McNamara

I’d sat in a class that Jake taught, starry-eyed. I’d worked on his floor for five years, barely able to say two words to him. And now, I was dancing with him in a bondage club, while men and women wandered around us in leather and rope.
“Real life,” he said. There was an even look in his eyes. “Always better.”

Do I have some complaints? Sure.
First off, Jake “drawled” the majority of his dialogue… While I’m sure this was meant to show that he was speaking more seductively than could be conveyed with a standard “Jake said.” or “Jake replied.” the frequency with which he “drawled” quickly became distracting… I began to credit him with a Scarlett O’Hara type cadence when he was from New England…

I also felt that the large lapses in time could have been more thoughtfully incorporated. Their time spent away from each other could have been the perfect opportunity to illustrate some character progression, which I felt was lacking at times.

Despite these issues, the story was highly enjoyable overall. The author added a great twist to the “Intro to BDSM” theme in modern Romance and Erotica, and I especially liked that we were working with two highly intelligent adults. While Emily was receiving a sexual education of sorts, she wasn’t virginal or emotionally immature.

Excerpt

Emily:

Five years of class, teaching and research. Two solid months of writing my dissertation. Sixty minutes of cross-examination from my committee. Fifteen minutes of nervous waiting outside the room as they debated whether I’d done enough work to earn my PhD. And then, a few seconds of pure exhilaration as I learned I had indeed done enough to graduate.

I was finally done.

I thought I’d be ecstatic, but I was just weary. The happiness would come later; right now though, the adrenaline had drained from my body, and I just wanted a nap.

There was a Starbucks in my school building; I headed to it for a caffeine pickup. I had my Kindle and more than my fair share of bodice rippers; I was going to hang out and read in the lounge for a few hours, and then head home. Normally, we would have gone out for drinks to celebrate, but John, my advisor’s other PhD candidate was defending his dissertation tomorrow, and we’d just agreed that we’d all go out for a combined celebration tomorrow night.

“A tall café latte, please, with skim milk,” I said as I wandered up to the counter.

“Large coffee, please, room for milk,” I heard a deep voice say. I looked up through my eyelashes, and gulped. Professor Jake Ballard. He taught Pure Mathematics, and was hotter than sin. Black hair; blue eyes; the lean strength of a long distance runner. I had seen him in the gym once; he’d just finished a game of basketball with some students. He’d been drenched with sweat; he’d taken his t-shirt off to towel down, and umm. The Abs of Steel people should have been begging him to endorse their products. I’d stayed in the shadows and shamelessly gawked, and I’d touched myself frantically in the bathroom stall after. His body was the stuff of epic fantasy.

It wasn’t just me. Every single woman who saw him had a thing for him. His class actually had an equal number of women and men in it; and given that he taught Pure Math, that was entirely because of how good-looking he was. God knows I’d taken his class many years ago for the same reason.

He looked around, bored. He nodded when he saw me, smiled politely.

“Dr. McNamara. I hear congratulations are in order.”

I turned into a blithering idiot every time I saw Jake; this time was no exception. I blushed deep red, and mumbled my thanks, tongue-tied. Great.

The girl arrived with my coffee, and I started scrambling for change; juggling my backpack, my Kindle, and my smartphone, resting my Kindle on the counter as I tried to find some change to pay for my coffee. I could see the girl’s well-concealed irritation; could sense Professor Ballard rolling his eyes. His coffee arrived; he handed the girl at the counter his credit card.

“Put both of our coffees on this, please,” he drawled.

“Umm, I have change somewhere,” I said, red-faced.

“I’m sure you do, Dr. McNamara. I’m just as sure that the line behind you would prefer that you find your cash before you get to the counter next time.” He nodded to me, took his coffee, and left.

I looked at his retreating back, profoundly irritated. Superior jackass.

***

Deep breath, Emily, don’t let him get to you, I said to myself. I wasn’t going to let Professor Ballard take today away from me. I had a few hours of uninterrupted reading time, and I was totally looking forward to it.

Right before the bulk of the writing had started, I had downloaded Anne Rice’s The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty. I’d been saving it as a treat, and I reached for my Kindle eagerly, anxious to lose myself in a world of erotic fantasy.

