Series: The Auspicious Troubles of Love # 1
Author: Charlie Cochet
Genre: Timeless Dreams
Length: Novel (172 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 20th)
Heat Level: Medium
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4½Hearts
Blurb: Chance Irving is a young man with a gift for getting into trouble—not surprising, as trouble is all he’s ever known. After losing everything he held dear one fateful night, he decides to leave New York and his past behind, and joins the French Foreign Legion. But even in Algiers, Chance can’t seem to shake his old ways, and he ends up being transferred to a unit made up of misfits and rabble-rousers like him—a unit he finds just in time to be captured and thrown into a cell with his new commandant, Jacky Valentine.
A highly respected commandant with a soft spot for hard luck cases, Jacky is the kind of guy who would go to war for you, and the three equally troubled youths from his unit he’s more or less adopted feel the same way about him. Suddenly Chance starts to think that his life doesn’t have to be as desolate and barren as the wastelands around him.
But even after their escape, with the promise of a future with Jacky to buoy his spirits, or maybe because of it, Chance can’t stop making mistakes. He disobeys orders, lashes out at the boys in Jacky’s care, and blazes a trail of self-destruction across the desert—until someone makes him realize he’s hurting more than just himself.
A Timeless Dreams title: While reaction to same-sex relationships throughout time and across cultures has not always been positive, these stories celebrate M/M love in a manner that may address, minimize, or ignore historical stigma.
Review: To talk about this book, I have to divide it into three parts. Beginning, middle, and end.
It came as a shock, at first, to be spoken to directly from the narrator. It took a little adjusting, but Chance’s wit carried me through the slight awkwardness, and soon I fell in love with the style. Chance’s voice is funny, rude, blunt and sobering. The way he thought and narrated just made his character all the more endearing.
In the first part, we know “Jackie” is an important person to Chance, and we get glimpses of him in the narrative “a man continuously accompanied by chaos and some form of deep-seated lunacy”, which left me curious to know more about the man. Especially since the story opens with Chance shot in the stomach, and Chance knowing he has to get to Jackie. The stakes high, right from the start, and I wanted to know more—would he make it back to this Jackie? And why is this person so important to him? What is their story?
Also, this first part of the story shows us Chance (Chauncey at the beginning) growing up and the momentous events in his life that lead him eventually to a desert in Africa. I don’t want to give too much away, but reading it was emotional and engaging. I certainly sympathized with him.
Gah. I was totally swept away in this story. Let me just say, once we got to Chance’s life in the desert I was a goner. Nothing could pry me away from reading. Nothing. I stayed up very late, consequently.
- It’s full of tension.
- It made me swoon, swoon, and swoon some more.
- The settings the author used made her scenes unique. For example, and this was the shining star of all scenes in the book (and many of them were good) but she had our two main characters, Chance and Jackie, meet in a box. Yes, a box. I refuse to say more, except that I recommend everyone read it! J
- The sex was hot and it fit the characters perfectly.
- Also, and this was what worried me a little when I first started reading—and was relieved to find it not the case—this is not a full on war story. The war is a background and we don’t “see” much of it. The story really does focus mostly on Chance’s growing and his and Jackie’s relationship.
Don’t get me wrong, here, I still LOVED the book, but the ending didn’t quite click with me. It seemed too neat somehow. I think I got irritated that we find out Jackie was suddenly wealthy. It seemed too fairytale, and while I love fairytales, it didn’t seem to quite match the rest of the book.
On the other hand, the lead up to the resolution was very emotional, and I got teary. All pluses for this wonderful book.
Overall: Great characters. Chance and Jackie are particularly well drawn, but also Johnnie, Alexander and Bobby, who I suspect we’ll see more of in future books.
I’ll leave you with my reaction after reading the last page:
Oh hell yeah. More from this author, please.