4.6 8
by Wanda B. Campbell

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After three years of marriage, Denise Hightower discovers her husband, Pastor Bryce Hightower, is addicted to pornography. Pastor Hightower's subsequent denial and casual attitude toward his addiction jeopardizes not only his marriage, but impairs his ability to effectively preach the gospel.

Following the biased advice of her mother and yielding to pressure

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After three years of marriage, Denise Hightower discovers her husband, Pastor Bryce Hightower, is addicted to pornography. Pastor Hightower's subsequent denial and casual attitude toward his addiction jeopardizes not only his marriage, but impairs his ability to effectively preach the gospel.

Following the biased advice of her mother and yielding to pressure from her husband, Denise agrees to keep his addiction a secret, although her self-esteem plummets. Denise's life as the perfect First Lady unravels following the revelation of a family secret and betrayal at the hands of her best friend.

Self-centered and determined to uphold his pastoral image, Bryce is oblivious to his wife's emotional state. Convinced that he can overcome his "little problem" on his own, he rejects the spiritual help God sends him. It's only after Pastor Hightower is confronted with the addiction by a parishioner that he comes clean with himself, God, and his congregation.

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4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

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Illusions 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
OnAssignmentReviews More than 1 year ago
Illusions by Wanda B. Campbell sheds light on what many are dealing with in one form or another ¿ addiction.

Three years into what was once a sensual marriage Denise Hightower discovers her husband¿s imperfection. Shocked, dismayed and confused by the discovery and the advice she receives, Denise begins to lose her self-confidence.

Although attempts to overcome on his own are noble, stumbles and mixed signals from Bryce only serve to heighten the friction between the couple. It will be the wisdom from a most unlikely source that will help Bryce to turn away from how he has been programmed to think, in order for him to deal with the root of his problem.

Through the pages hard questions will be asked, pondered and agonized over as the two struggle with self-identity. Do not allow the fact that the main characters are religious leaders throw you. What they and many who will read this most inspiring story have and may still be experiencing, is real. It is real and can be overcome when honesty and a willingness to do what it takes, become the tools of application.

Dr. Linda Beed - On Assignment Reviews
Donnica More than 1 year ago
Wanda B. Campbell's Illusions dives into the life of a pastor and first lady who put up a facade of happiness for their congregation's benefit. Denise and Pastor Bryce Hightower have been married for three years. Life is great until Denise discovers that Bryce has an addiction that could ruin their marriage and his position as a pastor. Denise decides to keep the secret and go on with their "perfect" life. She tries to get comfort from her mother and best friend, only to see her mother is just as concerned with appearances as her husband. And her best friend is so jealous of her she cannot even fathom there is a problem.

As time goes on, Denise realizes that Bryce is not going to change and does not want to change. That is, until a seemingly nosey neighbor sent from God, comes into their life and guides Bryce to the destiny God has for him. Family secrets are revealed and the root of the problem is discovered. When someone from the congregation is struggling with the same thing and goes to them for help, they realize it can no longer be kept quiet. Will their marriage be saved? Will Bryce overcome his addiction?

Illusions will have you on the edge of your seat. You will not want to put this book down until you find out what happens. Campbell has no problem digging deep into some of the troubles of today's church leaders. Although fiction, the situation is REAL. I definitely recommend this book to others. I cannot wait to see what else Campbell has in store for us.

