Roby's disappointing sixth entry in her Rev. Curtis Black series (after 2008's Sin No More) focuses on Alicia Black Sullivan, his beautiful and spoiled 22-year-old daughter. Accustomed to getting anything she wants, Alicia shops like daddy still picks up the tab. This is a source of endless agitation for her new husband, young pastor Phillip Sullivan, a genuinely good man. Though he tries to set limits, Alicia stubbornly plows forward, and her self-centered ways result in deceit, infidelity and, finally, divorce. Unsurprisingly, Alicia learns nothing from her tragedy except that she should strive to marry a wealthier man. Roby's message of Christian forgiveness, a common theme in her work, doesn't succeed here: characters tolerate situations until they become untenable and then walk away. Alicia's selfish behavior is alienating, and her unwillingness or inability to learn from her mistakes leaves readers wondering why they should care at all. (Feb.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Best of Everything (Reverend Curtis Black Series #6)by Kimberla Lawson Roby
“The Best of Everything is one of the best things you’ll put on your shopping list this week.”
Readers who just can’t get enough of the Reverend Curtis Black—the charming con man and insufferable womanizer who stars in Sin No More, The Best-Kept Secret, and/i>/p>/p>/i>/i>/p>/i>… See more details below
“The Best of Everything is one of the best things you’ll put on your shopping list this week.”
Readers who just can’t get enough of the Reverend Curtis Black—the charming con man and insufferable womanizer who stars in Sin No More, The Best-Kept Secret, and other acclaimed, bestselling novels by Kimberla Lawson Roby—are going to love his daughter, Alicia. In the New York Times bestseller The Best of Everything, Alicia Black takes center stage while the rascally pastor stands on the sidelines, and Roby triumphs once again. The Best of Everything, is provocative entertainment—a treat for fans of Terry McMillian, E. Lynn Harris, and Eric Jerome Dickey—because when it comes to outrageous behavior, “like father, like daughter” definitely applies.
In Roby's latest novel about the infamous Rev. Curtis Black family (after Sin No More), Alicia, the first-born child of Black, is the one who continues the family's drama. At 22, Alicia marries the man of her dreams-the handsome, educated assistant pastor of her father's church-and he treats her like a queen. The couple believes their love is enough, but Alicia has a stronger love-shopping. Born with a silver spoon in her mouth, she's used to the finer things in life, and she's not about to give them up because of her husband's meager salary. Alicia will find someone who'll support her habits, someone like Levi Cunningham, a big-time drug dealer who long ago was on the receiving end of her father's disapproval. But Alicia's growing debt and Levi's deep pockets draw her closer to him. This like-father, like-daughter tale is predictable and all too familiar. Still, fans of Roby and the series will embrace this addition to the Black family saga. Recommended for all public libraries and African American fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ10/15/08.]
Read an Excerpt
The Best of Everything
By Kimberla Roby
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
Copyright © 2009
All right reserved.
Phillip drank the last of his coffee, set down the local section of the Chicago Sun-Times, and gazed across the table at Alicia. She looked back at him and could already tell he was about to start nagging her all over again. Last night, they'd had another major blowup, and for the first time in the six months they'd been married, they'd gone to bed not speaking. They'd turned their backs to each other and hadn't said one word ever since then and as far as Alicia was concerned, the silence between them could continue. She was fine with it, and even more so if he was planning to complain about her spending habits.
"Look," Phillip finally said. "All I'm trying to get you to see is that there's no way we can afford for you to keep spending money the way you have been. I mean, I know you've always gotten pretty much whatever you want, but, baby, things are different now."
Alicia leaned back in her chair and tossed him a disapproving look. "Different how?"
"Different because you're no longer in college and being supported by your father. Different because you're now a grown woman and you're now married to me."
"So, what are you trying to say? That because I'm married to you, I'm supposed to lower my standards?"
"No, that's not what I'm saying at all. What I amsaying, though, is that it's time you started being a lot more responsible than you have been and time you realize that we can't always have everything we want when we want it."
"I'm not trying to have everything. But at the same time, I'm not about to start living like some pauper just because you don't earn enough money."
Phillip shook his head. "Alicia, your father pays me seven thousand dollars a month and that's a pretty decent salary by anyone's definition."
"That may be. But if you'd do what I keep suggesting, you could be making so much more than that. When my dad was your age, he was earning three thousand dollars a week and that was nearly twenty years ago. So, imagine what you could be earning today."
"It doesn't matter, because I'm happy right where I am, working at Deliverance Outreach. I'm happy working for your father, and for the life of me, I don't understand why you have such a huge problem with that."
"I only have a problem with it because you could be doing so much better. I mean, Phillip, just think about it. You've got a degree in business and also one in theology, so you could easily apply for senior pastor positions at much larger churches. Actually, you should be doing it on a regular basis because if you did, you'd definitely get hired at one of them. Not to mention the fact that once any of those churches see who your father-in-law is and that he highly recommends you, it'll be a done deal, anyway."
"But that's just it. I don't want to be hired because of who I'm now related to. I want to be hired because I've learned a lot about ministry and because I'm truly knowledgeable enough and ready to lead a megasize congregation."
Alicia scooted her chair back and stood up. "Well, you do what you want, but don't expect me to be okay with it. Don't expect me to live with a lot less than what I've always been accustomed to."
Phillip pushed away from the granite-topped island as well. "You're wrong. You're as wrong as can be, and all I can do is pray that you eventually start to see it."
"Whatever," she said and walked over to the kitchen sink and set her glass and plate inside it. "Because it's not like I've been spending your money, anyway."
"No, that's true, but it's only a matter of time before that money your father gave you is gone, and that's why I'm trying to get you to see that you have a problem."
Alicia jerked her head toward Phillip and raised her eyebrows. "Excuse me?"
"I'm serious, Alicia. Because how much do you actually have left in your account?"
Alicia loved her husband, but right now she didn't like him very much. As a matter of fact, at this particular moment, she couldn't stand him. She knew he was referring to the twenty thousand dollars she'd had left over from her wedding budget but that was her money and how dare he inquire about it.
"How much?" he repeated.
"Because I wanna know."
"But why do you wanna know?"
"Because I'm trying to make a point."
"Phillip, I'm really getting tired of this, so why don't we just agree to disagree."
Phillip folded his arms. "You've spent every penny, haven't you?"
"No. For your information, I've still got ten thousand of it," she lied.
"Oh, so now you're calling me a liar?"
Phillip slipped on his suit jacket. "I have to get to work."
"Fine. Do whatever you want," she said and headed up the staircase. A few minutes later, she heard him back out of the driveway, and she was glad he was gone. She hated lying to him, but he hadn't left her any choice. And it wasn't like she hadn't tried to save the money left over from her wedding budget, because for the first three months of their marriage, she hadn't spent one dime of it. She'd tried her best to live the way Phillip wanted them to live, but it hadn't been long before she'd started driving over to Chicago and frequenting upscale department stores the same as she'd been doing since she was a child. She'd been shopping at Saks, Neiman's, and Marshall Field's flagship location on State Street for as long as she could remember, well before Marshall Field's was bought out by Macy's, and she didn't see why Phillip had a problem with it. Maybe the fact that she'd spent five thousand dollars of her money every month for three months straight, and the fact that she only had five thousand left, hadn't been the best decision she could have made, but the most important fact still remained: It was her money. It was all hers, and she had the right to do whatever she felt like doing with it.
Excerpted from The Best of Everything by Kimberla Roby Copyright © 2009 by Kimberla Roby. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Meet the Author
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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