Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Blog Tour: Gabriel's Redemption by Sylvain Reynard

Author: Sylvain Reynard
Title: Gabriels Redemption (Gabriels Inferno Series #3)
Publisher: Penguin Berkley


From the author of the New York Times bestsellers Gabriels Rapture and Gabriels 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, hes confident that they can face any challenge. And hes eager to become a father.

But Juliannes graduate program threatens Gabriels 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 presentationresearch 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 Gabriels 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.

4 Star review by Jen Hagen

The professor is back in the third and final installment of his and Julia’s story.  The author had not planned on writing a third book, but several readers (including myself) needed to know the answer to the most important question:  Will they be successful in having a family?  Gabriel had a vasectomy 10 years ago when he did not feel he was worthy of having children and did not want his children tainted with his character flaws.  Other questions existed as to if Christa faced any retribution and if Paul can get over the loss of Julia, as he was a dear friend to her and he was experiencing feelings of love towards her.  I’m happy to report that all these questions are answered, as well as some others evolving through different characters.  We are entertained with several different narratives from other characters we have known throughout the story, and the snarky narrator makes a return as well.  The story is told in present day tense, with a few chapters going back in time to explain past references in the plot.

Julia has just completed her first year in the PhD program at Harvard studying to be a Dante specialist, with her dream of one day becoming a professor.  Gabriel is a tenured professor at Boston University, giving up his position at Toronto when his and Julia’s teacher/student relationship caused a controversy.  The main person to blame for stirring up trouble in the past is Ms. Christa Peterson.  Christa has a recurring role in this third book, and let’s just say that karma has a way of coming back to make things right, which means Christa is guaranteed an unhappy ending.   The narrator agrees with me.

(It must be said parenthetically that karma had been served.)

Gabriel is still bossy, domineering and tenacious…all qualities that we love in him.  Gabriel has taken on a new role of a protector of his new wife and his biggest fear is losing her.  He still references Julia as being his Beatrice, the love of Dante (with Dante being himself), and is caught up in the fact that Beatrice died when she was 24.  He fears that this story will repeat with him and Julia.  Gabriel wants to begin looking into vasectomy referrals and start thinking of a family, as having a child with Julia would mean that he would always have something of her if the Dante/Beatrice story should repeat itself.  There’s also more to his reasoning of wanting to father a child.

He wanted  a family that included children—a life filled with laughter and the knowledge that he could right the wrongs done by his own parents.

That right there is what I felt the majority of the book to be about.  Gabriel cannot get past his own personal hell that he was put through as a child, eventually leading to being adopted by two loving parents.  Gabriel has the knowledge and means to search out his birth family, but he was never acknowledged by his birth father and his birth family has never reached out to him even at the time of need at the young age of 9 when his single mother died and Gabriel had nowhere to go.    When Gabriel begins to question his past medical history, he is forced to reach out to those that had left him behind.   

Julia continues to ground Gabriel with her compassion and forgiveness.  Gabriel has always been one to act on impulse, and Julia is one that thinks things through completely and realizes any potential ramifications that will result because of her words or actions.  With Gabriel’s new self-proclaimed title of Julia’s protector, sometimes he can be a little crass with the way he handles things, even though he means well.   Gabriel feels the need to protect Julia in all ways of her life, even in her educational  pursuits.  There is a major conflict when Gabriel’s and Julia’s thoughts don’t coincide on Julia’s presentation materials. 

“I’m not the enemy, Julianne.  I’m not constantly looking for ways to sabotage your education.  Or your life.”       

Gabriel’s past includes addiction to drugs and to sex.  He is reminded of these throughout the story and would really like everybody to forget about them.  He has moved on, why can’t uninvolved parties do the same?   He really does not like it when his past involving women is thrown in his face.

“I confessed my past.  I left it behind.  Must I be reminded of it forever?”

Gabriel has changed throughout the series.  We first met him as a crabby professor who found nightly entertainment in the form of women at the local drinking club.  He has moved on from thinking about only himself to putting others in front of him.  He is now full of love and isn’t ashamed to tell it or show it.  It’s almost a little too much affection that he constantly showers Julia with, but he’s the professor  and he can control us even through printed words and allow the overabundance of sentiments to permeate our minds with little complaining.

There are a few occasions where Gabriel is put to the test with his faith and needs strength to overcome the idea of going to his previous coping mechanisms.   I enjoyed reading how Gabriel has changed in that regard without rushing out to the nearest drinking establishment, but rather asking for help and guidance through the upper deity.  Gabriel is now able to put trust in himself that he can overcome any obstacle and their story will end happily.

“I didn’t expect my prayers to be answered.  I still can’t get used to the idea that God would even listen to me, let alone decide to grant my requests.”

Bio: I'm interested in the way literature can help us explore aspects of the human condition - particularly suffering, sex, love, faith, and redemption. My favourite stories are those in which a character takes a journey, either a physical journey to a new and exciting place, or a personal journey in which he or she learns something about himself/herself.

I'm also interested in how aesthetic elements such as art, architecture, and music can be used to tell a story or to illuminate the traits of a particular character. In my writing, I combine all of these elements with the themes of redemption, forgiveness, and the transformative power of goodness.

I try to use my platform as an author to raise awareness about the following charities: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation, WorldVision, Alex's Lemonade Stand, and Covenant House. For more information, see my Twitter account.

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