Donnica Copeland
APOOO BookClub
Sista Talk Book Club
LRH75 More than 1 year ago
Illusions is a novel that truly speaks to the reader's heart, as mostof us have, will, or have yet admitted to battling some type ofaddiction. We often times choose to believe we are winning the battleover our addictions when i......n fact they are slowly and methodicallydestroying us.The esteemed Pastor Hightower is well-loved and well-respected byhis First Lady, family, and congregation. It appears he is living aChristian life that is without flaw. Bryce Hightower has managed tokeep his deep, dark secret to himself but when he is discovered, Brycemust truly step out on his faith and allow God to heal what's broken inhis life in order to save him from his past demons.Campbell brings reality, awareness, and even wit to Christianfiction. There were several times I laughed out loud and wiped tearsaway. The characters were brought to life and several times I felttheir spirit as I read this amazing story.Do yourself a favor and pick up your copy of Illusions today, andif you've yet to read Campbell's debut novel, First Sunday in October,treat yourself to two wonderful books.
Janna6 More than 1 year ago
I was interested in reading this book because it deals with a really edgy subject matter that most authors are scared to talk about, but is actually a huge epidemic in our culture and our church. Pornography is a scary subject because it rips marriages apart but is hidden in shame and guilt. Consequently most people that are addicted to pornography never deal with their addiction and are never able to walk in freedom. Wanda Campbell approaches this subject with honesty and frankness as we meet Bryce and Denise who have been married for a few years now and Denise becomes abruptly aware of her husband's addiction to pornography. She is devasted and is ready to divorce him because in her eyes he has been committing adultry. Of course the fact that he is the pastor of their church could turn out to be a tragedy for the church... or will it? Excellently done this book could be a wonderful tool for those who are addicted or living with those addicted and could lead to freedom for many people!
Smilingsally More than 1 year ago
I admire the author for writing about pornography--a neglected subject matter--in this Christian fiction novel about an African-American pastor and his wife. The plot flows nicely, and I chose to stay up late to finish it. I wanted to see how it turns out. I'm glad that I made that choice. The characters are beautifully written. Denise and Bryce are a couple in love with a serious problem to solve. I found myself rooting for their marriage to succeed. Benny and Lucinda cause some chuckles with their snappy dialog. Erin, the good friend, is quite believable; Jonas, though, is too good to be true. The scenes at church are well written--even to the point of putting on the "church faces" and using the "church voices." Sins are sometimes hidden, best in churches. I loved the metaphor of the ivy hedge. However, there are some grammatical errors. Additional editing needs to take place, That said, it is still a worthwhile read.
MichelleSutton More than 1 year ago
I love an honest story told with passion and conviction. Illusions has that. I also love a story with rich dialog and believeable characters. Illusions has that as well. The characters literally jump from the page. I felt like I knew them all by book's end. The storyline was very compelling, but I did get a bit lost a third of the way through the story due to a lot of head hopping. In some scenes you knew what everyone was thinking. I find that hard to follow. Plus, sometimes the characters' inner thoughts seemed more like the author instructing the reader than what the character would really be thinking. Not one to give up easily, I started reading again and tried to focus on the heart of the story. So back to the good points...Illusions was at times so gut-wrenchingly honest it moved me to tears. I loved Bryce and I loved Denise. I wanted to see them happy together. I also wish more books told the truth like this one. The author did a fabulous job of exposing hypocrisy and lies in the church. The story also made me think. There are so many people who get respect by their leadership position in the church, but are they really serving God, or merely hiding behind Him? That's something to ponder. Also, the theme of digging down to the root of the "ivy" as the only way to completely heal was a powerful lesson. The ending scene at the church also made me cry. It was beautiful and so true. If more people would allow themselves to trust and be transparent, God could do so much more with His people. So, bottom line is I loved the story...but the writing style? Not so much. Regardless, I highly recommend this book to people struggling with addiction and who are too ashamed to deal with it. This novel clearly shows how sickness only spreads when it's kept hidden.
Echelon_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Wanda B. Campbell's second novel, Illusions, brings us into the lives of Pastor Bryce Hightower and First Lady Denise Hightower. Supporting her husband as he shepherds the flock at Word of Life, Denise discovers her husband is dealing with his own demon. Facing a myriad of emotions, both Pastor Hightower and First Lady Denise, are forced to deal with and confront their respective insecurities as they struggle to save their marriage. Pastor Bryce Hightower blames himself for the downward spiral in his marriage, and for putting his ministry in jeopardy. First Lady Denise is confused as to whether she should continue to live the illusion of the "happy, perfect first family" or divorce her husband who seemingly can't shake his habit. Wanda Campbell does a good job showing intense emotions of a couple on the brink of disaster, from Bryce's guilt, shame and depression to Denise's bitterness, anger and attempt at "payback." Bryce's humility after "digging up the ivy" and Denise's unwavering love for her husband and willingness to forgive him, proves that with God all things are possible. Supporting characters, Benny, father figure to Bryce, and Lucinda, Denise's mother, add wisdom and humor to the storyline. Confronting their insecurities head on and committing to surrender to God's will, Bryce and Denise are able to save their marriage. This was an enjoyable read for me. Pastor Hightower's and First Lady Denise's characters were very believable. While both were strong in their spiritual convictions, the author was still able to show through these characters that God does, indeed, still use those he calls to minister to others to deliver his Word in spite of their weaknesses. By exposing their wounds, Pastor Bryce Hightower and First Lady Denise were ushered into their healing process and propelled others at Word of Life into theirs. This book will provoke readers to think about what they would do if faced with similar circumstances. Would we stand in judgment or would we stand until delivered?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago