Goodness gracious – this is exactly what I needed! My God but I just loved this book fThis book review can also be found at Under the Covers Book Blog
Goodness gracious – this is exactly what I needed! My God but I just loved this book from the very start to the very end. The Auspicious Troubles of Chance is a tale told from the point of view of the main character, Chauncey (or Chance as he later becomes nicknamed), directly to the reader. It seems a little odd at first, but I think that it works for the story, and as you get to know Chance himself, it seems quite fitting. It is a tale of love, loss, heartbreak, finding oneself, and hope.
The story takes place in the 1920s and 1930s. When the book begins, we are thrown into a situation that is a bit elusive to the reader, but it doesn’t take long to pick it up, and then Chance takes the reader back about a decade to tell us how it all got started. Chance is an 8 year old orphan who was wandering the streets of NYC in the 1920s, only to be found and “adopted” by an actress on Broadway. He makes a life working on set, and has finally found a family who loves and teaches him all about living and life. All too soon, though, that family is taken away from him, and he is back on the streets with a hole in his heart and a huge chip on his shoulder. Somehow he miraculously survives the next decade after abusing vice after vice, and then he enlists in the French Foreign Legion which takes him to a desert in the middle of Africa. It is here where Chance gets a second chance at love and family, only if he doesn’t piss it away.
Oh, how I just loved Chance. He is quite the conundrum – he is beautiful and flawless on the outside, but underneath that perfect exterior, he is all kinds of fucked up. He overcame so many odds very young in life, but when he is dealt with a blow of utter loss, he doesn’t know how to handle it and scorns the world and everyone in it, himself included. He knows he could be such a better person, but it’s so tough to fight the demons inside. There is that one small sliver of hope, though, that still pervades his being and has him soul searching and reaching out to be a better man. It is that ounce of hope that leads him to Jacky Valentine, the Commandant Chance seeks out for help. Jacky has a knack for seeing the good in people, and he instantly sees it in Chance – he knows that Chance can better a better soldier and a better man, and he puts his full faith in him in a way that no one has ever done before. Their attraction to each other is nearly instantaneous, but it takes time for Chance to accept that a man like Jacky could ever want to be with him, even after they start being together. But that faith of Jacky’s is unwavering, and it helps to rebuild and repair the man within Chance, and as that happens, a beautiful, passionate, and touching love is created between these men.
There is so much about this book that I just loved. As I just described, of course, the relationship between Chance is Jacky is one. I loved Jacky’s unconditional faith and trust in Chance, and I loved that Chance really did work hard to be a better man, a man deserving of another’s love and faith, and a man that he himself would grow to love as well. Chance’s sarcastic and comedic outlook on life is another. He is headstrong and damn stubborn in his ways, but his edginess, his wit, and comebacks had me laughing quite a bit. He really just struck a chord with me, and I just love him to pieces.
Beyond the main relationship, I absolutely loved Jacky and his band of misfits, or brats, as Chance called it. Jacky took in under his wing those boys who have had a life of hell, but he has hope and faith in them and teaches them that they are not alone, that they are worthy and deserving of happiness. It takes a lot of time for Chance to smooth out that chip on his shoulder, but as he does, he sees that he is not alone, and that he really could have friends and family once again. These boys all have unique backgrounds, and I look forward to getting to know them better, hopefully all in their own books (I do know that Johnnie has his own book next, and I was thrilled when I discovered that, but I hope that Bobby and Alexander get a book as well).
The Auspicious Troubles of Chance was a quick and easy read, and it is one that I highly recommend. The love, hope, rebuilding, and comedy were all aspects that I needed at the moment, and this book was a balm to my soul. Cochet is a talented writer, and while this is my first book from her, it certainly will not be my last.
Lastly, this beautiful, and often comedic, story is filled with amazing quotes. Here are just a few that I adored:
He had this unbelievable way of making me feel frightfully hopeful, like everything that had happened to me had never actually happened, like I was clean and pure and worthy of him.
I felt Jacky’s muscles tighten, heard his muffled growl against my hair as he pumped into me one final time before he filled me up inside, every inch of my tight space coated with his beautiful essence. I hoped that maybe it might find its way into my soul and leave a little of its brightness behind.
It made me wonder if Jacky was setting up some kind of fairy infantry. If he was, that made me part of his little pansy parade, and I didn’t think I liked it.
I would remember this night for the rest of my life. Not just because we spent it making love and having hot, passionate sex but because we laughed together, teased each other, held each other, talked about nonsense. Because that night, I promised him I would always be his. I didn’t say it in so many words. In fact, I didn’t say it with any words at all, but he knew. Boy, did he know....more