Chapter 4: In Which Our Hero Is a Dumbass
I lost count of the number of times these two had sex (not counting the once in Chapter 3) about five pages into the chapter...three? Four? No, on recounting, it’s only three. It seemed like more. This guy could put Peter North to shame.
Best/worst line: “And he drilled inside her slick heat, until his mind was black, until his eyes were blind, because his body needed this.”
Drill, baby, drill.
The chapter builds to an exciting climax (yeah, yeah) at the top of page 52 as Daniel prepares to return to the city:
A wedding ring.Having only reluctantly embarked on this sex-filled weekend away in the first place, Daniel decides to take the easy road back to widower’s celibacy and let Catherine assume he’s still hitched, thus ending any possibility that she’ll find him fuckable for the next hundred pages or so.
Okay, that explained it. Catherine ignored the shooting pains radiating up from her gut to somewhere near her heart.
Admittedly I can’t know what it’s like to lose my wife in the World Trade Center attacks, so I can’t really put myself in Daniel’s shoes. Nevertheless, I’ve always been the forthright type and can’t imagine not saying to the woman I’ve just had sex with four times, “you’re really sweet, and I had a lot of fun this weekend. I’d like to see you again, but I’m still not over my dead wife.”
Chapter 5: The Plot Thickens...or At Least Plods on for Eleven Pages or So
Okay, what do we know about Daniel so far? He’s
a. an accountant,
e. mysterious, and
f. prone to waking up at all hours with raging hard-ons.
Let’s hear it for character development!
As this chapter opens we find Daniel hard at work doing accountant-type things, and, moreover, the sort of accountant-type things that got him hot: “Daniel was a partner now, but he didn’t like the management aspect of accounting. He had found his niche in the accounting world –audits—and that was where he stayed.” Indeed we learn in these pages that men do manly things like crunch numbers (“Daniel exhaled and turned back to the tidy world of accounting”) and tend bars and rebuild speakeasies, while women do womanly things like entertain art show-goers (“At the receptions she was supposed to be animated, lively”) and paint.
In order to satisfy the curiosity of the SBTB commenters who expressed some measure of interest, I should point out that at the top of page 60 we’re introduced to a character I might just find attractive: Catherine’s friend Brittany sounds like a bookish goth, “with black leggings, a black T-shirt, and black thick rimmed glasses.” Rrrrowr!
Last, but not least, we’re led on a tour of the cut-throat world of high-end auction houses as the Montefiores' firm goes head-to-head with Chadwick and Smithwick-Whyte. Says Catherine: “Commission structures are state secret, and too variable to be the same.” Wow. Tension mounts (but only for a half-page or so), and Brittany shows us the road Daniel will take back to Catherine’s heart and “opening”: “Tell him you’ll help, go over the books [hint hint audit hint] and show everybody what a crisis they’re making out of nothing. You’ll be the hero. Your grandfather would love it.”
Oh, and by the way, math is hard.