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.
The Auspicious Troubles of Chance by Charlie Cochet is a great heartwarming love story! This is the second book I have read by Ms. Cochet, and to be honest, this author can’t write fast enough for me! She is able to combine wit, charm and sexy males in the first part of the Twentieth Century like no other author I’ve read.
The Auspicious Troubles of Chance begins with our main character, Chance (real name Chauncey), being shot and it seems this is one of many close encounters for our lovable hero. The story plays out in the form of an internal dialogue that the main character is having with the reader as he waits for someone to come and rescue him. There are times where it seems Chance has a little bit of diarrhea of the mouth, but this slip only managed to endear him more to this reader.
During the first chapter, Chance keeps referring to meeting “him,” and says that all of this drama is “his” fault. Eventually we learn that “him” is Jacky Valentine. Jacky changed the trajectory of Chance’s life and the story Chance tells is how he met the Charming Jacky. In many ways, Jacky is the yen to Chance’s yang, and getting to meet Jacky and his band of not so merry followers, i.e. troubled soldiers, is so much fun. Chance meets Jacky after he has pissed off all his other superiors in the French Foreign Legion (FFL). I didn’t know much about the FFL or this period of time between WWI and WWII, but the author does just enough explaining that I felt like I could enjoy the story anyway. (FYI, most of this story occurs in the North African desert.)
Jacky has been granted command of the hopeless cases, but seems to have a talent for getting the most out of these soldiers. The best thing about Jacky is that he has “adopted” three teens that have had to grow-up way before their time. The way that Jacky relates to these young men (Johnnie, Bobby, and Alexander) is great; the way Chance does, not so much, but Chance’s interactions with the “kids” often brings levity.
This is a short novel or longer novella and I would have loved more time with all this characters. Jacky and Chance are great together and seeing them together outside of the war setting would be good. I cannot wait for the stories about the three young men and Dr. Henry! If you like M/M, lost causes, redemption or really sexy men featured in the time between the two World Wars, then this book is for you! Ms. Cochet brings to life a time and place that I think many Americans don’t know about and does so in a refreshing way, while telling the story of timeless love that gives a second chance!