The Best-Kept Secret (Reverend Curtis Black Series #3)

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Overview

At the request of her readers, Kim Roby is giving another airing to one of her most popular characters, Curtis Black, who was introduced in Casting the First Stone and who continued his escapades in Too Much of a Good Thing.

Kim Roby's readers can't get enough of the Reverend Curtis Black, that self–justifying, greedy, womanizing flimflam man who is one of the biggest rascals ever to step into a church. In this outing, Curtis is starting over. ...

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Overview

At the request of her readers, Kim Roby is giving another airing to one of her most popular characters, Curtis Black, who was introduced in Casting the First Stone and who continued his escapades in Too Much of a Good Thing.

Kim Roby's readers can't get enough of the Reverend Curtis Black, that self–justifying, greedy, womanizing flimflam man who is one of the biggest rascals ever to step into a church. In this outing, Curtis is starting over. He has a new job and a new wife, and of course he's convinced himself that this time he'll be good.

But Curtis hasn't ever made a promise he could keep, and before long, he's up to his old tricks. The difference now is his third wife. She's unlike any woman Curtis has met before. And for the first time in his life, Curtis just might have met his match. Watch the sparks fly!

Kimberla Lawson Roby is the winner of the prestigious Blackboard Fiction Book of the Year Award.

Praise for The Best Kept Secret:

"Will leave readers . . . eagerly awaiting the next scandalous installment." – Publishers Weekly

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rev. Curtis Black has finally changed his ways: no more close encounters with temptation, either of the flesh or of the wallet, just a simple existence running his new church and loving his young wife of two years, Charlotte, and their son, Matthew. But readers who relished Black's down-and-dirties in Roby's Casting the First Stone and Too Much of a Good Thing need not worry that the series will shy away from its deliciously trashy concerns. For Curtis has more than met his match in Charlotte, a babe 15 years his junior who didn't bargain on a solid middle-class existence when she married him-after all, he was a holy high-roller who knocked her up before she was 18. Charlotte fills the void she feels with spending sprees and wild sex with Curtis's best friend, Aaron. Of course, Curtis finds out, and Charlotte vows to be better. But Aaron, who has a history of mental illness, will stop at nothing to win Charlotte back-including sharing her entire sinful past (and Matthew's questionable paternity) with Curtis. Self-pitying, self-justifying Curtis figures that "nothing he'd ever done could compare to the sins Charlotte had committed," and so he promptly goes back on the prowl himself. The novel's utterly sleazy conclusion will leave readers shaking off the cooties-and eagerly awaiting the next scandalous installment. Agent, Elaine Koster. (Feb.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
After two disastrous marriages and two failed ministries, Rev. Curtis Black strives to avoid temptation and settle down with his third wife, Charlotte, and their son. Although Curtis isn't earning nearly as much as he did at his former "megachurch" ministries, his career is on an upswing-his new church is growing nicely and his local newspaper column is headed for syndication. Charlotte, however, isn't quite as enamored with their staid, upper-middle-class existence-she has maxed out their credit cards and become involved with Aaron, Curtis's best friend and biggest supporter at the church. When Charlotte resolves to end the affair, Aaron decides to share with Curtis everything he picked up during pillow talk. Tracey Leigh's performance of this spirited domestic saga is outstanding; warmly recommended for all fiction collections.-Beth Farrell, Portage Cty. Dist. Lib., OH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Indianapolis Recorder
“Once again Roby pulls you in until you’re hooked. A great read.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792734574
  • Publisher: Sound Library
  • Publication date: 2/28/2005
  • Series: Reverend Curtis Black Series , #3
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Kimberla Lawson Roby

Kimberla Lawson Robyis the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the Reverend Curtis Black series as well as many other novels and novellas. She lives with her husband in Rockford, Illinois.

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First Chapter

The Best-Kept Secret

Chapter One

The Reverend Curtis Black proofed the last line of his news column and e-mailed it to his editor. His deadline was noon tomorrow, and that meant he was cutting it rather close. Not purposely, of course, but primarily because he'd taken on a large number of commitments over the past month. Last week, he'd preached at a revival in Dallas five days straight, prepared his sermon for Sunday worship, and handled a ton of other pastoral responsibilities as soon as he returned to Mitchell, a city ninety miles northwest of Chicago.

