Published by Berkley Trade on December 3, 2013
Genres: Adult Fiction, BDSM, Contemporary Romance, Erotica, New Adult, Romance
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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.
Gabriel’s Redemption is the third book in the Gabriel’s Inferno series by Sylvain Reynard. I read the first 2 books, Gabriel’s Inferno and Gabriel’s Rapture, last year before I started writing reviews. I remember thinking to myself back then that Sylvain was an amazing author. His ability to create a modern love story using Dante and Beatrice as his muse, for me, was ingenious. I loved being transported away to Italy learning about Dante, his beloved Beatrice, and Virgil the Roman poet. Dante’s poems, the Divine Comedy, Purgatorio, and Paradiso were translated into this epic series about Professor Gabriel Emerson. This is Gabriel’s story of faith, hope, love, forgiveness, and finally redemption.
Gabriel’s Redemption explores the married life of Gabriel and his beloved Julianne. They are newlyweds for the majority of this book. They are still madly, deeply in love, and trying to juggle the reality of Julianne’s demanding graduate program. Gabriel’s love for Julianne is definitely one for the record books. I’m afraid there are only men like him in literature. Many times I found myself breathless by his words of adoration. Here are just a few of my favorite lines from the book.
He envied the very air she breathed.
Of all the gifts God gave me, he thought, the greatest one is you.
For you, my love, I would endeavor to pluck the stars from the sky, only to shower them at your feet.
As with all married couples they find themselves having their first real arguments. Sylvain does a beautiful job of exploring the human nature of hurt feelings and anger. He uses examples such as Aaron and Rachel as well as his father Richard, to guide Gabriel towards understanding his wife, accepting responsibility, and asking for forgiveness without compromising himself or Julianne’s convictions. He shows not only Gabriel the wisdom of not going to bed angry, to working through disagreements without yelling or name calling. Ultimately though, it’s Gabriel’s devoted, unending love for Julianne, that pushes him to “fix” things.
This would story would not be true if we didn’t have some scandal. Many old faces ‘pop up’ trying to stir up trouble. All of which, I thought, was handled with great care and restraint. I felt like Gabriel showed amazing growth in this story. Where previously he was quick to lash out, he now appeared to hold himself in check, think before reacting. It was a more mature Gabriel.
Gabriel however, still has demons. He hasn’t yet managed to conquer his feelings of abandonment from his biological family. As he struggles with wanting to start a family of his own, through Julianne, he realizes that he must first search out his family, get some answers, and move on. I’m positive he didn’t expect what he found. Seeing him come through the other side of this was amazing. If you weren’t already in love with the Professor you most certainly will be now.
Sylvain Reynard does an beautiful job of tying up all the loose ends. We get finality on all our favorite and not so favorite characters. You will not be disappointed. I found myself feeling content knowing everyone and everything was as it should be.
Gabriel’s Redemption is an epic love story very much like Dante’s love for Beatrice. I would be remiss though if I didn’t voice my opinion that Paul was actually Dante not Virgil, but you must read to understand why I say that.
The end of this story is poignant, sweet, and tender.
“In fact, I was just disagreeing with St. Paul.”
“Oh?” She wiped away a tear. “And what did he say in response?”
Gabriel caught her eye. She grinned.
“I told him that the greatest virtue isn’t charity; it’s hope. I discovered charity with Richard and Grace, but also with you. And it helped me through some very dark days. I also discovered faith, when I went to Assisi. But without hope, I wouldn’t be here. I would have taken my life. Without divine intervention in the form of a teenage girl in a Pennsylvania orchard, I’d be in Hell and not sitting at your side…”
“Charity is a great virtue, and so is faith. But hope means the most to me. This is hope.”
After reading the last sentence, I closed my kindle and looked at my arm where I have “There is always hope” tattooed and I smiled through my tears.
*A copy of this book was kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*