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Return of the Chauffeur's Son

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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 bad-boy billionaire’s son, 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 b 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 bad-boy billionaire’s son, 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.


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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 bad-boy billionaire’s son, 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 b 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 bad-boy billionaire’s son, 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.

30 review for Return of the Chauffeur's Son

  1. 5 out of 5

    * A Reader Obsessed *

    4 Hearts I admit this probably wouldn’t have gotten such a high rating on its own, but because it’s essentially an M/M remake of the movie "Sabrina”, the nostalgic sentimentality gained it a lot of leeway and extra points. If you’re not familiar with either the original movie starring Audrey Hepburn or the Harrison Ford remake, the basic premise might not appeal. This focuses on Luca, who as the chauffeur's child, grew up alongside the two sons of an uber rich and powerful family. Luca has had a m 4 Hearts I admit this probably wouldn’t have gotten such a high rating on its own, but because it’s essentially an M/M remake of the movie "Sabrina”, the nostalgic sentimentality gained it a lot of leeway and extra points. If you’re not familiar with either the original movie starring Audrey Hepburn or the Harrison Ford remake, the basic premise might not appeal. This focuses on Luca, who as the chauffeur's child, grew up alongside the two sons of an uber rich and powerful family. Luca has had a massive unrequited crush on James for forever, and has finally returned home after being gone for several years learning to be a chef. He knows he wouldn’t say no if James all of sudden proclaimed he was gay. However, James is…. impulsive, charming. He goes after anything or anyone who might catch his fancy with a singular purpose that is rarely deterred. So, when he sees Luca all grown up, James’s interest is piqued despite his straight status. Never mind he’s engaged to a woman who's ready to bridge their families together in a lucrative merger. To complicate things further is older, gay brother, Dylan. He’s just trying to put out fires and manage the potential fallout from James’s fleeting whims and Luca’s surprised hope. Dylan doesn’t expect to fall for Luca, and Luca doesn’t expect to be the center of attention between two gorgeous brothers. This pretty much followed the movies to a “T”. I appreciate though, that unlike the movies, Dylan doesn’t chase after Luca for the sole purpose of making sure a business deal doesn’t get ruined. He genuinely likes Luca and as they slowly get to know each other, Luca starts to reevaluate his long held torch for James. Narrated by Greg Tremblay, this was an expected enjoyable listen despite the fact that this devolved into a bit of silliness (mostly in the form of weird banter) once Luca and Dylan get together. Usually, that would be a hard sell for me but again, apparently I’m biased. It doesn’t hurt that the few smexy scenes present were quite nice. Overall, if you’re not familiar with the movie, this might not go down as easy as it did for me. Mostly, I was just tickled pink and had a great time listening to this M/M remake. Thank you to the author/publisher for the audio in exchange for a honest review

  2. 4 out of 5

    Simone

    Nice little love story with very likeable characters... ... although Luca sounded a bit too young for me despite being 24 years old. The writing style was sometimes weird and the story itself was a bit too clichéd and predictable for me to enjoy it to the fullest. I actually had to keep my eye-roll from going into an endless loop now and then. The public love declaration at the end definitely cost a half star. I'm so not a fan of that, everytime it happens, it's enough to make my toes curl wi Nice little love story with very likeable characters... ... although Luca sounded a bit too young for me despite being 24 years old. The writing style was sometimes weird and the story itself was a bit too clichéd and predictable for me to enjoy it to the fullest. I actually had to keep my eye-roll from going into an endless loop now and then. The public love declaration at the end definitely cost a half star. I'm so not a fan of that, everytime it happens, it's enough to make my toes curl with second-hand embarrassment. And without the awesomeness that is Greg Tremblay's narration, I'm not sure I would have made it to the end. He nailed it again and supplied great entertainment despite my niggles. His amazing job alone would deserve 5 stars from me.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lorraine Lesar

    Spoiler free review. Who knew the world of the crème de la crème of the a la carte menu could not only be so cutthroat/ruthless/aggressive but also, sexy as hell all at the same time? If I was ever on a panel of Book Inspectors looking to award a mythical Literary Michelin Star for Romance Reads, Tara Lain would be one of my nominations. I’ve just gormandised myself on her latest offering, The Return of the Chauffeur’s Son. For me, it was a readers gourmet delight. The quality of the storyline was Spoiler free review. Who knew the world of the crème de la crème of the a la carte menu could not only be so cutthroat/ruthless/aggressive but also, sexy as hell all at the same time? If I was ever on a panel of Book Inspectors looking to award a mythical Literary Michelin Star for Romance Reads, Tara Lain would be one of my nominations. I’ve just gormandised myself on her latest offering, The Return of the Chauffeur’s Son. For me, it was a readers gourmet delight. The quality of the storyline was yet again delivered to perfection. Her research a banquet of exceptionality and her level of creativity in her secondary characters were like hot spicy hors d’oeuvres - the perfect accompaniment to the two/three protagonists. Are you fed up with all the food references? Feel that I'm Fangirling too much? Well I'm sorry but I'm not apologising, this book was a sumptuous delight, I devoured it. Five big fat gourmet stars from me.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shile

