Hannah Frost is used to being surrounded by cute, sweet, troublemakers. After all, she's the principle of Indiana's upper class private elementary school, a popular repository for kids who "don't fit in" at public school. But even though she's been single since dinosaurs roamed the earth, what is interesting Hannah these days isn't her worst student, it's his father,
What she can put her fingers on? Michael Sawyer, aka Raptor, former FBI computer specialist, has a few good ideas. Trouble is, he's too busy trying to save the world––or at least the world's internet connections––from certain doom at the hands of an old enemy, and trying to get his imaginative son back on course at school. But there's always time for a gorgeous, oh–so–prim, slightly mysterious headmistress, isn't there? Michael plans to make time, and do whatever it takes to convince Hannah to do the same.
About the Author
Elizabeth Bevarly wrote her first novel when she was twelve years old. It was 32 pages long and that was with college rule notebook paper and featured three girls named Liz, Marianne and Cheryl who explored the mysteries of a haunted house. Her friends Marianne and Cheryl proclaimed it "Brilliant! Spellbinding! Kept me up till dinnertime reading!" Those rave reviews only kindled the fire inside her to write more.
Since sixth grade, Elizabeth has gone on to complete more than 50 works of contemporary romance. Her novels regularly appear on the USA Today and Waldenbooks bestseller lists, and her last book for Avon, The Thing About Men, was a New York Times Extended List bestseller. She's been nominated for the prestigious RITA Award, has won the coveted National Readers' Choice Award, and Romantic Times magazine has seen fit to honor her with two Career Achievement Awards. There are more than seven million copies of her books in print worldwide. She resides in her native Kentucky with her husband and son, not to mention two very troubled cats.
Read an Excerpt
Just Like a Man
By Bevarly, Elizabeth
Avon BooksISBN: 0060509473
"I guess you're all wondering why I called you here today."
The minute the words were out of her mouth, Hannah Frost regretted them. She was the overworked, overextended, overdressed, but egregiously underpaid -- not that she was bitter or anything -- director of a tony private school in Indianapolis, not a fez-wearing, hookah-puffing nightclub owner in a Howard Hawks film noire. In place of exotic Moroccan attire, she sported a classic -- meaning she'd owned it for more than a decade -- dove-gray Ralph Lauren suit and crisp white silk blouse, her only accessory discreet pearl earrings. And a fez would have wreaked havoc on the fawn-colored hair she'd cinched into a flawless French twist that morning.
She did, after all, have a position as an overworked, overextended, overdressed, but egregiously underpaid -- not that she was bitter or anything -- director of a tony private school in Indianapolis to uphold. Not to mention scores of trophy wife/mothers to compete with. And the mothers -- Hannah hesitated to call them moms -- of the Emerson Academy were fashionistas out the wazoo. To put it in less-than-academic terms. To put it in even less academic terms, Sidney Greenstreet and Humphrey Bogart would have had their sartorial butts kicked by those women.
Despite the lack of fez and film noire, however, Hannah was surrounded by the usual suspects. At least, that was whatshe was thinking as she surveyed the trio of characters seated on the other side of her desk. One of those people, in fact, was a too-usual suspect: Alex Sawyer, the Emerson Academy's newest pupil, who had arrived in their midst only a month before, at the start of the new school year.
His permanent record -- yes, in fact, those did exist, in spite of urban legends to the contrary -- indicated that his transfer had come about because he hadn't been a "good fit" at his last school. And any educator worth her salt knew that not a good fit was teacher code for major troublemaker. Especially since Alex's last school had been one that prided itself on accommodating even the most challenging students.
Interestingly, though, Alex had quickly proven himself to be Emerson's brightest pupil, too, remarkably gifted in both math and language arts. Even though he had just started fourth grade, he was reading at a high school level and doing algebra fairly effortlessly. Unfortunately, in addition to being a remarkably gifted student, Alex Sawyer was also a remarkably gifted pain in the butt.
All of nine years old he was, with a mop of unruly brown curls and hazel eyes that could break the heart of a lesser tony private school director. A faint smattering of freckles across the bridge of his nose completed the picture of what could have been a lovable, precocious movie moppet. But Alex Sawyer wasn't a movie moppet, Hannah knew. No, Alex Sawyer was the prince of darkness.
