Thursday, June 15, 2017

Return of the Chauffeur's Son by Tara Lain - Blog Tour with Excerpt, Review, and Giveaway

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.”

Cat People?”

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.”

“You’re kidding?”

“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.

4.5 out of 5 stars
Return of the Chauffeur's Son is a new standalone contemporary retelling of the classic Sabrina. 

This story has some of my favorite elements... First we have the sexy chef (Luca), then the handsome business man (Dylan)...who also grew up with Luca. And of course we have the "I'm secretly in love with my childhood friend" in James, and toss in a handful of secondary characters with bold personalities to round off the story. All this combined is the recipe for a fun read from one of my go-to favorite authors, Tara Lain. 

Luca is returning home after years away both in school and then working as a sous chef in New York. He's been offered a spot at a well respected eatery in the Napa Valley region where he grew up. And an opportunity to move from just a sous chef to a full chef eventually. Of course this is also all contingent on how well this restaurant does in a contest that is as highly respected as having a Michelin Star.  Coming home for Luca, career-wise is a good opportunity, personally though it's a good/bad thing since he'll be living near his reason for leaving in the first place, James Armstrong. The son of the family who employs Luca's dad as their driver...and of course James older brother Dylan is still there as well. 

Lots of things conspire to make Luca not so sure about moving back home, including James's change in attitude, and Dylan catching Luca's eye. This all leads up to a slightly tangled but well told story very reminiscent of Sabrina. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish. The characters, including the smallest of secondary characters, really added to the overall story. Of course the story itself was typical Tara Lain, well written, well paced, and quite engaging. There really wasn't anything not to like in this book, well maybe James's odd behavior. I loved the way the story ended up because Luca and Dylan were kind of made for each other. They just had to grow into their own, to realize that they fit together. 

I found this to be a fun read, perfect for this time of year. Great book to take with you to the beach, poolside, or even just kicking back outside in the sun. I definitely recommend this as one to add to your reading list. 

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


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