    Greg's narration held my interest to the end. I guess this was the MM version of the movie Sabrina. I liked the Mc's especially Dylan, and Luca even though he sounded like a teenager. I liked the supporting cast too. The story was a cute but i felt there was something missing. Greg's narration held my interest to the end. I guess this was the MM version of the movie Sabrina. I liked the Mc's especially Dylan, and Luca even though he sounded like a teenager. I liked the supporting cast too. The story was a cute but i felt there was something missing.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ula'ndi Hart

    Overall book rating: 4 Audio Book: N/A Book Cover: 4 I was really excited about this one. I love the Harrison Ford version (Sabrina) of this story. I’ve watched it a 100 times, cause I’m a hopeless romantic like that and all. So I’m most likely going to be giving this review with rose-colored lenses. But then I’m entitled to my own opinion, so there. I liked the Chef spin on the story. I think it gave Luca a good angle and I like guys who cook. So of course that didn’t hurt one bit huh? Dylan was al Overall book rating: 4 Audio Book: N/A Book Cover: 4 I was really excited about this one. I love the Harrison Ford version (Sabrina) of this story. I’ve watched it a 100 times, cause I’m a hopeless romantic like that and all. So I’m most likely going to be giving this review with rose-colored lenses. But then I’m entitled to my own opinion, so there. I liked the Chef spin on the story. I think it gave Luca a good angle and I like guys who cook. So of course that didn’t hurt one bit huh? Dylan was also a very “likeable” character. He’s a good guy who cares about the people around him. Still, he’s a formidable business man and that in turn makes him interesting. The only thing about Dylan I would have liked more, is if we got a better idea of his feelings for Luca from their past. Maybe that would have made me route for him even more. I really liked him, and the growing relationship, but it felt has if a little something was missing. I didn’t like the way their first steamy sheets encounter played off. Personal taste I suppose. Call me stupid but: “You want to bottom?” “For the CEO of cocks? You got that right.” “He’s born to serve.” Doesn’t make my knees weak. I guess I wanted “romantic” or “deep”. Other than that I enjoyed the story a great deal. It was fun and sweet. James was a little "WTF" at times. I guess he got curious or something. I understand the wanting to bail from his sudden responsibilities so it didn't put me off as I knew to expect that. I liked it. I loved Luca's dad. And Dylan's parents were sweet as well. FLuffy and feel good.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Josy

    ~ 4.5 stars ~ Wow, this was a very pleasant surprise! My first book by Tara Lain and I can honestly say that I loved it!! I'm almost 100% sure that Greg Tremblay's narration of the audiobook played a huge part in this. I generally like him very much but in this book, he nailed it and it was such a joy listening to him. I absolutely adored the MCs Luca and Dylan! They were such sweet guys who were just perfect for each other. It took both men a while to figure it out which resulted in a slow-burn, ~ 4.5 stars ~ Wow, this was a very pleasant surprise! My first book by Tara Lain and I can honestly say that I loved it!! I'm almost 100% sure that Greg Tremblay's narration of the audiobook played a huge part in this. I generally like him very much but in this book, he nailed it and it was such a joy listening to him. I absolutely adored the MCs Luca and Dylan! They were such sweet guys who were just perfect for each other. It took both men a while to figure it out which resulted in a slow-burn, from-friends-to-lovers romance and I enjoyed being part of their journey! The first kiss?? Again I don't know if it's due to Greg Tremblay's narration but damn! It was sexy as hell! The book itself doesn't have that many sex scenes but the ones that were there felt real and intimate and perfect. What I loved as much as seeing the men fall in love was the relationship between Luca and his dad. It was so open, honest, trusting, understanding, and loving and I wish every kid could be blessed with parents like Francis. This was a light, adorable, and fun story that made me grin all the time and even had some laugh-out-loud moments. I'm pretty sure that this audiobook is going to be my go-to comfort read for the foreseeable future because it made me happy from beginning to end.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Well this was one hella' good ride... 'Return of the Chauffeur's Son' was totally a case of 'right church, wrong pew'. While Tara Lain isn't a new to me author I've read several books by her and for the most part I've enjoyed them but this is only my second time listening to one of Ms Lain's books on audio and while the first one was ok at best. I seriously enjoyed this one from start to finish. I loved the story and with Greg Tremblay as the narrator well...of course I loved the it as an aud Well this was one hella' good ride... 'Return of the Chauffeur's Son' was totally a case of 'right church, wrong pew'. While Tara Lain isn't a new to me author I've read several books by her and for the most part I've enjoyed them but this is only my second time listening to one of Ms Lain's books on audio and while the first one was ok at best. I seriously enjoyed this one from start to finish. I loved the story and with Greg Tremblay as the narrator well...of course I loved the it as an audio book. Now about the story, Luca McGrath is the chauffeur's son and he's been away from his home in Napa Valley for quite a while about 8 years. He left to study culinary arts in Paris and then went on to make a name for himself in New York but it was also to put some distance between himself and James Armstrong...best friend and unrequited love...you see James is straight, so other than platonic...a relationship was never going to be between these two men. Having stayed away for eight long years Luca is finally lured home by the offer of what will become his dream job...and this is where things become fun. Luca comes home to find that James isn't acting as straight as he always seemed but this is all complicated by the fact that Luca's finding that while he thinks he still loves James there's someone else who keeps drawing his attention...Dylan, Jame's older brother...yep, we've got an age gap here and for me it's all good because it's only about 10 years and I've never really had a problem with age gaps between 10 - 15 years. But even more importantly I loved Dylan and when Dylan and Luca finally get page time together both in and out of the bedroom...this becomes one hella' good story. The interaction between these two is beyond entertaining more often than not I found myself laughing and just giggling with delight at their banter. I can't honestly say that I would have enjoyed this story as much had I just read the e-book. I'm sure it would have been close but I have to admit the addition of Greg Tremblay's voice narrating worked wonderfully for me and I was delightfully entertained. This one's more of a slow burn than anything and admittedly it's fairly light on the sexy times there's was really only one full on sex scene and it's well past the 50% mark so...slow burn and well worth the wait. It was sexy and fun. I'm assuming that the author was going for sexy and fun with these two men rather than the more common intense, passion filled first time sex scene and for me it was simply delightful. I'm not talking 'oh-my-god-this-is-ridiculous' here I'm talking two men who loved each other and were comfortable with each other and while simply being together made them happy, sharing the intimacy of love was for them pure joy. It worked, ok I really don't know how else to explain it but it worked and for me their happiness was palpable and came through so clearly in the narrator's voice. 'Return of the Chauffeur's Son' was a light, enjoyable feel good romance with a bit of restaurant intrigue thrown offering several hours of listening fun and leaving me with a happy smile at the end of it all. ************************* A copy of the audio book 'Return of the Chauffeur's Son' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bitchie

