- File Size: 1404 KB
- Print Length: 349 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 059309798X
- Publisher: Berkley (January 7, 2020)
- Publication Date: January 7, 2020
- Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07PKFSB2R
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,049 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Gabriel's Promise (Gabriel's Inferno Book 4) Kindle Edition
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About the Author
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Mount Auburn Hospital
Professor Gabriel O. Emerson cradled his newborn daughter to his chest. He was reclined in a chair next to his wife's hospital bed, where she lay sleeping. Despite the protestations of the nursing staff, he'd refused to place the baby in the nearby bassinet. She was safer in his arms, resting over his heart.
Clare Grace Hope Emerson was a miracle. He'd prayed for her in the crypt of St. Francis in Assisi, after he'd married his beloved Julianne. At the time, he'd been unable to father a child, the result of his own self-loathing. But with Julianne at his side, as his Beatrice and his wife, he had prayed. And God had answered his prayer.
The baby stirred and moved her head.
Gabriel held her securely, his large hand covering her back so he could feel the rhythm of her breath.
"We loved you since before you were born," he whispered. "We were so excited you were coming."
In this moment-this quiet, tender moment-Gabriel had everything he had ever wanted. If he had been Dante, he was Dante no longer, for Dante never knew the pleasure of marrying Beatrice or of welcoming a child born of their love.
The poet in him reflected on the strange course of events that had taken him from the depths of despair to the heights of blessedness.
"Apparuit iam beatitudo vestra," he quoted with sincerity, thanking God that he hadn't lost his wife and daughter, despite the complications during delivery.
The specter of his father intruded on his happiness, prompting a spontaneous promise. "I will never leave. I will be here with you both, my darling girls, for as long as I live."
In the darkness of the hospital room, Gabriel resolved to protect, love, and care for his wife and his daughter, no matter the cost.
One week later
Mount Auburn Hospital
It began with an email.
It was a small thing-the checking of email. Perhaps it was one of the smallest, most inconsequential of actions. One tapped the screen of one's phone and email messages appeared.
A wise Canadian once wrote, The medium is the message. And in this case, the email and its contents were incredibly important.
There had been whispers.
The community of Dante specialists was not particularly large, and Professor Gabriel O. Emerson was well known. He'd been the top student to graduate from his program at Harvard, and in a very short time he made a name for himself at the University of Toronto.
Then he'd been besieged by scandal-a scandal involving his beloved Julianne, who also happened to be his graduate student. There had been an investigation. A tribunal. A ruling. A resignation.
The university kept the matter quiet. Julianne graduated and began doctoral studies at Harvard. Gabriel accepted a position as full professor at Boston University. They'd married on January 21, 2011.
But still, there were whispers. Whispers from a former graduate student named Christa Peterson, who claimed Emerson was a predator and Julianne was a whore.
Although Gabriel had done his best to silence Christa and to combat the rumors, the whispers continued. Now, a few months away from their second wedding anniversary, Gabriel kept his own counsel, not wishing to give voice to his worries. But in truth, he feared he'd tainted Julianne's career. At this time, the academic community was far more forgiving of its male senior faculty than its young female graduate students.
Gabriel knew this. Which was why he stared for some time at the email message he'd received.
The message was from a group Gabriel had heard of but never met. He read the message and then once more, just to be sure he hadn't misunderstood.
A strange feeling washed over him. His skin prickled. Something momentous was about to happen. . . .
"Gabriel?" Julianne's voice interrupted his thoughts. "Do we have everything? Rachel took home the flowers and balloons."
Gabriel opened his mouth to tell his wife about the email he'd just received, but was interrupted by the sudden appearance of Dr. Rubio, their obstetrician. She had a habit of popping up, like gray-eyed Athena in Homer's Odyssey. Dr. Rubio appeared, made pronouncements, and vanished, sometimes leaving havoc in her wake.
"Good morning." She greeted the Emersons with a smile. "I need to go over a few things before Julia and Clare are discharged."
