Disbelief warred with outrage on his hard face. She struggled to hold on to what was left of her temper. You want clients. I told you that when you talked me into letting you sign on with Private Arrangements. But you refused to take no for an answer.
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As the dust jacket says, Lillian runs a high-end matchmaking agency and Gabe is her last remaining client before she closes her doors for good in order to pursue a career as a full-time painter. Seriously, he says this like 8 times in just a few pages.
It was pretty annoying. Lillian is trying to fire Gabe as a client even though he technically paid for six dates and only received five. Lillian tries to just refund his money but no, he wants the date. Arguing for the date gives him an excuse to keep seeing Lillian. The way he did it was pretty lame, really. Anyway, Lillian finally gives up trying to convince him that their contract is null and void and then allows Gabe to follow her downstairs to the office of a sex therapist.
I found it really odd that Lillian actually told Gabe what kind of therapy this doctor was doing and it was very unbelievable that the doc left his office doors unlocked while he was — ahem — conduction sessions, so anyone could just walk in and see.
It felt like JAK was trying to slip a little paranormal stuff into this otherwise totally vanilla story but it never really gets explored.
And in actuality, Lillian was relying on her own intuition more than the program to find people mates. What if she ends up matching someone with a closet abuser? What happens if some of her success stories end up divorcing in a few years?
They have a nice enough meal but at the end Gabe makes sure to insist that this does not count as his sixth date and that Lillian still owes him another match.
The pair then died in a motorcycle accident when Gabe and his brother, Rafe, were very young. This is what has driven Gabe to make a success of himself from the time he was a kid and is also why he thinks himself to be against artsy people because of his unstable upbringing with his parents. All that background makes Gabe a pretty nuanced and well developed character. You can see his motivations and the emotional scars his childhood has left him with.
It also leaves Lillian to look like a totally boring cardboard cutout of a character when she stands next to the more well-rounded Gabe. Yeah, my heart is really breaking for you, Lillian. Poor, poor you. Once Lillian and Gabe part ways on that first night, Lillian starts making arrangements to move back to Eclipse Bay. Meredith is in the process of divorcing him but has now changed her plans to include running for public office herself. Hence, the now rich Gabe is suddenly looking very appealing to her.
She puts the moves on Gabe but he brushes her off pretty pointedly and tries to hustle her out the door before Lillian shows up and gets the wrong impression. But they make dinner and have a nice time, then play gin rummy of all things for the remainder of the night. Then as Gabe is helping Lillian with her raincoat he just suddenly goes for it and kisses her.
This leads then straight to the bedroom and they end up having sex all night. It seemed a little unfounded since their interactions had been so tame and boring up to this point but it was refreshing to see that JAK skipped one of the steps in her usual paint-by-numbers approach to romance, which is for the couple to get to second base, then stop for some manufactured reason. One weird thing though was that JAK kept going on about Lillian seeing a kaleidoscope of color during the sex, which again made it seem like one of her paranormal romances but nothing ever comes of this.
The meeting is pretty damn awkward and eventually Lillian leaves. In the ensuing conversation, Lillian learns, apparently for the first time, that her father has been running interference for Lillian and her siblings all their lives.
That the Harte grandfather essentially forced her father to take over the company and fully expected one of his grandchildren to run it too but her father adamantly refused to put pressure on them to do so. I mean, how could she have failed to notice that she was never pressured to take on the family legacy and had been given the freedom to do whatever she wanted all her life?
Lillian actually starts to have second thoughts about her relationship with Gabe. Lots of people repetitively telling both Gabe and Lillian that the other one is only in the relationship for some monetary gain. She also suspects that someone was in her apartment while she was gone but brushes it off as the cleaning people.
Then the Sex Doc shows up to again try to convince Lillian to give him her software but he takes one look at Meredith and practically falls at her feet to worship her as a Goddess. This makes her question the incident with her apartment and she tells Gabe about it. Then he vows to investigate. They have no problem believing this because apparently way back in high school she was known to be sleeping with some guy while he was allegedly dating someone else.
Gabe heads back to the city to try to find out more info on the ex-boyfriend guy. Meredith is just crazy. When she gets back, she finds that her house had again been broken into and her studio wrecked. Meanwhile, someone has also attacked Arizona Snow and stolen her camera so she asks Lillian and Gabe to investigate the institute and try to get pictures of the alien bodies, which they agree to do, for some bizarre reason.
Meredith demands the camera and they hand it over and leave. This leads Lillian and Gabe to suspect the Sex Doc since he seems to be the only other one with a motive. They go and see him and he accuses them of still having copies of the photos of him and Meredith and planning to use them for blackmail. It represents valuable data that a politician could use to schmooze the right people. He admits to searching her apartment back in the city but denies any involvement with the EB incidents.
They believe him. Grandfather explains that, no, he was explaining all the great financial benefits Gabe would get if he DID consent to marry Lillian. He claims that he wants Lillian to be happy and since she apparently wanted Gabe, he was trying to make that happen.
She kind of fumbles through agreeing and they issue some lukewarm ILYs.
Dawn in Eclipse Bay
Eclipse Bay Series