    A gay Sabrina? I'm so there! A gay Sabrina? I'm so there!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lelyana's Reviews

    As much as I want to love this book, there was something's missing, and some thing that was not supposed to be there in the first place. Blame my reading and taste references. Don't blame the book. I enjoyed 3/4 of the story, the premise is great but I can't find myself too attached to Luca and Dylan. Poor Dylan. Sigh. I really liked the guy. Dylan is a great guy, but he kept so much inside, and I hate what he didn't show and tell Luca. While Dylan is busy protecting and doing every 'service' for L As much as I want to love this book, there was something's missing, and some thing that was not supposed to be there in the first place. Blame my reading and taste references. Don't blame the book. I enjoyed 3/4 of the story, the premise is great but I can't find myself too attached to Luca and Dylan. Poor Dylan. Sigh. I really liked the guy. Dylan is a great guy, but he kept so much inside, and I hate what he didn't show and tell Luca. While Dylan is busy protecting and doing every 'service' for Luca's sake, Luca is still 'busy' for his dream for James. And what's this James's sudden attraction to Luca? Because he's so gorgeous, or just curious? The whole love triangle irked me, because Dylan need to be more 'out' and 'brave' about what he feel about Luca. I'm not sure about Luca's feeling. But I have a high hope that Dylan will finally make him feel that. The ending was quite good, and I want to believe that Dylan and Luca will find their HEA in the future. The HFN is enough for now. *ARC provided by Dreamspinner Press to review.*

  10. 5 out of 5

    True Loveislovereview

    Luca McGrath, is twenty-four, son of Francis McGrath who is the chauffeur of the Armstrong family. Luca is back after seven years he will live with his dad again on the Armstrong property. The Armstrong’s are like family, his father works for them already twenty-five years. Back in the days Luca played with James and peeked secretly at the older brother Dylan who was kissing boys. Luca is a successful chef and will start a new job as a sous chef at Culinary Arts. His big love whom he can’t forget Luca McGrath, is twenty-four, son of Francis McGrath who is the chauffeur of the Armstrong family. Luca is back after seven years he will live with his dad again on the Armstrong property. The Armstrong’s are like family, his father works for them already twenty-five years. Back in the days Luca played with James and peeked secretly at the older brother Dylan who was kissing boys. Luca is a successful chef and will start a new job as a sous chef at Culinary Arts. His big love whom he can’t forget is James. James is the straight brother who is engaged with Nila. Luca is stunned by the beautiful man Dylan is, but his heart is for James, right? Dylan, thirty-six, can’t believe his eyes when he sees the beautiful and attractive grown-up Luca. sadly Luca has only eyes for James. Silly James wants to experience with Luca. Dylan tries to prevent that, he has enough motives. Somehow Dylan is always there to help Luca. Dylan is fierce, and even fiercer when it’s about Luca. He’d move the earth for him, even though he knows Luca’s heart beats for James and not him. There’s an enjoyable side story with a culinary contest. It gives a lot of pressure on Luca’s shoulders. I was thrilled about this narrative, everything about it was enjoyable. It was all quite friendly, no one has a second agenda, they were honest and open. I loved that! The food and recipes were just marvelous. Dylan was for me the hero in this story, he was everything, mature, protective, caring, he would do everything for Luca’s happiness. The whole family has a role in this narrative and all a joy to read about. Overall a wonderfully written story!

