Book Review – Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard

by Maryse on October 14, 2012 · 39 comments

in My Book Reviews

Gabriel’s Inferno
I read this one way back when while it was gaining popularity, receiving tons of attention, and I too, found myself enjoying it for the most part. I’d say the first 65-75% I crushed on Professor Gabriel Emerson, despite (or maybe even because of) his obnoxious mood swings. After all, so many of us love a hero that doesn’t show his true emotions easily, except for his grumpy, “keep-away” side. And when he finally does open up to someone… we swoon. It makes it all that much more special. Gabriel is “that” hero… the wealthy, brilliant and gorgeous University professor, but with an angry, impatient and somewhat snobbish aire about him.

… he’d come into her little home that she had tried to make confortable because she had no other place to go, and he had said it wasnt fit for a dog. He had made her feel worthless and stupid when she was neither. What would Grace say if she could hear him now?

Professor Emerson was an ass. But at least now he knew it.

Known to be distant and arrogant, yet the utmost professional and a master at what he teaches, he is respected by faculty and students alike. He realizes (and fears) that his impersonal stance and stoic resistance to personal relationships is faltering when he finds himself consumed with one of his female students. His need to protect himself (personally), and professionally (no fraternizing with the students) often takes a hit when his alpha-male comes out to publicly growl at her. Oh yes… he had a terrible need to mark his territory. Even at school.

Except she was not alone. Paul was holding her abomination of a book bag and walking with her. They were chatting easily and laughing and strolling dangerously close to one another.

Carrying her books now, are we? How very adolescent of you, Paul.

Professor Emerson watched as the couple’s hands brushed against each other, drawing a small warm smile from Miss Mitchell. A growl rumbled low in Emerson’s throat and his lips curled back from his teeth.

What the hell was that? he thought.

I enjoyed seeing him struggle with his need for distance by remaining aloof and yet succumbing to his desire to… well, heck. I’d almost say “keep” her, ’cause that’s pretty much what a lot of it amounted to be. I’m sure he’d rather say “protect” her. ;)

And of course, Gabriel had that “Christian Grey” thing going on… I mean, I’d be hard-pressed not to acknowledge that, and I discussed it with a fellow reader who had just finished the book:

Maryse: Im still having fun with it. So far. I’m only at 50% though, and my friend wasn’t so much a fan, so we’ll see. Yeah but Christian was a *beep* too sometimes. They have personal issues with emotion and love and turn into hard-assed jerks to cope. Christian has his way of dealing (domination) and Gabriel is a pompous ass. And both try to remain unemotional, and by remaining that way, they can say some really crappy stuff, or act terribly in their attempts to keep distance and control. But he seems like he has the potential to grow. I’m interested…

Jackie: I was ok with it until about then… i can see the similarities – but they are miles apart in my eyes. Oh no – totally different class. The language he uses in the second half annoys me too. Too arty.

Maryse: Hrmm… yes I noticed that… I just found it clever (and a bit stupid on his part) trying to pass his message to her in class … although he is playing wirth SERIOUS fire by pursuing her like he did. But I enjoyed that scene – and even more so when she saw him in his office right after – when they were fuming and what he said to her… *spoiler*

Jackie: That is probably the best scene in the book barring the first orchard scene. and I found it unreal that he *spoiler* … you don’t know his demons yet???

Nope, at that time, I didn’t. But I sure found out! There is a reason behind his ways. But of course!

And what about her? Julia Mitchell. (whoops I had to look that up! *embarrassed* It’s been awhile since I read it, bear with me ;) ). Hrmmm… she was a very sweet, quiet, responsible and highly intelligent woman (after all, she managed to be a student in his class), but she had an extreme sense of meekness and vulnerability about her that I found at times, off-putting. She was easily intimidated by Gabriel and responded to his mood swings in a way that had me shaking my head and wondering just how good for each other they would be in the end (whatever the *end* may be, of course.) Hehe. No spoilers. *silly smirk*

And yet I relished many of their private moments and public arguments (after all, I love to read about the alpha-male claiming and protecting his “woman”), and the dynamic between the two certainly made for some memorable scenes. I had to know where this was going. Because, you see, she has a certain secret. They’d met once before. And she knows him more then he thinks she does. Gabriel has his own traumatic past (don’t they all? ;) ) Yet, he seems to have forgotten her, entirely. How is that possible you ask? It’s explained. And while I shrugged and just “went with it”  (hehe!!) I know a few fellow readers who… really struggled with this part of the story.

So what took me so long to write this review? I found myself warring with just how much I “liked” the book. An internal struggle with my initial reactions to Gabriel, the intensity at which I found myself initially connecting with (and hoping) for a certain result, and my surprising feelings for how it ended. I’m not saying that it ended well (or not well) in terms of an HEA. So many of you have already read this and the sequel, but for those that haven’t… I’ll let the fact that there’s a sequel “tease” you and keep you guessing.

