REVIEWED BY: Christie
TITLE: Return of the Chauffeur’s Son
AUTHOR: Tara Lain
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 200 Pages
RELEASE DATE: June 2, 2017
Luca McGrath may be returning to Napa Valley, California, as a promising chef with dreams of starting his own restaurant and winery, but his heart still lives with the bad-boy son of a billionaire, James Armstrong. Luca spent his childhood playing games with the golden boy of California society, so blinded by James he barely noticed the dark, quiet lure of his conservative older brother, Dylan Armstrong.
But now Luca’s home, and his own powers of attraction are enough to make James question his dedicated heterosexuality and his promised marriage to a wealthy and powerful businesswoman. The obvious attraction between Luca and James spurs Dylan into action—but he’s fighting a huge secret. While Luca dreamed of James, Dylan dreamed of Luca. When Luca gets caught in the struggle between the brothers and gets accused of culinary espionage he’s ready to chuck the fairy tale—unable to even imagine Dylan’s power to make his dreams come true.
So, I was originally excited to read Return of the Chauffeur’s Son because it was written by Tara Lain, and I love her writing. But after finding out that this book is an homage to the 1954 movie, Sabrina, starring Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, and William Holden, I totally freaked. This is one of my all time favorite movies, and for Tara Lain to write a gay romance homage to such a fantastic film was the icing on the cake in my eyes. And, a spectacular homage it was.
Luca McGrath has been in love with James Armstrong since childhood. But, James is straight. And, his family is rich. Super rich. And, Luca is the son of James’ family’s chauffeur. So, in hopes that Luca find a more suitable love interest (y’know, like someone who can love him back), his father sends him to culinary school in France. Now, after a successful internship working in New York for a famous restaurant, Luca is back home in Napa Valley, California, ready to make a name for himself in the restaurant/ cooking world. However, he finds that his love for James never faded.
Dylan Armstrong, James’ older more responsible brother, is blown away when he first lays eyes on a much grown up Luca McGrath. He is also in the middle of one of the most lucrative partnerships of Armstrong Industries’ history, and James has decided to explore his sexuality. With Luca. Which will potentially blow a multi-billion dollar deal. Instead of panic (or ram his head into a wall) at Luca’s return and James’ newfound curiosity, Dylan decides to distract Luca by taking him out. Only, Dylan finds that he has strong feelings for the chauffeur’s son too, and becomes quite jealous over his affections being elsewhere other than on him.
Add into the mix that in order for Luca to obtain the head chef position at the restaurant he was just hired, he needs to come up with the winning dish at the Napa Valley Food and Wine Festival (ousting the current 5yr reigning champ, a restaurant named Montaigne), a new love interest who works at said rival establishment, and James’ fiancé who absolutely adores Luca.
If you are familiar with the movie Sabrina, whether it be the original 1954 version, or the remake with Harrison Ford, then you are in for a wonderful treat with Return of the Chauffeur’s Son, as it is indeed a brilliant homage to a phenomenal movie. And if you are not familiar with it, don’t worry, it is still a wonderful book that I am pretty positive you will highly enjoy.
Tara Lain, this may actually be my favorite book of yours so far. Honestly, it is wonderfully written. I practically felt Luca’s heart race upon first meeting Dylan, then his heart drop to his toes when he found out that James was engaged. And don’t get me started on the iconic Conservatory scene! From start to finish, Return of the Chauffeur’s Son was fantastic!