Title: Bay Leaves and Bachelors
Author: Ari MacKay
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Heat: 2 – Romantic & Tame
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few and Far bBetween
Keywords/Tags: Restaurateur, Chef, Food, Historian, Fortune Teller, Family, HEA
Rating: So So
Reviewed by Sadonna
When a carnival fortuneteller gives him a bag of bay leaves to sleep on, telling him it will make him dream of his perfect man, lonely historian Clay Turner is skeptical, to say the least. Since he has nothing to lose, Clay tries it, and that night, he dreams of a handsome, dark-haired man. But even that doesn’t prepare him for the next day, when he literally runs into the man from his dream on the street!
Rhys Montgomery is a rich, successful restaurateur, and he seems smitten with Clay, who is dazed by the attention. Rhys claims that he wants a slow, romantic courtship, but Rhys’ continuous refusal to take their relationship to the next level plays on Clay’s insecurities.
Is Rhys really interested in a happily ever after with Clay, or does his interest mask a far more calculating motive?
Oh this started off with such promise! Then it fell into somewhat of a disappointment. I kept hoping that maybe there would be some paranormal or fateful meeting or that something would happen that would sweep me into the story. But alas, it didn’t.
Clay Turner is out on his thirtieth birthday with his sister and her husband and children at a fair. He and his sister go to see the fortune teller and she gives Clay a bag of herbs and tells them to put them under his pillow so he’ll dream of the man who will be his true love. He thinks it’s silly but he is rather lonely so he does it anyway. He does dream about a gorgeous man. The next day on his morning jog, he literally runs into the car of said man from his dreams. And lo and behold, the guy, Rhys Montgomery, asks him out. He starts seeing the man and finds out he is from an extremely old and successful family and he owns some restaurants. They bond over historic preservation and Rhys seems to really like Clay, but he wants to take things slowly. This pace feeds into Clay’s lingering insecurities that Rhys isn’t really interested in him for the long run. Then the comments of a few other people further fuel this seething inferiority complex that Clay has going on. A compromising scene between Rhys and another man then seems to be the final nail in the coffin and Clay walks out. Then comes the big (well in this case not that big) reconciliation.
There is nothing inherently wrong with this story. I didn’t dislike either main character but I didn’t really like them either. They didn’t engender any feelings at all and that was the problem. I found myself predicting exactly everything that happened in this story and that’s not really a good thing. There just wasn’t enough about the characters or the plot to draw me into the story and in the end I just didn’t really care about what happened to them.