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Book review : Gabriel's Inferno

I love to read, although I don't do it as much as I would like to. When Coach is only home a few hours a week, it's more important to me to spend my time with him rather than read or watch my shows. That's what DVR is for! And since Coach isn't in season right now, we enjoy some of our time doing the things we each like!

I finished Gabriel's Inferno yesterday and I'm still trying to decide if I liked it or not. I found it on several bestseller lists and was intrigued by the reviews it had received. I never got into the whole 50 Shades of Grey thing, mostly because it was so poorly written. Many said it was a less explicit, better written 50 Shades. And it was written by a man. Half Price Book had a huge sale last week so I bought both book 1 & 2 of the Gabriel series. Not sure if that was a good decision or not yet..

I really want to like this book. It was pretty well written, despite several instances where Reynard repeats himself, and it circles around Dante and Beatrice, a topic that interests me alone. I enjoyed the characters almost immediately, but lack of change in one and too much, too fast in the other left me feeling annoyed. Several reader reviews commented on how Reynard switched POV, sometimes even in the paragraph. I kind of liked it. I never found myself confused and quite enjoyed the change of pace. The book also wasn't overly sexual. Nothing super graphic or explicit happened, even the one big scene that the whole book led up to was pretty PG-13 rated. If you're looking for more than that, I would suggest sticking with the 50 Shades books.

I think my dislikes will outnumber what I actually enjoyed but oh well.

First, I could only handle Julie's kicked-dog routine for so long. It frustrated me how little of a back bone she developed throughout the book. I get it, she is painfully shy and cares greatly about what others think and wants to make everyone happy but come on! She's a graduate student! At some point it's time to grow up a bit and understand you can't please everyone all the time. She seemed too much like a child - maybe that was to further display the age difference between her and Gabriel? Maybe.

Next, it bothered me how quickly Gabriel went from a huge jerk to the nicest guy on the planet. And never faltered! How ridiculously cliché! A woman can change a man in literally one moment. And he will never go back to the idiot he was before. Lovely. I really think I would have enjoyed their interaction more had he faltered! I mean he does beat the crap out of her abusive, stalker ex-boyfriend but that was completely warranted and he was applauded for his actions.

The book was ENTIRELY too long. 200+ of making out could have been easily removed from the book and it still would have been fine. I found myself rolling my eyes several times during the second half of the book. It was just too much. And I think it took something away from the book. We get it. She's innocent. He's trying to respect that. But she's flinging herself onto him and he turns her down numerous times. I guess he needed to build the anticipation for the big moment..?

They postponed the big moment because they both had "huge" secrets they felt necessary to share before they took their relationship to that level. WHAT SECRETS?! He did coke and she wasn't as innocent as she thought he thought she was and that's about it.

The way they spoke to each other was kind of creepy. I mean, there was no doubt they loved each other in how they spoke to each other BUT they frequently stopped making out to profess their undying love and then continue making out; it was just too melodramatic. Not to mention how they said things was just not practical for today. Gabriel would rub Julia's feet or brush her hair and ask "does this please you?" I don't know anyone who speaks like that. Ever. When Coach does something nice for me, he asks if I like it, but does this please you? It just was a little creepy to me. Maybe I'm overreacting. Gabriel is supposed to be this super hot, super fashionable, super educated 30-something year old man. Many have said they picture Hugh Jackman as Gabriel. I don't. No doubt he's incredibly attractive, but he doesn't look young enough for what I envisioned. I think Matt Bomer would be a perfect, spot on Gabriel. But can you picture him asking "does this please you"? No, no you can't.

Like I said, I have the second book, Gabriel's Rapture, and it's substantially shorter than the first. I'm only about half way through the 2nd chapter, but I was already feeling annoyed about Julia's insecurities so I put it down. I think I'll try to give it a chance with the hopes that Gabriel screws up, Julia gets a backbone and that they still end up together. Now that sounds more like a love story I can relate to.


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