Tag Archives: Sylvain Reynard

Book Review: The Raven by Sylvain Reynard

the Raven

Title: The Raven (The Florentine #1)
Author: Sylvain Reynard
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: 496 pages
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Gabriel Series comes a dark, sensual tale of romance in a city shrouded in mystery…

Raven Wood spends her days at Florence’s Uffizi Gallery restoring fine works of Renaissance art. But an innocent walk home after an evening with friends changes her life forever. When she intervenes in the senseless beating of a homeless man, his attackers turn on her, dragging her into an alley. Raven is only semi-conscious when their assault is interrupted by a cacophony of growls followed by her attacker’s screams. Mercifully, she blacks out, but not before catching a glimpse of a shadowy figure who whispers to her…

Cassita vulneratus.

When Raven awakes, she is inexplicably changed. She returns to the Uffizi, but no one recognizes her and more disturbingly, she discovers that she’s been absent an entire week. With no recollection of the events leading up to her disappearance, Raven also learns that her absence coincides with one of the largest robberies in Uffizi history – the theft of a set of priceless Botticelli illustrations. When the baffled police force identifies her as its prime suspect, Raven is desperate to clear her name. She seeks out one of Florence’s wealthiest and elusive men in an attempt to uncover the truth about her disappearance. Their encounter leads Raven to a dark underworld whose inhabitants kill to keep their secrets.

Grace Review

This book picks up two years after the Prince.  The war among Providences has ended with the Prince and Florence winning. And while time has past, his desire for reclaiming his Botticelli drawings and seeking revenge against Gabriel Emerson has not died down.

Finally obtaining his drawings should bring the Prince peace, but on the same night of obtaining them, he world is turned on end with a helpless disabled girl near death.

I’m not big on paranormals (PNR), I find that some get overly complex and hard to follow along.  But there are really two sides to this story.  First, there is Raven’s world, the human world.  She survives her attack but has mysteriously changed, morphing into the beautiful woman she always desired to be.  She has no idea how this change came about, but quickly enjoys her new world without a cane.  However, her change is temporary, which leads to the second world.  The dark underworld of the Prince. Although it isn’t mentioned what the Prince is until midway through the book, I think it was very clear what he was.  The Prince’s world is a volatile one, with forces both outside and inside trying to take him down.

Initially, Raven’s world and the Prince’s world are separate, with the story alternating their POVs.  As Raven adjusting to the changes in her appearance and her life, suspicion about the disappearing drawings falls on her.  At the same time, the Prince is trying to restore peace to his kingdom as new forces continual threaten their survival.  Although the Prince tries to keep Raven safe, these forces continue to bring them back together.  Despite attempts to fight it, the passion between them escalates over time, profoundly affecting them.

“You are the only ray of hope I’ve seen since 1274.  You’re the only one who has caused my heart to beat again.”

For Gabriel fans, he does have a role in this book, as he attempts to recover the drawings.  As Raven works at the Uffizi Gallery, she comes in contact with the family.  It’s then that she learns of their desire to adopt from the orphanage that she volunteers at. Their love for a child with a disability creates a connection with them that will make a difference down the road.

If you read my review of The Prince, you’ll remember that I was not a fan of his.  Particularly because of his desire to kill Gabriel and cause harm to his family.  And his mission doesn’t die down in this book, but something is discovered about the Prince (William), which may change your mind, like it did mine.  He has a compassion to do the right thing, particularly when it involves Raven (Cassita).

“A bird in the cage is never as beautiful as a bird that is free, Cassita.  You’ve been wounded enough.  I won’t add to your wounds.”

There are two things I came to love about the Prince.  First, his admiration for Raven shocked me.  For someone who’s essentially been dead for hundreds of years, he shows a great amount of humanity with regard to Raven.  He proved he had a soul after all, or at least some version of one.

Second, I was initially concerned that William would be drawn by Raven’s reformed beauty.  When in actuality, he doesn’t express his attraction until she reverts back to her former self.  The one with a disability and curves.  And it was nice to see a book where the heroine’s inner beauty was shown brighter than her outer self-conscious self.

“You are my greatest virtue and my deepest vice.”

This is book one of a series, and while there are a lot of unanswered questions, this doesn’t end in a cliffhanger.  I’m definitely invested in the Prince and Raven’s story and eager to see where the author leads us next.

– Grace

*An ARC was received for an honest review.

Amazon

Goodreads

The Prince

New Release (Book Review & Excerpt): The Prince by Sylvain Reynard

The Prince
Title: The Prince (The Florentine #0.5)
Author: Sylvain Reynard
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal
Length: 86 pages
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis
The unveiling of a set of priceless illustrations of Dante’s Divine Comedy at the Uffizi Gallery exposes the unsuspecting Professor Gabriel Emerson and his beloved wife, Julianne, to a mysterious and dangerous enemy.

