In this installment of Lutishia Lovely's wickedly sexy Hallelujah Love series, an energetic young pastor works overtime to keep the ladies in his congregation deliciously satisfied. . .
Nathaniel "Nate" Thicke is a preaching prodigy. At only twenty-eight years old, he's the senior pastor of The Gospel Truth Church. In addition to carrying on the preaching tradition begun by his great-grandfather, Nate is also just plain carrying on wherever the spiritand the fleshlead him. And when it leads him to three women from the same family, bickering and backstabbing follow. . .
Content with having his pick of the flock, Nate is surprised to discover he's fallen head-over-heels in love, and decides to become a one-woman man. But the other ladies aren't about to give him up so easily. They're prepared to do whatever it takes to get their man backeven if it means adding a few more shocking sins to their list. . .
"Worth every moment." Donna Hill
"Lovely once again expertly illuminates the wacky world of the devout and devoutly devilish." Publishers Weekly
"Characters are lively, funny, and realistic. I turned each page eagerly waiting to see what would/could happen next. I cannot wait to see how Ms. Lovely will follow up this story." APOOO BookClub
|Product dimensions:||4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Lutishia Lovely burst onto the literary scene with Sex in the Sanctuary and now, more than a dozen books later, hasn’t even thought about slowing down. When not writing contemporary fiction, she lends her muse to her alter ego, Zuri Day, and writes steamy romances. But all work and no play makes Tish a dull girl, so she knows how to put down the pen and pick up a good time, which isn’t hard to do in Las Vegas, where she now lives. Lutishia loves to hear from readers, so visit her online at LutishiaLovely.com or on Facebook and Twitter @lutishialovely.
Read an Excerpt
By LUTISHIA LOVELY
DAFINA BOOKSCopyright © 2010 Lutishia Lovely
All right reserved.
Three Years Earlier
Nate Thicke yawned, casually stretched his six-foot-three-inch frame, and gave the woman beside him a kiss on the forehead before getting out of bed. He strolled from the king-sized showpiece to the master bath in all his naked glory. At twenty-eight, he was in the best shape of his life, thanks to a mindful diet and the recent addition of a personal trainer to his church's official staff.
The woman in his bed, his administrative assistant Ms. Katherine Noble, admired his plump, hard backside and long, strong legs as he left the room. She especially loved how his dark brown blemish-free skin glistened with the fine sheen of sweat that had resulted from their lovemaking. They'd been lovers for a long time, and while she knew their relationship would never be more than that-had known from the beginning-she had fallen in love with him anyway. Even though she knew the day would come when he would take a wife and start a family. Even as she hoped he could continue to be her spiritual covering, her sexual satisfaction, as both his father and grandfather before him had been. Katherine had been a Thicke woman for generations.
Katherine rose and walked to a floor-length mirror that occupied a corner of the elegantly decorated bedroom, the black, tan,and deep purple color scheme her design. She eyed herself objectively, critically, turning this way and that. At fifty-three, her body easily looked ten years younger. It still held most of its firmness, her butterscotch skin was still smooth and supple. The stretch marks from her single pregnancy thirty-two years ago were long gone, rubbed away with cocoa butter and the luck of excellent genes. She tossed her shoulder-length hair away from her face, brought her image closer to the mirror. The fine crow lines around her eyes and on her forehead were deepening slightly, she noticed, and she detected a puffiness that hadn't been there five years ago. There was a slight sag to her chin, and even though she'd been the same weight for twenty-five years, it looked as if her cheeks were sunken, hollow, and not in a good way. These imperfections were not noticeable to the average observer. Most people who saw Katherine either admired or envied her for the attractive woman she was.
She turned to the side and continued her perusal, a frown accompanying her critique. Her butt had never been big, but it had always been firm. Until now. Now it hung loose and soft, like a deflated balloon, obeying the gravity that she tried to defy. A discernible dimpling of unwanted cellulite challenged her vow not to age. She cupped her cheeks, pushed them up, and thought about butt implants.
"Get out of the mirror. You're still fine." Nate walked from the bathroom into his massive closet and began to dress.
"I'm sure you say that to all your women," Katherine responded, without rancor. "But even if you're lying, it makes me feel so good."
Thirty minutes later, a showered and dressed Katherine sat across the desk from Nate in his roomy, masculine home office. She looked the epitome of decorum in her black skirt that hung below the knee, and a pink and black polka-dotted blouse with a frilly lace collar that tickled her chin. Her hair was pulled back in a bun, and black, rectangular reading glasses sat perched on her nose. Anyone entering would see a scene of utmost respectability.
A "matronly" older woman who had known Nate since he was born, Katherine had been considered the perfect choice as his assistant when he became senior pastor four years ago, the perfect barrier between him and all the young, single female members who clamored for his "counsel." Her position was the perfect cover for their ongoing liaison. No one ever questioned why she was in his home; no one guessed that she spent as much time in his bedroom as she did in his office. Of course, Nate's residence in a gated and guarded community was beneficial as well-very few eyes could pry.
