Jill's Reviews > Gabriel's Rapture

Gabriel's Rapture by Sylvain Reynard
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May 31, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary-romance
Read in May, 2012


This was the joy that the world sought - sacred and pagan all at once. A union between two dissimilars into a seamless one.

Julianne and Gabriel are together at last. Holidaying in Italy, Gabriel is lovingly guiding Julianne into the pleasures and intimacies of a sexual relationship. She proves an apt student. But with their return to the university, both Gabriel and Julianne are caught up in the administration's investigations into misconduct and inappropriate behaviour between staff and students.

One of the strengths of both Gabriel's Inferno and Gabriel's Rapture is the many references to food, wine, languages, art, architecture, music, literature and the knowledge of the local shops and eateries of the great cities of the world. Even fashion - and surprisingly women's fashion - does not escape the notice of author Sylvain Reynard.

Having read quite a few romance novels by many different authors across most of the sub-genres of romance, I have never come across any author who is so well-versed in the fine arts, with such a comprehensive knowledge of literature. The 12th century love story of Abelard and Heloise for example, is not commonly known I think, but it was cleverly written into this story and parallels in many respects Gabriel and Julianne's own love story.

This book also focuses on Gabriel's introspection, his quest for forgiveness and redemption. Not only emotionally and psychologically, but spiritually. Where the conflict in Gabriel's Inferno was mostly played out between Gabriel and Julianne, this time the conflict comes from a number of external sources. Their love is established, yet still faces obstacles. Gabriel's generosity and his gentleness towards Julianne is demonstrated in a number of ways. The love scenes though not steamy, are sensual and romantic.

Despite my enjoyment of Gabriel's Rapture there are a few complaints. Julianne is very teary and at times immature for a twenty-three year-old. This may be the author's way of demonstrating her innocent nature, but it does sometimes grate. Gabriel is overly-protective, almost cloying and treating her as if she too fragile and precious. There were also some unanswered questions about the final outcomes for Christa and Paul.

Finally, just a word about the author. In my opinion, very few male authors can write romance well. This is not a sexist remark, but a personal observation after reading many romances. I can count on one hand the number of romance novels by male authors that I have enjoyed. Both Mr Reynard's novels are in that number. Perhaps other male romance authors simply don't write to my taste in novels. Whatever the reason, I have been mostly disappointed in romances written by men.

I have no idea if Mr Reynard is as urbane, intelligent, educated and worldly as Prof Emerson, but he certainly comes across this way in his writing. I'm a little bit awestruck at a man who knows the story of Abelard and Heloise, who knows about a certain dress worn by the late Grace Kelly in the 50s, a Bordelle chemise, a Michael Kors bag, and most importantly that no civilised person would drink coffee with milk after breakfast.

After reading Gabriel's Inferno, I was convinced author Sylvain Reynard was actually Ms Reynard, and mentioned this on a number of occasions to friends. Surely no mere male could write a romance so well and convey such depth of emotion that (at least in my experience) seems to be the preserve of female authors. I’m still finding it difficult to believe that Sylvain Reynard is a bloke. But take that as a compliment, Mr Reynard.

Steam: 2.5

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Comments (showing 1-37 of 37) (37 new)

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Baba  ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter Jill, I'll get my ARC next Tuesday and I'm allowed to post my review whenever I want to! Yay! Can't wait...I'm on pins and needles!


Jill Great news, Baba! I'm definitely going to wait to read your review first. I'm not reading it if it takes a bad turn or introduces something I don't want to read about.


Baba  ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter Jill wrote: "Great news, Baba! I'm definitely going to wait to read your review first. I'm not reading it if it takes a bad turn or introduces something I don't want to read about."

