Cover image for Love and lies
Love and lies
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : William Morrow, c2007.
Physical Description:
xii, 273 p. ; 24 cm.
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Truth and lies . . .

At long last, the Reverend Curtis Black appears to be living the straight life. The all-too-human preacher is a bestselling author now, and he and his wife, Charlotte, are raising two adorable children. But the ever-suspicious Charlotte doesn't trust that Curtis has put his womanizing past behind him. While he's on the road promoting his latest book, she knows that there just needs to beone extra-devoted fan in his flock for him to stray.

Secrets and lies . . .

Still, Charlotte is no angel herself, and she's been keeping plenty of secrets from Curtis while he's been away. For one thing, their daughter, Marissa, is behaving bizarrely, reminding Charlotte a bit too much of the man with whom she had an affair five years ago--an affair Curtis won't let her forget.

Then there are the disturbing visits from her so-called brother-in-law, a man once involved with drugs and the law. Curtis has forbidden the family to see him, but the guy simply keeps turning up on Charlotte's doorstep no matter how hard she tries to keep him away.

Charlotte believes with all her heart that things will be better once Curtis comes home.

Love and lies . . .

But Charlotte should be careful what she wishes for. She thinks love is enough to untangle the web of lies she and Curtis have woven for themselves. What she doesn't know is that when her husband finally returns, she'll have some tough decisions to make if she wants to save her soul and salvage her marriage.

Author Notes

Kimberla Lawson Roby has published about 15 novels. Her debut title, Behind Closed Doors, was originally self-published through her company, Lenox Press. Her other works include The Best of Everything, One in a Million, Sin No More, Love and Lies, Changing Faces, The Best-Kept Secret, A Taste of Reality, It's a Thin Line, and A Deep, Dark Secret. She received the Blackboard Fiction Book of the Year Award in 2001 for Casting the First Stone and the 2004 Patron Choice Award from the Central Mississippi Regional Library System for Too Much of a Good Thing. She is also the 2006 and 2007 recipient of the Author of the Year, Female award presented by the African-American Literary Award Show in New York. In 2013 she made The New York Times Best Seller List with her title A House Divided. The Prodigal Son made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2014. She also made the list in 2015 with her title, The Ultimate Betrayal.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

For Charlotte Black, there are some good things about being married to the "world renowned" Rev. Curtis Black (whose flashy, trashy life Roby has dished in earlier works). Her husband's bestselling books and flourishing ministry allow her a life of luxury, but Curtis is always away on publicity tours, and Charlotte suspects he's cheating. Of course, she's cheated, too one affair yielded 12-year-old Matthew, while five-year-old Marissa, a budding pyromaniac (Charlotte assured Curtis the girl is his), is the demon spawn of her tryst with mentally ill Aaron. Charlotte hires a private detective to catch Curtis in the act. Meanwhile, Charlotte's best friend and co-narrator, college professor Janine, has man trouble of her own: freeloading boyfriend Antonio turns her living room into a drug den and takes up with another woman. Janine eventually calls the cops and gets her locks changed, and Antonio promises revenge. A farcical array of misfortunes (a death, a near-deadly stabbing, another illegitimate child born, etc.) rock the cast as the book lumbers toward its conclusion. Astonishingly, none of this gets in the way of the happy ending; all the trouble, it turns out, was worth it. Readers may not be so sure. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus Review

Bad decisions and even worse men endanger the orderly lives of close friends Charlotte and Janine. As the stunning third trophy wife of charismatic African-American Reverend Curtis Black, Charlotte Black seems to have it all, including two adorable kids. But appearances are deceiving. Her husband spends most of his time on the road promoting his bestselling book, and he barely speaks to her when he is home, making her suspect that his needs are being met by someone else. And her five-year-old daughter Marissa seems disturbed, taken to playing with fire and saying shockingly antisocial things to her mother and older brother Mathew, while maintaining a sweet-as-pie fa‡ade in front of her father. The child's bad-seed behavior brings up some serious issues, since Charlotte believes her little girl is not Curtis's child, but rather the result of a disastrous affair she had with schizophrenic Aaron Malone. Clever Charlotte managed to keep the real lab results hidden, but her lie gets in the way of Marissa receiving the treatment she needs. Meanwhile, Charlotte's best friend Janine has man troubles, too. Her deadbeat boyfriend Antonio seems resigned to not working, prompting Janine, a college professor, to ask him to leave. That doesn't sit well with Antonio, who begins selling drugs out of her home as well as mentally abusing and threatening her. Terrified by this sociopath, she reports him to the cops, and he is arrested. Janine refuses to bail him out, which only makes him angrier, resulting in an inevitable, violent confrontation. Charlotte, in a somewhat confusing attempt to make her husband jealous, befriends his long-lost "brother" Larry, a recovering addict. Larry is truly bad news, and if anything, his criminal behavior makes Charlotte's philandering preacher man look good in comparison, paving the way for a possible reconciliation. This latest potboiler from the author of Changing Faces (2006) keeps the scandals coming, but it would have benefited from a little more character development. It is often hard to believe that two strong women could have such consistently poor judgment when it comes to men. Plenty of action, but far-fetched and joyless. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Library Journal Review