  11. 5 out of 5

    **Kαчcєє**

    **3 stars** Cute story. Low angst. I kept comparing it to Harrison Ford's on screen. I felt that was more charming. Just didn't have that extra somethin somethin..... :) **3 stars** Cute story. Low angst. I kept comparing it to Harrison Ford's on screen. I felt that was more charming. Just didn't have that extra somethin somethin..... :)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lissa

    I'll admit it - I love the movie Sabrina; or, at least, I used to, although I haven't seen it for several years (I think that I would still love it, though!). So when I saw that this was a retelling of one of my favorite movies, I preordered that book so fast. And...it wasn't good. Maybe I was expecting too much from this story, but it never really captured the whimsy of the movie. I didn't feel any connection to any of the characters; I disliked several of them, to be honest. And I never felt th I'll admit it - I love the movie Sabrina; or, at least, I used to, although I haven't seen it for several years (I think that I would still love it, though!). So when I saw that this was a retelling of one of my favorite movies, I preordered that book so fast. And...it wasn't good. Maybe I was expecting too much from this story, but it never really captured the whimsy of the movie. I didn't feel any connection to any of the characters; I disliked several of them, to be honest. And I never felt the spark between ANY of the players in the love triangle (love square?). Meh. I made it to about halfway through and tapped out for good. Maybe the book got better in the second half (I doubt it), but I just didn't care enough to stick around to find out.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lada

    Had the author been trying a new writing style when writing this? Because it didn't feel like her usual writing. The story was outlandish instead of charmingly fairy tale-ish, the interactions between characters were awkward and unnatural, the romance was unbelievable, and I couldn't feel a single spark between the MCs. I also didn't buy that HEA at all. The only thing interesting in this book was the cooking/food, but it's only mentioned a bit here and there. Had the author been trying a new writing style when writing this? Because it didn't feel like her usual writing. The story was outlandish instead of charmingly fairy tale-ish, the interactions between characters were awkward and unnatural, the romance was unbelievable, and I couldn't feel a single spark between the MCs. I also didn't buy that HEA at all. The only thing interesting in this book was the cooking/food, but it's only mentioned a bit here and there.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    3/4 stars I had great expectations for this book. I fell in love with the blurb but when I went to read the story there was something that was wrong .. some things were off..dear Luca, James was the love of your life and then in two seconds flat you step to Dylan. .. and after five minutes you marry him... really? Then there is James who does not see Luca for many years and then suddenly sees him and does not want his fiancee no more .... The character I liked best was good, handsome Dylan, poor t 3/4 stars I had great expectations for this book. I fell in love with the blurb but when I went to read the story there was something that was wrong .. some things were off..dear Luca, James was the love of your life and then in two seconds flat you step to Dylan. .. and after five minutes you marry him... really? Then there is James who does not see Luca for many years and then suddenly sees him and does not want his fiancee no more .... The character I liked best was good, handsome Dylan, poor thing.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Simms

    A great take on one of my favorite movies. Though it was based on the movie, the writing was quite original. :)

  16. 5 out of 5

    Barb ~rede-2-read~

    This was a highly enjoyable and entertaining audiobook. In fact, I enjoyed this Tara Lain story more than any of her other stories in the past few years. I don’t know whether she changed her writing style, or whether it was simply the added boost by the narration of talented voice actor Greg Tremblay, but I simply couldn’t turn the audiobook off. I listened as often as possible, even facing teasing from my family who were surprised that I’d rather listen to the audio than to them. Imagine that! S This was a highly enjoyable and entertaining audiobook. In fact, I enjoyed this Tara Lain story more than any of her other stories in the past few years. I don’t know whether she changed her writing style, or whether it was simply the added boost by the narration of talented voice actor Greg Tremblay, but I simply couldn’t turn the audiobook off. I listened as often as possible, even facing teasing from my family who were surprised that I’d rather listen to the audio than to them. Imagine that! Seriously though, this story about young Luca McGrath, a graduate chef who returns to the Napa Valley to take a position with a prestigious restaurant—while at the same time reuniting with his father and the wealthy Armstrong family for whom he works as a chauffeur—was delightful. Luca is a sweetheart, as well as being intelligent, a gifted chef, a loving son, and he’s held an unrequited love for James Armstrong ever since they were children. Even now, it doesn’t matter to Luca that James is heterosexual—he’s still stunning, sexy, and flirty with Luca—leading Luca to believe he might not be 100% straight. In the meantime, James’s older brother, Dylan, is equally stunning, but quieter, more introspective, more of the tycoon-type businessman, and better able to hide his feelings for Luca. He’s out to prove James is not really interested in Luca, and yet he wants to protect Luca’s feelings. There are also complications related to James’s upcoming marriage to a woman whose company is about to merge with the Armstrong family holdings and a messy breakup will mess up the merger plans. And to make matters even more complex, Luca becomes unintentionally involved in intrigue involving a local food contest that is the highlight of the local cuisine industry. Unknown to him, he’s set up to take the fall for theft of a recipe from his boss’s competitor, and when that happens, he throws in the towel and escapes back to New York. He’s done with all the Armstrongs, and with the Napa Valley as a whole. Will Dylan let him stay in New York, or will the strong-willed, quiet man finally take a risk and tell Luca how he feels? Honestly, this is a very enjoyable story. It’s fast-paced and full of both intrigue and handsome men. There’s also lots of romance and loving—for family and for potential life partners. And Greg Tremblay brings it all to life. Each character has his—or her—own unique voice, adding to the listener’s pleasure. I definitely recommend this to lovers of contemporary MM romance and most definitely recommend it in audio format. Kudos to Ms. Lain and Mr. Tremblay! Audiobook provided through Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words in exchange for an impartial review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Natosha Wilson

