Amen to Lovely's hilarious follow-up to Love Like Hallelujah, featuring her signature formula of divine and devilish folks trying to follow the word of God and keep it real in the bedroom and out. Passion Perkins attends Logos Word Interdenominational and is ready to end her several-year sexual drought. Love-hungry Passion lusts after Lavon Chapman, a producer helping Logos Word's married pastors Dr. Stanley and Carla Lee create an inspirational DVD series. Lavon, alas, prefers the voluptuous Carla, whose husband's lackluster erotic prowess makes her ripe for Lavon's picking. They embark on a heated affair that Passion seeks to expose after Lavon refuses her overtures. Several subplots barrel along, including a bisexual love triangle involving church members. The scintillating brew of sex, faith and sharp humor will have Lovely's fans breathless for more. (Jan.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
A Preacher's Passionby Lutishia Lovely
After being celibate for five long years, Passion Perkins is ready, willing, and able to end her drought. But she's also determined to hold out for Mr. Right—a man her friends say doesn't exist—until handsome Lavon Chapman walks into her life. He's come to the community to film a DVD about Passion's minister, Doctor Stanley Lee, and his fiery wife, Carla Lee. Now Passion only has eight weeks to make Lavon her husband and end her celibacy—not necessarily in that order. But she has a most unlikely rival:
Carla Lee herself. . .
Before long, other members of the church community are entangled in scandals of their own, and while some are getting busy in service to the Lord, others are just simply getting busy. . .
"Lutishia Lovely brought Passion to church and set it on fire!!!"
—Pat G'Orge-Walker, Essence bestselling author of Don't Blame the Devil
"This is a remarkably crafted novel and a tremendous read."
–Romantic Times on A Preacher's Passion
Read an Excerpt
A Preacher's Passion
By LUTISHIA LOVELY
Copyright © 2009
All right reserved.
Chapter One Is That You?
People say Passion was fast from the womb. That when she heard men talking, she'd make a motion in her mother's belly that felt like a tickle. When she heard women, her mother got gas. Even before Passion was born, she decided that men were to be loved; women, tolerated.
She had one real girlfriend growing up, Robin Cook. They got along like two peas in a pod from the moment they met at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia. For one, they were big tomboys, bigger than most girls their age. For another, they both hated their female classmates and constantly baked up evil schemes to right some imagined wrong done to them. Whether it was putting cayenne pepper in a girl's food, glue on her seat, or beating somebody up at recess, they were always getting into trouble, and usually together. But Passion and her family moved from Georgia to California when she was fifteen years old. She hadn't seen Robin since.
Passion sat in her living room, flipping through an Essence magazine and watching the MLM channel, a new, progressive, Black-owned network that was finally giving BET some competition. A minister, Derrick Montgomery, was speaking at a convention hosted by a group called Total Truth. Passion decided he looked as good on TV as he did in person. That man is fine forever, she thought, as she turned up the volume.
Passion wasn't a member of Montgomery's church, Kingdom Citizens' Christian Center, but the church she belonged to, Logos Word Interdenominational, fellowshipped with KCCC often. Passion loved Pastor Montgomery's fiery style, not to mention the way his body blessed a designer suit. She could always expect a good word plus some men worth watching when she visited Kingdom Citizens, and was one of many who'd visualized Pastor Montgomery sans suit or wife. Either him or Darius Crenshaw, KCCC's hot minister of music whose latest hit, "Possible," had spent months at the top of both gospel and secular charts. Pastor Montgomery was fine, but Darius could sing, play several instruments, and looked like "thank you, Jesus." Add the fact that he was single, and as far as she knew, available, and he was the obvious choice.
