Audiobook Review: 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 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.

Listening Length: 6 hours and 28 minutes
Narrator: Greg Tremblay

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 an honest review.

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