Review: The Prince (The Florentine 0.5) by Sylvain Reynard


Title: The Prince
Author: Sylvain Reynard
Publisher/Year: Penguin Group USA 1/20/15
Length: 79
Series: The Florentine 0.5


The unveiling of a set of priceless illustrations of Dante’s Divine Comedy at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence exposes Professor Gabriel Emerson and his beloved wife, Julianne, to a mysterious enemy.
Gabriel may have acquired the illustrations only a few years ago, but unbeknownst to him, they were stolen a century earlier from the ruler of Florence’s underworld.
Now one of the most dangerous beings in the city is determined to reclaim his prize and exact his revenge on the Emersons—but not before he uncovers something disturbing about Julianne…

My Thoughts

I love Gabriel and Julianne together – so getting anything else about them or tied to them is GREAT.  The Prince is an interesting introduction to a side series that takes us to the darker underworld side of things – among vampires i’m guessing who rule Italy and who are in search of the paintings that Gabriel has…and looking to kill him for them.

Although the tone of this series is quite different than that of Gabriel’s Inferno, i think that the style that our lovely author ingrained into us in the former series really carries through here.  You’re left wondering what exactly is going on and always looking over your shoulder.  In the first series, it was more about whether or not this couple could make a go at it and who would rat them out and here, it’s a mix of whether Gabriel knows who’s after him, who’s going to die, and who’s the rat in the Prince’s regime.

The other side bit too is that we learn that there’s something going on with Julianne – and that she’s sick – The Prince senses it, but we don’t know what, and it’s semi clear that she doesn’t even know it yet.  It’s only during a night of passion that there’s a tease that they may wonder, but again, nothing tangible…until maybe they flee back to the US early.

I’m kind of happy that it’s taken me about a month to read this first intro to the series since i believe that the Raven comes out very soon so i’ll be able to get the continuation quite soon.  I’m really interested to see how Sylvain Reynard will intertwine the series even further, or at least show the parallel paths while The Prince tries to get his revenge.  We saw a tease of the passion between the happy couple in this first installment, and i hope that we’ll get to see more of it.  I think that we’ll learn that The Prince has a heart – even if it’s been buried for hundreds of years.  so…on that note – enjoy!

ARC Review: Gabriel’s Redemption (Gabriel’s Inferno #3) by Sylvain Reynard


Title:  Gabriel’s Redemption
Author: Sylvain Reynard
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Group USA  12/3/13
Length:  496 pages
Series: Gabriel’s Inferno #3


From the author of the New York Times bestsellers Gabriel’s Rapture and Gabriel’s Inferno comes the epic conclusion to the captivating romantic trilogy.

Professor Gabriel Emerson has left his position at the University of Toronto to embark on a new life with his beloved Julianne. Together, he’s confident that they can face any challenge. And he’s eager to become a father.

But Julianne’s graduate program threatens Gabriel’s plans, as the pressures of being a student become all consuming. When she is given the honor of presenting an academic lecture at Oxford, Gabriel is forced to confront Julianne about the subject of her presentation—research that conflicts with his own. And in Oxford, several individuals from their past appear, including an old nemesis intent on humiliating Julia and exposing one of Gabriel’s darkest secrets.

In an effort to confront his remaining demons, Gabriel begins a quest to discover more about his biological parents, beginning a chain of events that has startling repercussions for himself, Julianne, and his hope of having a family.

My Thoughts

I owed it to myself to go back and read books 1 and 2 to ensure that i was up to speed on where things left off since Gabriel’s Rapture seemed to feel like it could have ended the series on it’s own.  (which was the original intention i believe).

Anyway, I’m glad that i did, since we pick up right in a great place with book 3, the final installment.  We left off with Gabriel and Julia – back in a good place, where they are able to realize that they belong together, and have finally managed to sort things out as they should.  There’s always that worry of self destruction that Julia fears will come from Gabriel, but she’s willing to put in the work that’s necessary to make things be amazing.

What i really enjoyed about this last installment is that the style of writing and the story telling was a bit different than the past books.  In this third book, we get to see the on-going story of Gabriel and Julia, but we also get passing chapters from other folks and that’s quite enjoyable.  I like that we get to see a bit more about Rachel and Aaron, and that we even get the flashes to Simon and Natalie, since i feared that we weren’t done with them yet, and S. Reynard shows that we’re not and even Paulina, Christa and Piaccini.

What’s nice in this plot is that we don’t just follow the educational path that Julia is going on, we also get to see the story of self discovery and walk the fine line of wanting to learn about the past but not wanting to get those answers.  It happens on both ends, as a result of an unexpected pregnancy among some supporting characters.  This takes Gabriel on his journey most directly and what he learns isnt’ at all what he expected and yet he’s still quite skeptical.

The underlying story here is trust and love.  Julia is the angel in all this again, because she has faith that things will work out if you trust and love someone enough, yet she has her own doubts and has trouble standing up for what she’s for and against in her relationship with Gabriel.  He has hopes for his life with her and she’s not in the same place just yet.

With all the various stories being interwoven, i kept waiting for the other shoe to drop and it does in interesting and unusual ways.  nothing comes without a bit of stress and anxiety and that’s nice.  while I kept hoping that i knew how the ending would come, i think that we got to some places in an indirect way which kept me reading, and yet never got to some of the others that i expected.

