The Roman: A Powerful Conclusion to the Epic Florentine Series by Sylvain Reynard

Book Review:

The Roman, by Sylvain Reynard


Book Cover, The Roman by Sylvain ReynardRaven and her sister, Cara, are at the mercy of a small detachment of Florentine vampyres, who are delivering them as a peace offering to the feared Curia in Rome.

Though she’s unsure William survived the coup that toppled his principality, Raven is determined to protect her sister at all costs, even if it means challenging Borek, the commander of the detachment.

In an effort to keep Raven from falling into the hands of his enemies, William puts himself at the mercy of the Roman, the dangerous and mysterious vampyre king of Italy. But the Roman is not what he expects …

Alliances and enmities will shift and merge as William struggles to save the woman he loves and his principality, without plunging the vampyre population into a world war.

This stunning conclusion to the Florentine series will take readers across Italy and beyond as the lovers fight to remain together. Forever.

Praise for The Raven

“A fabulous gothic treat of a book filled with ancient vampires, dark vendettas, and star-crossed love.” —Deborah Harkness, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“An addicting mix of mystery, romance, and fantasy.” —Christina Lauren, New York Times bestselling author

“Reynard never disappoints, especially when it comes to creating well-developed characters and granting readers an invitation to use their imaginations. This dark, sexy tale is nestled in the mysterious city of Florence and will amaze and enchant readers throughout. The author tries the paranormal genre on for size and, not surprisingly, it’s a perfect fit.” —RT Book Reviews

My Review

The Roman (The Florentine #3)The Roman by Sylvain Reynard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Words are inadequate to describe the power and beauty of the Florentine Series by Sylvain Reynard, especially its stunning conclusion, The Roman. It’s EPIC. It’s film-worthy as a major motion picture. It’s unique within the PNR genre, flawlessly conceived and seamlessly written, evoking every emotion in the reader from beginning to end. The beloved characters from Reynard’s Gabriel series appear in the compelling subplot – a mysterious art theft from the Uffizi Gallery – but the major characters in The Price, The Raven, The Shadow, and now The Roman are of a depth and complexity unlike anything this author has written before.

The entire series is a contemporary romance steeped in history, art, religion, mystery, suspense, and the beauty of all things Italian — but it’s so much more. Sylvain Reynard has created a labyrinthine underworld of vampyre royalty and hierarchy, ferals, hunters, and complicit humans that defies description. Even if you’re not usually a fan of paranormal romance, this series is so much beyond what you’ve come to expect that it transcends the genre. If you love unforgettable, larger-than-life characters; passionate romance; suspense that will keep you riveted to the pages from beginning to end; twists and turns that will shake you to your core — all woven majestically with themes of good and evil, hope and redemption, darkness and light — you should not miss this masterful work of fiction.

The Roman is a stunning conclusion to this epic series – which must be read in order. William and Raven have reached the point of no return, struggling to hold on to their love at any cost as emboldened enemies gather strength, and conspirators plot to tear their world apart at the seams. The story is deeply emotional and intelligent. It makes you think — to question assumptions, to challenge the concepts of good and evil. It fearlessly exposes the dark side of human existence – rigid belief systems that are based on tradition, myth, and “black and white” thinking; the quest for power at any cost. It will make you question your own limits — how far would you go to save the love of your life? Your kingdom? Your soul?

William York is a dark hero, complex and powerful, yet tender and compassionate with Raven, the woman who’s captured and freed his heart. Raven is courageous, resilient, determined, resourceful, and devoted; her predicament is perilous at every turn, but her love for William is absolute. The chemistry between them explodes off the page. Their commitment, the risks they are willing to take, and the suffering they are willing to endure for each other is so powerful you will never forget it.

The build-up to the ending — and the ending itself — will blow you away. I had no idea what to expect, but I knew what I hoped for. The Roman delivered more…more of everything.

I didn’t want The Florentine to end; I procrastinated up to the last minute because I didn’t want to say goodbye to these two amazing characters. I feared for them; I longed for them; I hoped with them. And I will do so again, because it’s never enough to read Sylvain Reynard once. This series has set a new standard for contemporary paranormal romance-suspense, and has reaffirmed by devotion to Sylvain as an author worth reading again and again and again.