    This book is one of those books that will draw you in and keep your interest all the way to the end. In some ways it is a book about sibling rivalry but at the same time the two brothers love one another and want the best for the other. Don't worry, there is no incest or anything like that but it does revolve around two brothers that want the same man. As I just stated both James and Dylan are brothers. Dylan is older and openly gay whereas James is only curious. I think most of it with James tho This book is one of those books that will draw you in and keep your interest all the way to the end. In some ways it is a book about sibling rivalry but at the same time the two brothers love one another and want the best for the other. Don't worry, there is no incest or anything like that but it does revolve around two brothers that want the same man. As I just stated both James and Dylan are brothers. Dylan is older and openly gay whereas James is only curious. I think most of it with James though is not so much that he is curious, I think it is more hero worship towards his brother and he is one of those people that believe that if it is good for his brother gen it may be good for him. But even more so I think James is scared. I think he is scared to be who he is and accept his own wants and needs so he is trying to be like his brother. The thing is Dylan is not curious when it comes to his sexuality and he knows that James is not bi nor is he gay but he also knows that if he pushes his brother then he may end up doing something that he will regret so Dylan is trying his best to stay out of it. But it becomes extremely hard when Luca returns home and he watches James chase after him. Dylan convinces himself that he is only concerned because James is going to end up doing something he does not truly want and Luca is going to end up hurt when James ends up rejecting him. But is that really why Dylan is so concerned or is it something else all together. When Luca returns home after all these years he is excited to see his childhood friend and secret crush again but Luca is surprised that James may actually return his feelings or at least the attraction. The only two problem is one: James is engaged to an extremely nice lady and two: Luca finds himself drawn to Dylan more and more each time they are around one another. Can James, Dylan, and Luca figure out their lives without someone getting hurt or will all of them end up heartbroken in the end. I truly enjoyed his read. It has been a long time since I have read a book about siblings both wanting the same person but at the same time I love how TaraLain took a situation that could have been heartbreaking and making it so amazing in the end. I will definitely be recommending this books to others to read. O look forward to more books by Tara in the future. Was given this galley copy for free for an open and honest review

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ekollon

    So, this book is a pretty good book, but I wasn't wild about it. The main problem, I think, is that I'm pretty burned out with and/or done with books that are all, "Money and power and/or connections to money and power solve everything." It's weird, because there's still a part of me that is drawn to books with a money disparity, but I don't want the money to be seen as a panacea. I want to see the struggles that arise from the differing backgrounds of the two characters, I want to see how the c So, this book is a pretty good book, but I wasn't wild about it. The main problem, I think, is that I'm pretty burned out with and/or done with books that are all, "Money and power and/or connections to money and power solve everything." It's weird, because there's still a part of me that is drawn to books with a money disparity, but I don't want the money to be seen as a panacea. I want to see the struggles that arise from the differing backgrounds of the two characters, I want to see how the characters address the fact that one of them has more power, privilege, and opportunities than the other, I want to see how the differing social classes that the two operate in influence their outlooks and behaviors, I want to see how different class/social expectations impact their lives, and so on. I don't want to see, "Person with less money encounters a difficulty ranging in severity from mild to serious and person with more money swoops in and uses their money and influence to fix it." But I absolutely can see how this scenario can appeal to a lot of people as a fantasy situation. I also wished that the communication between Luca and Dylan had been stronger, and that they had a greater ability to understand themselves, although in the case of "a greater ability to understand themselves," I'm not really sure the story could have survived intact. It's just that it was kind of frustrating watching them run around being so oblivious as to what they wanted for themselves. I wanted to say to them, "Are you even paying attention?" So, I liked both Dylan and Luca. They were nice men. They had good chemistry (part of why it was hard to believe they were paying attention). And I think it's a really good book if you're looking for a light, low stress read where good prevails and nothing really traumatic happens.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joyfully Jay