Once upon a time, he would have thrived on traveling long distance, just to escape his home environment or whatever wife he was married to, but to his surprise, he no longer felt that way. Now he wanted nothing more than to spend as much time as possible with his wife and seven-year-old son. Charlotte and Matthew were his life, and he was proud of the fact that he'd been faithful to her the entire two years of their marriage. Which was quite an accomplishment on his part, since he hadn't been true to either of his first two wives. He'd finally mastered the ability to resist temptation, and his world was better because of it. Still, he had to admit, it wasn't always easy, not with two noticeably attractive women at the church constantly trying to come on to him. The forty-year-old was quiet and discreet with her advances, but the younger one was almost blatant. It didn't matter one way or the other, though, because Curtis basically ignored them. He'd learned the hard way that sleeping with outside women just wasn't worth it.

He flipped the light switch of his newly renovated study, engaged the security system, and walked out to the well-lit parking lot. After sitting inside his Cadillac SUV, the same one he'd driven for three years, he turned the ignition and drove away from the church. Life was a lot different, now that they were living in Mitchell, but Curtis couldn't be happier. True, he was no longer earning five thousand per week, residing in a six-thousandsquare- foot house, or preaching to a three-thousand-plus congregation, but based on Mitchell's cost of living, he wasn't doing badly, especially since he and Charlotte had founded Deliverance Outreach the first month of their relocation. They'd started out with maybe fifty members during the first six months, increased to just over a hundred the first year, and now they were easily five hundred strong. Curtis had built a well-known ministry that drew people in, but it certainly hadn't hurt when another local pastor had retired and some of those members had sought a new church home. It also hadn't hurt when he approached the local newspaper about doing a weekly column.

Before arriving in Mitchell, he'd written a church business plan, and when he'd realized he needed something that would get people stirred up and taking notice of him, he'd decided to submit a column to the Mitchell Post. The features editor was clearly interested but, after deciding that the material was a bit controversial, she asked Curtis to rethink some of his subject matter. He wasn't happy about the request but decided to do whatever he needed to in order to get his work published.

In the beginning, he'd centered his column on polite topics such as the importance of going to church on Sunday, the reason families needed to pray together, what couples should do when their marriages were falling apart. But three months later, his editor left for vacation, and Curtis snatched his golden opportunity. His interim editor was much more liberal and quickly approved a piece that Curtis had written on atheism, its effect on society and how nonbelievers were going straight to hell. And as Curtis suspected, letters to the editor poured in at an unusual rate. Days later, the editor in chief called a meeting with Curtis and offered him more control over his topics, which ranged from teenage sex to gang violence to adultery, the latter being something Curtis knew a lot about. But once a month, he crafted inspirational messages, hoping to motivate his readers, and he was almost finished writing his first book, How to Have Almost Everything You Want. His editor in chief was also talking possible syndication for his column.

When Curtis arrived home, Matthew rushed toward him with a piece of paper.

"Dad, look what I have," he said, beaming and hugging his father around his waist.

Curtis took the sheet of paper from his son and playfully grabbed him in a headlock. "What's this?"

"It's a permission slip for the Milwaukee zoo!"

"Wow. So you're going to the zoo, huh?"

"Yep. And my teacher said that they need something called chaperones, too."

"Really? And what exactly is a chaperone?"

"I'm not sure. But I think you could be one if you wanted, because she told us to ask our parents."

"Is that so? Well, just so you know, a chaperone is an adult who escorts young children. They sort of watch over them."

"Oh. Well, I really want you to go, okay?"

Curtis smiled at his son with all the love any child could stand.

"You know I wouldn't miss it for the world."

"Wait 'til I tell Jonathan and Elijah," he announced. "We're gonna have so much fun."

Matthew brushed past his mother and ran back upstairs. Charlotte smiled at her little boy, then strutted into the kitchen and over to Curtis.

"Hi, baby," she said.