As you get to the end of this story-  you’re still keeping the hope that things will work out for everyone.  It’s never that simple and it’s never that cut and dry, with quite a few tears and angst at the end.  I think that there was a good conclusion to their story and resolution to some other supporting stories.


separately, in reading about Sylvain Reynard’s next project The Raven Series, i’m fairly certain that i know which character is going to pop up that we know.  does the name Uncle Jack ring a bell?  I don’t know why – but i feel like he’s going to play a role.  i love what he brought to this series and this final installment.

Breaking News: From Author Sylvain Reynard – Next Project: The Raven Series

Dear Everyone,

Back in September, I wrote a post in which I mentioned my next novel. I’m pleased to be able to give you more information now.

My next novel is the first in a new series, and it will be entitled The Raven.  With this novel, I’m asking you to pack your bags and travel with me to the city of Florence. The Gabriel Series showed you the city during the day.  This time, I’ll show you Florence’s underworld, which is ruled by creatures of the night …

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Gabriel Series comes a dark, sensual tale of romance in a city shrouded in mystery… 

Raven Wood spends her days at Florence’s Uffizi Gallery restoring fine works of Renaissance art.  But an innocent walk home after an evening with friends changes her life forever. When she intervenes in the senseless beating of a homeless man, his attackers turn on her, dragging her into an alley.  Raven is only semi-conscious when their assault is interrupted by a cacophony of growls followed by her attacker’s screams.  Mercifully, she blacks out, but not before catching a glimpse of a shadowy figure who whispers to her …

 Cassita vulneratus.

When Raven awakes, she is inexplicably changed.  She returns to the Uffizi, but no one recognizes her and more disturbingly, she discovers that she’s been absent an entire week.  With no recollection of the events leading up to her disappearance, Raven also learns that her absence coincides with one of the largest robberies in Uffizi history – the theft of a set of priceless Botticelli illustrations. When the baffled police force identifies her as its prime suspect, Raven is desperate to clear her name. She seeks out one of Florence’s wealthiest and elusive men in an attempt to uncover the truth about her disappearance.   Their encounter leads Raven to a dark underworld whose inhabitants kill to keep their secrets …

As mentioned in a September post, readers of Gabriel’s Redemption will be able to read an excerpt from The Raven at the end of both the paperback and e-book editions.

But what wasn’t mentioned was that one of the characters of The Raven appears in Gabriel’s Redemption.  Can you identify him or her? S Reynard welcomes your guesses in the comments below and on social media.

Review: Gabriel’s Inferno (Gabriel’s Inferno #1) by Sylvain Reynard



Title:  Gabriel’s Inferno
Author: Sylvain Reynard
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Group (USA) 9/4/12
Length:  560 pages
Series: Gabriel’s Inferno #1


From national bestselling author Sylvain Reynard comes the haunting, unforgettable tale of one man’s salvation and one woman’s sensual awakening . . .

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.

My Thoughts

alas i’ve found myself back into a ‘romance’ inspired series, but i have to say that i left these 2 books significantly more intelligent than i went in.  with Book 1’s title Gabriel’s Inferno, i had visions of Dante’s inferno, and i was completely on target with that one. it’s really nice to read a story that has as much passion and depth as a dante inspiration.  i also love that we’re immediately introduced to the characters as the modern Dante and Beatrice.

so here’s how it shakes down:

Gabriel – he is our brooding male lead, also known as ‘Professor’.  he’s young, handsome, powerful, smart, and well of course very very troubled.  He’s got a past that we don’t actually get the entire picture of even through both Gabriel’s Inferno or Gabriel’s Rapture.  we get a glimpse, but not the whole story.  he’s adopted, troubled, and tries to turn his life around – question is – does he succeed?  that’s why you must read.

Julia is our female lead – and the girl that we always want to root for in these types of stories.  she’s very innocent of course, and even a virgin (big surprise there right?) but she comes into her own skin as these stories progress.  We know that her life wasn’t the easiest as she was growing up either, and that’s kind of what shapes her whole story.

interesting fun facts that we find out in book 1:

1) Gabriel and Julia met when she was 17…..because her best friend is Gabriel’s brother.  but….Gabriel has no idea who she is when she turns up in his graduate level seminar.  reason?  (you must read to find out)

2) Gabriel has a tattoo over his heart with initials or a name…what’s the story there…and how does that relate to the ‘bursary’ that he bestows on Julia when he tries to help her out financially?

Gabriel’s Inferno brings these characters together through a bit of a round about way.  she enrolls in his class, and he doesn’t know who she is at first…and of course she won’t tell him.  it takes his sister/her best friend visiting to uncover some of that….yet – it’s still not that easy.  we know that Julia is in love with him, and has been for years, but does that ever get resolved?

Gabriel’s Rapture – book 2 takes us on a continuation of their tale, picking up at a really juicy spot actually.  and i’m not saying juicy from a sexual aspect.  there’s a lot going on that book 2 does a really good job talking about.

**potential spoiler alert**

so we know from the first book that there’s an issue with professor/student relationships and we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop all book 1.  we find that to some extend the shoe drops in book 2 – but how and how does that effect each of the characters?

what i lOVED about Gabriel’s Rapture is that it took you in a direction that you expect, but the story there is so unexpected.  i’m used to things being tied up in a nice little bow right off the bat and in this case, you’re really forced to keep from skipping to the end of the book to find the resolution since there’s so much greatness going on with both Gabriel and Julia separately.

anyway – i read that there may be a book 3 in the works and if that’s true then i’m thrilled.  Professor and the Student really were great at drawing me in, and i can’t wait to hear more of their tale