For all her salacious wonderings, Passion couldn't see herself actually sleeping with Pastor Derrick or anybody else's husband. She admired Pastor Montgomery's wife, Vivian, who was good friends with her first lady, Carla Lee. Even after news broke that Pastor Montgomery had an older son from a previous relationship, a son he supposedly knew nothing about until two years ago, his and Vivian's marriage remained strong. Word had it that the boy was even living with them now and playing basketball at UCLA. No, Passion would never act out inappropriately with Pastor Derrick. Well, other than the lusting in her heart for which she was already guilty. She'd probably not send love notes or nude pics to Darius Crenshaw either. But he was definitely daydream material.
An hour after the television program went off, Passion pulled into her favorite strip mall. It housed an inexpensive clothing shop, video store, nail salon, Chinese food restaurant, and the reason for her trip, Gold's Pawn Shop. Passion loved this store. Pawning had kept her lights, gas, or phone on many times right after her divorce, when she'd been struggling to raise her newborn daughter. She'd pawn gold, diamonds, anything she could to make it to payday. She prided herself on the fact that she always bought back her stuff and in the process would sometimes find a couple bargains, enough to where she continued to make regular visits even after her finances improved.
She stepped inside the store. As she'd expected for the middle of the day, it was quiet. Lin, the Korean owner, was behind the counter, helping his one, lone customer.
"Hey, Lin," Passion said cheerfully.
"Hey, Passion," Lin said. "What you buy today? I got tennis bracelet you like-just came yesterday."
"How much you want for it?" Passion asked. "I might be interested if you give me a good deal."
"I give you very good deal," Lin said. He unlocked the showcase and pulled out a bracelet set with tiny diamonds, effectively shown off in a black, faux-velvet case.
"This is nice," Passion said. She put it on her arm, turned it this way and that.
The other shopper, a woman, looked at the bracelet as well.
"It's pretty, huh?" Passion said to her, being friendly. "You think it's worth two hundred dollars?" That's the deal Lin said he'd give to Passion, because "she good customer."
The woman didn't answer, just stared. Passion looked up and stared back. The face was familiar. Then it dawned on her.
"Robin? Robin Cook? Girl, is that you?"
Robin was shocked, her response subdued. "Passion Perkins?"
Both women were incredulous. It had been twenty years.
"What on earth are you doing in LA?" Passion exclaimed, stepping forward to grab her former best friend in a bear hug. As she did so, she felt something cold, hard, pressing against her stomach. She pulled back, looked down. "And why are you buying a gun?"
Robin looked at Passion, then down at the gun, almost as if she didn't know how it had gotten in her hand.
"I, well, uh, girl, it's good to see you!" Robin placed the gun on the counter and hugged Passion with fervor. This had been her best friend back in the day. She was genuinely glad to see her again, but still couldn't have a sistah all up in her business.
Passion didn't miss the fact that her question had been diverted. But this was Robin, her homegirl from the ATL!
"Oh my God, Robin, I swear I thought about you just today. Listen, we've got to grab something to eat and catch up; you got time?"
"Of course." Time was all Robin had had for the past eighteen months.
Both the gun and the tennis bracelet stayed at Gold's Pawn Shop as Passion and Robin headed for the Chinese food restaurant three doors down. They quickly ordered, paid for their food, and sat down.
"Passion Perkins, or is it something else now?"
"No, it's Perkins again. I've been divorced almost five years, got a little girl. What about you; are you married, divorced, kids? Are you living here or just visiting? Girl, I still can't believe I'm looking at you!"
"Me neither," Robin said, taking a large bite of her egg roll. "Um, this food is good."
"Good and greasy," Passion countered around a forkful of chicken fried rice. "Just the way I like it."
Passion and Robin were silent a moment, devouring their tasty dishes, and then Passion probed again. "So, Robin, tell me wuzzup?"
Robin smiled as Passion mimicked the voice of their teens. She felt she could maybe share a few things with an old friend.
"Well, for starters, I'm divorced, no kids." Robin filled Passion in on her ten years in Tampa, Florida, after leaving Atlanta, her turbulent marriage and its equally turbulent end, the split-second decision to stay in Los Angeles after visiting almost two years ago, and her current employment.
