Goodness of Fit by Missy Marciassa
(Smart is the New Sexy #1)
Publication date: July 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Zoe Tawn is about to finish her bachelor’s degree and start a PhD program in quantitative psychology. Yet her friends don’t think she’s quite ready to graduate: she still hasn’t played her v-card. Zoe’s friends don’t know her v-card was played years ago; she doesn’t talk about that crap. She does agree that dating would make her a more well-rounded individual, however, so she tries, and realizes the dating game isn’t for her: she’s a geek, not a flirt. Zoe decides to utilize her strengths with the mantra “Smart is the new sexy” and develops a predictive model for companionship to replace those outdated compatibility questionnaires. Her model goes viral in no time, so her friends secretly enter her profile into it. When a match comes back, it shocks them all: it’s Wesley Williams, the twentysomething CEO billionaire of Quantitative Solutions, where Zoe is doing an internship. Zoe insists the error in her model must be unacceptably high until she gets an email requesting she stop by Mr. Williams’ office at her earliest convenience…
“So, Zoe.” Laurence gave me another smile that was surely meant to encourage me to spill my guts. “Why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself?”
Oh, right. We were supposed to get to know each other, but I didn’t have time for the niceties. “Did you get my records from my old therapist, Dr. Mayweather?”
Laurence blinked. Maybe I was moving a little too fast for him, but I’d had those records sent up for a reason: so we could get going. After a moment, he nodded. “Your therapist- Emily Mayweather?- sent us your files, provided a lot of information.”
“Good.” I nodded and drank some more water. “So you can see that we talked- extensively- about what happened.” For five frickin’ years. I paused to see if he was still with me.
He simply nodded.
My throat still felt a little dry, but I spoke anyway. “I wanted you to see that so you would know my history, obviously, and so it’s clear that I’ve dealt with all that stuff.”
Laurence’s eyebrows went up. “All that stuff?”
Were they trained to act like parrots? “Yes, all that stuff.” I leaned forward. He was probably looking for a lot of juicy trauma to cut his clinical psychology trainee teeth on, but it wasn’t going to happen with me. “I’m not interested in rehashing the past. It’s over. Done with. I’m interested in focusing on the present, moving on with my future.”
Laurence nodded again. “That’s the ultimate goal of therapy,” he started, “but sometimes we need to talk about the past-”
“Not me,” I interrupted. I was going to cut this line of inquiry off right at the beginning. “I’m not here to talk about past bullshit, like my family, my childhood, or what happened. I’ve talked- processed- it all, as you can see from my records.” I figured I’d throw some psychological terms in (like “processing” as opposed to “talking”) to show I wasn’t as naïve as a layperson, even if I was still an undergrad psych major. “I’m here to get some strategies.”
Laurence blinked again as if trying to make sense of that. “Strategies.”
“Yes.” I nodded my head a little too vigorously: I could feel the pull in my neck. “Strategies.”
He shifted in his chair as he regarded me. “Strategies for what?”
“Dating.” I answered without hesitation. There was no use being coy. “I’ve met a guy, and I really like him, and I just need some strategies to figure out how to- well-” I hadn’t thought this part through. How to phrase this? “How to- how to enjoy him- my time with him-” My voice died out, something it never did, but of course this had to be another first time for something. I swallowed some more water, grateful I didn’t choke on it.
“Enjoy your time with… your boyfriend?” Well, I had to give him some credit: he got what I was trying to say.
“Yes.” Again I nodded too hard, so my head felt like a damn bobble doll. “I’ve been busy in college, so I haven’t had much- well, any- time to date, and I started dating a guy, and I really like him, but- but I’m having… problems.” Now I sounded like an idiot.
He looked at me for a long moment before repeating, “Problems.”
This parroting was really getting on my nerves. I looked at him to see if he could come up with something better than that. This was supposed to be a conversation, after all. Did I have to spell it out for the guy? The clinical psych department here was one of the top-ranked programs in the country; their students were supposed to be the best and the brightest. Let’s see how bright Laurence was. Hopefully I hadn’t gotten a dud.
After a long pause, Laurence asked, “Are these problems related to… intimacy issues?”
Okay, so he wasn’t a complete idiot. I restrained myself to nod only once. “Yes. And I’m looking for some strategies to deal with these, well, intimacy issues.”
“But you don’t want to talk about what happened?” Was that a note of incredulity in his voice? It would be incredibly unprofessional if there was one, but I couldn’t be certain.
Well, ultimately, I was the client. This was supposed to be about what I wanted. “I’ve already talked about it. I know the guy’s a dirty rat-bastard, it wasn’t my fault, all that stuff. I’m just looking for some strategies. Can you do that?”
Laurence seemed to consider this for a moment before he gave me a nod of his own. “We can develop some strategies to help with specific issues.” He didn’t shrink from my gaze as he regarded me for a moment before he continued talking. “But I think you need to be prepared for the possibility that we won’t be able to develop successful strategies without talking about what happened.”
Jesus. What other options did I have, though? What I was doing on my own wasn’t working, and although I’d even considered a sex surrogate, I just wasn’t sure if that was a legitimate form of treatment. I wasn’t looking to get arrested for soliciting prostitution. I guess I needed to give Laurence a try.
Hopefully this wouldn’t suck too much.
Missy Marciassa loved getting lost in novels from the time she could read, so it’s no surprise she wanted to write. Her very first “novels” were re-writing the books she read to get the endings she wanted in second grade. Missy continued to read and write through grade school and high school.
After becoming rather disillusioned with fiction after writing literary criticism as an English major in college, however, Missy focused on her enjoyment of learning about people and studied psychology. Reading fiction fell to the wayside with all the reading and writing required for college and graduate school, but once Missy became a doctoral candidate, she rediscovered her love of fiction. Then she started getting the urge to write, an urge that wouldn’t go away (she refuses to diagnose it as a compulsion). Covert Assignment is the end result of that urge.