    A Joyfully Jay review. 4.5 stars This book, first in the Movie Magic Romances series, offers up a new take on Sabrina — a classic Bogart and Hepburn romantic comedy — with charm and humor, while staying faithful to the spirit of the inspiration. Luca grew up on the Armstrong estate, making pillow forts with James, tormenting Dylan with James, and in general, living his life orbiting James. Luca knew he was gay (in part thanks to spying on Dylan with his parade of boyfriends, arousing feelings in A Joyfully Jay review. 4.5 stars This book, first in the Movie Magic Romances series, offers up a new take on Sabrina — a classic Bogart and Hepburn romantic comedy — with charm and humor, while staying faithful to the spirit of the inspiration. Luca grew up on the Armstrong estate, making pillow forts with James, tormenting Dylan with James, and in general, living his life orbiting James. Luca knew he was gay (in part thanks to spying on Dylan with his parade of boyfriends, arousing feelings in Luca no girl ever had), and knew that James … wasn’t. It didn’t stop him from holding that fairy tale love to his heart, and didn’t stop him from measuring all future boyfriends against James. I am a sucker for retellings. Even knowing the story beats and the outcomes, I love seeing how a different person approaches the characters and the plot and, I have to say, I was honestly pleased with Lain’s interpretation. The comedy is there, and so is the witty dialogue. In a story like this one — with a love triangle and a story rife with misunderstandings — the main characters need to be fairly solid in order to keep my attention. I found Luca to be genuine and human and I very much felt the chemistry between him and Dylan. Read Elizabeth’s review in its entirety here.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    Full review available at: https://optimummblog.wordpress.com/20... Return of the Chauffer’s son by Tara Lain is a wonderful adaptation and retelling of the movie Sabrina. The storyline and flow of the story were perfect. The characters were easily recognizable with all of their little character nuances. The book was well written and nicely edited. I loved the love triangle and how Luca kept getting pulled back and forth like the Armstrong’s tug toy. I liked that Dylan and James were at the opposit Full review available at: https://optimummblog.wordpress.com/20... Return of the Chauffer’s son by Tara Lain is a wonderful adaptation and retelling of the movie Sabrina. The storyline and flow of the story were perfect. The characters were easily recognizable with all of their little character nuances. The book was well written and nicely edited. I loved the love triangle and how Luca kept getting pulled back and forth like the Armstrong’s tug toy. I liked that Dylan and James were at the opposite end of the spectrum from each other. James’ the golden boy and Dylan’s dark and mysterious. James’ portrayed as the straight golden boy of California society. He’s a super flirt, extroverted, and self-centred. He also goes through women like skittles. He throws himself into new ideas wholeheartedly but doesn’t think them through and just as quickly moves on to the next impulse without care for who he hurts. Dylan’s the conservative gay older brother to James. He’s a type A personality and is used to getting his way. He runs Anderson Technologies with his mother. Dylan’s used to cleaning up after the destruction that James causes and tries to avert it if he can. Luca grew up on the Armstrong property with his dad. His dad’s the family chauffeur, and Luca grew up playing with James. They were the best of friends and Luca fell in love with him even though he knew it wouldn’t be returned. His father and Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong noticed his crush and sent him to France to culinary school with the hope that when he came back, the crush would be over. Unfortunately, even getting a job in New York and staying away for a total of 7 years didn’t help. And now he’s back home after getting a new job at Culinary Arts. And Luca still wants James and is crushed when he learns of James’ engagement. And then even more confused when James starts flirting with him. Dylan’s worried about James’ new attraction to Luca and is worried that if he breaks up his engagement that it will cost Dylan the merger that he has been working on with the fiancé’s family. He tries to redirect Luca’s attraction to him instead of James to save the deal, and it works. But he didn’t count on falling in love himself. Not that he will admit it to himself. But Luca can’t deal with his confused feelings for the brothers and doesn’t like being yanked back and forth between them. It’s too much pressure to deal with in addition to trying to come up with the winning culinary dish for the local cooking contest that’s coming up. But when he’s wrongfully accused of culinary espionage and fired from his job, he sees all of his dreams of owning his own restaurant and winery disappearing and finds that living in California’s too much and moves back to New York to see if he can get his old job back. But there’s no way that Luca leaving is going to fly with the Armstrong family. But who will it be that brings him back? And will he be able to convince Luca that he loves him? Another great book by Tara Lain. I haven’t read one of her books yet that I haven’t loved. I definitely recommend her books to everybody. ***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book*** optimummblog.wordpress.com

