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In Between Men

In Between Men

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by Mary Castillo
     
 

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What else could go wrong for 29-year-old ESL teacher and single mom Isa Avellan after she's been voted the un-sexiest woman alive by the entire student body?

Well . . .

She could be knocked unconscious by a well-kicked soccer ball and wind up saddled with a guardian angel who looks and sounds a lot like Joan Collins.

She could have to endure the on-air

Overview

What else could go wrong for 29-year-old ESL teacher and single mom Isa Avellan after she's been voted the un-sexiest woman alive by the entire student body?

Well . . .

She could be knocked unconscious by a well-kicked soccer ball and wind up saddled with a guardian angel who looks and sounds a lot like Joan Collins.

She could have to endure the on-air ravings of her flojo ex-husband as he reveals every intimate, humiliating detail of their sex life to an infamous shock-jock . . . on national radio!

Or she could take matters into her own hands and submit to a total makeover, from lipstick to toenail polish to lacy lingerie. And with the help of some well-meaning (if slightly loca) tías, she could become L.A.'s most ravishing reborn sex goddess, say adios to the past, and see about capturing the attention of a hot new man. But the new Isa is about to find out that it's not so easy juggling motherhood, career, and sex-symbol status. It could, however, turn out to be a whole lot of fun.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Mousy Isa Avellan is voted by her students to be the school's least sexy teacher, and soon the single soccer mom is on her way to a revamped image and a backseat love affair. When Isa discovers that she is at the bottom of her high school's "Sex Savvy Senior Survey," she feels humiliated. Despite the fact that she adores watching the sizzling dolled-up babes on Dynasty, poor Isa doesn't know a frock from a frappe-and she's not sure if she wants to get caught up in a world where women grab men's attention with "slut clothes." However, when she hears her slimy ex-husband on shock radio gabbing about the senior survey and his ex's lack of bedroom prowess, Isa accepts a pity date with her son's hunky soccer coach, Alex. With the help of a few with-it friends (and some advice from Joan Collins), Isa gets a smoking-hot makeover complete with a haircut, gobs of makeup and a slinky new wardrobe that turns her into a busty sexpot. With a jolt of confidence, Isa finds herself steering the pity date into an entirely new direction: the backseat. She and Alex, who is grappling with his own professional and personal concerns, throw caution-and condoms-to the wind and launch into a steamy love affair. Feeling like she has escaped the teenage prophecy, Isa is on top of the world. She has a new man and a new lease on life-and suddenly a peculiar feeling in her tummy. To make matters worse, the devoted mom discovers that her son isn't quite ready for his family of two to multiply. What is a newly sexy chica to do?The premise of Castillo's third novel, after Hot Tamara (2005), fizzles with too-few romantic twists and a humdrum plot.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060766825
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/21/2006
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
945,834
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.68(d)

Read an Excerpt

In Between Men


By Mary Castillo

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Mary Castillo
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060766824

Chapter One

Isa Avellan's Horoscope for September 7

What's happening here? Appreciate this
as a transformative experience and remember that
someday soon you'll even be able to laugh about it.

Isa demanded a recount.

Rereading the poorly photocopied "Sex Savvy Senior Survey," she felt something break off inside her and land with a thump.

The last thing she expected to learn that Tuesday afternoon at the emergency staff meeting was that the student body of Isa's alma mater and current employer had voted her the unsexiest teacher alive.

Actually the survey was a little more specific: the most unfuckable teacher alive in big bold letters next to her admittedly unfuckable staff photo.

Intellectually she knew better than to care about a high school prank. And Isa damn well knew if she put her mind to it, she'd be a helluva good lay.

She conceded that four years was a long time between men. Well, maybe it was longer than that, but this was ridiculous. She was a modern twenty-nine-year-old woman whose ESL students had the highest GPA in the entire district.

No, this wasn't just ridiculous. This was insulting. Especially considering the competition she had in the category: Myrtle the ancient librarian, Celeste the bearded lunch lady, and Bill Weisshaar, the twitchy biology teacher the kids called Bildo.

Damn right she deserved a recount. This was a matter of principle.

"I wanted everyone to know about this little survey our students circulated," Principal Quilley said as the shock settled among the crowded lounge. "We confiscated it when Carrie Barcus and Addison Pinchly were smoking behind the bleachers."

Isa turned when she heard a woman's voice catch. Myrtle, who happened to be a delightful and intelligent woman, held a shivering hand to her candy-pink lips.

"I . . . I never thought . . ." Myrtle sobbed. "This is . . . oh this is just . . ."

"Nice to know some of us are so highly regarded," Stan Fields boasted.

Outrage boiled up Isa's throat, tasting nasty and metallically sweet. She could barely breathe while the others -- mainly the athletics department -- chortled. With his one-size-too-small shorts and carefully styled white-boy do, Stan had been voted the sexiest in the male category.

Of course that pinche reina enjoyed this. Isa's hand itched to deliver an Alexis Carrington-style slap across his smug face. Stan might be a former all-star athlete and head of the PE department, but that mama's boy made Steven Cojocaru look straighter than Trent Lott.

"Quite." Principal Quilley clipped off the laughter in his Shakespearean voice. "I spoke with their parents and they will be composing a letter of apology to the staff here at the school."

"That's it?" Isa's question killed what was left of everyone's amusement. "I'm sure Carrie and Addison didn't have the only copy," she added. Did she really have to say the obvious? "Do we want our students circulating this around about us?"

"They will also be suspended from school for one week," he answered, his eyes dark with compassion. "Anyone who is caught with a copy will be given a week of detention."

