Title: Gabriel's Rapture
Author: Sylvain Reynard
Publishing Date: May 22, 2012
Summary (from Goodreads):
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 rapture 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 be forced to share Dante’s fate? Or will he fight to keep Julia, his Beatrice, forever?
I cannot describe the ear deafening girlish squeal that rang through my house when I opened my email eight days ago. Could it be…? Was it really…? Oh my Gawd! An ARC of Gabriel’s Rapture was there waiting for me…and had been for two days! Two days, people! This is why you should check your email every. Single. Day.
I was just getting ready to devour it when life called and I was pulled away and forced back into reality for a bit. But finally – finally! – I was able to return and when I did I could not put this one down. My reader and I became BFF’s over the last two days. I stayed awake until my eyes had tears in them and were burning from staring at my reader for so long. Children were ignored, hubby was neglected, housework forgotten. No one existed except Gabriel Emerson.
The ride Reynard creates in his second book was once again a hit. I love that it starts right back up in Italy where Inferno left us. Now, while we don’t really learn anything new about our two lovers in this one, we do see a tremendous change in our Professor Emerson. The selfish, greedy man we met not too long ago is transformed in this book into something softer and gentler. The journey that’s full of twists and turns and misunderstandings that make you want to pull your hair out and cry, turn our damaged Emerson… good. Whole. He finds his humanity and in doing so discovers he wants things with his Beatrice that he banished wanting long ago.
Julia has also changed. She no longer is the prudish, judgmental woman I wanted to slap so many times in Inferno. By loving Gabriel she’s opened herself up to the possibility that not everything about a person’s past is dirty and sinful and she can have intimacy with someone without it being cruel. My heart ached right along with hers during the second half of this book. Even though you know there’s something she’s missing, and it’s right there, right there in front of her if only she would open her eyes makes the entire thing so bloody frustrating.
When she runs out into the rain to email Gabriel and finds him right outside her building my inner cheerleader was screaming at the top of her lungs. Finally they were going to sort this mess out! But Julia is cautious and still hurt; she doesn’t understand what Gabriel has really done. I had to clutch my reader to keep from throwing it out of frustration at these two in that moment. I’m glad all wasn’t forgiven and forgotten with a snap of her fingers, though. I loved that she decided they needed to get to know one another again and take it slow.
However, there’s slow and then there is the torture that Julia endured from Gabriel. Very clever, Professor.
Withholding the sex just makes you all the more attractive and irresistible. I’m not sure how Julia stopped herself from screaming YES to his condition right then and there. C’mon, girl!
The only thing I didn’t understand was why, WHY, didn’t Gabriel resend that text to Julia?! Okay, I get that if he did then there would be no story blah, blah, blah. I get that, I really do. But when an error like that occurs you fix it ASAP. No one would have been none the wiser to it. Ahh authors and their clever ways of creating a plot.
Finally, my favourite quote from the book: “O gods of women whose fathers wish to castrate their boyfriend in the lobby of the Four Seasons, please don’t let him be carrying anything sharp.” I still giggle every time I think of it.
I think it goes without saying from my gushing that I loved this book. I loved the highs and lows and, as much as I wanted to scream, I even loved the misunderstandings that made the book. And I especially love the cover. Have you seen the cover? Of course you have, but take another look. Beautiful, isn’t it?
I look forward to seeing what Reynard comes up with next.
***I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you, thank you, thank you!!) in exchange for an honest review.