LOL Okey dokey, will keep you posted, Jill.


message 4: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Nice! Can't wait to hear your thoughts! :)


Jill Have you read it yet, Carrie?


message 6: by Carrie (new)

Carrie No...I liked the first one pretty well...wasn't sure I was going to read the next one or not...until I read Baba's review! I feel like I need to re-read the first one again, though. I can't remember details and I want to get lost in the characters again...:)


Jill Carrie wrote: "No...I liked the first one pretty well...wasn't sure I was going to read the next one or not...until I read Baba's review! I feel like I need to re-read the first one again, though. I can't remem..."

Okay. Anyway, I'll post a review when I'm finished.


Baba  ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter I'm looking forward to reading your review, Jill! So glad you enjoyed it. :)


Kristen I look forward to your review, Jill.


message 10: by Jill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jill @ Baba & Kristen
Thankyou! I'm a bit behind the eight ball and will try to post tomorrow.


Kristen Take your time Jill. We all know what it's like to be behind the eight ball. :)


message 12: by Jill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jill Thanks Kristen. I just remembered that you went on hols recently. You're back? Did you have a lovely time?


Kristen Yes, I got back Sunday night. I had a great time. It was a much needed vacation.


message 14: by Jill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jill Kristen wrote: "Yes, I got back Sunday night. I had a great time. It was a much needed vacation."

Welcome back, Kristen! Glad you had a wonderful hol. And now it's back to the grind. Lol!


message 15: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Fantastic review, Jill! Sounds like Mr. Reynard should also write travel & wine books, too! And possibly straight history books!


message 16: by Karla (new)

Karla As always a wonderful, well thought out review Jill!


message 17: by Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* (last edited May 31, 2012 05:46AM) (new) - added it

 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Another wonderfully written and considered review, Jilly! Yay for re-writing it!!! Darn crashes!


message 18: by Jill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jill Leslie wrote: "Fantastic review, Jill! Sounds like Mr. Reynard should also write travel & wine books, too! And possibly straight history books!"

@ Leslie
Thanks Leslie!

Sounds like Mr. Reynard should also write travel & wine books, too! And possibly straight history books!
Lol! Maybe that's what he did in his former life prior to writing!


message 19: by Jill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jill Karla wrote: "As always a wonderful, well thought out review Jill!"

@ Karla
Thanks Karla! I had to rewrite the darn thing after GR swallowed it. I was determined to post before I went to sleep tonight.


message 20: by Jill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jill Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* wrote: "Another wonderfully written and considered review, Jilly! Yay for re-writing it!!! Darn crashes!"

@ Jayne
Thanks Jaynie. I CAN do anything I put my mind to. Thanks for the inspiration after I lost it. I mean, lost the review.


message 21: by Leslie (last edited May 31, 2012 06:11AM) (new)

Leslie Jill wrote: "Leslie wrote: "Fantastic review, Jill! Sounds like Mr. Reynard should also write travel & wine books, too! And possibly straight history books!"

@ Leslie
Thanks Leslie!

Sounds like Mr. Reynard..."


Yes, maybe! I read the first book and I agree with you, Jill, he certainly knows how to write love scenes!


 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Jill wrote: "@ Jayne
Thanks Jaynie. I CAN do anything I put my mind to. Thanks for the inspiration after I lost it. I mean, lost the review. "


^_^ I'll be here for you even if you "lost it", Jilly! I like crazy friends. They make me feel saner. ;-) LOL

Just kidding, Jilly! You're the most calm and level-headed (not to mention all-round nice and lovely) person I know here on GRs, Jill.


message 23: by Jill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jill Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* wrote: "Jill wrote: "@ Jayne
Thanks Jaynie. I CAN do anything I put my mind to. Thanks for the inspiration after I lost it. I mean, lost the review. "

^_^ I'll be here for you even if you "lost it", Jilly..."


@ Jaynie
Thanks sweetie. But I think that title the most calm and level-headed (not to mention all-round nice and lovely) person I know here on GRs would go to you!

I'm not so calm, lovely or nice at times Jaynie. And especially when I lose a review. Ahh, that feels better.

I'm off to read and then sleep, little one. Since it's later here than where you are, enjoy the rest of your evening.