Tipping Point – Malcom Gladwell. Guns, Germs and Steel – Jared Diamond. A Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson. What the heck? I scrolled through the books, wondering what had happened to my books. A creeping dread hit the back of my neck as my mind slowly put the pieces together, and I scrolled back to the Home page.

Jake Ballard’s Kindle. I must have grabbed the wrong one when I was doing my crazy hunt for coffee change.

I was deeply, utterly fucked.

Q&A with Tara Crescent

1. If you were to describe your e-book/book in only one word, what would it be?
Aargh, this is a hard question… Sheesh, you don’t start easy, do you? Hmm. Let’s go with Fantasy, since this book is basically one of mine.

2. What would you say inspired you to write it?
I had a really hot professor once that was a source of much private fantasy. His first name was also Jake. This book was a homage to my rich inner fantasies from that time.

3. What was the source of inspiration for your protagonist? What about your antagonist?
See above!

4. Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it?
Sadly, all the time, especially when it comes to writing sex scenes, which I find quite tough to do. To escape it, I procrastinate by writing a different book. That way, I’m at least still writing.

5. Your all time favorite book?
Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianne Wynne Jones. Though it is a little embarrassing, I secretly really enjoy reading children’s fantasy.

6. What made you pick that one above all others?
Howl’s Moving Castle? Sophie is smart and funny. Howl is kind and caring. This book has everything – fantasy, adventure, a evil witch, romance!

7. What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project?
There’s several stories that I’ve sort of thought about for years, but I’m not sure if a failure to write them down can be counted as working on a project. Once I start writing, I do just plow through, if nothing else other than to just get it done.

8. Would you say becoming an author has changed you? In what way?
On the positive side, it’s really great to finish stories, to put work out there, and to have people respond to your writing. That’s a great feeling, absolutely.
On the down side (and these are completely minor, I love writing!) I’ve become a bit obsessive about tracking sales/rankings/reviews. I have less time for friends and other hobbies, and my cat hates my laptop.

9. Was there ever a time, during your work for the e-book/book, when you felt like giving up? What made you change your mind?
This particular book was fairly easy to write – I spent a lot of time fantasizing about my professor and had plenty of imaginary material to draw on!

10. What does your day-to-day life consist of? What else do you do, aside writing?
There’s work, of course, to pay the bills. I work in the corporate world, doing corporate stuff. (Sorry – that is vague, but I don’t think my corporate employers would be very happy that I moonlight as a writer of erotica.) In addition, I have a non-demanding boyfriend and a demanding cat.

11. How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism? What would you advise other authors to that effect?
I grumble to my boyfriend. And then, I let it go. Once I hit the publish button, I forfeit the right to control my work, and I recognize that. Bad reviews sting, but that’s what drinking is for! I’m joking a little. Drink responsibly. 😉

12. Is this title part of a series? Without giving us spoilers, of course, what can we expect from the next e-books/books in the series?
I’m solidly hoping that by September, I’ll have two other books out related to this. Several people have mentioned that Anna and Sanjay seem ripe for a spin-off, and I totally agree! I also want to write about Grace, Jake’s sister, who is briefly mentioned in this book as working with Doctors without Borders.
And finally, I sent a little teaser of a short story called the Professor’s Girlfriend to subscribers of my mailing list. It features a Jake and Emily scene once Jake moves to San Francisco. I’m tempted to flesh that out into a full story as well, but we’ll see. Re-visiting characters can get a little tricky! (Also – sign up for the mailing list!)

13. What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next, aside this title/series?
Right now, I’m working on the next part of my Doctor Dom series, tentatively titled Relapse. Right after Relapse, I’ll work on the final part of this series (tentatively titled Recovery.) There’s a trio of books set in Venice planned after that, and then the Anna/Sanjay + Grace/Luke books mentioned above.

14. What made you decide to become an Indie Author?
I’ve always written bits and pieces my entire life, and I love how there’s now an easy path to self-publishing through Amazon. But mostly, the Indie thing is me just not having enough patience to submit work to a publisher, wait eight weeks to hear back, etc. I might still go that route, but for the moment, I’m pretty happy with the path I’ve chosen.