  21. 5 out of 5

    Susan Anne

    I received an ARC of The Return of the Chauffeur’s Son by Tara Lain in exchange for an honest review. When I read the acknowledgment, I googled Audrey and chauffeur’s son, and Google led me to Sabrina. Although I never saw the movie, being more into LOTR than old films, Google gave me an idea of what it was all about. Well, Tara certainly captured the charm of Audrey in this delightful book! I thought Luca was a strong, determined character who eventually decided to live life on his own terms an I received an ARC of The Return of the Chauffeur’s Son by Tara Lain in exchange for an honest review. When I read the acknowledgment, I googled Audrey and chauffeur’s son, and Google led me to Sabrina. Although I never saw the movie, being more into LOTR than old films, Google gave me an idea of what it was all about. Well, Tara certainly captured the charm of Audrey in this delightful book! I thought Luca was a strong, determined character who eventually decided to live life on his own terms and not be overshadowed by the powerful Armstrong brothers. I enjoyed the glimpse into the cutthroat world of high-end restaurants. While I knew a little about the pecking order in restaurants, I never imagined some of what could go on. Tara is at her best when writing about California, which she knows intimately and loves, but she grasps life in NYC well too. One of the things I like about Tara’s books is that she writes great supporting characters, and Chauffeur’s Son is no exception. Since the book is based on a fairy tale movie, I just sat back and enjoyed some of the improbable couplings and events in the story. If you need a book that is full of fun people, places, and events, this is the one for you!

  22. 4 out of 5

    B

    Excellent narration, ok storie , cute.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    This didn't work for me. I love the two movies, but this didn't flow the same way at all. The story is probably good but I couldn't keep going and essentially DNF'd at about 30%. No rating. This didn't work for me. I love the two movies, but this didn't flow the same way at all. The story is probably good but I couldn't keep going and essentially DNF'd at about 30%. No rating.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    This book....was amazing!! I could not stop reading!! Luca is the son of a chauffeur who works for the Armstrong family. Luca grew up with James Armstrong and his older brother Dylan. Luca has been in love with James since they were teenagers. The problem..James is straight! When Luca moves back home with his Dad for a new chef job, lots of interesting things start to happen. Dylan is the CEO of his own corporation and work is his life. He wants what his parents have but he has never found the r This book....was amazing!! I could not stop reading!! Luca is the son of a chauffeur who works for the Armstrong family. Luca grew up with James Armstrong and his older brother Dylan. Luca has been in love with James since they were teenagers. The problem..James is straight! When Luca moves back home with his Dad for a new chef job, lots of interesting things start to happen. Dylan is the CEO of his own corporation and work is his life. He wants what his parents have but he has never found the right guy to settle down with. Then Luca moves back and Dylan wants that with him but can Luca let go of his fairy tale dream of James??? Let me tell you, there are so many twist and turns, interesting characters, life lessons and love, so much love. Sometimes it takes a little push to see what's right in front of you! You will definitely enjoy this book, it's so romantic and gosh I just loved it!!!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Elithanathile

    Obnoxious! Sabrina was already pushing it, but this was a very obnoxious and watered down version of something that was already obnoxious. I wanted to smack everyone except Dylan and Luca's dad!! The HEA was okay enough, but some aspects of it were so friggin' ambiguous, I felt like we were kind of cheated out of the beauty of what was happening. Ugh. Pass. Or more specifically, I now wish I did!! Obnoxious! Sabrina was already pushing it, but this was a very obnoxious and watered down version of something that was already obnoxious. I wanted to smack everyone except Dylan and Luca's dad!! The HEA was okay enough, but some aspects of it were so friggin' ambiguous, I felt like we were kind of cheated out of the beauty of what was happening. Ugh. Pass. Or more specifically, I now wish I did!!

  26. 5 out of 5

    T.M. Smith

    Tams gives this one 5 Stars... "Tug of war meets love triangle" Who says you can't go back home? You can, but you might find yourself seeing things differently. When Luca returns to his childhood home with an exciting new job, the last thing he expects is for the guy he's crushed on since he was a teenager to possibly feel the same way. But things aren't as they seem. What if you were handed the one thing you always thought you wanted on a silver platter? Only to realize, it's not at all what it s Tams gives this one 5 Stars... "Tug of war meets love triangle" Who says you can't go back home? You can, but you might find yourself seeing things differently. When Luca returns to his childhood home with an exciting new job, the last thing he expects is for the guy he's crushed on since he was a teenager to possibly feel the same way. But things aren't as they seem. What if you were handed the one thing you always thought you wanted on a silver platter? Only to realize, it's not at all what it seemed. What Lain has done here is taken one of the best chick flicks ever, Sabrina, flipped it upside down and made it her own. I loved the dialogue between the three men; Luca, Dylan and James; and the way they all had a different kind of relationship. The story flowed well from start to finish and kept my attention throughout. Narrated by Greg Tremblay and he did a great job distinguishing the different characters with tones and voices that gave them each their own distinct personality. I have to say, Dylan was probably my favorite. The way his was written, his personality and presence within the story really stood out to me. If you're a fan of the Author or the Narrator then this title is probably already in your library or your wish list. I think fans of fun, quirky, "which way do I go?!" romances will enjoy this book as well.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    I received a complimentary eBook of Return of the Chauffeur's Son, courtesy of Tara Lain. This book was so romantically sweet. I still need to learn what exactly a sous chef is! Luca is the charming boy next door whom, no matter what age, everybody loves! His relationship with his dad is adorable and I'm a bit jealous of! His romantic interest in his childhood companion, James, is an almost celebrity infatuation; you want desperately, but can never have in real life. James' older brother, Dylan, I received a complimentary eBook of Return of the Chauffeur's Son, courtesy of Tara Lain. This book was so romantically sweet. I still need to learn what exactly a sous chef is! Luca is the charming boy next door whom, no matter what age, everybody loves! His relationship with his dad is adorable and I'm a bit jealous of! His romantic interest in his childhood companion, James, is an almost celebrity infatuation; you want desperately, but can never have in real life. James' older brother, Dylan, was always watching the starry-eyed Luca from afar with his own type celebrity infatuation. So there aren't any spoilers, I won't tell you who felt this but I looooved this quote from the book: "(he) let himself dissolve in a cloud of happiness - a cloud filled with unicorns, butterflies, rainbows, and the reality of perfect love." Too cute?! This book had me hooked from the beginning. It got a little bit sappy at the end but well worth the delightful read. Thank you Ms. Lain!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kristy Johnston

