“Is This All There Is?” by Patricia Mann
Beth Thomas has the perfect life. At thirty-five, she’s married to her college sweetheart, has two adorable kids, and teaches part time at the local university. But when a friend persuades Beth to go dancing on a rare night out, a chance meeting with twenty one year old Dave, one of her former students, changes the course of her life. Loud music, too much to drink, and the thrill of feeling young again lead to an unforgettable kiss that was never supposed to happen. As she tries to put the memory behind her, Dave’s pursuit leaves Beth torn between what her mind says is right and what her heart and body crave.
Patricia Mann’s “Is This All There Is?” introduces readers to the seemingly perfect world of Beth Thomas, a 35-year-old mother and wife who takes a risqué detour from diapers and duty to chart a course into erotica, deception and deceit. As the part-time college professor yields to the overpowering push and pull that follow a magnetic encounter with a former student, Beth is held captive in the seductive space that lingers between desire and reason. Honest and moving, Mann’s work is a touching snapshot of middle-America today, a compelling story about one woman’s struggle to keep up appearances while coming undone.
“You have no idea who I am. You don’t know a thing about me.”
“I know more than you think.”
“I know you’re a brilliant teacher. When you’re up there in front of the class, you’re passionate and funny and… ”
“The way I teach? That’s what makes you think you know me? Because of something I do for a few hours a week?”
“Wait, you’re not letting me… ”
“All my students think they know me, but they don’t. None of your professors really let you in. If you only knew the things I know about them.” I was trying my best to sound cynical and disinterested but his fascination with me was intoxicating. I felt his eyes searing through the side of my head. I cranked up the air conditioning, even though it was a cool day.
“Okay, fine, so maybe I’m a good teacher. What makes you think you know anything more about me than that?” From the corner of my eye, I saw a mischievous grin slowly spread across his face. A rush of warmth coursed through my body. For the first time, I looked directly into the piercing green eyes I had dreamed about every night of the two weeks since our kiss.
**About author, Patricia Mann:
Patricia Mann is a university professor. She lives in California with her husband, their two kids, and a sweet, silly old dog.
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