Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard
Professor Gabriel Emerson, a specialist in Dante and the art of seduction, believes he has already earned his exile to the lower circles of hell. Since redemption is impossible, there is no reason to refrain from indulging in a life of pleasurable sin, using his notorious good looks and sophisticated charm as a means to gratify his every whim. But when he meets Julia Mitchell, a brilliant, lovely, and innocent grad student with the achingly familiar eyes of an angel, all of his cynical convictions are challenged. Her mysterious allure and the havoc she wreaks on his self-satisfied existence cause him to lash out at her, while her quiet beauty and innate goodness consistently undermine his control, tempting him beyond measure.
Despite surviving a traumatic childhood, nothing has shaken Julia’s faith that redemption is possible for everyone—everyone but her. Her unworthiness torments her, since the only man she will ever love has managed to forget her very existence, failing to even recognize her when they reconnect. Too naive to see that Gabriel’s hostility is a mask for his increasing obsession with her, Julia forces him to come to grips with his past while she continues to unwittingly torment his senses. His fascination grows into a dangerous preoccupation, for Julia is forbidden fruit . . .Will Gabriel survive the inferno, or will he succumb to the flames?
Gabriel is a university professor with a dark past. Julia is a shy, quiet grad student in his Dante seminar and he is mean to her from the beginning. Why does The Professor not remember Julia? How do they know each other? Who is he? Who is Paulina? These are all questions that will keep you reading until your eyes hurt. It is a lovely, dark romance and the writing is beautiful.(Parenthetically, I must add that I love the snarky narrator who is almost like another character in the story. Enjoyable to read.)
Yes, there is a sequel. Gabriel and Julia's story is too complicated for just one book. Don't worry, though. The ending to this volume is satisfactory. You won't be throwing anything after you've finished. The only regret I have is that I did not get the print copy. Some books you just have to hold in your hand so you can flip through it and re-read favorite parts. This is one of those books.
My Rating: *****
Steam Factor: !!!!
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