Roby (Changing Faces) dives back into the life of her most famous character, the philandering Rev. Curtis Black. Now a best-selling author who is always on the road, Curtis battles it out with his attention-starved third wife, Charlotte. Aware of her husband's past and anxious because she herself has skeletons in the closet, Charlotte decides to hire a private detective to check out his suspicious behavior. Meanwhile, Curtis's mysterious brother appears wanting a relationship with Curtis, who seems to want nothing to do with him. Things take a turn for the worse when Charlotte begins to realize that her past decisions may now be affecting the couple's daughter, Marissa. Readers will be left wondering if love will be enough to save this union when all of the lies are brought out into the open. Recommended for public libraries with contemporary African American fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/06.]-Lisa Jones, Birmingham P.L., AL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Love and Lies Chapter One Charlotte It was all I could do not to curse my husband out--my husband, a man who was never home more than a few days at a time, a man who didn't seem to care about his wife in the least, a man who was probably sleeping with only God knew whom. Which is why after five years of pleading with him to change and begging him to spend more time with me, I had finally had enough. I was finally in a place where I would no longer tolerate the world-renowned Reverend Curtis Black or the adultery I was sure he was committing. "So when exactly are you going to be here, Curtis?" I asked now, gripping the phone tightly. "I just told you. In a couple of days." "I realize that, but I need to know a specific day. What I need to know is the time your flight will be arriving at O'Hare." "Well, Charlotte, as much as I hate to disappoint you, I don't know what time." " You don't know? How could you not know?" "Because I just don't." "Curtis, please. Do you think I'm that stupid? Do you really think you can get me to believe that you're coming home this week but your travel reservations still haven't been arranged? Do you really think I'm that crazy?" "Like I said . . . I'll be there in a couple of days." See, it was comments such as this that made me want to do unspeakable things to Curtis. Made me want to snatch him down from that nice little pedestal that thousands of people nationwide had placed him on. What I wanted to do was show him firsthand that being a New York Times bestselling author didn't mean that he could do whatever he wanted whenever he wanted to. But I decided instead that I would calmly try to reason with him one last time. "Curtis, have you even thought about the amount of time you spend on the road? I mean, are you even aware of the fact that you've now been gone for two weeks straight, and that once you return, you'll only be here for five short days?" "Charlotte, why are we doing this? Huh? Because you know just as well as I do that my speaking engagements are very necessary. You've known for the last five years that this is what I have to do if you want to keep living the wealthy lifestyle you so desperately wanted when we were first married." "But baby, there has to be some sort of balance," I said, remembering just how miserable I'd been before his publisher had offered him a contract with an initial advance worth seven hundred fifty thousand dollars for one book. "Look, either you want luxury or you want average," he said, sounding impatient. "What I want is for you to be here with your family. Matthew and Marissa need you, Curtis, and I'm tired of feeling as though I'm a single parent. Twelve-year-old boys need their fathers." "All three of my children, including Alicia, know that I love them and that I have a job to do. I've explained to them that it won't always be this way, but for now, this is what I have to do." "Curtis, all I'm asking is that you please cancel some of your commitments. I need you to spend more time at home." "It's not going to happen. Not right now, and to be honest, I'm tired of repeating the same words to you over and over again." "Oh, so now you've got the nerve to be irritated?" I said, my last bit of tolerance evaporating second by second. "No, I just don't see a reason to continue discussing a situation that isn't going to change." "Well, maybe the problem isn't your speaking engagements, Curtis. Maybe it has more to do with the fact that you're out there sleeping around. Because, knowing you, you've probably got a different woman lined up in every city." "You mean like the way you slept with Aaron behind my back? How you slept with that deceitful lunatic even though he claimed to be my best friend? Or do you mean like how you lied about Matthew being my son when you knew full well that he might not be? Or maybe you mean like how because you slept with Aaron, we had to get a paternity test just to make sure Marissa was actually mine? So tell me, Charlotte, which sin of yours are you talking about exactly?" At that moment, I wondered when Curtis would ever stop wallowing in the past and would eventually forgive me for the way I had betrayed him. Because whether he wanted to admit it or not, it wasn't like any of this had happened one month ago. As a matter of fact, it had been five whole years since Marissa had been born, and to me it was high time for us to move on. Not to mention it wasn't like he'd been this perfect little Boy Scout himself. "You know what, Curtis, as far as I'm concerned, you need to get over it. What you need to do is stop making all these lame excuses and get your priorities in order." "No, what I need to do is the same thing I've been doing all along. Making a ton of money so that you can continue living like the queen you think you are, and so that I can maintain the type of freedom I've definitely become accustomed to. End of story." His tone was razor sharp and more than anything I wanted to hurt him back. What I wanted was for him to feel more pain than he was now causing me, but for some reason I couldn't find the words. I was speechless and the only thing I could think to do was slam the phone down on its base. Love and Lies . Copyright © by Kimberla Roby. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Love and Lies by Kimberla Lawson Roby All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.