Hey all and Happy Mother’s Day to all the mama’s out there! Today, I’m thrilled because I’ll be reaching into my archives for a review of one of my favorite trilogies I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading! The Gabriel Series by Sylvain Reynard, is a fantastic story of love, intellect, literature, history, music, and the romance of the Italian culture. Right now, I’m reading a spin off of this series called The Raven. When I finish and review that novel (which is the start of the author’s Florentine series), I want to have my thoughts posted about where my love for these characters began. Make sense? Lovely, so on we go!
Now, when I originally picked up these books, I had heard that the story of Gabriel Emerson and Julianne Mitchell began much as the Fifty series; online as Twilight fan fiction. As someone who read (and watched) the Twilight saga and wasn’t particularly impressed or a fan, I tried not to let that sway me. I had browsed enough reviews to know that it had developed into its own tale so I wanted to dive in with blinders on and just focus on the material in front of me. Needless to say, I was ecstatic that I made that decision. As I write this, I realize I’ve since re-read the series another three times since my initial encounter with the professor and his beloved, and I don’t think I’ll ever tire of visiting them. Here’s why.
Much like Dante’s levels of Hell, there’s levels and layers to the overall story. First, you’ll begin by entering Gabriel’s Inferno. What is there to say about Professor Gabriel Emerson? Maybe it’s the Dante Specialist thing of his that does it for me. Or maybe it’s his love of three-piece suits, luxury cars, Mozart, and an over-priced fountain pen? Everything about him had me practically panting and wishing I was a student in his seminar, even if he was terrifying. Despite the fact he has an exterior that’s rock solid, he’s pretentious, rude, arrogant, and seemingly intolerable, Julianne Mitchell, one of his students, sees through all that and knows he’s capable of kindness. She’s a reserved girl, trying to find her footing in her Master’s program and become an expert in her field of interest. She and Gabriel do not seem to get on, but she knows more than he thinks she does about the kind of man he is, and eventually, shit hits the fan. When they keep having encounters both on and off campus, something clicks for both of them and there’s no turning back. That’s where the love story really begins.
There was something about the set up of this book that sucked me in completely. The University of Toronto and the study of The Divine Comedy on both a Master and Doctorate levlel, brought about a new world for me. The way these two live made me feel extremely un-civilized (and I feel like I grew up experiencing my fair share when it came to the worlds of academia and culture). I adored how everything around each character seemed to fit their own personal styles. From the setting of their apartments, the nods to great literature, trips to Florence and Oxford, the soothing strains of Requiem, and a few murmurs of devotion in Italian gave their tale a true sensual ambiance that took me away from reality entirely. Gabriel seems like he stepped out of another era and it made me weak-in-the-knees. The way he worships his Beatrice and how he proclaims his undying love had me wishing I could steal him for myself. What a fantastic specimen of a man. Julianne is one lucky lady. My Final Rating:five out of five stars
Gabriel’s Rapture brings you to the next segment in the Julianne and Gabriel relationship. As I stated previously, aside from making me feel severely un-educated and un-cultured just as book one did, I LOVED this installment. My heart was in my throat for a good chunk of the story. Things don’t progress as swimmingly as they seem to for most couples, and I was not expecting the turn their adventure took, but by the end, I was enchanted! Professor Emerson may have his nose in the air a portion of the time, but geez, does he make it sexy while he does it. I also admire Julia more and more as their story progresses. Like Gabriel, she has her own past and her own demons. She not only learns to face them head on, but she defeats them with kindness and a tender heart. Some reviews I read did not care for her because they saw her as weak. I have to disagree. Just because a female is not in-your-face and aggressive or ballsy when discovering herself or handling a man, does NOT make her a weak person. I wish I was able to control my own emotions and attitude with the grace that Julianne displays. I need to take a few pages out of her book about being a good person. She tames Gabriel in that sense and she makes readers see it in themselves too. Despite any mistakes you have made along the road in life, you are worthy of happiness and you are worthy of goodness and love. Julianne is by far an under-rated heroine and should be praised for the saint-like message she portrays. My Final Rating: five out of five stars
Thank you, thank you, thank you, for writing a book featuring the couple AFTER marriage. So many series I’ve read prior to meeting this couple end with a marriage and make a sequel which tells book one all over again, but in the other partner’s perspectives. I’m eternally grateful that Gabriel’s Redemption didn’t go that route.
To say I love Gabriel and Julianne is a complete and total understatement! They’ve grown so much throughout their journey together and I’m extremely proud of them. No one is perfect, but I’m thrilled they continue to work out their flaws and imperfections so that they are able to move forward together and have the happy life I know they both deserve and want more than anything in the world. This series was so much more than a love story. Personally, it opened doors. I’ve become determined to return to university for further degrees, travel the world, learn Italian, study cultures, really lose myself in literature, and hold out hope for romance… or a professor of my very own one day.
I love visiting this sweet little family repeatedly because I know I’ll miss them after some time spent away with other characters! I’m ecstatic that Sylvain Reynard has chosen to incorporate the Emersons into his latest work, so I can’t wait to see what else he comes up with for my favorite duo! In the mean time, do yourselves a favor and begin your own journey with Gabriel and his beloved Julianne. I can NOT praise this trilogy enough! Their story is magical, lyrical, and completely enchanting. You’ll never want your time with them to end! That’s all for now, Ciao!