While still in a stupor from the Christian Grey book hangover so many of us endured, I noticed everyone was talking about a new brilliant, gorgeous, hot, sexy alpha named Professor Gabriel Emerson. On Facebook, fans were posting photos of British model David Gandy as their fantasy image of the sensuous professor and proclaiming the book was a must read.
So I got the book, sat down in my reading chair one Saturday, and did not emerge until the wee hours of Sunday morning. It was a unique and memorable love story that offered readers a surprising history lesson as it evoked the relationship of Beatrice and Dante in Dante Alighieri’s Inferno.
A well-respected Dante expert by day and hedonistic explorer by night, Professor Emmerson was commanding, controlling, and difficult. He was especially rude—mean– to his graduate student, Julia Mitchell. But love would change him, and he would transform into one of the most loving, devoted, and sexually patient men on the planet. Seriously patient!
Christian Grey was stunned to learn of Ana Steele’s virginity and said, “We’re going to rectify the situation right now.” Gabriel Emmerson, however, committed to a long, slow foreplay and getting-to- know-you that was like a never ending soul kiss. He savored Julia’s maidenhead, taking her slowly.
Gabriel’s Inferno, and the second book, Gabriel’s Rapture, were published by a small publishing company and — soon after landing on the New York Times best seller list –they were scooped up by Berkley. Eventually, Gabriel’s Redemption, was published to complete the trilogy.
One of the great mysteries of the work of Sylvain Reynard is, well, Sylvain Reynard. Pseudonyms are common in romance writing, and no one ever questions them, yet people are curious about this author because they have never seen a photo. Contact is always through representatives. We know this author hails from Canada, and many accounts tell us that Reynard identifies as a male. But you get the sense that Reynard could be a real life Dante expert or a professor, because you come away from the books a little smarter.
Some reports say that Inferno, like Fifty Shades, began as fanfiction. As it turns out, Reynard is pals with E.L. James and, not only do they share some of the same readers, they wrote something together this year. In 2015 Reynard also published The Prince: A Gabriel’s Inferno/Florentine Series Novella and The Raven (Florentine Series Book 1).
Look for book two in the series, The Shadow, in February 2016. It is available for pre-order now.