This heartfelt follow-up to Sexual Awakening follows its ambitious diarist to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where her hopes and dreams for the future are further tested by a string of social hiccups.
Cassie Economos has rules. If a new boyfriend can’t wait two months to have sex with her, he’s not the guy for her. If he refuses to wear a condom, he’s not the guy for her. And if dating him would mean maintaining a long-distance relationship, he’s… well, you get the picture.
She’s got her life planned out, and she knows better than to try to make things work with someone who can’t agree on the basics, like where to live and whether to have kids. But Cassie isn’t perfect, and the more disappointing situationships she finds herself in, the more she wonders if there’s even such a thing as a “Mr. Right.”
But Cassie doesn’t have time to worry too much about that. Her four years at U of I are passing quickly, which means it’s time for her to chart her final course: toward Chicago, the city of her dreams.
Readers are in for a rollicking ride through college life in the ’90s here, as Cassie and her friends wade through continental relationship shifts.
“I’m going to the bathroom. Have fun deciding who gets the piece of man meat.” I finish what’s left of my virgin daiquiri – virgin, what a laugh – and pick up my purse. “If I’m not back in 10 minutes, you know I fell in.”
My experience with Jesse forced me to add more things to my list of criteria to avoid in men, and my list grows longer with every ex. When I told Mom over the summer what I’m looking for in a man, she (ignorant of my history) said I’m too picky, whereas Vanessa wasn’t picky enough. I’ll end up bitter and alone, Mom said, while my sister is happily married, playing mommy.
I have stretches where I’m in a relationship and intervals where I’m single. For someone to be in my life long-term, he and I need to be partners, equals, a power couple. But how do I find a guy like that? And who would want to be my partner for life anyway? My family says I’m too stubborn, too opinionated, too independent, wear too much black and too much makeup. Not exactly the sort a man commits to.
I follow a waitress’ directions to the back of the club where young women – some dressed sexy, others casually like my friends and me – stream in and out of the restroom. I wonder how many of these chicks are in partnerships and how many are in relationships where the man wields the upper hand. I want a partnership, damn it!
I’m so engrossed in thought I don’t notice a guy standing by the last table before the restrooms taking a step backward until he bumps into me. Losing my balance, I wobble.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” he says, placing his hand briefly on my arm. “I hope you’re okay. I didn’t step on your foot, did I?”
Holy shit! This guy is tall, fit and blond. Now that’s what I consider God’s gift to women.
I smile and shake my head. “No, I’m okay. Don’t sweat it.”
Rumor has it that Melina Druga came out of her mother’s womb with a pen in her hand. While we can neither confirm or deny this, you could say she was destined to become a writer.
Melina was so young when she began writing that she can’t remember exactly when the urge began. She does remember, however, her first novel – an historical fiction story about two sisters living in an Ohio canal town in the 1840s – that she wrote at age 10.
Music keeps Melina sane, and it has gotten to the point that she cannot write without it. It keeps her awake, alert, motivated and productive. Music has even inspired her fiction. And not just The Rock Star’s Wife series. The My Chemical Romance song “Mama” was the inspiration for her historical fiction novel Angel of Mercy.
Melina lives in the Midwest with her husband, daughter, black cat, books and CD collection.
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