View all my reviews

Collage of the covers from the Florentine Series by Sylvain Reynard

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The Prince, by Sylvain Reynard ~ Let the Mayhem Begin (A Review)

photo of the Florence cityscape at dusk

photo of the cover of The Prince, a novella by Sylvain Reynard

 Title:    The Prince 

Author:  Sylvain Reynard

Series:  A Gabriel’s Inferno/Florentine Series Novella

Genre: Paranormal Romance-Suspense

Publication Date:  January 20, 2015

Publisher: Penguin Group USA, LLC


The Prince is a transitional novella linking the phenomenal Gabriel Series to the highly-anticipated Florentine Series by Sylvain Reynard. The transition occurs on two levels: story and genre, as Gabriel and Julianne return to their beloved city of Florence and unknowingly attract the attention of The Prince, powerful leader of an ancient, dark underworld of immortal creatures who control the city and its inhabitants from far beneath its depths.

The Prince is intent on recovering his most prized possession: a series of Botticelli’s illustrations from Dante’s Inferno,  stolen from him over a century ago and subsequently purchased (as “replicas”) decades later by Professor Emerson. The Emersons are in Florence to celebrate the opening of an exhibition of the series, oblivious to the danger that lies in wait. Believing that Gabriel stole from him, simply recovering the works from the Uffizi will not be enough: he plans to avenge the theft by torturing and murdering our beloved Professor in front of his beautiful wife.  His plans are thwarted when a rival faction from Venice attempts an assassination and a coup, an act of war; but he never forgets. As an immortal with centuries behind him, human time holds little meaning in his world…thwarted twice during their visit, he patiently waits for their inevitable return.

And so it begins…the stage is set for the inevitable conflict to unfold in The Raven, and in true Sylvain Reynard fashion, it begins with a fast-paced, action-packed, suspenseful and often fatal game of predator and prey, beautifully described as only this author can.  The politics and power struggles of the underworld are introduced – full of the usual deception, betrayal, spies, secrets and lies. The Prince is very dark, tormented by his journey from human to immortal being, struggling with concepts of morality that he cannot easily shrug away, despite his darker instincts and powerful anger. His conflict will no doubt prove to be internal and external, making this character utterly compelling. How will the struggle affect his plans for the Professor and Julianne? No one knows.  Will it lead to his own destruction? Not right away. Redemption? If it’s even possible, it’s a long way forward.

Fortunately,  there is also the so-familiar, so-beloved Gabriel and Julianne, with all of the passion, devotion, excitement and tenderness we have come to recognize as their own immortal bond…and “feeling” them together again is a simply a warm blanket for my soul. Thank you, Sylvain, for keeping these beautiful characters in our lives for awhile longer…even if their future is anything but certain. A sense of foreboding pervades every encounter with the Prince as their fate hangs in the balance.

Be prepared for many unanswered questions as the series unfolds. Expect heart-stopping action, breath-taking moments of romance, unbearable suspense against a background of ancient history, darkness and light, good and evil, twisting and turning the story in all directions…as it can only be told by this master story-teller. I am stalking the UPS man, waiting on my copy of The Raven to arrive; but thanking Sylvain Reynard from the bottom of my heart for the wonderful gifts of anticipation and reward.

Five Blazing Stars – highly recommended.

Buying Links

Barnes & Noble
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon Canada

And on February 3rd…The Florentine Series begins

You can one-click and pre-order today…


Barnes & Noble
Amazon US
Amazon Canada

Sylvain Reynard’s links

The Florentine Series FB Page


The British [Book Boyfriend] Invasion – Old World Charm, New World Sex Appeal


 Intelligent. Powerful. Articulate. Wealthy. Charming. A bit dangerous – in a good way. Drop-dead gorgeous. Gentlemen with an “edge”. And, oh my God, the accent!  British Book Boyfriends are The Bomb.