Isa glanced at Myrtle, who now cried quietly into her hankie, and at Bildo -- Mr. Weisshaar -- who stared wide-eyed at the table. The three of them would have to face the students every day for the rest of the year, knowing how they looked at them, judged them. At least Celeste had the power to spit in their food.

No punishment would be good enough. Isa's inner Alexis Carrington insisted she speak the hell up. Like the episode when she wrested Denver Carrington from Blake and threatened the board of directors with dismissal if they crossed her. And girlfriend did it in a fabulously massive shoulder-padded suit. If Isa had a little less Krystle Carrington and more Alexis in her, she'd get her recount. Stacking her hands on top of the other and pulling her unpadded shoulders back, Isa did her best.

"I think this is indicative of the general lack of respect we have from the students," she heard herself saying out loud. "I think we should use a class period to have an open discussion of respect not only for men, but women as well."

A tide of outrage and complaints drowned Isa's voice.

We don't have time to discuss this on class time with the state exams next month.

We shouldn't be perpetuating this behavior by addressing it in the classroom; let their punishment speak for itself.

"Ms. Avellan, remember you have students who also rely on you," Principal Quilley said gravely when the clamor ebbed away. He had been her favorite teacher when she was in this high school, he encouraged her to take a full AP load, and then helped her find scholarships for college. He knew her better than her own father did and in spite of all her personal failures, Dr. Quilley's respect never faltered.

"Frankly, I feel any further discussion will only make it worse," he continued. Why, she asked silently, why would he not take her side? "Better to let this little incident die down and focus on education.

"Don't you think?" he asked, looking up at Isa like a patient father ministering to his complaining teenager.

"No," she spat, shoving her chair back. "I really don't."

"Girl, I thought you were going to castrate him with your eyes, I swear you were," June declared. The school secretary's stiletto boots clattered to keep up with Isa's red Keds.

Isa could almost hear the creaking hinges as she forced her lips into a grin. She was almost angry enough to say something against Dr. Quilley. But not quite. "You made out well."

The approving glow in June's eyes dimmed. "I'm a married gal," she countered. "Ted will really appreciate that high school guys jerk off to thoughts of me."

Maybe they wouldn't if June started dressing like an adult. Then again, part of Isa envied June for just letting it all hang out there in clothes that inspired cattiness.

Continues...


Excerpted from In Between Men by Mary Castillo Copyright © 2006 by Mary Castillo. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Mary Castillo attenteded the University of Southern California, where she majored in History. During that time she went on medical missions to Mexico (where she helped deliver a baby), and interned at L.A. County Hospital. But when it was time to choose a career, Mary went back to her original love of storytelling and began writing screenplays and novels. She has worked in public relations, advertising, and as a reporter for the L.A. Times Community News. She lives in Orange County, California, with her family.

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In Between Men 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love2ReadLibros More than 1 year ago
This was a great book to read and very entertaining. Personally, I could relate to the character in many ways. Sometimes all a woman needs is a little "pick-me-up" for that added self-confidence in the looks department. This book follows that evolve with much drama added!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In Los Angeles though she and her husband Carlos recently divorced high school ESL (ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE) teacher Isa Avellan enjoys her work and is proud of her son Andrew. Life is good that is until she is voted the least sexy teacher in the school, which includes some educators old enough to be the twenty-nine years old Isa¿s grandmother. Adding to her humiliation, Carlos reveals in detail on national radio what a failure in bed she is.------ When she is knocked unconscious by a soccer ball, she finds coach Alex looking into her eyes asking if she is all right. She decides then and there pushed by a beautiful sexy guardian angel to do a complete makeover from frump to siren to score with Alex. However becoming a glamour queen is hard work when teaching and raising an eight year old son while Alex seems immune to her advances when in fact he debates with himself whether he should drop his pride to date the sexiest woman in the L.A. school system.------ IN BETWEEN MEN is an amusing lighthearted romp starring a wonderful Latina-Americana protagonist who became complacent failing to care for herself and in turn lost respect. Her guardian angel is a cute aside that allows comparisons between the two beauty enhancing-detracting extremes while the hunk, who corner kicked his way into her life, provides the incentive more so than the school sexometer scoring system. Fans will enjoy Mary Castillo¿s satirical glimpse at sex appeal of a working mom.------- Harriet Klausner
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Los Angeles though she and her husband Carlos recently divorced high school ESL (ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE) teacher Isa Abelian enjoys her work and is proud of her son Andrew. Life is good that is until she is voted the least sexy teacher in the school, which includes some educators old enough to be the twenty-nine years old Isa¿s grandmother. Adding to her humiliation, Carlos reveals in detail on national radio what a failure in bed she is. --- When she is knocked unconscious by a soccer ball, she finds coach Alex looking into her eyes asking if she is all right. She decides then and there pushed by a beautiful sexy guardian angel to do a complete makeover from frump to siren to score with Alex. However becoming a glamour queen is hard work when teaching and raising a teenage son while Alex seems immune to her advances when in fact he debates with himself whether he should drop his pride to date the sexiest woman in the L.A. school system. --- IN BETWEEN MEN is an amusing lighthearted romp starring a wonderful Latina-Americana protagonist who became complacent failing to care for herself and in turn lost respect. Her guardian angel is a cute aside that allows comparisons between the two beauty enhancing-detracting extremes while the hunk, who corner kicked his way into her life, provides the incentive more so than the school sexometer scoring system. Fans will enjoy Mary Castillo¿s satirical glimpse at sex appeal of a working mom. --- Harriet Klausner