Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Reader's Journey...

Hello Everyone,

Today we are taking a break from the fundraising campaign in order to share a review of the Gabriel Series by a reader named Margaret. Her piece not only highlights her favorite moments with The Professor, it tells the journey she has experienced as a result of reading the books.  It's an experience we here at Argyle Empire can relate to very well and we want to thank Margaret for sharing it with us and with you.

Enjoy and Take Care,

PS In case you haven't heard, our total funds raised at the moment I type this are $2,055! We're only $445 away from reaching our ultimate goal of $2,500 and have several days left to get there. Thanks again so much for your support of our campaign to aid those affected by last week's events in Boston and West, Texas.

My thoughts on Gabriel's Inferno & Gabriel's Rapture

Firstly I haven't included any spoilers for those who've not read Gabriel's Inferno and Gabriel's Rapture. I strongly recommend giving these books a read and I promise you'll hold them close to your heart forever.

Until last summer I was not an avid reader of books, I tended to read now and again but mainly on holiday around the pool. I only read light hearted romance, a genre that would be guaranteed to cheer me up and be an easy read. I was obsessed with television and spent most of my evenings after work and dinner glued to the tv.

In the early long wet summer of 2012 I noticed a new book appear in my local supermarket 'Fifty Shades of Grey' I was put off by its dark cover at first but decided I'd give it a go. I was soon obsessed with Mr Grey and wanted other books to fill the gap. My husband offered me his Kindle as it was cheaper to buy books and let me use his Amazon account. I soon discovered the very established Sylvia Day and devoured her books over my summer holidays.

I began to run out of Sylvia Day books and wanted other books about hot men to read. Amazon had been recommending a book called Gabriel's Inferno to me throughout the summer but I thought it sounded weird, a professor? I imagined a stuffy older man with bad teeth, not my cup of tea. So I ignored the recommendation and as I had to go back to work and move house my reading tapered off as real life took over once more.

In October 2012 I had a small operation and needed to stay off work for a few weeks to recover. By the middle weekend off I was bored, my husband was out of the country and the weather was terrible, cold, blustery and dark by early evening. I thought 'I need a book to read to see me through to Monday'. So I got on to my husbands Amazon account and looked for something to read, Gabriel's Inferno appeared in the recommendations? Mmmmmm should I risk buying it? I did and by end of page one I was hooked 'He was ruggedly handsome, but in that moment bitterly severe', I thought oh a handsome professor, clever and good looking this is going to be good. However, the story didn't quite pan out as I thought, this was not just a sexual romp, a sexfest or a no holds barred sexual affair.

Within pages the angry Professor Emerson who I'd hated minutes before was sobbing in his office and I was desperate to know what turned this severe cold man in to an emotional wreck? And what was Julianne's connection to him? As the story unfolded and long into my night from my lounge to my lonely bed I found I could barely breath at times I was so invested. I neglected my housework and teenage son for most of the weekend and stayed up into the early hours of fri/sat/sun gripped. I didn't even wait until I was half way through Gabriel's Inferno to purchase Gabriel's Rapture.

The fact that the characters didn't immediately have sex actually made the story better, it allowed me to concentrate on their story and not be distracted by yet another sex scene (I mean seriously who has that much sex?) I felt Julianne's heartache when Gabriel couldn't remember her and I felt Gabriel's heartache when he realised he'd been a massive dickhead! But their discovery of each other was not the end it was the beginning of a painful journey for both Gabriel and Julianne. So painful that I sobbed my heart out at 2am, so much so that I couldn't read or breath until I pulled myself together. But my tears were cathartic and healing not wasted, like Gabriel and Julianne I had to ride out the storm to get my reward.

We can all relate to the themes of this book, regret, we've all been stuck in a 'Lobby'. We've all felt guilt, fear, heartbreak, loss and a need to be forgiven. I think that's why this book affected me so deeply and moved me to sobbing tears. But it also reinforced the goodness of life, love, giving, patience, acceptance, 'sticky little leaves' and redemption. No one is perfect, we all make mistakes but if we can learn form those mistakes we can move on and live a better life. That's what these books mean to me, that's what Sylvain Reynard means to me.

As a result of reading these books I tweeted Sylvain to let him know how his books had affected me and kept me awake! To my surprise he responded and so I began to follow him and the Gabriel's Inferno fan accounts on twitter. Within a short time I'd made connections with women across the globe who loved Sylvain's books as much as I did. Six months down the line and I've made some fantastic friends on twitter, ladies who share my thoughts on life, love and of course book boyfriends! I still tweet with SR as do so many of you lovely ladies and he is always gracious with his time and tries to reply to our many tweets. SR also tweets the shit out of charities which I love! We all need to be more charitable and giving and his daily reminder of that has made me think more about others and less about myself.

So thank you E L James for leading me to Sylvain Reynard and thank you SR for writing these books but also thank you for introducing me to the world of twitter and for the many new friends I have made along the way. Please keep writing and don't get so famous that you can no longer tweet with us. Big love, hugs and kisses to one of my favourite authors SR mwah mwah mwah xxx



Ellen Widom said...

What a beautiful and meaningful review. Thank you Jenn for sharing!

Jenn said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it, Ellen.

We'd love to see more reader submissions like we've shared during the past week.

Please feel free to email me at with your ideas, reflections or reviews. :)

Blogmaitresse said...

Mags a fantastic review of SR's books. Thanks for sharing this with us. I think we've all travelled this incredible journey with Gabriel and his Julianne ... And thanks be to SR for allowing us to join in.

Now we wait with bated breath for the next stage of their incredible journey ....

Sheila xx

Unknown said...

What a beautiful, honest and heartfelt review Mags ❤ I can relate so much to all you have said, SR and his works are gifts that keep on giving!

Thank-you for sharing Jenn & Argyle Empire your an "Awesomesauce" team of people!

Mags I particularly loved - "No one is perfect, we all make mistakes but if we can learn form those mistakes we can move on and live a better life." - Very well said Hun xox

Unknown said...

I enjoyed your post, Mags. It reflects what we all feel since reading Gabriel's Inferno. SR is a gifted author who touches us all with his beautiful words because he writes from his heart.

Ellie T.

Anonymous said...

Great review! My sentiments exactly. Thank you for sharing this with us. SR is my favorite author and his books my favorite book! He seems like such a kind, caring man. I recommend these books to everyone. They touched my heart deeply! Everyone deserves love and forgiveness.

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