I.O.U . Sex
By Sandra Nachlinger & Sandra Allen
During a bad storm, Kiki, June and Peggy, longstanding friends from Rayburn High School, stay overnight at June's house. June begins reading her diary of 1965 when she was 18. As they recall their boyfriends from those days, they realize that none of them ever gave them sex. Kiki claims they owe their boyfriends sex and should make amends now. Peggy and June laugh hysterically at the idea — all three are tipsy from their respective drinks of wine, beer, and rum and coke.
It's 40 years later and their lives are vastly different from their teenage years. June knows she would have to tell her first love, Denny, her deepest secret. Peggy thinks payback sex is a bit ridiculous at their ages, but Kiki is all for it and on that stormy cold night they make a pact . . . which changes their lives. When Peggy went off to college after high school, she came home to find that her first love, Mark, and his family had moved away. No one knew where or why. She’s been married to Ken for 36 years, a slim exercise buff, critical of her weight. Peggy eats to comfort herself and forget her marital problems.
Kiki lost contact with her boyfriend, Greg, who went to college to avoid the draft. Yet it is Kiki who finally convinces her friends to look up their old boyfriends and possibly give them payback sex. June takes the first step and finds Denny. He runs Reids Auto Shop, so she calls to make an appointment to bring in her car. The sight of Denny sets her heart pounding. June is divorced from her abusive husband, Stan, and the prospect of seeing Denny is both exciting and frightening. Over lunch they catch up and June learns that Denny's wife has died of cancer and that he has a grown son. Denny's aged well, as handsome as ever, and the sparks of attraction jump between them like live wires. It’s as if they’ve never been apart. But she knows there's things Denny needs to know from their past. Will she have the courage to tell him?
Kiki has trouble finding Greg, now Rev. Houston, and gets information on him in a most unusual way — gossip overheard in a beauty salon. The Reverend is waging war on gays, preaching that prayer can cure it. He's also against premarital sex, which causes laughter among the other women patrons. Hmm, Kiki thinks," is Greg going to be interested in a sex debt?" But then Kiki loves a challenge. Would Greg want an IOU sex gift? Kiki just grins a secret smile.
Peggy's doctor’s report screams out for weight reduction, as if her husband's nagging isn't enough. His emotional abuse makes Peggy's life a hell, which leads her thoughts to Mark and the question of where he went. This gives her incentive to lose weight so that if she does find Mark she'll be the slim lovely girl that he remembers. As each woman searches for their high school sweetheart, they discover many diverse and often sad events that have happened in all of their lives. What starts out as a cute payback for sex becomes a deep experience for all of them. Authors Sandra Nachlinger and Sandra Allen tell a romantic and often humorous story of three friends, unhappy with their lives, who go back to the past — a past that has brought through the years incredible twists that will keep the reader turning the pages in anticipation. The ending builds to a climax, untangling itself in some most unusual scenarios.
Reviever: Micki Peluso, writer, journalist and author of . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang