Review + Excerpt: The Prince by Sylvain Reynard

Florentine, #0.5
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.”


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This was such an intriguing prelude, a fascinating tease of what's to come in The Raven! It was also a great bridge between the author's previous work--the Gabriel's Inferno trilogy--and this new paranormal Florentine series. Like stepping through a portal, this felt like having one foot in one world and one foot stepping into something entirely new.
"Mercy," Christopher whispered.

"I know no such word," the Prince replied.
Sylvain Reynard introduces us to a different side of Italy, where supernatural beings reign over a mysterious empire. Its cities are, in fact, a network of principalities ruled by a centuries-old hierarchy. The eloquent writing captures the country's history and charm beautifully, instantly lending a picturesque ambiance to the story, while also highlighting the dark prestige of the Florentine Underworld.

This book has such a rich layer of mystique! The Prince himself is this powerful, cunning, and ruthless figure. I've always found these kinds of characters alluring, in any genre, so the way The Prince carried himself captured my attention easily. It's a small taste of what could be in store for him in The Raven, just enough to pique my curiosity and long for more!
"Know that you have a home with me in hell, should you ever choose to fall."
Of course, Gabriel's Inferno fans will also be happy to know that the professor and his lovely wife return for a prominent role in this novella! You'll be reacquainted with their passion and love for each other, however, this is a somewhat bittersweet reunion! ;) There are some surprises that make you wonder what path this beloved couple is headed down and how it could all carry over into The Raven.

This was an enticing introduction to the Florentine series, laying the foundation for this new Italian Underworld and pulling the reader into the Prince's dark orbit. I'm definitely ready for The Raven!


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.


Florentine, #1
Release Date: February 3, 2015
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…



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*** ARC provided in exchange for an honest review ***