Gabriel returned his cell phone to his jacket pocket. He'd received the scare of his life a few days previous, when he mistakenly thought Julianne hadn't survived the delivery. Anxiety still clung to him, like a hangover he could not shake.
Which was why, upon hearing Dr. Rubio's lengthy list of admonitions and instructions, he promptly forgot about the very important email and the absolute necessity of revealing its contents to his wife.
What is she doing?" The Professor peered into the rearview mirror at his wife, who was seated behind him, next to Clare.
His handsome face was boyish and his blue eyes danced. He was finally bringing his family home from the hospital. He had difficulty containing his excitement.
"She's still sleeping." Julia bent over the baby carrier and lightly stroked the infant's cheek.
The baby's rosebud mouth pouted while she slept. Wisps of dark hair peeked out from beneath the purple knitted hat she'd received as a gift from the hospital auxiliary. She was a beautiful baby, with a button nose and pudgy cheeks. Her eyes were large and indigo blue, when she deigned to open them.
Julia's heart was full. Her baby was healthy and her husband was even more supportive than she'd imagined. It was almost too much happiness for one person.
"If she does something cute, let me know." Gabriel's tone was eager.
Julia laughed. "All right, Professor."
"I like to watch her sleep," Gabriel mused. He continued to drive the Volvo SUV at a snail's pace through the streets of Cambridge. "She's fascinating."
"You need to keep your eyes on the road, Daddy."
Gabriel flashed Julia a look.
"Since when do you drive so slowly?" she teased.
"Since everything I love is in this car." Gabriel's expression softened as he made eye contact with her through the mirror.
Julia's heart skipped a beat.
His enthusiasm for fatherhood had outstripped her expectations. She remembered the first night they'd spent in the hospital, after Clare was born. Gabriel held Clare all through the night and would not be parted from her.
Gabriel had said once that when he was an old man, he'd remember what Julianne looked like on the night they made love for the first time. She would remember the sight of her husband holding their baby on his chest for the rest of her life.
Tears filled her eyes and threatened to overflow. She bent over the baby in order to hide her reaction.
Gabriel turned the SUV onto their street-slowly, ever so slowly.
"What the hell?" His buoyant mood came to an abrupt end, rather like a ship hitting an iceberg.
"Language," Julia murmured. "Let's not teach the baby naughty words."
"If the baby were awake, she'd want to know what the hell was going on, too. Look at our lawn." Gabriel piloted the car toward the driveway, his eyes trained on the front of their property.
Julia followed his gaze.
In front of their elegant two-story house was a flamboyance of plastic pink flamingos. Plastic, shocking pink flamingos. A giant wooden flamingo stood next to the front door, holding a sign:
Congratulations Gabriel and Julia! It's a girl!
The smaller flamingos were so numerous Gabriel could barely see the blades of grass beneath them.
It was an infestation. An infestation of tacky, kitschy lawn ornaments, clearly chosen by a fiend with an extreme deficit of good taste.
"Holy shit!" exclaimed Julia.
"Language." Gabriel smirked. "I take it you weren't expecting this?"
"Of course not. I barely checked my email this week. Did you do it?"
"You think I did this?" The Professor was indignant. Surely Julianne knew his taste did not extend to plastic abominations of lawn ornaments.
But her comment reminded him of the email he'd received while they were still at the hospital. The contents of the message were urgent. He needed to speak to Julianne about them.
She distracted him by laughing. "Maybe the flamingos are from Leslie, next door? Or your colleagues at Boston University?"
"I doubt that. Surely they would have the good sense to send champagne. Or Scotch."
Once again, he prepared to tell Julianne about the email. But as he pulled into the driveway, the side door opened and Rachel, his sister, raced out.
She was smiling ear-to-ear and dressed casually in a white T-shirt, jeans, and sandals. Her long, straight blond hair spilled over her shoulders, and her gray eyes were alight.
"I guess we found the culprit of kitsch." Gabriel shook his head.
Julia touched his shoulder. "It was kind of her to do this. She's been going back and forth between here and the hospital, helping out."
Gabriel frowned. "I know."
"Even though you think the flamingos are tacky, you need to be appreciative."