But it was more along the lines of a tone change that had me changing my enthusiastic tune for it. *shrug* An ending that I found somewhat tedious and ended up skimming through. BUT!!! So many LOVED this book. Out of my friends, it almost seems to fall half and half with those that absolutely loved every bit of it, to those that barely felt a thing. And considering how popular this book is, and just how often it is recommended, it was time I worked out my feelings for it.

Maryse: up to the 60% mark, pretty good, entertaining… I liked Gabriel even in his *beep* times (<— I said a bad word!!). Well I didn’t “Like” him when he was like that – but I enjoyed the drama. But the end… tooooo much… tooooo long, I literally skimmed that whole last part.

Sherry: I LOVED GI ♥ How sweet was he?… I loved Gabriel and his book….I loved it to the last page and I so thought *spoiler*….god, my stomach hurt for that!!! Loved it!

See? So MANY fellow readers LOVED it, and some… not so much. I was with the “love it” crew for the most part. Didn’t want to put it down, thought about it at work, chatted about it with my friends as I was reading it. Sure sign that I was into it. But it’s how I experienced the ending, the last part of the book, that had me conflicted, and somewhat disappointed. My friend originally mentioned it to be an “anti-climactic” ending, and I’d have to agree, considering much of the buildup. But who knows… maybe book #2 (Gabriel’s Rapture) will wow me? After all, it exists for a reason. ;) We’ll see…

So, for the most part it was a 4 star reading experience for me, but with that 3 star ending, I’ve gotta give it 3.5 stars.

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Celeste October 14, 2012 at 6:51 PM

You should read the sequel. I think you’ll appreciate how it explains things.

julie October 14, 2012 at 6:55 PM

i loved both books!!!

Jamie Kasper October 14, 2012 at 7:02 PM

I absolutely loved this series. Cried during the 2nd book. Looking forward to book 3. I recommend it to everyone. A great love story.

NIna Gomez October 14, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Hi Maryse! Part 2 will wrap it all up pretty nicely for you. Your rating will change once you finish it.

Sarah Jane October 14, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Haven’t read it yet…..still on my TBR. Thought I’d mention it made the Globe and Mail last week (which bumped it up on my list might have to go visit a few locations, hehe)

Allison October 14, 2012 at 7:50 PM

I loved loved loved that book. Thought it was such a great (non smut) love story. Top shelf on my goodreads list!

Danielle October 14, 2012 at 8:18 PM

I did love this book…..It was right up there with a few other series, Fifty shades, thoughtless. I also thougtht that there were several songs on the new Matchbox Twenty album that went with these books….On is call “How Long”, I just happened to have bought it about the time I had started this series. Loved both.

Tina Harris October 14, 2012 at 9:13 PM

Totally agree loved both books 110%. It is the next series that I have been telling all my friends to read. Have it on Kindle and paperback…..well had to for the paperback cover!! (:

Maryse October 14, 2012 at 9:14 PM

Ok so book #2 IS in my very near future!! Thanks guys!

Cree October 14, 2012 at 9:23 PM

It’s been recently confirmed that Sylvain Reynard is writing a third, and final, book to the series. I, for one, am THRILLED to get more of the Professor. I could not stop reading the first two books, they consumed my every thought, even well past the last word of Gabriel’s Rapture.

Jodi October 14, 2012 at 10:11 PM

I loved this series. Very excited to hear a third book is coming.

Kristina T. October 14, 2012 at 10:29 PM

errrr I think I’m in the minority when I say this book didn’t do it for me. I felt Julia was just soooo boring & the book dragged on. I found myself skimming & rushing to the end & then was like “really? that’s it?!”. I’ll wait for you’re review on book 2 before I give it another try lol.

lynn October 14, 2012 at 10:38 PM

Absolutely loved this series…couldn’t put them down.

Carla October 15, 2012 at 12:04 AM

I had the same problem with this book. And Julia’s innocence kind of bored me too. It was too much, kind of hard to believe that someone could be that innocent at that age. And too vulnerable and too sweet.. nah! I still don’t know if they really fit.

Catherine Shannon October 15, 2012 at 4:35 AM

When I started this book I though wow what a great romance written by a Man! Really enjoyed the first 50per but then found it a real struggle. Have to admit I actually laughed out loud at what goes down in the end and how it goes down (if you get me meaning!). It was was a little cringe worthy if I’m honest. Saying that I did read the second book (still only a 3 star) cause I had to find out if he ever man’s up!

Minha October 15, 2012 at 6:29 AM

I’ve read both books and still agree 100% with your rating Maryse. :)

Willow October 15, 2012 at 6:32 AM

I also couldn’t quite understand what everyone was talking about this first book. I gave it 3.5 too, but I have to say I found the second one better.

Alicia B October 15, 2012 at 2:13 PM

I was really excited to read this book after I read the reviews and the description, but I have to say, it is not often that I really hate a book, but I hated this book. The writing style drove me absolutely bonkers…way too formal at times, and the scene at the end (the one you are waiting for and have to read through about 500 boring pages to get to) was such a let down!! Completely cringe worthy as other readers have stated. I ended up skimming through a lot of it just so I could get it over with. I know that sounds bad, but me and this book just didn’t get along. Oh well. I’m glad to finally see your review Maryse, I was curious about what you thought about it! :)

CJ October 15, 2012 at 2:46 PM

I may be thinking about another book, but did you guys say this was a very dark book? If so, what do you mean by dark? Is this BDSM?