"Hey, beautiful." Curtis pulled her into his arms and kissed her.

"What was that all about?"

"Field trip. His class is going to the zoo, and I told him I'd be a chaperone."

"That little booger. He never said one word to me about any trip."

"What can I say? Maybe he prefers spending time with his father," Curtis teased, still holding his wife closely ...

The Best-Kept Secret. Copyright © by Kimberla Roby. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 28 )
Rating Distribution

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(22)

4 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    DO YOUR THING GIRL

    I LOVE MS ROBY THIS IS A GREAT BOOK. SHE JUST KEEPS GIVING US GOOD BOOKS ABOUT THE ROGUE CURTIS BLACK AND THIS IS DEFINITELY A MUST READ.

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    Fantastic,It ties up Rev.Black

    This is an excellent read!!!!!!!!!I recommend it to everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2006

    Karma - Simply Put !

    Curtis Black is Back and its a red hot and spicy read regarding some church folks and all of the Church Affairs ( literally) Affairs !!! 3rd wife Charlene, is about 8 years old than his oldest daughter.. and she finds comfort in her Husband's Best Friend and right hand man.. Its a coaster ride filled with thrills and more excitement than Sunday Morning Praise and Worship Service.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2006

    Very good read

    I really enjoyed this book, I especially liked the ending. I could not put it down I read it in one sitting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2006

    Great Book

    I have the first book, 'Casting The First Stone' and it was truly a page turner. Then I read this book not relizing that there was sequel to the first masterpiece. This book is an excellent book, I couldn't put it down and I am very excited to find out just what exactly happened in the second book. Good job Kimberla.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2006

    What goes around comes around

    This is a very good book, If you have read the first two book, you've GOT TO read this one. Curtis seems to have changed his ways and it is an everyday struggle, but he still has to pay for his sins of the past he had 2 good wives and mistreat both and let us not forget all those church members he deceived, so what makes him think that he could just move away, married charlotte and live happily ever after. Not saying that Charlotte is right, because I'm sure she will be paying for her sins in the next novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2006

    Great Novel

    This is my first book by Miss Roby but it won't be the last. She can sure tell a story and have you trying to keep your eyes open so you can finish the last page. From now on I'm going to read everything by this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2006

    Don't Stop Because I Haven't Had Enough

    Poor Curtis. I truly felt sorry for him this time. Charlotte is a lying, conniving, low down.... I hope that Charlotte gets what she deserves in the next novel. How can a woman be so low? Don't stop Kimberly because my book club just don't get enough of your good writing.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    fun continual soap opera saga

    Reverend Curtis Black feels blessed as the third time is the charm. He vows to God that he will ignore life¿s temptations and set a pious example while running Deliverance Outreach and tending to his flock in Mitchell, a small town near Chicago. He also swears to remain faithful as he has for the two years of their marriage to his third wife, Charlotte and be a real father to their seven years old son, Matthew. --- However, Charlotte, on the other hand who is fifteen years younger than her spouse, wants a taste of the wild life that she thought she would gain by marrying the womanizing preacher who jumped her bones when she was seventeen. She overspends to compensate for his sudden middle class holiness and when that proves insufficient turns to his best friend Aaron Malone for uninhibited sex. Curtis learns about her cuckolding him and confronts Charlotte, who confesses and pledges never again. However Aaron wants Charlotte back in his bed and starts a nasty campaign to succeed by telling his pal about all the transgressions committed by his wife including hinting that Matthew is not Curtis¿ offspring. The reformed born again Curtis holds Charlotte culpable for his fall back to womanizing. --- The three-peat of the life of Curtis Black (see CASTING THE FIRST STONE and TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING) is another well written tale starring individuals who refuse to take responsibility for their actions it is easier to blame someone else for one¿s sins. The story line is driven by the devilish triangle as the behavior of each one spirals them into questionable activity. Fans of the series will appreciate the continual soap opera saga that stars three intriguing no soccer mom or football dad characters whose raunchiness make for a fun read. --- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2005

    marvelous

    I could not put it down.So much drama.I would love to read more of her material.Bravo Bravo darling!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2005

    Great Writing

    I have read all three books casting the first stone, to much of a good thing and best kept secret and I have enjoyed all three books kimberla lawson roby is a great story teller looking forward to reading more of her books keep it going Girl!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2005

    Very good reading!!

