Etienne. “Tribulation” (Appearances Trilogy #2), Dreamspinner Press, 2012.
The Story Continues
“Tribulation” continues the story begun in “Trial” in which Philip d’Autremont was acquitted of murdering his wife. Now he and his new lover, Charles Barnett, begin building a life together. However, not all people in Atlanta are satisfied with the way the trial turned out and someone used physical force to show that. Charles went to the hospital and Philip’s arm is in a sling. Now the men realize that the time has come to really think about the future and they try to formulate some kind of plan which includes renovating their house. Danger is still out there and we see that there are more people after them then they thought.
The focus of this book is the relationship between Philip and Charles. After having suffered injuries, the men assure each other of their love as they try to find those that attacked them. While there is danger, the book is more concerned with the men and romance overtakes everything else. One of the things that Etienne does so well is to focus on relationships and giving the readers a picture of what a relationship entails and how to keep one fresh. He doesn’t preach; he simply shows by example.
When they were shot while jogging in Piedmont Park, they knew that they had to re-evaluate their lives and decide how to stay alive and safe. Because Charles was rendered immobile due to the attack, they move in with his grandmother. Two more attacks soon followed and recovery is slow. At this point we have two new characters introduced—Joe and Jack, nursing students come to help with recovery and the four become fast friends.
Etienne shows the folly of homophobic religion when we learn that the attackers were members of such a group. What happens next lead us to a sequel which I understand is in progress. If you have not yet read Etienne, the Appearances trilogy is a wonderful place to start and I recommend that you do so.