"You've been here two years?"
"Off and on." Robin didn't want to tell Passion or anyone else where she'd actually resided during most of her LA stay-in prison for identity theft and credit card fraud. "I took some time off to, uh, visit family ... came back a couple months ago."
"Wow, girl, you must be rolling to be able to take off work like that." Even as Passion said this, her thoughts returned to the gun left lying on the pawn shop counter.
"Hardly," Robin replied. "But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do."
Like shoot somebody? "So, where are you staying?" Passion asked.
"Downtown," was Robin's short reply.
Passion studied the face of her former running buddy. Twenty years was a long time; maybe she shouldn't expect the two girls-turned-women to be as close as they once were. Still, Passion didn't understand the guardedness she sensed in Robin's demeanor-eking out conversation as if words cost money.
After an awkward silence, Passion reached into her purse and pulled out her cell phone. "I stay over in Leimert Park. Let's hang out one day soon. What's your number?"
They exchanged phone numbers and then Passion rose to leave. "You coming?" she asked Robin.
"Uh, in a minute, girl," Robin said, looking up at the menu, prominently displayed along the restaurant's back wall. "I think I'm going to get me something to go."
Passion leaned over and hugged Robin. "Well, it was good seeing you, Robin. Take care, and let's talk soon, okay?"
Robin waited until Passion walked out the door, and then placed a take-out order. There was just one other purchase she needed to make before leaving the area.
Passion wasn't sure why, but she didn't leave the strip mall when she got in her car. Instead, she sat watching the door to the Chinese restaurant. A couple minutes later, Robin came out of the restaurant, looked around briefly, and headed back to the pawn shop. She looked around again before going inside.
Passion waited until she saw Lin unlock the gun case and hand something to Robin. "I knew she was going back to buy that gun," Passion said to herself as she started the car and left the parking lot. "What is going on with you, Robin Cook? What is really going on?"
Chapter Two In the Way
Robin sat on the sagging bed of her dingy motel room. It was almost midnight, and her workday began at seven A.M. Still, she sat there wide-eyed, watching reruns of Good Times, eating Cheetos dipped in peanut butter, and washing it down with malt liquor beer. This was her ritual almost every night. After spending eighteen months locked down, where every move was ordered and every moment scheduled, Robin fully appreciated being able to have lights and television on after nine P.M. The one good thing the motel had was cable TV. Watching reruns of J.J. badger Thelma or a preteen Janet Jackson cozy up to her TV mom, Willona, saved Robin's sanity, such as it was.
Robin finished the bag of Cheetos and, licking the cheese off the fingers of one hand, picked up the gun with the other. She palmed the simple, semiautomatic Cobra compact, satisfied with the comfortable fit. Eyeing a crude, hastily drawn picture on a piece of paper taped to the opposite wall, she aimed the unloaded gun and fired off five shots in quick succession. V-I-V-A-N, the misspelled name on the paper identifying the drawing's inspiration, was safe. Along with being on the antipsychotic drug Peridol, Robin was near-sighted. She thought she'd hit the target perfectly, but had the gun been loaded, no one would have died. Gonna get bullets as soon as I get my check on Friday, Robin mused, as she shot Vivian a couple more times before tossing the gun carelessly on the floor beside her.
Robin stared at the drawing, mentally replaying the events from two years ago. How she'd come to LA to reclaim her man, Derrick Montgomery, and after a failed coup d'état of Vivian's domain, been tossed out of their church like a sack of potatoes by a burly security guard. She thought back farther, to the beginning: Lithonia, Georgia, and Pilgrims' Rest Baptist Church. That's where she and Derrick first met. She'd been his assistant with aspirations to be much more. But somebody named Vivian had gotten in the way. Robin's smile was sinister as she imagined the future according to her plan. If it worked, Miss High-and-Mighty wouldn't be in the way for long.