Unbeknownst to the Professor, the illustrations he secretly acquired years ago were stolen a century earlier from the ruler of Florence’s underworld. Now one of the most dangerous beings in Italy is determined to reclaim his prized artwork and exact revenge on the Emersons, but not before he uncovers something disturbing about Julianne …

Set in the city of Florence, “The Prince” is a prequel novella to “The Raven,” which is the first book in the new Florentine Series Trilogy by Sylvain Reynard.

“The Prince” can be read as a standalone but readers of The Gabriel Series may be curious about the connection between The Professor’s world and the dark, secret underworld of “The Prince.”

Grace Review
I have to admit, I went into this book blind. All I really knew is that it’s a bridge between the Gabriel series and the author’s upcoming book, The Raven. As a big fan of all things involving The Professor, reading this was a no brainer. What I read was a huge surprise. But talking with some other SR fans, I may have been the only clueless one. *shrugs*

To answer your urgent question:
Yes, both Gabriel and Julia are featured in this book. Most of what is told is from the observation of the mysterious Prince. But he is witness to several of their romantic encounters while in Florence. So if you needed you’re Gabriel fix, you will get it.

What surprised me about the book was the paranormal element. Ok, so I may have been living in a cave, but I really had no idea. Since this is just a novella, we just get a taste of the Prince’s world. And his world is very complicated. But at this point, I’m not sure what he really is, all I know is (SPOILER) he is not human.

From the Prince’s POV, we learn two things. First he absolutely hates Gabriel Emerson. Strike one against him. Without giving away details, it ties to the Botticelli drawings Gabriel owned. Because of the Prince’s drastic plans to take down the BBF we have all come to love, I think it is fair to say you won’t like him. Unless you don’t like Gabriel, and then, well, I don’t know how to break this to you, but we can’t be friends.

Moving on . . .

The second thing we learn is that there are enemies trying to take down the Prince. Given his intentions towards Gabriel, I may have, on occasion, hoped that enemy would take him down. But the Prince proves his skills that have led him to the top. He proves elusive, but so does The Professor.

Based on this novella ends, and the synopsis for The Raven, this isn’t the last we’ve heard of the Prince. And likely not the last we hear from Gabriel and Julia. *fingers crossed*

– Grace

*An ARC was received for an honest review.

Amazon

BN:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-prince-sylvain-reynard/1120399274?ean=9780698192065
​Amazon UK:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Prince-Gabriels-Inferno-Novella-Florentine-ebook/dp/B00NUMIOY4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411646983&sr=8-1&keywords=the+prince+sylvain+reynard
Amazon Canada:
http://www.amazon.ca/Prince-Gabriels-Inferno-Novella-Florentine-ebook/dp/B00NUMIOY4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411646878&sr=8-1&keywords=the+prince+sylvain+reynard
iTunes
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-prince/id922369900?mt=11

Goodreads

Excerpt

In the distance, the Prince could hear voices and muffled sounds.

He approached silently, almost floating across the floor.

Desperate groans and the rustling of fabric filled his ears, along with the twin sounds of rapidly beating hearts. He could smell their scents, the aromas heightened due to their sexual arousal.

He growled in reaction.

The corridor was shrouded in darkness but the Prince could see that the professor had his wife up against a window between two statues, her legs wrapped around his waist.

Her voice was breathy as she spoke, but the Prince tuned out her words, moving closer so he could catch a glimpse of her lovely face.

At the sight of it, flushed with passion, his old heart quickened and he felt the stirrings of arousal.

It was not his custom to observe rather than participate. But on this occasion, he decided to make an exception. Careful to remain in the darkness, he moved to the wall opposite the couple.

The woman squirmed in her lover’s arms, her high heels catching on his tuxedo jacket. Her fingers flew to his neck, undoing his bow tie and tossing it carelessly to the floor.

She unbuttoned his shirt, and her mouth moved to his chest, as murmurs of pleasure escaped his lips.

The Prince felt more than desire as he watched the woman’s eager movements. He caught a glimpse of her exquisite mouth and the toss of her long hair that would no doubt feel like silk between his fingers.

She lifted her head to smile at the man who held her close and he could see love in her eyes.

Click on the image below to pre-order The Raven:

the Raven

BN
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-raven-sylvain-reynard/1119619658?ean=9780425266496
Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0425266494/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwgoodco-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0425266494&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2
Amazon Canada
http://www.amazon.ca/Raven-Sylvain-Reynard-ebook/dp/B00KWG9JL8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402448080&sr=8-1&keywords=the+raven+sylvain+reynard

iTunes
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-raven/id888019240?mt=11

SR’s links
The Florentine Series FB Page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Florentine-Series-Official/462002477277254?ref_type=bookmark
​Website
www.sylvainreynard.com
Twitter
www.twitter.com/sylvainreynard