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Too Much of a Good Thing (Reverend Curtis Black Series #2)

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Overview

In the sequel to the enormously successful Casting the First Stone, Kimberla Lawson Roby brings back a character readers love to hate.

Curtis Black might be a man of the cloth, but with his irresistible looks, seductive charm, and charismatic personality, he's particularly beloved by his female parishioners??and almost every other woman he's ever met.

The trouble is, Curtis is married. At first he tries to resist temptation, but not for long. ...

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Overview

In the sequel to the enormously successful Casting the First Stone, Kimberla Lawson Roby brings back a character readers love to hate.

Curtis Black might be a man of the cloth, but with his irresistible looks, seductive charm, and charismatic personality, he's particularly beloved by his female parishioners––and almost every other woman he's ever met.

The trouble is, Curtis is married. At first he tries to resist temptation, but not for long. His insatiable appetite for women quickly gets the best of him. Eventually, the women in Curtis's life find that with a little careful planning––sneaky and otherwise––they can help Curtis reap the punishment that he so richly deserves.

In this captivating and dramatic sequel to Casting the First Stone, Kimberla Lawson Roby, with her trademark with and insight, sets sparks flying.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Curtis Black, the charismatic pastor with a taste for life's finer things (slick clothes, hot cars and even hotter women) who previously wreaked havoc in 2001's Casting the First Stone, returns to the pulpit in Roby's sixth outing. Divorced and working at a teen center, Curtis longs for the good ol' days-the parishioners who worshipped him and the cash "love gifts," especially. So he marries meek, God-fearing Mariah and accepts a position at a new church. Mariah's thrilled-she never thought she'd be so happy-but why does Curtis always work so late? And why is he so into oral sex? Curtis is quickly up to his old tricks: grafting for money, pursuing Adrienne, an old flame from his previous congregation, browbeating Mariah and disappointing his 14-year-old daughter, who looks for love on the Internet. Inexplicably, Adrienne still loves Curtis, and so does poor Mariah, even when Curtis reveals that he married her only because it was a condition of employment at Truth Missionary Baptist. Curtis's manipulations, sexual excesses, and spousal and parental neglect just keep getting worse, and he can't believe it when people call him out: "God had forgiven him for every sin he'd committed, so couldn't everyone else?" When Curtis is shot by a jilted woman, some readers may wonder what took her so long. His deathbed conversion shouldn't count for anything, but apparently it does. The book's Christian message gets buried under all Curtis's wrongdoings, and the spineless women grow tiresome, but Roby's book about being bad but making good should, like its predecessors, see good sales. Agent, Elaine Koster. 9-city author tour. (Jan.) Forecast: Roby has moved steadily from self-published debut to paperback to hardcover; she's also won the Blackboard Fiction Book of the Year award. Despite its tough subject matter (abuse, rape, attempted murder), this novel should be her biggest hit yet. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Women find Curtis Black irresistible. Too bad he's married-and a minister. From an Essence best-selling author. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060568504
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/1/2005
  • Series: Reverend Curtis Black Series , #2
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 163,156
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.76 (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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Read an Excerpt

Too Much of a Good Thing


By Kimberla Lawson Roby

Thorndike Press

Copyright © 2004 Kimberla Lawson Roby
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0786265469

Excerpt

Chapter One

A Year Later

Mariah Johnson Black smiled proudly as her husband neared the end of his morning message. It just didn't seem real, him actually being senior pastor of Truth Missionary Baptist Church or that he'd chosen her to be his wife. It didn't seem real that he'd wanted a woman who'd grown up in a run-down two-bedroom apartment on the West Side of Chicago that also housed her single mother and five siblings. But he always reminded her that he'd grown up with nothing himself. Still, every now and then, she had to pinch herself, because she couldn't believe how happy she was. She couldn't believe they'd only been married six short months, and yet Curtis had already bought her a six-thousand-square-foot house in Covington Park, the most expensive Mercedes that Daimler manufactured, and best of all, she didn't have to work for anyone. All she had to do was be the best wife she could be to Curtis and the best first lady to their congregation - two things Curtis said his first wife, Tanya, wasn't capable of. Mariah almost felt sorry for Tanya, because she couldn't imagine how painful it must have been, once Tanya realized what she'd given up. Curtis had told Mariah about Tanya's affair with James, and Mariah couldn'tunderstand how Tanya even considered being with another man. Especially when she had someone as fine-looking and considerate as Curtis. Especially since he had only been with another woman - Adrienne - on two separate occasions. Curtis had told Mariah how he'd apologized and tried to explain everything to Tanya, but that she wasn't willing to forgive him. He'd tried to make Tanya see that this random act of adultery had only occurred because Satan was trying to attack him and their marriage. He'd told Tanya that the only reason God had allowed it to happen was because He wanted to see how strong their faith was and how committed they were to each other as husband and wife.

