The Auspicious Troubles of Love: The Impetuous Afflictions of Jonathan Wolfe – Charlie Cochet
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….
After the end of the war and out of uniform, the fairy infantry flourished in the Hawthorne Manor with more Brats, now fondly referred to with a capital B. Johnnie and Doc Henry had met each other eight years prior and sparks flew. You would think the two would have had their happily ever after by now but, nooo, Johnnie had to be Johnnie and couldn’t let go of personal demons. Yes, even if everyone was vocally and actively shipping them, even if each knew how the other felt, Johnnie is still keeping Henry at arms length. But that doesn’t keep him from flirting like mad. Sometimes Henry turns the tables and beat Johnnie at his own game. How these two managed to deliciously slow burn their way through the entire book, until Jonathan finally came to terms with his feelings, is a treat worthy of a 5 halle-fucking-lujah stars.
DId I mention the book was fun? I live for the wisecracks and the banter, Chance especially. He came a long, long way. I’m glad to see him at his best and I love that he kept his lunatic streak. Jacky continues to be the pillar of strength for all and that twit Glen deserved more than just a bullet in the leg for what he did to Jacky. As for Chance AND Jacky, well…
“No one can out-kissy-face Chance and Jacky,”
Alexander and Bobbie are now grown ups and still as fluffy as ever. Alexander is a certified professor, homeschooling the Brats and Bobbie, well whatever he is doing right now, he’s still attached to Alexander. And like Johnnie and Henry, they need to sort things out between themselves, too
And then there’s the Brats. Elliot, Rori, Aubrey, Connor, Edmund, Oliver and Gideon make up the rest of the family. I’m not even remotely interested in kids but these Brats are sooo adorable! You simply can’t resist them!
It’s not all fun and games. Behind each person is a tragic backstory and the book is all about not letting your past define you and letting people in. Even though the author might have taken liberties and I am treating this story as a fairy tale, the idea that you are not alone and family doesn’t always mean related by blood resonates strongly. There’s also a message of hope and trust, of learning how to open yourself up to people who will never give up on you.
“Piss off. I’m not talking to you as your doctor now, I’m talking to you as the man who loves you, every stubborn, foulmouthed, infuriating inch of you. Do you understand? I love you.”
Even with his words warming me up inside, I couldn’t help my response. “You shouldn’t.”
Henry’s hand came to rest on my cheek and I turned my face to kiss his palm, making him smile. “You’re right, I probably shouldn’t, but that doesn’t change the fact that I do, and I’m glad I do, because even when you drive me barmy, I love you more every day. Despite what you may think, you’re a good man, and very much worthy of being loved. Please, let me love you. Instead of struggling alone, confide in me, lean on me, trust me to help you to the best of my ability. Trust me to love you and comfort you. I’m not weak.”
It doesn’t even end there. It took a lot of convincing and I mean A LOT, for Johnnie to finally open up and forgive himself. And it takes a lot of work to heal but he realized, it starts by reaching out to the right person
Whatever happened, I knew I had to try. Most importantly, I knew no matter my heartache, I wasn’t alone. I never had been. Rather than act on impulse, feeling my way through the dark, all I had to do was reach out.
This series was published way back in 2012 and I am glad I was able to discover this underrated gem.
I really, really hope she would release more stories about the other Brats, like Aubrey and Rori or Connor and Gideon. Most importantly,
Alexander and Bobbie! They need their own book. I can’t believe everything’s hanging between them. They need closure. I need closure. Come on Charlie, make this happen please!
5 Stars – absolutely perfect
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