Robin stumbled into the bathroom, shook three Peridols into her hand, and swallowed them with the remaining beer. She turned out the lights, and after peering at the moonlight spilling through the torn, stained curtain, closed the window on the loud sounds of brass-based banda music drifting in along with the cool, autumn air.
As she waited for the drug to take effect, Robin thought about Passion and smiled as dim recollections of a happier time flitted across her mind. Her smile turned to a frown as one of the faces in her reverie became that of a young Vivian Montgomery. She flopped over on her stomach, letting the dulling effects of drugs and sleepiness overtake her.
Robin kept repeating something over and over, until her snoring blended with the muted Mexican music and a steady, rhythmic creaking sound from the couple's bed above her. I'm gonna get her. I'm gonna get that prissy muthafucka....
Chapter Three Don't Pass Me By
Passion sang along with the Logos Word choir, clapping her fiery-red manicured hands to their up-tempo rendition of a timeless, gospel classic. "While on others Thou art calling ... do not pass me by!" She swayed and head-bobbed as the altos and sopranos traded increasingly difficult riffs of "do not" and "pass me by," while the band held down a contemporary syncopation of drums, keyboard, guitar, and horns. Passion reared her head back and sang louder. "Savior, blessed Savior, hear-my-hum-ble-cry." She had been praying, believing, wanting, and needing for too long. Whenever Jesus got there, she didn't want Him to pass her by!
Into the congregation's praise-induced frenzy walked the pastor, first lady, and a contingency of associate ministers, church staff, and special guests. They entered from a side door near the pulpit. Dr. Stanley Lee walked directly to the podium. His wife and the church's copastor, Carla, the associate ministers, and assistants sat in the first of two rows of chairs on the pulpit's left side.
"One more time, church," Dr. Lee's voice boomed into the microphone. "Oh, oh, oh, Savior," he sang, his rich baritone rivaling the able-voiced lead singer. He joyfully led the congregation, walking from one side of the pulpit to the other, clapping his hands and raising them toward heaven. This was his world, his element. Stanley Lee felt more comfortable in the pulpit than anywhere else. An attractive six feet and two hundred pounds, with a smooth bald head and even white teeth, his look was a decidedly nice addition to the room.
"Yes!" Dr. Lee exclaimed as the song peaked to its flourishing end. "Hallelujah," he intoned, as the church members clapped and shouted in praise. "And it is God's promise," he continued, "that before you call Him, He will answer, and that while you are yet speaking, He will hear.
"Whatever you need, God's got it. Whatever you want, God's got it. He's on His way to meet your need right now. And He shall not pass you by!"
The band started up again with the keyboardist making a run that the guitarist slid in on, and the drummer's dreadlocks flying as high as his sticks. The saxophonist poured notes in between strings and keys and hallelujahs and glories. Passion closed her eyes, basking in the feeling of joy and the spirit of God's love.
"Excuse me," a deep, slightly gruff voice said as a hand lightly grasped her forearm. "May I sit beside you?"
Any word except yes fled from Passion's mind as soon as she turned toward the voice. It came from a solid-looking chest that pushed against a light gray silk shirt and tailored black suit. She looked at the hand that lightly grasped her arm and noted square, thick fingers with manicured nails. Looking up, she found a face full of character, confidence, and pure animal magnetism. The man wasn't typically handsome. He had a flat face, big nose, thick lips, and black, beady eyes. But when the man unconsciously licked those lips, nodded, and smiled, Passion noted the beady eyes were surrounded by long, curly lashes, and the lips looked soft and inviting, probably capable of doing things better not pondered in church. All of these thoughts were processed in the seconds it took for Passion to nod, smile back, and move over so the manly stranger could sit at the end of the pew.
The choir finished their selection and Pastor Carla changed places with her husband, giving him a quick peck on the cheek as he gave her the microphone and walked to his seat. Pastor Carla continued to the podium.
