Will the promising chef with dreams of starting his own restaurant and winery see the dark, quiet lure of his long time crush’s conservative older brother, Dylan Armstrong?
Return of the Chauffeur’s Son
By Tara Lain
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.
That soft, deep voice slithered up his spine and filled his brain with even more fog. He turned and watched Dylan amble toward him across the grass, dressed in black jeans and a black long-sleeved T-shirt. He moves like a cat. “I’m not sure I’ve ever seen you in anything but a suit before.”“It does happen—occasionally.” Dylan half smiled.
“They should star you in a movie about a panther that turns into a human.”
Luca cocked his head. “You know that old movie?”
“Yes. Movies are a passion of mine.”
“Seriously. I thought you just worked all the time.”
“Surprise.” His light green eyes sparkled.
Luca leaned back against the fence. “What are some of your favorites?”
Dylan stepped to the fence and leaned against it too, about two feet from Luca. Do I really feel heat coming off his skin? Luca took a deep breath.
Dylan looked up at the stars. “I love No Country for Old Men.”
Luca barked a little laugh.
Dylan glanced at him. “Funny?”
“It’s just the stereotype of the powerful businessman taking out his enemies wholesale. Sorry.”
“Okay. Well, I love The Notebook.”
“Nope. I don’t think it’s a great movie, but I do love the chemistry between the young couple.”
“Yeah, the old couple’s story was even too sappy for me.”
“I love Michael Clayton.”
“No shit!” Luca chuckled. “One of the least appreciated movies ever. Love that film.”
“But I’ll see almost anything with Tilda Swinton in it.”
“Me too.” He shook his head. How could they have so much in common?
“I also love My Fair Lady.”
“Now you are joking.”
Dylan smiled and gazed at Luca. “No, I’m not joking. I’m gay. Remember?”
The word felt like a karate chop to the windpipe. “Uh, right. Sometimes I forget.”
“So, how’s the new job?”
“Uh, wonderful. They really want me to develop new recipes and dishes. It’s what I love—along with wine making.”
“Oh? You’re interested in viticulture?”
Luca nodded. “Part of my degree is in winery management.”
Dylan pushed away from the fence. “You’re a man of many talents, Luca.”
What the fuck did he mean by that?
Dylan strolled a few feet toward the house.
Luca said, “By the way, I wanted you to know that James invited my dad and me to your party and polo match this weekend.”
That got his attention. He looked back with a crease between the beautiful eyes. “Oh? When did he do that?”
“Earlier tonight, when he and Nila had dinner at the restaurant. She seconded the invitation and, since it’s kind of her party, I figured it would be okay.” Did that sound like he had a chip on his shoulder?
“Then I’m sure it must be okay.”
Luca stared at the grass. “If you ever want somebody to watch a movie with, just holler.” Crap! He wanted to bite off the tip of his tongue.
Dylan looked equally astonished. “I’ll keep that in mind.” He turned and walked into the shadows.
Why the hell did I say that? The sound of the big house door opening and closing carried across the quiet space.
Dylan just looks so lonely.
And so damned beautiful.
I was provided a copy for an honest review.
I love Tara Lain’s work. I was given the opportunity to review and post for the blog tour, and I jumped on it. The blurb hooked me, and seemed somewhat familiar, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I saw mention, I think in the book itself, that it was based on a favorite movie of Tara’s. So, I went searching. Sure enough, you have to see Sabrina (of which I had seen and loved it) with Audrey Hepburn (there is a remake later) to get the idea of this tale. Thank you Google fu and Tara for doing a MM version.
Tara did a beautiful job of this retailing of a classic love story. Luca McGrath is the son of the billionaire Armstrong family’s chauffeur who dreamed of the heterosexual bad-boy James. Meanwhile, the older brother, Dylan, has dreamed about Luca. We see the start of something between James and Luca despite a female fiance, but there grows the attraction between Luca and Dylan that has everyone involved confused but the families themselves. There is much dating and making between both he and James and he and Dylan as Luca’s affection changes from one to the other. I wanted to find out how it worked out in the backdrop of Luca’s working as a Chef for a local spotlighted contest, subsequent accusations of espionage with the rival restaurant, and Luca coming into his own.
I did have a little trouble with how long it took Dylan to realize his love for Luca, but it all worked out and I’m happy with the storyline. There is an HEA, and I won’t go more into the dynamics between the brothers and Luca. Needless to say, family is everything including those that you make. Overall, it was a great story that everyone should read even if you haven’t see the movie it’s based on. I give it 4.5 stars out of 5.
About the Author
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 32. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!
You can find Tara at Lain