The Real Brooklyn Darkchild

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The Best Kept Secret

Posted on January 23, 2009 at 8:38 PM

This is the 3rd (?) book in the Reverend Curtis Black saga. In this installment, Reverend Black and Charlotte, the mother of his seven year old son Matthew, have been married for five years. Reverend Black has given up his wicked ways. The family now lives in a suburb outside of Chicago, where Curtis pastors Deliverance Outreach, a small up-and-coming church he and his wife founded. Although he’s not making any where near the money he made before his fall from grace, Rev. Black is far more satisfied, both spiritually and emotionally. Since the love of a “good woman” has changed him for the better, he has no qualms staying truthful to his wife.



Too bad Charlotte doesn’t feel the same way. Curtis is devoted to her just the way she’d imagined, and his relationship with his son is outstanding. Still, in her mind, this isn’t the happily-ever-after she signed on for. Charlotte has absolutely no interest in church business, outside of how much tithes-and-offerings are pouring in. Despite a good job of her own, Charlotte can’t stop feeling like Curtis isn’t keeping her in the style she expected when he was pasturing a large/“super” church. In fact, she spends money like water then becomes incensed when Curtis chastises her for it.



Dissatisfied, Charlotte begins a clandestine affair with Curtis’ best friend Aaron Malone. Unfortunately, Aaron falls madly in love with Charlotte. When she doesn’t cave into his demands that she divorce Curtis at once, Aaron correctly assumes it’s because he doesn’t make enough money and sets out to make Charlotte’s life a living hell. Not only does Charlotte have to deal with a now irate ex lover, there’s also the aftermath of revealing way too much of her past to him. How will Curtis react when he finds out the wife he’s pledged to be faithful to hasn’t been faithful to him? What dirty little secrets does Aaron disclose about Charlotte? And just what is the Best Kept Secret???



This wasn’t a bad book overall, though I’m sorry to say it just didn’t appeal to me. One in a Million was so much better than this. I kept reading until the end but like Charlotte, I came away feeling vaguely dissatisfied. In my opinion the story line didn’t break any new ground as far as the crazy ex is concerned, but since I’ve never read any of the Rev Curtis Black books maybe I wasn’t invested enough in the characters for this to be a non issue. After all, very few books, including my own, actually break new ground on their subject matter; it’s the way you feel about the characters that makes the difference.



I also felt Lawson Roby spent way more time telling us about the characters’ motivations than she did in One in a Million. Too much time. Telling instead of showing is a pet peeve of mine; the only thing that turns me off a book faster is crappy editing. Generally speaking, a character’s actions will let you know his motivation. I figured out 98% of what Lawson Roby told me on my own, and would have preferred to do so. On the other hand, I haven’t lost faith in Lawson Roby as a writer: I can’t wait to read her new book The Best of Everything. I’m gonna go back and read the other books in this series first though.


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