Story Rating: 3.75 stars
Audio Rating: 3.5 stars
Length: 5 hours, 18 minutes
Taylor is going to be twenty-five tomorrow. That’s the day he is set to inherit $50 million from his grandfather. It’s been six years since his grandfather died and in Taylor’s grief years ago he never read the fine print in the will. The fine print that stated that Taylor needed to have a wife by the time he turned twenty-five. And not just any wife, but a “love match.” His father knows of this stipulation but has kept the truth from Taylor in an effort to keep the money all for himself.
What’s a gay guy to do but fly to Las Vegas and find a girl. Once in Vegas, Taylor meets Ally, the hotel maid. Well, he hears her beautiful singing voice first and something about her captivates Taylor. It’s a little distressing for Taylor since he has never been interested in women before.
Ally, however, has a secret. He is really Alessandro and he’s hiding from his father. His father who owns a hotel empire and who wants to control Alessandro and if he can’t control him, he will just send him back to Brazil. Alessandro jumps at the chance to get away from Las Vegas, but hiding the truth from Taylor may have just ruined his chances of finding his one true love.
Taylor Maid is part of the Dreamspun Desires line from Dreamspinner Press. The idea of the line is to embrace the tropes and the over the top storylines. While this type of storyline is not my usual read, it was the allure of the audio book that sold me on this one.
So you have to embrace many of the tropes with this one. There is an inheritance with millions at stake, a conniving father, and a quick Vegas marriage with a twist. There are also a variety of plot holes that you would have to choose to simply overlook. I tried to go with the tropes and the drama unfolding and the story was successful for me in some ways and not as successful in others.
When Taylor learns he has only hours to get married and that this information has been somewhat concealed from him, he doesn’t consult his own lawyer as to the ambiguous wording on his grandfather’s will. Nope, he flies to Vegas to find a random girl to marry. When he meets Ally, it seems the arranged marriage will work out perfectly, although Taylor is not expecting to be attracted to a woman for the first time ever and he’s also somehow not expecting for Ally to have any secrets of her own.
What follows is a classic struggle for the inheritance. Taylor’s motives are spun as being altruistic as he planned on using the money to build LGBT youth centers and he comes up against his father, who despises him, and his father’s lawyers. We are never told why Taylor’s father harbors so much ill will against him and it just simply is part of the story. Now, Taylor was brought up on the family business and we are told he is a successful businessman in his own right and he was counting on this money. Yet in six years he never read the full terms of the will and when his marriage was of course trying be discredited, he never got a lawyer of his own. Both Taylor’s dialogue as well as his actions did not correspond to someone raised in a wealthy household with big business running through their veins. It certainly takes imagination to craft some of these lines and while I can’t say that I was laughing for all of the intended reasons all of the time, it was still entertaining.
Ally was the siren here with her beautiful looks and captivating voice and she charmed each and every person she came in contact with. This story is not about character development or building a relationship and it’s just supposed to be a fated style over the top love story. You definitely have to be able to subscribe to the style this line is promoting and then it would be a reasonable choice. While I am most likely not the target audience, it was interesting to sample what was offered.
John Solo was the narrator here and I have mixed feelings on his performance overall. For the basic narrative voice and the voice of Taylor, he wasn’t the best choice for me. One big hurdle was that he sounded older than Taylor’s age of 25. Also, his interpretation of Taylor’s dialect did not sound like he came from Taylor’s background and worldly, upscale lifestyle. His voice reminded me of a specific cartoon character, or at times a general announcer, and the intimate moments were then comical, and his narrative voice was not pleasing to my ear. However, he executed many of the other voices with accents and distinction and was even able to sing at one point for Ally and it made for a stark contrast. This wouldn’t be my top choice for a narrator on the strength of the MC and narrative tone, but he did offer something for the variety of secondary characters.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.