"My goodness, that is a man of God," she said, pointing to her husband and shaking her head in appreciation. The congregation laughed, used to Pastor Carla's romantic overtures to her husband from the pulpit. It was part of what the members loved about them, that they fanned the flames of their decade-old marriage openly and often. Innocent touches, light kisses, a hug here or there, theirs was a marriage many members held as the standard for unions.
Passion was one of those members. Unlike her imaginings of Pastor Montgomery, she'd never entertained an untoward thought about Dr. Lee. If I could have a marriage like theirs ... she thought. The commanding stranger fidgeted beside her. As was typical, it was a crowded Sunday morning. There had barely been enough room to fit him in on the second row. Maybe God is answering my prayer right now. Maybe His answer is this manly mass of muscle sitting beside me....
Excerpted from A Preacher's Passion by LUTISHIA LOVELY Copyright © 2009 by Lutishia Lovely. 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
Lutishia Lovely is an actress, poet, spoken word artist, and former radio and television talk show host. A Preacher's Passion is her third novel.
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I read the book in three days It was great and I liked the way she bought in all the people from the last two books.
Can't wait for the next one
This book had you guessing what would come next and reading faster just to see if you were right. Cant wait to read part 2.
enjoyed reading this book. on to the next.
I throuroughly enjoyed reading this book and I'm looking forward to comoleting the series!
This book kept me reading page by page wondering what would happen next. I can't wait to read the sequel. Someone please help me find it. Or is it not out yet. Lutishia Lovely, you go girl this book inspired me to read all that you have wrote so far. Keep them books coming!!
"A Preacher's Passion" by Lutisha Lovely was totally off the hook. Lutisha told a story of a lust and love. Passion's celibacy is bought to the forefront when this new guy Lavon moves into town. Durning the course of this exciting story you find yourself caught up in the drama from the church. We have a stalker, a sexless marraige, lust, and greed. What does that equal? A fabalous book about how sometimes the things we want isn't necessarly what God wants for us. You find out that life can be a roller coaster of it's on. Lustisha takes you for a wild ride with a number of twist and turns. Thank You Lutishia!!!
A Preachers Passion by. Lutishia Lovely Without a doubt one of the best reads for 2009. Lutishia has become one of my favorite authors to read and based off this novel she will definitely become one of your favorites as well. What can possibly go wrong in the church does happen here when the members start to think with their orgasms rather then to the Lord. This book is filled with so many characters that you must pay attention and not get lost. You will witness a First Lady love a man who isn't her husband, a teenager stray away from the church for a sexual desire and to follow behind a first love, you will witness a male figure live life on the DL, and don't forget the woman set to get revenge on a woman of God. In this novel I was so overwhelmed with the reality that these characters were living that I became apart of the story. I envisioned these people in my head as Lutishia told the story. One must remember that every one is human and that no one has a heaven or hell to put us in and in A Preacher's Passion you will without a doubt see examples of, just like you, every one is human and we may all stray from the church. But always remember God will never stray away from you. This is a top of the list recommended read. Tamika Newhouse AAMBC Reviewer
A Preacher's Passion involves conflicts, suspense and your mouth hanging open when you lease expect it. You have a group of church folks that have their own distinguish features and attribute. Each character has a mission in this story to make you like or dislike them. In the series of events that happen in each chapter drawers you in and will entertain you until the end of this great read. The Author comes direct and candid without curving any corners to bring to life real church folks life styles. She makes the reader form an opinion beforehand without knowledge of all the facts to have the reader on the edge of their seat up to the time of the last page. The zest of this book will leave a great taste in your mouth for you to be looking out for up coming books from Lutishia Lovely. Sisterhood Book Club Claudia Mosley
This book was great. As a christian myself I do know that just because a person is save they are not exempt from sin. Even if they are a preacher, deacon, evangelist, choir director or door keeper of the church. we all have sin and come short of God's glory so it was all so true its happens sometimes in the church and it happens sometime in the world, so lutishia kept it real, and exciting. can't wait girl to read your next one. We love you in Detroit