15. What would you say was the toughest part?
Getting discovered. I’m still working on this. I’m sure it’ll be an ongoing battle.

16. Did you hire professionals for editing, cover design, formatting?
I do have a volunteer editor (Hi Jim!) who is pretty awesome. I use James at GoOnWrite.com for my covers (who is pretty awesome as well. I format myself – I write on Word, and Kindle does a pretty good job converting formats.

17. How did you decide who to hire, if you worked with pros?
I found Jim through Literotica. (Side note – I write a lot on Literotica – I preview a fair bit of my work there. My Literotica handle is funinthesungirl19.)

18. How long did the production part take, from the moment you began working on the manuscript to self-pub to when you hit ‘Publish’?
Counting the writing part? Hmm. It takes me anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to write the novel. Once that’s done, I do my first full round of edits (I do edits as I go along, but then I read the whole thing from end-to-end). Then, I send to my editor who is pretty awesome at turning things around quickly – I’ll get edits back from him in a couple of weeks. The cover gets done the same time my editor is working on my manuscript. Once all of that is done, I re-write the bits I need to, (which takes about a week at that stage), and then publish on Kindle.
On average, I’d say three weeks after I’m done writing, my work is live on the Kindle store.

19. Where is your work being distributed, Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, AllRomanceEbooks/Omnilit, some other distributor? How did you decide which one(s) to go with?
Right now, it’s Amazon only. As I get more visible, I’ll broaden the distribution channels, but I find for the moment that the benefits of the KDP Select program (promos + free days) outweigh the negatives of being only in one place.

20. If you could turn back in time and do things differently, would you? What would you change?
I’ve been reading erotica for at least ten years. Maybe fifteen. I wish I’d tried my hand at writing erotica a lot sooner. Beyond that – I’m having a great time on this journey, and there’s nothing – yet – that I’d do differently.

Fun facts:

1. If you could wish for any one thing, and it would immediately come true, what would you wish for?
Is it really boring that I wish that my house was always tidy, and my refrigerator always stocked with food? I loathe house-cleaning chores with a passion.

2. If you were stranded on an isolated island, what’s the one book you’d absolutely wish to have with you?
Ooh. A toughie. I don’t think I can actually narrow it down; I love to read!

3. Name your favorite fruit.
Mango.

4. Coffee or tea?
Coffee.

5. Favorite season?
Summer, without a doubt.

6. How about favorite time of the day?
I love evenings and warm summer nights.

7. Were you a boyscout/girlscout?
Nope!

8. Favorite food for breakfast?
Guilty confession – I know I’m supposed to, but I don’t eat breakfast. I just drink loads of coffee instead!

9. Latest book you’ve bought and read?
I just finished reading The Bride by Abigail Barnette. Loved it!

10. Do you collect things, like stamps, or key chains, or shoes?
Do books count? I’m actually a reformed pack-rat. I collected anything and everything when I was younger, but after multiple moves, I’ve learned the value of simplicity.

11. Favorite color, you know you want to tell us!
Red. (That could be because of my boyfriend’s reaction when I wear red though.)

12. Drama or comedy?
I tend to default to comedy, but I always enjoy drama when someone else suggests it.

13. Have a fav quote or personal motto?
Albert Camus – In the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer.

14. Cats or dogs?
My cat wants to know who these dogs are that you keep referring to.

15. Dinner by candlelight or a night out clubbing?
Dinner by candlelight, no contest. I’m the worst dancer in the world.

***The author generously gifted me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review***

 

Sylvain Reynard – Gabriel’s Redemption

Gabriel’s Redemption by Sylvain Reynard

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

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 her 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.

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The Gabriel’s Inferno series is my unicorn – I LOVED the first book, then I endured a seemingly endless spiral of mediocrity, religious allegory, & angst as I saw it through to the conclusion…

Julia’s heart nearly cracked under the weight of her realization that her love had not healed him.

Really quickly: If you liked the second book in this series, I think you’ll really enjoy this book…
But, if you’re like me & the second book left a bad taste in your mouth… Stay away from this.