But thankfully, all of that was behind them now, and while she wasn't happy about Curtis and Tanya's marriage ending in divorce, she knew it was the only reason she was now sitting on the second pew, dressed in a royal blue suit, a matching hat, matching purse, and matching three-inch heels. Mariah also knew that Curtis would never have paid her the least bit of attention if they hadn't worked for the same agency. He'd told her more than once that she was beautiful, but she knew it was only because he felt obligated to do so and not because it was true. She'd been a bit on the heavy side growing up, and her schoolmates had teased her daily. So by the time she was a teenager, she'd lost all confidence in herself and in the way she looked.

But in terms of her feelings for Curtis, she'd actually liked him from the very beginning and had fallen in love with him right after their first date. He was strong, compassionate, tall, dark, and handsome, and from that point she started praying for their relationship to become serious. She prayed that God would give her Curtis even if it meant she had to go without something else in life, whatever that had to be. So when he asked her to marry him, she knew for sure that God answered all prayers.

Mariah watched Curtis twirl his hands, demonstrating what he was saying.

"God will allow you to experience every twist and turn in the road until you are as strong as He needs you to be ... until you are strong enough to deal with any trial or tribulation thrown your way," Curtis said. "And when it comes to success and prosperity, we have to take the same attitude. Sometimes we find ourselves climbing higher and higher in our chosen careers and all of a sudden a monkey wrench is thrown into the program. And of course, we as human beings don't understand it. We don't understand why God would give us such great success and then, for whatever reason, take us down a notch or two. But the best way I can explain it is to tell you what I heard on the radio last week. I was driving along, listening to 106.3, and it was then that I heard T. D. Jakes make one of the most profound statements. He said, 'A set-back is a setup for a comeback.'"

The congregation roared with amens and a good number of people waved their bulletins at Curtis, agreeing with what he was saying.

Curtis thrived on member participation and repeated in song what the crowd wanted to hear him say again. "I said, a setback is a setup for a comeback."

"Oh, thank you, Jesus!" one woman stood and yelled out.

"Glory be to God!" another added with her hands lifted toward the ceiling.

"Boy, you know you workin' that Word on us today!" an older gentleman offered.

The organist played a few notes, and Mariah stood with her hands on both hips, waving her head from side to side with quick movements, giving Curtis approval. Then a woman jumped from her seat, shouting her way across three people sitting on the same row. This, of course, was all Curtis needed to see in order to switch into his deep southern preaching mode. He'd told Mariah that he thought it was totally ridiculous to sing the ending of every sermon, but that he'd learned during his days at Faith that his older members didn't feel like a pastor could preach if he didn't do a little whooping and singing with it ...



Continues...


Excerpted from Too Much of a Good Thing by Kimberla Lawson Roby Copyright © 2004 by Kimberla Lawson Roby. 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.