    Return of the Chauffer’s Son AKA Sabrina with a guy. I love the movie Sabrina. I mean love it. I’m embarrassed to say how many times I’ve seen it…in the multiples of tens (definitely more than twenty, maybe? less than fifty), the Harrison Ford version. And I’ve seen the original a few times too. So when I read that this book was the modern male equivalent to the movie, I thought I would love it. I assumed that it would be changed enough for me to be excited about each and every page turn. I’m af Return of the Chauffer’s Son AKA Sabrina with a guy. I love the movie Sabrina. I mean love it. I’m embarrassed to say how many times I’ve seen it…in the multiples of tens (definitely more than twenty, maybe? less than fifty), the Harrison Ford version. And I’ve seen the original a few times too. So when I read that this book was the modern male equivalent to the movie, I thought I would love it. I assumed that it would be changed enough for me to be excited about each and every page turn. I’m afraid I was a bit wrong. Champagne flutes? Check. Accident with the champagne flutes? No. Accident? Check. Drugged out Greg Kinnear…oops, I meant James? Check. Meeting in the conservatory with all the previous love interests and now it’s Luca’s turn? Check. Dressing up and dancing at a party in the fancy mansion? Check. I swear as I listen to every word that pours out of James’ mouth, it’s like it’s coming straight from Greg Kinnear. It’s eerie, not in a good way. Nice fiancée that everyone loves? Check. With a company that is merging into the family empire? Check. Let’s even throw in some steaming divots from Pretty Woman. I mean, come on now. I could see the scenes unfolding before they even happened and it was starting to actually get tedious, as in why don’t I just put this book down and watch the movie. Around 60 percent the book took a turn for the better. The character of Dylan was no Linus Larrabee, he wasn’t nearly so cold. He was a workaholic and spent more time with his company than on his personal life but I didn’t find him socially awkward and he was a very generous, loving human being. So that was different. Luca studied to be a chef in Paris instead of fashion and came to Napa to work in a Michelin star restaurant as a sous chef with the possible promotion to head chef when the current one moved on. I loved this part of the story. As a matter of fact, the entire festival plot was fantastic and if the author had left all the gimmicky scene stealing from the movie out and just stuck to these characters and wrote them without all that, it would have been much more of a page turner for me. I loved that Dylan and James mother’s passion was the vineyard and that Luca shared that passion for wine with her while her husband was all about balance of company and personal life (before he retired and handed things off to Dylan…and James). I was really sweating that I bought another book by this author before I was halfway through this book. But I will admit that I read the other book before I posted this review. In the end, my opinion of this book is that I might have loved it if the “Sabrina” scenes had been something more original. If you haven’t seen Sabrina as many times as I have it might be okay for you. The rest of the story was lovely. As was the other book that I bought by this author, Knight of Ocean Avenue, which I plan to give 5 stars.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    This book is like a bottle of champagne, it goes down easy and makes you feel bubbly! Luca is returning home to the Napa Valley to become a sous chef at one of the premier restaurants in the area as well as face his childhood crush, James, the younger son of the Armstrong family, his Dad's employer. What he doesn't expect is his attraction to Dylan, the older brother. How Luca begins to move on from the past and move toward his future is a book full of fun, romance and family. This book is like a bottle of champagne, it goes down easy and makes you feel bubbly! Luca is returning home to the Napa Valley to become a sous chef at one of the premier restaurants in the area as well as face his childhood crush, James, the younger son of the Armstrong family, his Dad's employer. What he doesn't expect is his attraction to Dylan, the older brother. How Luca begins to move on from the past and move toward his future is a book full of fun, romance and family.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alexis Woods

    Sometimes I'm iffy on Ms. Lain's books, but I absolutely loved this one. I'm not real familiar with the original tale she spun off of, but I knew enough to really sink into this crazy love triangle and enjoyed all its angles. Sometimes I'm iffy on Ms. Lain's books, but I absolutely loved this one. I'm not real familiar with the original tale she spun off of, but I knew enough to really sink into this crazy love triangle and enjoyed all its angles.

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