But don't stay up too late!


message 24: by Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* (last edited May 31, 2012 06:35AM) (new) - added it

 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Jill wrote: "@ Jaynie
Thanks sweetie. But I think that title the most calm and level-headed (not to mention all-round nice and lovely) person I know here on GRs would go to you!

I'm not so calm, lovely or nice at times Jaynie. And especially when I lose a review. Ahh, that feels better."


Me?? Calm and level-headed?? I'm so emotional and moody, it ain't funny! Haha!

And Jilly, clearly you were so upset it resonated across the Tasman with your calm "I lost a review". ^_^

And we could "argue" all night on is more not so calm, lovely or nice, but I think sleeping would be better. ^_^ Have a good rest and sweet dreams, Jilly! I think I'll head off to bed now, too.


Kristen Fantastic review, Jill. I AGREE with everything you said in this review.


message 26: by Dee (new) - added it

Dee Nice review Jill ☺


Baba  ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter Fabulous and very thoughtful review, Jill! I'm really glad that you enjoyed it so much. :-)


Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~* Great review Jill as always:) I just got in the mail book 1,and this one is now on order.So hopefully it will be here soon for me to start. Do you know if a 3rd is to come out?


message 29: by Jill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jill Kristen wrote: "Fantastic review, Jill. I AGREE with everything you said in this review."

@ Kristen
Thanks Kristen!

I AGREE with everything you said in this review
Lol!


message 30: by Jill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jill Dee wrote: "Nice review Jill ☺"

@ Dee
Thanks Dee! Good to catch up with you!


message 31: by Jill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jill Baba wrote: "Fabulous and very thoughtful review, Jill! I'm really glad that you enjoyed it so much. :-)"

@ Baba
Thanks and I did enjoy it, Baba!
Oh, and thanks for reading this one first. I would have been so disappointed if it had been a let down from the first book.


message 32: by Jill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jill Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~* wrote: "Great review Jill as always:) I just got in the mail book 1,and this one is now on order.So hopefully it will be here soon for me to start. Do you know if a 3rd is to come out?"

@ Sandi
Thanks Sandi and I hope you enjoy book #1.
As far as I know it's just the two books. The arc is complete (at least for the two main characters) and they get their hea and ride off into the sunset.


message 33: by KatLynne (new)

KatLynne As always, great review Jilly! And I completely agree with your statement concerning male romance writers. I've only read a few and if I recall correctly, I DNF those:) I'll have to add Mr. Reynard's to my mtn and look forward to reading them soon.

Have missed chatting with you! Hope all is well with you and your workload has decreased.

Take care dear friend!


message 34: by Jill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jill KatLynne wrote: "As always, great review Jilly! And I completely agree with your statement concerning male romance writers. I've only read a few and if I recall correctly, I DNF those:) I'll have to add Mr. Reynar..."

Thanks KatLynne! Miss chatting with you too! My workload has eased a little. Thank goodness. How about you??


message 35: by KatLynne (new)

KatLynne Same here Jilly and I'm so glad. Maybe we'll have more time for reading:)

It's early morning here (2:40am) and I'm off to bed. Hoping I can hold my tired eyes open for a little more of Sarah Maclean's A Rogue By Any Other Name. I'm really enjoying this one.


message 36: by Jill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jill KatLynne wrote: "Same here Jilly and I'm so glad. Maybe we'll have more time for reading:)

It's early morning here (2:40am) and I'm off to bed. Hoping I can hold my tired eyes open for a little more of Sarah Macl..."


Sarah Maclean's A Rogue By Any Other Name
I heard that it's very good. Wish I had the time to read it.

Nite KatLynne, sweet dreams!


message 37: by Dee (new) - added it

Dee Jill wrote: "Dee wrote: "Nice review Jill ☺"

@ Dee
Thanks Dee! Good to catch up with you!"


Cheers Jill ☺....I am still around just flitting in and out when I get a few minutes ☺


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