"You had something you wanted to discuss with me?" Katherine asked after Nate had finished a call with a church deacon.
"Yes," he answered.
Katherine waited. In bed, at first, she had been the teacher, he the student. She had been the older woman, he the enthralled teenager. She'd been in control. But those roles had reversed a long time ago. Now he was her boss, and the more experienced lover. He was now clearly in control. So now, even though she could tell that his mind was in turmoil, she didn't push, but waited until he was ready to speak.
Nate cleared his throat and began toying with a paperweight on his desk. It wasn't so much that he was getting ready to talk with Katherine about what God had told him; she'd often been a sounding board. It's just that this time, he wasn't sure how she'd react to what he had to say.
"The Lord has spoken to me," he began in a tone of authority. "He has given me confirmation on who's to be my wife."
Katherine let out the breath she'd been holding. Is that all? she thought. At once, she quelled the surge of jealousy that rose to the surface, determined to not deny this woman what she knew she could never have, Nate's hand in marriage. It was why she'd denied her own feelings when Nate came to her some years ago and said he'd been led to become Simone's biblical covering. How could she protest his decision to have sex with her daughter? Katherine, along with the older Thicke men, had been Nate's mentors, his example, encouraging him to indulge his conjugal rights as a spiritual leader in their church. That's how he had wound up in Katherine's bed. And now, this is how she would always have a key to his home ... as his mother-in-law.
Katherine was certain of God's message to Nate that Simone was to be his wife. After all, she was perfect. The two were good friends, had practically grown up together. At thirty-two, Simone had never been married and only had one child. Like her mother, Simone was a stunner, the family's Creole blood prominent in her features. Three inches taller than Katherine's five foot six, Simone had Katherine's beautiful hazel green eyes, a full pouty mouth, large breasts, and long black hair. She was educated and cultured, perfect "first lady" material for a prominent, up and coming minister. And to top all this off, Simone had the voice of an angel. Beyoncé, Rihanna, Mariah: these successful women had nothing on her daughter, either in looks or voice. This is what Katherine had envisioned on that first night when she knew Nate and Simone were sleeping together, when she had to make room for her daughter in her pastor's crowded bed. And now her dream was coming true!
Katherine reached over and placed her hand over Nate's. "Don't worry, Nathaniel. I knew this day would come. Everything is going to be fine, trust me. Simone is going to make a beautiful bride and a fabulous wife."
Nate's dark brown eyes met Katherine's hazel green ones. He forced himself not to squirm or break the stare. He had heard from God, and knew in his heart that his decision was right. For the first time since walking into the office, he blessed his longtime lover with a dazzling smile of straight, white teeth set against skin so dark and creamy smooth one wanted to lick it.
"Katherine, you're right, as usual. The woman God has chosen for me will make an excellent wife, and she will be the perfect first lady. But it isn't Simone."
Katherine snatched back her hand, stunned into silence. Within seconds, however, she found her voice. "Who could it be if not my daughter? There's nobody in our congregation who compares to her!"
Katherine thought back to Nate's busy schedule, and the increasing amount of time he spent ministering in other churches.
"Oh, my God, that's it. You've found someone outside of Palestine. Is it someone from Mount Zion Progressive, or one of those silicone-injected, weave-wearing minister chasers in LA?"
Katherine stood and walked to the window behind Nate's desk. Then she stopped, one hand on her hip, and swirled his chair around until he faced her. "You know I respect your anointing. I've never questioned your ability to hear God's voice. But, Nathaniel, I have to question it now. I'm positive that Simone is the woman you should marry."
"And I'm positive that it's her daughter, Destiny. Katherine, your granddaughter is the one who will be my wife."
Chapter TwoTangled, Tarnished Traditions
"A man of God has needs," Katherine said calmly. She emphasized the word man by drawing out the last letter in the word.
"I won't allow it," Simone replied with equal composure, looking at her manicured nails as if she were discussing the weather. "I won't let him sleep with Destiny. She's sixteen, still a child."
"She'll be seventeen in three months," Katherine countered. "Older than you were when you got pregnant."
Simone jumped to her feet. "But it's supposed to be me, Mother! That's what you told me, remember? And for the past four years, that's what I've believed. That once Nate got older, ready to settle down, it would be with me!"
"I also thought it would be you, baby, was sure of it. But God has spoken, and now we must heed the voice of His servant. You are no less chosen now than you were yesterday. You are the mother of our man of God's future wife. You'll always have an important role in the ministry."
At this point, Simone wasn't interested in Nate's ministry. To tell the gospel truth, she was worried about her role in his bed, a role she didn't want to relinquish.
"She's sixteen. I can't believe you, as her grandmother, don't find Nate's intention to marry her at this young age appalling." Simone waited for Katherine to speak. When her mother remained quiet, Simone continued. "You might not have a problem with it, but I do. Destiny's too young," she repeated defiantly. "End of discussion."
