Review: Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard
To be honest, I would really like to review Gabriel's Inferno without making comparisons to a certain other title that belongs to the same genre. However, this has proven to be a somewhat difficult task as, on the surface at least, the similarities are many. Both novels tell the highly unbelievable story of a young virgin who falls hopelessly in love with incredibly wealthy men with dark pasts and kinky sexual fetishes. Both novels were originally published in niche markets before the worldwide rights were picked up by major publishing houses. Both started out as Twilight fanfictions. (Gabriel's Inferno started out as a Twilight fanfiction titled The University of Edward Masson.) Both authors use pseudonyms. Fortunately, however, this is one difference that sets Gabriel's Inferno apart from it's companion. While the tale may be highly unbelievable and, at times, misogynistic, the book itself is well written, decently researched and tells a much sweeter romantic tale, often drawing on elements of Dante's Divine Comedy in the process. The author is also very probably male, rather than female.
Gabriel's Inferno tells the story of Julia, a young woman struggling to come to terms with her past, who falls in love with her university professor, the tortured Gabriel, who has a dark past of his own. It's not difficult to see what happens thereafter, but the journey is enjoyable enough. The story is of the development of Julia and Gabriel's romance and how it changes them as people. The sexual element of the novel is incredibly well drawn, with no scene done purely for show or shock value. I would recommend this one for anyone who feels like reading a decently written (though not always believable) romance.