    Another gold star for Kimberla! This story is another great example of folks who can dish it out but can't take.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2005

    DA BOMB

    If there was a way that I could give her 10 stars I would. This book was so excellent. I was in grad school and I almost flunked a couple of papers because I could not put it down. Curtis Black is a piece of work but the dang Charolette (I don't think that is spelled correctly) was off the chain. But after reading this book you just know that this is not the end!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2005

    Gotcha Bruh!!!!

    Curtis Black got his back!!!! It was a great read. Now it is time for Charlotte's scheming behind to get hers as well. Curtis messed up with his first wife Tanya and now look at him tricked by a trick. I loved it! Curtis went soft in the book but I hope he bounces back in her next one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2005

    Excellent book

    I couldnt wait to read the next sequel to Casting the 1st Stone. I was wondering what happened to Curtis Black. ... I am now wondering if a Part3 will be made to state that Charlotte's baby girl is not his. I knew that he would start back cheating again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2005

    Kim Roby has done it again.

    Once again, it has happened again. Kimberla Lawson Roby at her best. She brought Curtis Black down to earth, this made him think about his past indescretions. The secret was indeed 'The Best-Kept Secret'. Charlotte is thankful that she did not lose her life in the fire. I am waiting on the next installation, I just know that Baby Marissa is going to be become ill and is going to need blood and Curtis is willing to donate but he is not a match. The baby belongs to Donovan or Aaron whomever he wants to be. Charlotte is going to learn the hard way that money does not make you happy after all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2005

    ssshhhh...lets keep this on the down low!!!

    Pastor Curtis Black has kept his word and married his son's mother. He has moved and has changed his ways. He is human, but this time around he is trying not to be shady, he is trying to do right, but Curtis darling, you picked the wrong woman this time. Curtis has to pay for the error of his ways, he treated Tanya badly and she did not deserve that, he was wrong with Mariah and she did not deserve that. He got a flash or a shot from his past, when he reconnected with Adrienne, but Pastor Black, your current, beautiful, skillful, young, wife is a match in your scandulous ways, and as the pot thickens, Curtis has to face the demons of his past. I think that Curtis says it best when he tells Charlotte, 'you can't con a con' and Curtis learns that the heart is delicate and mind altering organ, and even though Charlotte is a female Old Curtis, he is still trying to be right and not slip back, but in this saga, Charlotte pushed him right back to his unfaithful ways. I look forward to Ms.Robys next story, cause there has to be one. Charlotte has the life she thought she wanted at the end, but cannot be that good and Curtis has not resorted to being a shady Pastor, he has turned over the Pulpit to another Pastor, which is a good thing, and he is concentrating on his career and his travels and a new fling on the side, but has he gotten mixed up with another Adrienne and is his precious little girl really a Black or is it Crazy Donovan's... OOH Charlotte what a tangle web you have weaved.!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2005

    Roby Has Exceeded Herself Once Again

    I did not want the story to end I could have read on and on. I pray Ms. Roby do not end the saga with The Best Kept Secret there has to be more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2005

    Shoe on the otha foot

    Curtis the Cursed. His name fits. What can possibly happen next in his world? Lose a wife - gain a lover. Lose a lover - gain another wife. Now what? If you enjoyed the first two installments, you probably can't get enough of Reverend Black and his shananigans.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2005

    CAN DISH IT OUT, BUT CAN'T TAKE IT

    MS. ROBY HAS DONE IT AGAIN. THIS BOOK WAS SOOOO GOOD. IT'S TRULY A PAGE TURNER. BOY DID THAT SECRET HIT CURTIS WERE IT HURTS THE MOST, IN HIS HEART. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND ALL THREE. THEY MUST BE READ IN ORDER; CASTING THE FIRST STONE, TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING, AND THE BEST KEPT SECRET. APPLAUSE TO YOU MS. ROBY.

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