He lifted his chin primly. "I can be appreciative."
"I mean appreciative in a believable way," Julia clarified.
When Gabriel's frown deepened, she unbuckled her seat belt and moved forward, pressing her lips to his cheek. "I love you. You're a wonderful husband and an incredible father."
Gabriel lowered his gaze and tapped his fingers against the steering wheel.
Julia tousled his dark hair. "Maybe we should keep a few of the flamingos? For the garden?"
Gabriel speared her with a glare.
"I'm kidding." She held up her hands in surrender. "Try to look happier than that, okay?"
"Fine." Gabriel exhaled beleagueredly. He turned off the car and climbed out.
"What took you so long?" Rachel gave her brother a perfunctory hug and opened the SUV's rear door. "We've been waiting all morning."
Gabriel leaned over the open door, watching as Rachel climbed into the back seat. "They had to check Julianne and Clare before discharging them. And they inspected the baby's carrier and car seat before we left."
"Well, that's good," Rachel replied. "But it shouldn't have taken three hours. How slowly did you drive?"
Gabriel brushed imaginary lint from his sport coat. Then he took a closer look at the back seat.
"Just a minute, Rachel," he cautioned. "I need to unfasten the baby carrier from the base."
"Hurry up. But go over to Julia's side because I'm not moving." Rachel leaned over her sleeping niece and her grin widened. "Hi, Clare."
Julia reached across the baby to touch her friend's arm. "I love the flamingos."
"I knew you'd appreciate them." Rachel beamed. "Dad was hesitant, but I thought they were hilarious. Even Scott chipped in."
"We need to take a picture of Gabriel with the flamingos and send it to Scott."
Rachel laughed. "Absolutely. He'll blow it up into a poster and hang it on his wall."
Julia removed the baby's knitted cap to expose the shock of dark hair. She pointed to the pink barrette she'd carefully fastened. "Clare is wearing the gift you brought us yesterday."
"It matches her pink sleepers." Rachel gently touched the baby's head. Her expression shifted minutely.
Julia studied her friend. A trace of sadness was present in Rachel's eyes, but only for a moment.
Rachel smiled at her sleeping niece. "I bought a few more hair accessories last night. Since she has so much hair, we'll have to style it."
Julia nodded. "Gabriel will have to carry her. I'm not supposed to lift anything over nine pounds because of the stitches."
Rachel glanced at Julia's middle. "That bites."
"No biting." Gabriel winked at his sister before helping Julia out of the car. "I'm glad you're here."
"So am I." Rachel watched as he carefully removed the baby carrier and turned toward the house.
"Not so fast." She followed him. "I want to carry her."
With eyes twinkling, Gabriel handed over the carrier, but not before instructing her to be careful. He greeted Richard, their father, and the two men stood next to the door, holding it open.
Julia accompanied Rachel into the house. "Thanks for staying. I know it was a bit longer than you'd planned."
Rachel held the baby carrier with both hands as they approached the kitchen. "I wasn't going to leave before you came home. Aaron had to work, otherwise he'd be here, too."
"It means a lot. I know you've been fielding phone calls and deliveries and everything else."
Rachel shrugged. "That's what families do, Jules. They take care of each other. I'm just lucky I had some vacation days left. Rebecca has been spoiling us with her cooking. You should see what she made for lunch."
"Good. I'm starving." Julia's stomach was already rumbling. She stepped into the kitchen.
The kitchen table was set with the Emersons' best china, silverware, and crystal. Pink helium-filled balloons were tied to Julia's chair at the foot of the table, and a huge arrangement of pink and white roses formed a centerpiece. Almost every surface of the kitchen was covered with food, flowers, or brightly wrapped presents.
"Surprise!" An older woman with short white hair and gray-blue eyes stepped forward.
"Katherine?" Julia fanned a hand over her mouth.
"I thought you were in Oxford." Gabriel shook off his surprise and greeted his former colleague with a kiss on the cheek.
"I was. I came to Cambridge to meet my goddaughter." Professor Picton embraced Julia and stepped back, her eyes sparkling. "Can I hold her?"
