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

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

by Kimberla Lawson Roby
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The Best-Kept Secret (Reverend Curtis Black Series #3) by Kimberla Lawson Roby

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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060734435
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/01/2005
Series: Reverend Curtis Black Series , #3
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.93(d)

About 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.

Read an Excerpt

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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Best-Kept Secret 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
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BOOKDEVA More than 1 year ago
gardening More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent read!!!!!!!!!I recommend it to everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book, I especially liked the ending. I could not put it down I read it in one sitting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
harstan More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I could not put it down.So much drama.I would love to read more of her material.Bravo Bravo darling!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Another gold star for Kimberla! This story is another great example of folks who can dish it out but can't take.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i was able to read this book in 4 days, which says a lot for someone who hasn't read a book in 5 yrs. ms. roby keeps you wondering what mrs charolette is up to and what dirty secret is going to come out next. however i have to admit i loved charolette for knowing when to love a man and when to get what you deserve and move on. for anyone struggle with this matter, this book will address more than a notion of life. it was the ultimate brain rush since 'coldest winter ever'
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow... this Book I read in 1 Day You really out done yourself what a ending...Charlotte was Let's just Say this is a Must Read Book Please Continue this ....Kimberla You are a Great Story teller....I can't wait till ....Hurry with the next saga of Rev Black....
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.