The Impetuous Afflictions of Jonathan Wolfe
Title : The Impetuous Afflictions of Jonathan Wolfe
Series : Auspicious Troubles With Love
Author : Charlie Cochet
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Historical
Length : 204 pages (e-book)
Published : November 8, 2013
Rating : ★★★★
Sequel to The Auspicious Troubles of Chance
Eight years after leaving the deserts of Africa and the French Foreign Legion behind, Jonathan Wolfe has settled into life at Hawthorne Manor in the English countryside. Johnnie helps his adopted family run the manor and provide a safe, loving home for a new generation of “brats”: boys mistreated and discarded for their homosexuality—something all too familiar to Johnnie.
Although no longer an unruly youngster, Johnnie is as stubborn, foul-mouthed, and troublesome as ever. His recent rash behavior becomes a concern for those closest to him, especially Dr. Henry Young, the only man ever to capture Johnnie’s heart. Instead of soothing him, their closeness brings Johnnie’s insecurities from an unsettling past to the surface, and leads to an explosive situation that threatens to tear them apart. Then Henry’s past catches up to them…
It’s been a while since I read the first book in this series, The Auspicious Troubles of Chance, but I remember the MC’s love story well. I didn’t remember much about Johnnie besides his horrific past and Henry loving him from afar. Didn’t really matter as IMO this could be read as a stand alone with the understanding that the group of soldiers from the first book chose to set up a safe home for homosexual men and children who need a place to go. In this world it’s the manor. The story is set in the past when gay men were not free to be together publicly. It deals with the suffering to those who had no choice but to hold onto their secret at any cost. The shame and lack of options for men loving men. While that is an important undercurrent in the book, most of the characters are gay or gay friendly creating a sort of gay utopia that I enjoyed. Not always the case when everyone is gay in books but his worked for me.
Johnnie is a truly damaged person. He’s a fun guy and everyone enjoys his company but there’s a very dark place inside Johnnie from years of abuse at a young age. It’s created a profound sense of never being good enough for Henry’s love. Henry has loved Johnnie since the beginning but understands Johnnie isn’t capable of a normal relationship or even admitting he wants one. Henry is willing to wait. And wait he does. For years. This book is their story. They finally start something physical in this book. Heated kisses and sensuous touches tease the reader waiting for the moment they finally give into years of wanting. When it happens it’s so hot but what was surprising is that I got teary eyed by the amazingly beautiful sex scene. I was so caught up in their emotions the sex itself was secondary. It’s been a while since that has happened to me. Really amazing! I was totally consumed.
This book was pretty angsty. Johnnie wants Henry but he pulls away a few times during the story and I felt Henry’s pain and frustration. I thought this fit Johnnie’s character. He infuriates everyone and sabotages himself at every turn. There were times when it became too much and Johnnie was a bit of a moron for putting himself in bad situations but he does pride himself on being able to take care of himself so it worked. Oh, and he’s a total hot head.
Henry’s character was the lovable one. Wholly good and constant. You could see his beauty through Johnnie’s eyes but his past wasn’t nearly as complicated as Johnnie’s. Sad and tragic but he was educated and had options Johnnie was never given. Henry managed to climb out of his dark place through his love of Johnnie and the friends he found in the guys and children at the manor.
Overall a very good read. Be prepared for high drama from Johnnie and the baddies in the book. There are stories of abuse as it’s the foundation the series seems to be based on. Both physical and sexual. It is about healing and being there for each other. A family is created through their nightmares so it’s not a total downer. I laughed a lot. I’m not always a fan of kids in books but these were adorable. I enjoyed seeing the couple from the previous book and the set up for the next couple in the series. Pretty good read and I’m looking forward to the next one. Also, I love the titles for this series!
Rated 4 stars by Whit