Audiobook Review: Love You So Special (Love You So Stories #3) by Tara Lain

Can a man’s secret yearnings be revealed in a tank full of fish?

Artie Haynes knows he’s nothing special, with just-your-regular-brown hair, a solid plumber’s job, not much education, and a family that can barely get off the couch. But Artie has quirks—like his love of tropical fish, a landlord who’s a professor of existentialism, a passion for the amazing piano music he hears at a concert hall while he’s fixing the bathrooms—and the fact that he’s never come out as gay and probably never will. But when he’s hired to build a guesthouse for the pianist whose music enchanted him, Artie is swept up into an unimaginable world.

Francois Desmarais may be famous, rich, and revered as one of the world’s great classical composers and pianists, but he’s soothed and challenged by the inquisitive, stalwart, protective man in his back yard. When Francois’s terrible fear of crowds turns into a dangerous plot, Artie can stay in the closet or prove just how special he is.

Narrated by Ry Forest
Run Time 5 Hours, 18 Minutes

Oh my.

 This story (and the narrator) spoke to the squishy underbelly of my heart. The bit that soaks up all the romance candy regardless of realism, in fact, that’s the bit that thrives on the fantastical OTT bits of romance. Tara Lain knows how to write those stories for me. They aren’t crazy OTT by any means, but they are heavy on the rom-com feel so they are really fun to escape into and just flow with the love. The Love You So series is all of this in a pretty, pretty nutshell.

Firstly, there is Artie, he is one of my favorite kinds of MCs. Artie is humble, solid and his heart is too big not to be in love. He’s a plumber by trade, but an overall handy and responsible guy who ends up being the foreman on a remodel at the home of Francois. Francois is a world renowned composer and pianist whose mother is his manager and he lives under her heavy control of his career and life. Artie is in the closet out of fear of disappointing his family (who he supports financially) while Francois is out with no apologies about who he loves. If opposites attract is your treat, then this is your story.

Artie first falls in love with Francois’ music and as the two spend time together he begins to love Francois the person and the feelings are reciprocated. I loved reading about the two of them together. Artie is so protective of Francois, but in a sweet and respectful way that allows Francois to still have strength and pride. Francois is endlessly supportive of Artie when he considers coming out in his own time. The two of them really were made for each other regardless of their different backgrounds.

The narrator owns these characters so well. This is the first time I’ve heard Ry Forest, and after I listened to Love You So Special, I filled my audible cart with the rest of the stories he narrated, all by Tara Lain. It was a lovely week of bingeing. He captured the sweet charm of Artie and his Francois was a kick that kept with the spirit of the series. Francois has a French accent (stating what is pretty obvious here, but I want you to know where I’m going) and it is slightly reminiscent of Jean Girard talking to Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights which amused me to no end. It wasn’t so much that it drew me from the story, but it was just enough to keep in the vein of the rom-com, slightly OTT theme. I loved when the two of them would banter, it was a kick to listen to.

The story took a weird turn with some stalker fans of Francois and honestly it didn’t need to go there. That was the only moment that was legit OTT and the story had enough meat without it. I didn’t need that distraction from Artie and Francois as a couple.

The family angst that could have been, on both sides, wasn’t and that was fine. That’s where the realism isn’t a thing, but I wasn’t here for that and I wasn’t expecting it, so I mentally acknowledged it and went back to wallowing in Francois’ accent and Artie’s sweet, sweet heart.

**a copy of this audiobook was provided for an honest review**


  1. Ann, thank you so much for listening to Love You so Special. I have a special spot in my heart for these guys and am so glad you liked them too. Hugs! : )

    1. Thank you! Artie is just a treat and a half, I just loved every word about him!