When my friend and business partner, Jenn Watson, proposed that we tackle “The Battle of the British Boyfriends” during this week’s British [Author] Invasion – I jumped at the chance. We frequently debate the merits of our favorite “B-BBFs” when we chat, but to be honest,  it’s hardly a debate because we both adore British men, and the British celebrities that personify our beautiful book boyfriends. So it’s not much of a battle – it’s more like a buffet on our blogs today.

On her blog, An Open Book, Jenn tells you the personal history of HER love affair with British men and British Book Boyfriends past and present.  Her fascination with beautiful Brits goes back to “classics” of Victorian fiction ~ and she makes some stunning comparisons to our favorite contemporary romantic heroes.  And when I think of edgy, classic British authors and playwrights – the fictional archetypes are there, from Shakespeare’s 16th century Romeo and Juliet to Thomas Hardy’s Angel Clare and Alec d’Urberville in Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1891).

American BBF Christian Grey first seduced Ana with a reference to classic British authors and their Victorian era book boyfriends – good boys and ‘bad boys’ – in a memorable quote from Fifty Shades of Grey:


{Blogger pauses for a moment to contemplate the quote, the character, and the British hunk, Jamie Dornan…}

So I pause here for a disclaimer…two of my favorite Book Boyfriends aren’t technically British, the others are. But the common denominator is the breath-takingly handsome British men who come to mind as I read their stories and fall in love with their characters.  Because there are so many gorgeous British men to choose from (the mind boggles), I have had to narrow it down to the top 4 “British” book boyfriends who’ve rocked my literary world and fueled my fan-girl fantasies:

#1 – Ayden Stone, lost boy, playboy and prince in The Story of UsTrilogy, by Sydney Jamesson. (British to the core, Ayden is everything a woman could hope for. And, as most of you already know, Sydney’s muse for Ayden’s character was none other than the utterly heart-stopping, drop-dead gorgeous Henry Cavill.)

Henry Cavill pictured as the character Ayden Stone in The Story of Us trilogy by Sydney Jamesson

#2 – Matthew Clairmont, the dark, dangerous, powerful and utterly lovable vampire in The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. Technically of French descent, however, since he’s more than 1000 years old, it’s clear in the trilogy that he’s spent more than a couple of centuries in London and the British countryside. It was in the Bodleian Library at Oxford that he meets the love of his life, Diana Bishop, an American professor and the descendant of very powerful witches.  There is no one more perfect to envision as Matthew than the smoothly sensual British actor, Richard Armitage (and literally thousands of All Souls Trilogy fans agree).


#3 – Gabriel Emerson, the tortured, then enraptured, and totally redeemable professor of Italian Studies from the Gabriel Series by Sylvain Reynard.  (OK, before you start busting my chops that Gabriel is from Sellinsgrove, Pennsylvania, and his creator, Sylvain Reynard, is from Toronto, in my mind he may as well be British because my fantasy Professor Gabriel O. Emerson is the hottest British male model ever to walk the runway, the incomparable David James Gandy.) Don’t even try to argue with me about this. Ask anyone in The Argyle Empire on Facebook!

#4 – Max Stella, the Beautiful Stranger. One of a series of sexy, edgy, gorgeous men in the Beautiful Series by Christina Lauren, Max Stella is a British sex-god on American soil in this voyeuristic, erotic romance that will leave Max in your heart, soul (and other places) long after you finish the book!


So there you have it ~ my top four ~ all contemporary romantic heroes that personify the traits I listed in the very beginning of this post. If you haven’t met these gentlemen – don’t wait a minute longer.

Today’s post was all in fun – naughty, sexy fun – and mostly mine, I suppose! I could talk about British men and book boyfriends all day…just ask my husband.  But I hope I’ve made my case that British Book Boyfriends – or the incredibly sexy British men who represent them – are a force to be reckoned with. And I hope this light-hearted look at them has also brightened your day, or inspired you to share your own thoughts about them….

….And maybe, just maybe, you’ve discovered one or two new ones to check out as you Curl Up and Read! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments here or on Facebook.

See you tomorrow ~ when the spotlight is on a personal favorite author, and the creator of my favorite B-BBF Ayden Stone, the bestselling author of The Story of Us trilogy, Ms. Sydney Jamesson!