Gabriel's Rapture picks up right where we left off in Gabriel's Inferno. Gabriel and Julia are still very much enjoying themselves in Italy. They're finally getting some time to truly enjoy each other's company without all the drama back home. It's short lived however upon their arrival back on campus. They are both confronted by the Dean and a huge battle ensues between the Dean and them which causes huge relationship issues.
They've both had such a troubled past that they seem to always assume the worse in almost every situation and just makes things worse for them. Gabriel has grown a lot in this book though. He's starting to recognize where his main faults lie and taking responsibility for them. Definitely a little more action and suspense in this second novel. There was a little slow part in the middle, but overall it was much better than the first and things seemed to move along a little quicker. Julia definitely is a little more judgemental in this book but that may have been brought on by other circumstances between the two. This was certainly a story of redemption and overcoming obstacles to be with the one you love. One big issue I had was with Crista's story, or lack thereof. She causes lots of issues at the beginning of the book as well as some contact with another character that I expected to hear more about. It was like her whole storyline got completely dropped after the beginning of the book. Not that I particularly cared for her character but it left me wondering what was the point of even bringing it up? While the artsy, poetic bits between Gabriel and Julia were sweet I think it was overdone. Not everything needs to be a quote from some poet or a reference to a painting!
On a lighter note, I really liked Paul's character. He was a great friend to Julia even though he wanted more. He gets a chance to talk to Julia about his feelings in this book but he's always been sweet with her no matter what situation she's going through. I think Gabriel learned a lot about himself in this book and that is ultimately what ended up making a huge difference in their relationship. This story is perhaps a more accurate portrayal of a relationship than we get in some books lately where love and lust seem to overcome everything. Julia and Gabriel have definitely had to work at their relationship. Even with the story's minor downfalls, I still enjoyed it and like I said previously, things certainly picked up in this second book.