I feel like this book took so long to come out, and had so much lead up to it’s publication, that there was no way it could possibly live up to reader’s expectations… There was so much information which needed to be cleared up…

So many characters needed conclusions,
So much angst had to be resolved,
The mysterious past of Gabriel had to be revealed,
…and once all of that was done, the author had to convince us that Julia and Gabriel could have a happily ever after.

“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 most precious masterpiece”

That’s a tall order.

I’m pleased to say that everything was resolved in the final installment of the Gabriel’s Inferno Series…

But was it satisfactory?
Not for me, personally…

I don’t need everything neat and tidy to the point of sterility, but that is the ending provided to us.

If I could go back and do it all over again, I would have been perfectly happy to read the first book and be done with the series.

That being said, the writing is still spectacular and Gabriel Emerson is still a swoony sonofabitch… So it wasn’t all bad.

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.

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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.

Sylvain Reynard – Gabriel’s Inferno

Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard

Series: Gabriel’s Inferno #1
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From national bestselling author Sylvain Reynard comes the haunting, unforgettable tale of one man’s salvation and one woman’s sensual awakening… 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 enrolls 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.

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This review marks the second time I’ve this book, and although it didn’t pack the same punch as the inaugural reading, Gabriel’s Inferno will remain on my “Favorite Books” list. Professor Gabriel Emerson is my ultimate book boyfriend. Sylvain Reynard has created a romance which is unforgettable, beautiful, and mesmerizing.

“I don’t believe in fairy tales,” she breathed.
“I’d like to make you believe.” He leaned over and kissed her forehead.

I was re-reading in preparation for the recently released third & final book in the trilogy, Gabriel’s Redemption. I did a buddy read with the amazing Wendy (Wendy’s Thoughts) we had a wonderful time analyzing characters, motives, and plot devices. I feel that this book would make a fine addition to any Book Club’s roster!

This book represents so many of the themes that I have a tendency to scoff at… Several of the principle elements are overplayed, over hyped, formulaic, & predictable in the Modern Romance Genre:
The wealthy, emotionally scarred, alpha-male, over protective sex god…
The nerdy, blushing, social outcast, low self-esteem virgin…
He doesn’t believe he’s capable of love…
She doesn’t believe she’s worthy of him…
The power of love will save them both…

So why do I LOVE this book?
It truly is a beautiful romance.
It’s sweet. Almost too sweet at times.
I adore the parallel of Dante / Gabriel.
There’s passion, but it’s not hyper-sexual.
The connection between Gabriel & Julia is believable and lovely.
There is a clear character progression for both main characters.
The book is filled with quirky humor… I believe that fans refer to the “Snarky Narrator”

I have a personal connection as well. I have a Fine Arts degree with a minor in Art History. I’ve been educated in the texts and works of art which are heavily referenced in this book… Quite frankly, it’s kind of an ego-stroke to constantly have my education validated with every turn of the page. That’s not common in this genre. Though, I don’t think that the average reader would feel alienated by the academic undertones of the predominant themes.

I often find myself recommending Gabriel’s Inferno to readers interested in romance who are weary of Erotica… Which is an odd request for me to get, considering that I am a Professional Reader of Erotica… This book is filled with love and passion, and while I generally pass on “deflowering” stories, I will keep a place in my romantic little heart for this book.

This book has been selected for the following Top 5 Award from The Smutsonian:

Click the trophy to see the whole Top 5!

Book Lovers: Sexy Stories from Under the Covers

Book Lovers: Sexy Stories from Under the Covers

Edited by Shawna Kenney
Featuring Multiple Authors
Source: Review by Request
ARC Provided by the Publisher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Forget poorly written prose and clichéd love scenes: Book Lovers answers the call for sexy literature with substance. This collection of toe-curling tales written by and for word-worshippers offers well-crafted fiction and creative nonfiction that connects literature to libido. From a Vonnegut-inspired tryst to an imaginary ménage à trois with Henry Miller and Anaïs Nin, the book encompasses a veritable buffet of literary fantasies.

Whether they’re conjuring Junot Díaz between the sheets or dreaming of a modern-day enactment of Wuthering Heights—this time refusing Edgar in favor of lusty, bodice-ripping nights with Heathcliff—the stories in Book Lovers are designed for readers’ brains and bodies.

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