Oh, his conduct was acceptable enough. In fact, there were times when Hannah thought the boy was a little too well behaved. He was never late to class, he always had his homework finished neatly and on time, and he voiced all the requisite niceties like please and thank you and Wow, is that a new look for you? It's fabulous!
But the kid was a liar, no two ways about it -- which, now that she thought about it, sort of negated that nicety about the fabulous new look thing -- and since coming to Emerson, the boy hadn't made a single remark that could be reasonably believed. If he commented one day that the sky was blue, then, by golly, Hannah wanted to call the National Weather Service to find out what was wrong with the atmospheric conditions overhead.
A handful of Alex's prevarications had gone too far, though, something that had led him to Hannah's office on more than one occasion. For example, his mother, he had told his new acquaintances at Emerson the week he arrived, had mysteriously disappeared five years ago after being force-fed an untraceable toxin bioengineered by an arcane band of rogue spies in some Eastern European country that Hannah was fairly certain didn't exist. In any event, she'd never heard of Badguyistan. Not to mention that, according to Alex's records, his mother and father had divorced five years ago on the very mundane grounds of irreconcilable differences, with his father being awarded full custody. So that was a definite clue that maybe, just maybe, Alex was making up that stuff about the rogue spies.
The father, it went without saying, was currently number two on the list of usual suspects seated across from Hannah, even though the man was anything but usual. This was his first visit to her office, even though she'd tried to see him several times before now. But Michael Sawyer seemed to go out of town a lot for his job, something that -- just a shot in the dark -- might be contributing to his son's incessant need to invent outlandish tales. Alex obviously craved a more stable family environment. Because he had also told his class-mates that he used to have twin sisters, who had, alas, been kidnapped and sold into bondage by an arcane band of rogue slave traders in yet another country that Hannah was pretty confident didn't exist -- Outer Villainopolis. According to Alex's records, however, he was -- and had always been -- an only child. Besides, there was also no mention in those records of him having lived anywhere other than Indiana for the past five years, and before that, he'd been a resident of Maryland, where he was born. And the last time Hannah had checked, indentured servitude hadn't been a major source of income for Indiana or Maryland ... Continues...
Excerpted from Just Like a Man by Bevarly, Elizabeth Excerpted by permission.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was very cute the woman gave up her princiles very early in the story but the book was still interesting.
If you're looking for suspense and humor look elsewhere. There is no suspense in this novel and the story remains unfinished and ultimately can't tie the story up and validate the reason for the characters meeting. There are two stories here with no connection to each other and neither of them very interesting or original. But besides the missing ending the main problem with this story is: Too much narration not enough conversation and all of it in the same tone. All the characters have the same thought patterns a rambling attempt to be witty that falls flat. The light humorous style is used so much it wears thin by the middle of the book particularly since it wasn't truly funny to begin with. Several of the thought sequences are reptitious, they're supposed to be humorous but too much stress and effort is placed on them. We know the hero wants the heroine but does the thought need to be repeated in the same way several times? With no ending, a lackluster romance and an overdone attempt at humor this is one to skip.
Michael ¿Raptor¿ Sawyer tells his former boss that he no longer worked for OPUS as he has a nine years old son to raise and parent association meetings to attend. His superior informs Michael that you work for OPUS for life. Furthermore he is needed to deal with the Sorcerer, currently behaving as a model businessman in Indianapolis, but OPUS knows how dangerous this man is.--- Michael takes Alex with him on his assignment as he has no choice. He enrolls his son in Emerson Academy, but rather quickly the precocious Alex is in trouble with stern headmistress Hannah Frost who lives up to her last name. Hannah calls in Michael to discuss his son¿s behavior and to her chagrin finds she is attracted to him although he does not fit her controlled lifestyle. Still as Michael works as an undercover secret agent, he and Hannah fall in love, but between the impacts on his son, the danger caused by the Sorcerer, and her stubbornness, the relationship between the Raptor and the educator appears doomed.--- Though Hannah lives up to her surname for much of the first half of the novel, readers will accept her cold professional approach as an educational administrator and manager, but feel a bit disjointed that she behaves the same way in her personal life even as this rings true. Michael and Alex thaw her. The suspense adds tension as Michael finds he has two people to protect from his enemy and willingly risks all to keep them safe. Fans will enjoy this taut romantic suspense thriller starring three fine protagonists.--- Harriet Klausner