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 raptures 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 succumb to Dante’s fate? Or will he fight to keep Julia, his Beatrice, forever? In Gabriel’s Rapture, the brilliant sequel to the wildly successful debut novel, Gabriel’s Inferno, Sylvain Reynard weaves an exquisite love story that will touch the reader’s mind, body, and soul, forever.
This just didn’t do it for me. I am clearly in the minority with my opinion, but nonetheless, I had a hard time finishing this one. I read Gabriel’s Inferno months ago, and actually liked it so I figured I’d have to like the sequel, right? Wrong. Now, before y’all start telling me I suck and throwing your e-readers at me, let me say this; there were some redeeming qualities in this book. It wasn’t awful. But it wasn’t great either. The best word to describe it, IMO, is “mehhh…”
Gabriel grated on me a lot more in Rapture than he did in Inferno. Sure, he was condescending and arrogant and kind of dick-ish in Inferno, but I feel like his pretentiousness was taken to a whole other level in Rapture. Some of the wording was just a bit much, and his proclamations of love to Julia resulted in some pretty severe eye rolling on my part. I understand that’s his personality, but for some reason it just annoyed me this time around. I was back and forth on my feelings towards Julia. She had her moments where she was a strong character, other times she seemed like a bit of a doormat. The only character I really found myself drawn to was Paul; all the others, I could pretty much take or leave.
I’ve taken a couple art history classes in college, so I did enjoy the parts that referenced Botticelli and other artists. In all honesty, those parts were kind of the saving grace of this book for me. I didn’t find myself horribly invested in Gabriel and Julia’s relationship, and even though I knew it was useless, I found myself wishing over and over again that Julia would choose Paul.
Who knows, I might try and read this again in the future. Maybe I have just read too many books with alpha males recently, and it’s starting to wear on me. Maybe if I would have read it at a different time my opinion would have been vastly different. I doubt it…but maybe. For now though, unfortunately, I can’t chalk this up as a good read for me.