Arianna October 15, 2012 at 4:18 PM

I absolutely loved both of these books. I cried, I loved and what a roller coster ride they are! I love Gabriel, because of him I almost want to go back to college and have an affair with a Professor! I also really enjoyed the cultural aspect of this book, Dante and Italy. Great books….well written too

LizEly October 15, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Thx for the review Maryse… I went to the book store to check GI out before buying it for Kindle because I kept reading such mixed review, although many reviews were really positive. Well I was skimming through and it was just not catching my interest. I was very torn b/c so many people were recommending it and thought I was just missing something. After your review though I’m glad I didn’t go through with buying it. It seems like I was right and would have been disappointed.

Yoyo October 16, 2012 at 5:33 AM

Loved both books. Book 2 is a must.

Lisa76 October 16, 2012 at 7:58 AM

Loved both of these books and I can’t wait for a 3rd. Sylvain made me really connect to Gabriel & Julianne. They are both smart, snarky and just plain messed up and who doesnt love that? LOL!

CJ October 16, 2012 at 11:05 AM

So many mixed reviews! Don’t know what to do about this one

Michelle October 16, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Loved these as much as the Fifty Shades books and the Crossfire books. Especially this second book. Smart, sexy, heartbreaking, and beautiful. The arch of these characters is compelling and engaging. Had me swooning, had me yelling at them, had me crying with them. Can’t wait for a book three!

Chris October 18, 2012 at 12:28 AM

Both books were brilliant – so much better written than FSOG!! Eolquent, sexy and much more substance than many others in this genre!!

CJ October 18, 2012 at 9:22 PM

Glad I gave in and bought the book- absolutely loved it! I was so happy when Julia stood up for herself and ignored him for those two weeks. I immediately started reading the second book…she’s annoying me again so I hope she mans up soon! ;p

Sherry December 10, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Loved Gabriel’s Inferno..a very sweet love story. I thought the end…was very romantic and well written actually. The 1st book seems to have been building slowly to the upheaval that will take place in Bk 2. I am just starting Bk 2… Love it so far!! :-)

Guerlande December 12, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Love the book, love everything about it. I still can’t beleive a man wrote this wonderful love story

shannon January 2, 2013 at 4:15 PM

OMG I loved this book. I will read it again when the third book comes out

Carrie N January 13, 2013 at 9:55 PM
Rita April 13, 2013 at 9:28 PM

Came to this site to see if it was just me…. I came late to the party with FSoG. Read them in Feb. 2013 and then re-read them.Loved them and couldn’t believe some of the negative reviews and critisim. After becoming involved in a number of fan websites I read the Crossfire series, and Blackstone books and then Professor E. UHHHHGG! Who is this Julia?? Really? What an unbelievable character. I’m only 50 percent thru the 1st book and I was trying to find some justification to finish it. I’m not convinced.

Nelly February 23, 2014 at 7:33 PM

I was very surprised with this series. Just finished the first book – Gabriel’s Inferno – and onto the second book, and I have to say, it was probably one of the most boring books I ever read. Sorry to say! I am going to torture myself and contine to read the others because curiosity has the better of me. If you are a fan of J. R Ward, C Feehan, S Day, S Kenyon, S Sands…., and love the fast pace, rush, humor and sexually charged feeling you get when you read their books, I suggest you NOT read this series. You will most likely hate it as much as I have so far….but I will continue to read, just because I have come this far with it and don’t ever give up on a book no matter how bored I am with it.
This is just my opinion. I am sure others feel differently. Maybe my opinion will change in the end, but it wasn’t a good start with the first book :(

Lillian June 24, 2014 at 5:48 PM

read all three books loved all of them. wish there will be more. From the first book through the third book I was in love and could”nt put them down until I was finished. Sorry I finished reading them i wanted to read more didn’t want to end them .Just fell in love verywell written I just lve the author.

Erin September 17, 2014 at 2:38 PM

I loved all 3 books! For sure my favourites now. I loved how they were written and I loved Gabriel. (I have a thing for teachers) Julia was a bit annoying sometimes. Actually I was most annoyed by Paul. God I hated him. He was the worst!

Also I think these books are a million times better than the Crossfire books!

Wendy November 11, 2015 at 7:12 AM

Love love loved the romance and dramatic lives behind the characters. Had me engrossed in continual thought about the way the characters were developing and where they’d be by the end. The slow build up was just magic…love Gabriel and his moods and sharp tongue..what a dreamboat…covering up his real hurt by striking out … just makes you want to save him *sigghhh*. Enjoying #2 and marvellous to see Julia letting down her guard and getting her girrrll on a bit more.. surely there’s a bit more naughty to come!!♡♡

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