The Auspicious Troubles of Chance

Charlie Cochet
The Auspicious Troubles of Chance
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Dreamspinner Press
Release Date
June 2012
Historical Romance, LGBTQ

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.

Book Review by Susan Mac Nicol (author)
May 06, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
206 people found the following review helpful
I love the title of this book. I started reading this book with a sense of anticipation that I was going to enjoy this rather different storyline. The blurb promised some really different experiences for me as a reader and I have to say I wasn't disappointed.

This tells the story of Chauncey Irving, a troubled young man who in his short life, has experienced more pain and suffering than anyone should have to. Abandoned at an orphanage when he was just a boy, he had to use his wits and his street savvy to survive. Until he meets Marie. A blonde angel who takes him in and gives him a life he never could have dreamed of. He falls in love for the first time with a young man called Arthur. But then tragedy strikes and once again Chauncey finds himself alone and on a path to self destruction. Until he meets Jacky Valentine in the desert in Algiers, where Chauncey has volunteered in the French Foreign Legion. It's then that Chauncey disappears and Chance is born.

This was truly a story unlike anything I've read in this genre before. It was set in an exotic place, in a time about which I know little and I really enjoyed learning more about it and the men who experienced the battles first hand. Chance is an incredibly diverse character, full of conflict and emotion, a tough, scarred man with demons to face and a past that was worth forgetting. He is hell bent on a self destructive path, even though he knows it might kill him, but he's determined to punish himself. The author really makes you believe in him, makes you sympathise with him and he is one of the most endearing characters I've met.

Jacky is Chance's saviour. He inveigles himself into Chance's life and brings with him three other young men who, one by one, become integral parts of Chance's world. The characters themselves are all so well drawn and portrayed, the writing flows and ebbs with emotions and wonderful situations, and I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The plot is well thought through, the relationship between Chance and Jacky beautifully written with sympathy, humour and the inevitable growing affection between the two men.

The only gripe I have is with the very last part of the story when things seemed to be wrapped up a little too neatly. I was looking forward to reading a little more about how Jacky and Chance made it work when they got back to England, and how their extended 'family' developed. I would have enjoyed seeing a bit more of this part of their lives.

But this certainly didn't detract from the fact that I loved this book and will definitely be seeking out more stories by this author.
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