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Table of Contents

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First Chapter

Too Much of a Good Thing

Chapter One

A Year Later

Mariah Johnson Black smiled proudly as her husband neared the end of his morning message. It just didn't seem real, him actually being senior pastor of Truth Missionary Baptist Church or that he'd chosen her to be his wife. It didn't seem real that he'd wanted a woman who'd grown up in a run-down two-bedroom apartment on the West Side of Chicago that also housed her single mother and five siblings. But he always reminded her that he'd grown up with nothing himself. Still, every now and then, she had to pinch herself, because she couldn't believe how happy she was. She couldn't believe they'd only been married six short months, and yet Curtis had already bought her a six-thousand-square-foot house in Covington Park, the most expensive Mercedes that Daimler manufactured, and best of all, she didn't have to work for anyone. All she had to do was be the best wife she could be to Curtis and the best first lady to their congregation -- two things Curtis said his first wife, Tanya, wasn't capable of. Mariah almost felt sorry for Tanya, because she couldn't imagine how painful it must have been, once Tanya realized what she'd given up. Curtis had told Mariah about Tanya's affair with James, and Mariah couldn't understand how Tanya even considered being with another man. Especially when she had someone as fine-looking and considerate as Curtis. Especially since he had only been with another woman -- Adrienne -- on two separate occasions. Curtis had told Mariah how he'd apologized and tried to explain everything to Tanya, but that she wasn't willing to forgive him. He'd tried to make Tanya see that this random act of adultery had only occurred because Satan was trying to attack him and their marriage. He'd told Tanya that the only reason God had allowed it to happen was because He wanted to see how strong their faith was and how committed they were to each other as husband and wife.

But thankfully, all of that was behind them now, and while she wasn't happy about Curtis and Tanya's marriage ending in divorce, she knew it was the only reason she was now sitting on the second pew, dressed in a royal blue suit, a matching hat, matching purse, and matching three-inch heels. Mariah also knew that Curtis would never have paid her the least bit of attention if they hadn't worked for the same agency. He'd told her more than once that she was beautiful, but she knew it was only because he felt obligated to do so and not because it was true. She'd been a bit on the heavy side growing up, and her schoolmates had teased her daily. So by the time she was a teenager, she'd lost all confidence in herself and in the way she looked.

But in terms of her feelings for Curtis, she'd actually liked him from the very beginning and had fallen in love with him right after their first date. He was strong, compassionate, tall, dark, and handsome, and from that point she started praying for their relationship to become serious. She prayed that God would give her Curtis even if it meant she had to go without something else in life, whatever that had to be. So when he asked her to marry him, she knew for sure that God answered all prayers.

Mariah watched Curtis twirl his hands, demonstrating what he was saying.

"God will allow you to experience every twist and turn in the road until you are as strong as He needs you to be ... until you are strong enough to deal with any trial or tribulation thrown your way," Curtis said. "And when it comes to success and prosperity, we have to take the same attitude. Sometimes we find ourselves climbing higher and higher in our chosen careers and all of a sudden a monkey wrench is thrown into the program. And of course, we as human beings don't understand it. We don't understand why God would give us such great success and then, for whatever reason, take us down a notch or two. But the best way I can explain it is to tell you what I heard on the radio last week. I was driving along, listening to 106.3, and it was then that I heard T. D. Jakes make one of the most profound statements. He said, 'A set-back is a setup for a comeback.'"

The congregation roared with amens and a good number of people waved their bulletins at Curtis, agreeing with what he was saying.

Curtis thrived on member participation and repeated in song what the crowd wanted to hear him say again. "I said, a setback is a setup for a comeback."

"Oh, thank you, Jesus!" one woman stood and yelled out.

"Glory be to God!" another added with her hands lifted toward the ceiling.

"Boy, you know you workin' that Word on us today!" an older gentleman offered.

The organist played a few notes, and Mariah stood with her hands on both hips, waving her head from side to side with quick movements, giving Curtis approval. Then a woman jumped from her seat, shouting her way across three people sitting on the same row. This, of course, was all Curtis needed to see in order to switch into his deep southern preaching mode. He'd told Mariah that he thought it was totally ridiculous to sing the ending of every sermon, but that he'd learned during his days at Faith that his older members didn't feel like a pastor could preach if he didn't do a little whooping and singing with it ...

Too Much of a Good Thing. Copyright © by Kimberla Roby. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Reading Group Guide

Introduction

Curtis Black might be a man of the cloth, but with his irresistible looks, seductive charm, and charismatic personality, he's particularly beloved by his female parishioners -- and almost every other woman he's ever met.