"Of course." Gabriel removed Clare from her baby carrier, pressing a kiss to her head before transferring her to Katherine's arms.
Clare opened her big blue eyes.
Katherine smiled. "Hello, Clare. I'm your aunt Katherine."
The baby opened her tiny rosebud mouth and yawned.
"Clare is a beautiful name," Katherine continued, undeterred by the infant's sleepiness. "I thought your parents might have named you Beatrice. But I can see you look more like a Clare."
"There's only one Beatrice." Gabriel placed his arm around Julia's shoulders.
"Oh, what fun we'll have," Katherine whispered to the child. "I'll teach you Italian and all about Dante and Beatrice. When you're old enough, I'll take you to Florence and show you where Dante lived."
The baby seemed to stare at her aunt. Katherine bent closer and recited,
"'Donne ch'avete intelletto d'amore,
i' vo' con voi de la mia donna dire,
non perch'io creda sua laude finire,
ma ragionar per isfogar la mente.'"
Gabriel recognized the lines from Dante's La Vita Nuova, as Katherine quoted his praise for the lovely Beatrice.
Julia stood, frozen.
Then suddenly, like an unexpected cloudburst at a picnic, Julia began to cry.
The room grew very still.
Everyone looked at Julia, who clapped a hand over her mouth as she tried to suppress her sobs. --This text refers to the paperback edition.
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I will explain. As I said I have read the Florentine series (loved this more than the Gabriel series). If the readers have read all of Mr Reynards books, surely they have picked up that this book to is a "bridge" to the first Florentine series based off of timeline.
What is off for me is the subject matter of Gabriel's career opportunity. This is never , ever mentioned in the Florentine series when Gabriel and Julia are mentioned. So now the question is what is going on?
There were again too many loose ends and the book just kinda stopped like brakes slamming.
It is clear to me there are more books coming, but I am finished with this series . I was after Gabriel's rapture, and should've kept it that way.
Again , sorry readers, don't hate me.
The fourth book in this series picks up right where “Gabriel’s Redemption” left off. As a reminder, “Redemption” is a story in which The Professor seemingly has it all. But even as Gabriel and Julia navigate through their newlywed bliss, Gabriel remains convinced that his happiness is destined to be short-lived, that it could be ripped away at any moment. When his infant daughter, Clare, is born and placed in his arms for the first time at the conclusion of book three, we get a glimpse of how blessed Gabriel’s life will become by fatherhood.
“Gabriel’s Promise” takes this glimpse and fully immerses us in those first precious days and weeks of new parenthood. Gabriel’s love for Clare is limitless and it’s a joy to read. The Professor dotes on his Principessa as only he can, and I took it all in with a big smile. Seeing Gabriel achieve true happiness has been a long time in the making. He is an amazing dad. Naturally, there are some complications that arise for the Emersons during this time. What’s interesting to read is how Gabriel chooses to deal with his obstacles in “Promise” compared to the earlier books.
My only word of caution would be for those who haven’t yet read “The Florentine Series” or “The Man In The Black Suit.” There are elements from those books that have found their way into “Gabriel’s Promise” and might cause some mild confusion. That’s not to say that you need to read those books before diving into this one. Just be aware that some dots won’t be fully connected with this novel, and that you may want to move on to those other stories afterward.
“Gabriel’s Promise” is my first read of 2020, and as usual, SR sets the storytelling bar high for my subsequent reads this year. I’m giving this novel five stars for it’s heart, humor, sexiness, and the mere existence of the dazzling Prof. Gabriel O. Emerson.
(If you thought Gabriel was hot before, just wait until you spot him strolling through the Harvard campus with Clare in a fancy Swedish baby carrier.)
Top international reviews
✒Desde que o autor mencionou que a Trilogia de Gabriel, se tornaria Série, com o lançamento do quarto livro, a ansiedade me tomou de diversas formas, primeiro, porque sei que não existe definição se haverá publicação deste livro no Brasil, e, segundo porque os fãs da Trilogia, como eu, gostariam sim de uma continuidade da história de Gabriel e Juliane, apesar de termos tido algumas pinceladas na 《Série Noites em Florença》.
✒Neste livro a história continua exatamente de onde parou no terceiro livro, quando Julianne teve sua filha Clare, e ao final Gabriel erroneamente acreditou que sua esposa havia falecido, mas não passou de uma confusão.
✒Após esclarecida a confusão, Gabriel promete protegê-las acima de tudo, além de cuidar para que a família esteja sempre junta, pois, ele quer valorizar aquela segunda oportunidade de ser pai de qualquer maneira, não deixando nada atrapalhar, nem ameaçar sua vida em família.
✒O autor abordou nesta história diversas situações de uma vida em casal, com a chegada de um bebê. Como a necessidade adaptação dos pais a total dependência daquele bebê, assim como, o amor incondicional que sentimos ao pegarmos nossos filhos no colo. Foi muito gostoso perceber como Gabriel e Julianne amadureceram desde o primeiro livro como casal, e, agora como pais, eles se tornaram ainda mais cumplices.
✒Os bastidores acadêmicos foram trazidos como pano de fundo na história. Gabriel recebeu um e-mail da Universidade de Edimburgo na Escócia, convidando-o para ministrar uma série de palestras, uma honraria de alto prestígio, e, isso significa deixa Julianne e Clare enquanto ele estiver na Escócia.
✒Por outro lado, Julianne já havia tirado licença maternidade de seu Doutorado em Harvard, isso significa que ela não poderia tirar outra licença para acompanhar seu esposo, caso sua Supervisora se negar. Neste ponto gostaria de abrir um parêntese, como o meio acadêmico é um lugar de vaidades ao extremo, delírios de poder, e mesquinharia sem prescrição. Claro que essa minha colocação não se aplica a todos, mas a grande maioria, ‘acha’ que ser um estudioso, ter diversos títulos, ‘concederet lhe’ o direito de ‘pisar’ e ‘humilhar’ quem quiser.
✒Tal situação causou um grande problema para o casal, pois nenhum dos dois gostaria de viver separado durante o período em que Gabriel estivesse na Escócia.
✒Outro ponto abordado no livro, foi o mal de estar de Rachel, irmã mais nova de Gabriel, que estava com problemas para engravidar, e acabou se revoltando com Deus, mas que ao longo da história o autor foi trabalhando essas questões de uma maneira muito especial.
✒Uma questão interessante que percebi ao finalizar a leitura do livro foi que a história acontece antes do início da Série Noites em Florença, deixando os leitores (pelo menos eu fiquei) em dúvida se por acaso, haverá mais um livro, para conectar Noites em Florença a história de Gabriel e Julianne, não que tenham algo uma com a outra, mas estou conjecturando (rs).
✒O livro tem uma carga dramática mais tranquila em relação aos três primeiros. A escrita de Sylvain como sempre não deixa a desejar, pois, ele consegue enriquecer um romance contemporâneo nos trazendo aquela riqueza cultural que lhe é peculiar, como da Divina Comédia e outros autores clássicos.
Intelligently and flawlessly written, the words flowed beautifully from page to page. This fourth instalment in the Gabriel Series was everything and more.
The story picks up from where Gabriel’s Redemption ends. Gabriel and Julia are now parents to the most precious baby daughter. There are challenges which they will face and something mysterious is going on as well. Captivating, intense and emotionally beautiful, this book will leave you wanting more. I felt that there were one or two questions left unanswered, so I am hoping that this means we will get a fifth book in the series some time in the future.
To see Gabriel as a father is the most beautiful thing. Talk about swoon!! Gabriel adores his little Princess so much. He is a wonderful father, husband, passionate lover and friend, and I fell even more in love with him, if that could ever be possible.
There’s a particular scene in the book where Gabriel is standing in a luxurious hotel room, contemplating what his life would be without his beloved Julianne and Clare. I may have become a little too emotional at this point.
SR never fails to take my breath away with his exquisite and poetic writing. Gabriel’s Promise is another 5 star read from this brilliant author, and an absolute must read.