Friday, January 4, 2019

Release Day Review ~ Gabriel and the Devil by Robert P. Rowe

Release Day Review ~ Gabriel and the Devil by Robert P. Rowe

Title: Gabriel and the Devil
Author: Robert P. Rowe
Release Date: January 4, 2019
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 104
Flirting with the devil can lead to a helluva good time.
Gabriel is a regular angel. The former altar boy plans to graduate from college, become an accountant, get a good job, find a wife, and live a faithful Catholic life.
But one Halloween night, the devil pops in out of nowhere, challenges everything he believes, and heats up Gabriel’s lonely life.
Marcello is full of the devil. He’s lusted after Gabriel forever, but what he really wants is Gabriel’s eternal soul. Still, his mischievous sense of humor, along with his tricks and jokes, leads to a misunderstanding that could condemn him to hell on Earth. Only the truth will let these souls find true love and happiness.

4 Stars Overall 
(5 Stars for Marcello, 3 for the rest)

This was a bit of a different read. I'm not sure what I expected and frankly, at times I wasn't sure what was going on, but I do know that I couldn't put the book down, mostly because of Marcello.

The author did a fabulous job with Marcello. He was sweet and mischievous and mysterious as all hell (no pun intended). Like Gabriel, I wasn't sure what to make of him and I was almost disappointed when he didn't turn out to be what he boasted to be at first. Still, even when the book is told from Gabriel's POV, Marcello was the driving force, the soul of this story. Without him, I don't think I would have read past the first few chapters.

Unfortunately, I can't say the same about Gabriel. I was fed up with him and his running away when things got a bit too real for him, with his inability to accept what he was to his parents even when he said he loved Marcello. Marcello and Gabriel had chemistry and were hot together, but I wanted more for Marcello. I guess that's one of the downfalls of building such a charismatic, lovable character. No one would be good enough.

I also loved Father Christopher, if more priests were like him, maybe so many people wouldn't be trying to find an alternative to Catholicism. And I liked Gabriel's parents, especially his mother. I only wished he'd come out to them and that part hadn't been left so open-ended.

Overall, the book was entertaining, the ending was a bit abrupt and I would've liked a bit more closure, but it's worth a read if only to meet Marcello.

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***

4 Stars!

So I’m going to start by saying I love Marcello aka Devil. I just absolutely adore him and he’s pretty much the reason I devoured this story. He gets a huge 5 Stars from me.

Accounting student Gabriel is a bit of an introvert going through life believing that his belief in the church’s teachings will guide home successfully along life’s path. He doesn’t really know how to make or keep friends but hopefully, that will change when he gets married to a nice woman and starts a family. The last thing he ever expects is to meet Marcello, a Devil who wants his eternal soul, as long as it’s freely given of course.

Marcello begins to show Gabriel a different perspective and Gabriel begins to question himself and what it means to his faith. But the feelings he has grown for Marcello can’t quite be denied and Gabriel will have to figure out what he really wants and whether or not he’s ready to share that with those he thinks will judge him. After all, what’s a good little former altar boy doing spending so much time with the Devil?

There is a lot of religious elements to this story of course. We are dealing with a Devil (is he evil or is he inherently good?), Faith (in the church and in one’s heart), spirituality (there are many different beliefs mentioned and drawn upon, from Catholicism to Reincarnation). It’s also a story of love, family and friendship. It’s interesting and fun and definitely sweet.

Marcello was what kept me glued to it. He was so sweet and once we got to know him a little better, he was a touch sad. His vulnerability was what really pulled at my heart and his charm and antics had me laughing. He was great.

Gabriel was a bit harder to like though. I wanted to believe he was just naive but honestly, he made me mad more than once. He wasn’t just naive, he was stupid too. He wanted to believe things so he did. When he realizes things aren’t necessarily what he thought he can’t handle it so he lashes out. I didn’t like that. He needed to be honest with himself and everyone else and he definitely needed to talk to his family more.

Together they were good. They had great chemistry and they were sexy. I’d definitely love to see them down the road a little more. However, my one big complaint is that we don’t get much of a glimpse at their future. I needed more closure. I needed to see how the ending changed their lives and I needed to see Gabriel’s family. I felt like there were a lot of loose ends with that.

Overall I really enjoyed Gabriel and the Devil and I’d recommend it!

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***

3 Stars

Gabriel and the Devil is an interesting read and it is difficult to review without spoiling the entire plot. I will say that while the plot is surprising, it left me completely underwhelmed. It was almost a cop-out.

Character development was sufficient as the reader is able to get a good sense of who the MCs - Gabriel and Marcello - are. Gabriel is a very religious college senior who denies his homosexuality due to his strong views. Through his relationship with Marcello, he quickly comes to terms with it, and as a reader, I was a bit disappointed with how quickly he resolves his struggle and accepts his sexuality.

Marcello brightens the book for me. I love a snarky, witty character and Marcello brings that to this story. He brought the chuckles and laughter, to the point that the ending of the book was almost incongruous to the character the author had developed all along. As a reader, we were asked to see Marcello completely differently. He lost all I liked about him.

Overall the story was very readable and, for the most part, I was invested to see how it all turned out. I think Gabriel was a bit one-dimensional and not entirely likable, but Marcello was fun and interesting. The plot was unlike anything I’d read before, but I simply did not care for the ending.

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement.

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  1. I can enjoy religious-themed books, but not being religious myself, it depends on how preachy they are.

  2. I can enjoy books with religious theme in them, although I don’t particularly look for it. It would depend on the overall story whether I’d be interested or not.

  3. I don't mind if books have a religious theme I have read quite a few as long as the theme doesn't over power the story I 'm okay with it.