The trouble is, Curtis is married. At first he tries to resist temptation, but not for long. His insatiable appetite for women quickly gets the best of him. Overwhelmed by his sizzling love affairs and busy trying to convince the deacon board of the need for an ATM in the back of the church, Curtis has his hands full. Meanwhile Mariah, his second wife, is slowly discovering that beneath the tranquil and loving facade of their marriage a storm of lies and betrayal is about to rage.

Not to mention that Curtis's already shaky relationship with his teenaged daughter, Alicia, has reached the breaking point. Feeling neglected and unloved, Alicia searches for solace in the arms of a stranger, and before long she finds herself in a dangerous situation.

Eventually, the women in Curtis's life find that with a little careful planning -- sneaky and otherwise -- they can help Curtis reap the punishment that he so richly deserves. In this captivating and dramatic sequel to Casting the First Stone, Kimberla Lawson Roby, with her trademark wit and insight, sets sparks flying.

Questions for Discussion

  1. When you first began reading Too Much of a Good Thing, were you surprised that Curtis had decided to return to the ministry?

  2. Do you feel that Mariah is typical in terms of some women wanting to marry men with money or men who have a certain amount of power?

  3. In your opinion, was Curtistruly called by God to preach or did he decide on his own to become a minister?

  4. Why do you think Alicia resorted to dating on the Internet?

  5. Do you feel that Curtis and/or Tanya could have prevented Alicia from meeting J-Money on-line? What about in person?

  6. Do you believe that real-life ministers in your own city spend social time together, discussing their corrupt ways, the same as Curtis, Tyler, Malcolm and Cletus did?

  7. When Adrienne was first re-introduced, did you think she would begin seeing Curtis again?

  8. Do you feel that Mariah acted accordingly by staying with Curtis for as long as she did? Do you believe this is typical of most pastors' wives?

  9. In your recollection, have there been any major scandals in your city involving a pastor or church congregation?

  10. What do you believe can be done to stop pastors who are morally challenged and who have no respect for God or people as a whole?

  11. In the end, do you believe that Curtis Black has finally changed for the better?

  12. Would you like to see more of Curtis Black in the future?

About the author

A winner of the prestigious Blackboard Fiction Book of the Year Award, Kimberla Lawson Roby is the author of the bestselling novels A Taste of Reality, Behind Closed Doors, Here and Now, Casting the First Stone, and It's a Thin Line. She lives in Rockford, Illinois, with her husband.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

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(20)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2010

    Awesome audiobook !

    The writer did a great job with this book this is the first time I have heard of this writer. I decided to take a chance and buy the audiobook. I do not regret it. I plan on buying more books by this author !

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A FAVORITE

    OMG THIS IS AN ALL TIME FAVORITE. I LOVE THIS BOOK. THAT CURTIS BLACK IS SOMETHING ELSE. THE BOOKS ONLY GET BETTER WITH EACH READ. MS LAWSON-ROBY IS A VERY GOOD AUTHOR. SHE DID HER THING WITH THIS BOOK.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 25, 2009

    NOT AT HER BEST

    THE MAIN CHARACTER IN THIS STORY WAS TOO UNBELIEVABLE. THIS NOVEL ENDED LEAVING YOU WONDERING WHAT HAPPENED IN THE OTHER PERSONS LIVES. IT WAS TOO SLOW MOVING AND BORING.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 11, 2008

    Could not put it down

    Great great book. I usually don't read books like this but I was hooked. There was a day I was late for work because I was reading it. You just don't know what's going to happen next.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted June 8, 2006

    Page Turner For sure

    I read Casting the first stone which was good as well, then i read the sequel that i must admit i finished faster than the first one. I love the characters, i love how the author put some laughter in the book as well. Its a great book and everyone should read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2006

    Excellent Book

    I bought and read this book within three days. After reading the first and third books I just had to read this book to complete the entire collection and it was not a disappointment at all. It was excellent. After reading the best kept secret, now I'm wondering if there will be another sequel to that one. I would love to find out..... Keep up the good work Kimberla!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2005

    BRAVOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

    This book was soo good but that rev curtis i tell ya he is something else..i couldnt beleive adrienne went out like that myself.. that was a trip then to come in the church with it.. i am going to get best kept secret to see what happens next.. this book was a two thumbs up1!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2005

    another great hit

    I FINISH THIS BOOK IN TWO DAYS.I REALLY ENJOYED THIS BOOK.I'M BEGINNING TO ENJOY THE BLACK FAMILY.THIS BOOK KEPT MY ATTENTION.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 29, 2004

    Recommended

    this book was very good,but that Curtis puts the D in DOGGGGGG and I can't believe Adrienne went out like she did! definitely one for your collection

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 13, 2005

    To Good!!!!!!!!

