I waited a long time for Gabriel's Redemption by Sylvain Reynard. I don't think I've ever anticipated the release of a romance novel before, but I absolutely loved Gabriel's Inferno (read my review) and Gabriel's Rapture (read my review). Reynard's writing is beautiful.
Anticipation is an interesting thing. It can make you excited and feel satisfaction when you finally get whatever you are anticipating. But wait too long and it can lead to disappointment. I read Gabriel's Rapture In July of 2012, so I've waited 16 months for Gabriel's Redemption. I wonder if in the interim I've "romanticized" the series - that I set my expectations too high. Reynard hadn't planned to write a third book in the series and I kind of wonder if fairytale writers were on to something when they had the couple ride off into the sunset with just a "they lived happily ever after". Or perhaps, as this is the first book in the series that was written completely under the watchful eye of a Penguin/Berkley editor (the first two were first published by Omnific).
Whatever the reason, I wasn't as pleased with Gabriel's Redemption. Which pains me greatly to say. As part of the whole series, I enjoyed getting to see how the relationship between Julia and Gabriel progressed after marriage and seeing everyone pretty much getting their happily ever after.
But on it's own, I was disappointed. Some of the conflict felt forced and Gabriel's reactions had me rolling my eyes (this is where I might have "romanticized" the books) - I thought he had grown more. At the same time I enjoyed getting more of Gabriel's backstory.
In my previous reviews, I've mentioned the narrator. He is like another character in the story, yet unobtrusive. It didn't seem to have the same charm in this book. The wit I've come to associate with the narrator wasn't there. (This may be a result of the new editing team). There were also a few inconsistencies in the story. I did read an eARC and I usually assume that inconsistencies and typos are caught before the final release. However, we got the e-galley only a couple of weeks before the release so I'm not sure if they would be corrected in the final copy. The one that bugged me the most was that Gabriel kept referring to Julia's brother as his nephew, when in fact it would be his brother-in-law.
So for me the series didn't end as strongly as I think it started, but as a complement to the other two books it is a must read. I really wish I could gush about Gabriel's Redemption because I LOVE the series. It is a beautiful love story and if you haven't started it, then I still highly recommend reading it. And while it makes they erotica lists, it is so much more than just about the sex. Yes, the scenes get pretty steamy, but I wouldn't classify it as erotica. I look forward to trying Reynard's new series.
Buy Gabriel's Redemption at Amazon
eBook & paperback (496 pages)
Published December 2013 by Berkley Trade
Read: November 2013
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