While I’m a self-proclaimed bibliophile and I absolutely devour books, it is somewhat rare for me to fall in love with a book series to the point that years after I’ve read it, I’m still raving about it to my friends.
Such is the case for Sylvain Reynard’s Gabriel’s Inferno Series which was first published in 2012. Though it began as fan-fiction of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series (and was released in fan-fic boards as The University of Edward Masen under the authorship of Sebastien Robichaud), this series is vastly superior (in my opinion) to its inspiration in both style and content.
Centered on its enigmatic protagonist, Professor Gabriel Emerson and his romance with his student Julia Mitchell, the series of erotic novels explores their growing passion between that transcends their pasts, secrets and fears.
Set against the backdrop of academic life in the University of Toronto where Professor Emerson teaches Dante studies and in Selinsgrove, Pennysylvania where he grew up, the first book, Gabriel’s Inferno, introduces him to his shy and unassuming student Julia, who, without his knowledge, actually shares a deep connection with him and has fostered feelings for him for the past six years. The next book, Gabriel’s Rapture, sees the two lovers torn apart by academic politics and vindictive rivals. The last book in the series, Gabriel’s Redemption, chronicles his married life with Julia and his efforts to make peace with his past to build a future with her.
Throughout the three books and six years later, my interest in the series never waned; I find myself re-reading the books cover to cover from time to time. Aside from the story and the quality of writing, much of the credit can be laid at Gabriel Emerson’s character.
But why is The Professor so compelling? Here are my thoughts as to why:
- From the descriptions in the book, he is H-O-T as H-E-L-L! The Professor is tall, dark-haired with piercing blue eyes and has a great physique (having gone “ten rounds with a few Southies in Boston and lived to brag about it”). Apparently, he can rock the suit and bowtie and still be all alpha male.
- The man has brains. Being a university professor whose credentials include a graduate degree from Harvard, the man sure has the smarts. Plus, he can give a lecture about Renaissance literature and art and still have his audience at full attention. (Check out this part of his lecture titled “Lust in Dante’s Inferno: The Deadly Sin Against the Self”: “Sex is properly understood to be not only physical, but spiritual—an ecstatic union of two bodies and two souls, meant to mimic the joy and ecstasy of union with the Divine in Paradise. Two bodies joined together in pleasure. Two souls joined through the connection between two bodies and the whole-hearted, enthusiastic, selfless giving of the entire self.” Now, that’s just brainy and sexy in one dose.)
- His mystery is part of his charm. The Professor has inner demons that he grapples with and how he works through them with Julia and helps Julia deal with her own, makes this a deeper romance story than usual.
- The guy sure knows romance. Aside from his “moves” in bed, he is also an attentive lover outside of it. Despite the (surprisingly) few love scenes in the books, Gabriel demonstrates time and again what an attentive lover he is: he brings fine food to Julia’s dorm so she can dine in comfort and pleasure while doing her schoolwork. For their first time together, he takes her on a romantic trip to Florence. Plus, he prepared a soundtrack for his seduction (which includes “Lying in the Hands of God” by Dave Matthews Band)!
Gabriel Emerson is an intriguing and irresistible romantic hero. And I don’t mind sharing him with other romance readers who appreciate a strong and sensitive alpha male.
You might also like these other works by Sylvain Reynard:
Guess what! Sylvain Reynard recently confirmed that he is working on a fourth novel in the Gabriel’s Inferno series. I’ll be counting the days until it’s released!
Check out my other blog posts about my favorite fiction books:
- Pemberley Variations by Abigail Reynolds
- Esther – Royal Beauty by Angela Hunt
- Jewel of Persia by Roseanna M. White
- The Legend of Sheba – Rise of a Queen by Tosca Lee
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