    Too much of a good thing ,is a good thing!!!! In all of your books you feel that you know someone like that!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2004

    Great Book

    This book is a great sequel to 'Casting the first stone'. Just when you think the main character(from both books) has learned his lesson the ugly head of greed shows itself. This was a quick read, as you find yourself wanting to know what else happen. I read this book in one day.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted August 29, 2004

    Great read

    I really enjoyed the book. I've been a fan since the beginning. Great job!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 27, 2004

    appealing

    i thought that this book was very good. i think that the ending could have been a little bit more spicer but overall the book was a very enjoyable read. i look forward to reading other books by kimberly lawson. keep up the good work!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2004

    Bestseller Again!

    Kimberla Lawson has written a book that is bound to make number 1 bestseller again. The story about a philandering preacher and how his selfish ways crudely affect his friends and family. Ms. Lawson exposes real situations that mosts church folk don't want to confess. The book is so interesting that you will read profusely. Another job well done, Ms. Lawson

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2004

    Something to add to the collection

    I was a little dissappointed in reading this book. I had the opportunity to read it in January and was somewhat dissappointed. I love Kim's work and have almost all her books. This book was a little too predictable and really didnt grab what I was searching for. Keep up the good work Kim, I understand when you have avid readers wanting to know more about Curtis... Much Success

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2004

    a great story

    I read this book in a few hours because I couldn't put it down . I wanted to call my girl friend and tell her to come by my house and get this book and read it . I love it. All of the books that I have read by kimberla is just what I need to keep me entertained. Curtis is just like a minister or ministers that I know. But I have learned to keep my money in my pocket and read for myself what the bible says. I love nice clothes and fine cars too. I sure like how curtis blackmailed the deacons to put a atm machine in the church , they were stupid too. Women find any kind of preacher attractive. The ministers can't tango by themselves.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2004

    Too much of the Same Thing

    Okay...I too were taken back with the storyline. There was another church scene of a lunatick causing a ruckus in the house of prayer and someone gets rushed to the hospital as did in the first, again there was the scene of Bad Boy Curtis being caught on tape and produced to the bored...oops I mean board. I did not finish because yes it was predictable except when I was told by another reader who the female voice was in the end that asked 'when do we end...oops I mean begin. I hope the next will be something new...Curtis is tired.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2004

    The Rev. Curtis Black is up to his old tricks again

    This book was an excellent read! I thought Rev. Curtis was bad in Casting the First Stone...but he really out does himself in this book. The way the book ended I'am sure that a third book is in the works!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2004

    ...and a half, wouldn't ya know it.....

    I love her writing and I love these characters. My only problem is the predictability of this book. I was so much taken by these characters in the 'Casting' that I was salivating for this next chapter in the life of Curtis and company. Overall, a very good book, but is there anyone else who shares my belief that the author somenhow got backed into a corner with alot of the storylines and especially the ending?? My love for Kimberla's writing has not been compromised, but some of the subplots were straight from Y&R and the like. Some more guts, and this one would have gotten much more glory.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2004

    The Flesh Is Weak....

    This Author Has Done It Again, With The Sequel From Her Previous Book 'Casting The First Stone'Which I Enjoyed To The Fulliest..When Will 'The Rev. Curtis Black' Ever Learn From Being a 'Church Dog'? There Were Times In This Books, That I Wanted To Choke Him With My Own Bare Hands!! Curtis Was Out Only For Himself & His Own Selfish Needs.As The Old Sayiings Goes' What Goes Arounds Comes Around' & Every Dog has His Day, You Reap What You Sow..Curtis Black Gets His In The End& Then Some.. You Are In For A Few Suprises In This Book..Hold Your Seats For The Ending!! Is So Unreal!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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