Enigmatic and sexy, Professor Gabriel Emerson is a well respected Dante specialist by day, but by night he devotes himself to an uninhibited life of pleasure. He uses his notorious good looks and sophisticated charm to gratify his every whim, but is secretly tortured by his dark past and consumed by the profound belief that he is beyond all hope of redemption. When the sweet and innocent Julia Mitchell enrolls as his graduate student, his attraction and mysterious connection to her not only jeopardizes his career, but sends him on a journey in which his past and his present collide. An intriguing and sinful exploration of seduction, forbidden love and redemption, "Gabriel's Inferno" is a captivating and wildly passionate tale of one man's escape from his own personal hell as he tries to earn the impossible...forgiveness and love.
Gabriel feels that he is doomed to hell for his sins and Julia, a pure woman, is his only redemption. I loved the fact that Julia knew Gabriel before he became the bastard that he is. He is a pretentious prick and for some reason, Julia invokes his ire above all else. It broke my heart for her that her teenage crush treated her little better than dirt. But Gabriel has demons he's running from, and Julia makes him realize just how F**cked up of a man he really is. Not to mention the fact that she tempts him beyond words, and he knows that he really can't have her since she's his student.
I've always liked books with something legitimate stopping the hero and heroine from being together, and the professor/student troupe is one of my favorite. It's forbidden and sexy if done right, and in Gabriel's Inferno it is executed to perfection.
Things that kind of bothered me was the fact that Julia is terrified of intimacy and men to a point because of what a ex boyfriend did to her in the past. I felt like that was a little over dramatized and when it's revealed why Julia is so broken, I was let down. Also she's supposed to be a smart woman at the top of her college class, yet she is naive to anything sexual, including common innuendos that even middle schoolers would get.
Also, Gabriel completely changes his tune from d-bag professor (which I kinda had the hots for) to poetry spouting man in love... The man he became after a certain revelation was too quick. It was like readers whiplash. He was constantly giving flowery praise and treating Julia with kid gloves and putting her on a pedestal. So in my opinion, some of the romance was over played.
Despite these qualms, I really did enjoy Julia and Gabriel's story as a whole in the moment as I was reading. I didn't think of any of the negatives until after I finished and reflected on it a bit. Gabriel's Inferno evoked a lot of emotions in me and that's praise to the author. I'm looking forward into diving into book 2. I hear we get back to a darker Gabriel and a darker tone in general which excites me, because for most of the second half of book 1, I felt like things were going a little too well for our couple.
Overall, I rate Gabriel's Inferno 4 Olives. It wasn't steamy in the sense of sex. The author really takes his time building up to the glorious moment, which I can definitely appreciate. These characters are flawed, but not beyond saving. Those who enjoy drama, passion, a vulnerable heroine with some inner strength, and a deeply scared man who is far from perfect but puts his love above all else, then check out this series.
I’m going to be thrown out of Paradise tomorrow, Beatrice. Our only hope is that you find me afterward. Look for me in Hell.
It's been a while since I've read this story (or reread it for that fact) and when Anna mentioned we could do a dual review, I was a little nervous, could I do it justice? This is one series that touched me profoundly, I was left thinking of these characters, reliving their journey for a long time after. I became totally invested in the romance between Gabriel and Julia and this was one couple that deserved their happily ever after.
“Open your eyes.”
Julia looked up into a pair of blue orbs that were startlingly clear and very emotional, but she could not decipher the emotions. He smiled and pressed his lips to her forehead again before rolling onto his back and gazing up at the stars. “What are you thinking?” She shifted herself so that she was curled up at his side, close to but not touching him with her body. “I was thinking about how I waited for you. I waited and waited, and you never came.” He smiled at her sadly.
“I’m sorry, Gabriel.”
“You’re here now. Apparuit iam beatitudo vestra.”
“I don’t know what that means.” She sounded shy.
“It means now your blessedness appears. But really, it should be now my blessedness appears. Now that you’re here.” He pulled her closer, snaking his arm beneath her neck and down to her waist where he splayed his hand, fingers wide, at the small of her back. “For the rest of my life, I’ll dream of hearing your voice breathe my name.”
“Look at me. Look into my eyes." His eyes fixed on hers as they fluttered open.
"I'll give you anything. My body, my soul, Take them. Take everything.”
Julia is a wonderful character on her own. She initially starts out very timid, basically Gabriel's complete opposite. While he is force to be reckoned with, Julia shies away, hiding in the shadows. We soon learn that she also has a troubled past, and when she reconnects with Gabriel, her other half, something awakens within her and she shines. Their love helps Julia to gain confidence and the strength she needed to move forward, she found value within herself.
I can't recommend this book any more, it had such an impact on me, that even one year later I will still tear up while reading over quotes. EVERY ONE needs to experience this beautiful book, its such an inspiring journey of true love that will leave you breathless. It will forever be in my heart as one of my favourite books.
“I will remember your scent and your touch and how it felt to love you. But most of all, I will remember how it felt to gaze at true beauty, both inside and out. For you are fair, my beloved, in soul and in body, generous of spirit and generous of heart. And I will never see anything this side of heaven more beautiful than you.”
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