Katherine sighed as she watched her proud, hurt daughter leave the living room. Simone had a right to be angry, Katherine knew, and she took her share of blame for stroking her daughter's expectation of becoming Mrs. Nathaniel Thicke, and first lady of the Gospel Truth Church. But she couldn't agree with her daughter that Destiny was too young.
Should I tell her? Katherine pondered. Should I tell Simone the whole story about Nathaniel, and me, the Thickes and the Nobles, and our church's tangled, tarnished traditions?
Chapter ThreeSomething Noble
Katherine was twelve years old when she found out about the "man of God" and his special "needs." The lesson had been taught forcefully and thoroughly: initially painful, later pleasurable. Katherine was a quick learner. As she left her daughter's house, she barely noticed what rarely happened in Texas-a January snowfall. She got into her custom-colored, deep purple Cadillac and drove toward the Gospel Truth Church offices ... and she remembered.
"Mama, Reverend Thicke touched me."
Naomi Noble closed her eyes briefly and took a deep breath. And so it continues, she thought. The pain she felt for her daughter was brief, replaced by a sense of duty and resignation. She turned to face her youngest child and only girl. "A man of God has needs, Katherine. I told you that, been telling you for years. Reverend Thomas Thicke is a man of God, a covering for the daughters of his flock. And only those who are special, chosen, are touched by him."
"But, Mama, it didn't feel good. It hurt."
Naomi stopped in midstroke, the doily she was crocheting momentarily forgotten. "Why? Did he put his peter in you?"
For a moment, Katherine was confused, wondering what a disciple of Jesus had to do with what had happened in the pastor's office. "Peter?" she repeated.
"Peter, snake, ding-a-ling ... Did he put his thing in you?"
"Oh, no, ma'am," Katherine answered, a blush creeping up from her neck to her scalp.
"Then how did he hurt you?"
Katherine bowed her head. She was too embarrassed to say what had happened, and when Naomi continued to stare at her, Katherine burst out crying and ran to her room.
Moments later, Naomi followed. Armed with the family Bible, she entered her daughter's darkened room and noted the curled up bundle underneath the quilt. Naomi pulled a chair up to Katherine's bed and spoke in a soft voice. "Katherine, baby, I need for you to look at me. What I have to say is important. I need to teach you what it means to be chosen."
When Katherine hesitated, Naomi continued in a soft yet stern voice. "Ain't a thing for you to be embarrassed about, Katherine. The man of God has needs, that's all, and certain daughters of the flock are chosen to help meet these needs. Reverend Thomas is being your spiritual covering, baby."
By now, any other mother would have been at this molester's house with a shotgun. But Naomi taught what she'd learned and experienced, actually condoning the unthinkable practice that had been passed down from her mother.
Katherine wiped her eyes and sat up against the backboard. "But Nettie told me it was nasty to let boys touch you ... down there."
Naomi's voice rose. "What are you doing talking to Nettie or anybody else about God's business? Girl, you better learn to cover the man of God like he covers you ... lest the Lord strike you dead, and me along beside you!"
The thought of losing her mother in such a horrid fashion terrified Katherine. "I didn't tell her about Reverend!" she wailed. "Well, how does she know then?"
"'Cause last week ... we were talking about boys."
"What boys?" Naomi hissed. "Who have you been whoring around with?"
"Nobody, Mama!" Katherine's eyes grew wide and tears threatened. How was it that she'd be a whore if a boy touched her but what had happened today was okay? "Reverend is the only one who touched me, Mama. I promise! But how come Reverend Thomas can do it, but it's bad if somebody else does?"
Naomi spoke slowly, enunciating every word. "Because Reverend Thomas Thicke is a man of God. He is your covering, protects us, keeps us safe. Hasn't he been almost like a father to you since your daddy run off?"
Katherine nodded. "Yes, ma'am."
"He's the reason we can stay in this fine house and I can buy those pretty dresses you wear. Because we're special, because you're special, child. Nettie ain't special, she's common. A man of God can't share with her what he can with you. When the man of God has needs, only special women, ones who are chosen, can take care of them. Do you understand?"
Katherine was beginning to. She nodded again, slowly.
"And don't you tell nobody about what goes on between you and the man of God, do you hear me? Nobody! Less the Lord strike me down and you along with me. That old, ugly Nettie don't need to know nothing about this here business. And she ain't your friend."
"She ain't! She's acting like it now because y'all are still kids. But give it time, when she feels her flower blooming and boys start buzzing around it. Then she's going to be jealous of you. They all will. That's why you have to do like the Bible says: don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. I mean it, Katherine. Don't tell a soul."
Naomi had opened the Bible then, and quoted scriptures from the Old Testament. Scriptures that spoke of covering, sometimes a man with his own daughter, and then Naomi explained how such coverings were God's will. Much as her mother had when Naomi was Katherine's age, Naomi taught her daughter that what was wrong for other people was okay for them, because they were doing the Lord's work. After she put down the Bible, Naomi continued Katherine's education in being special, and how to please God's man.
It was another two years before Reverend Thicke's penis replaced the finger that had penetrated Katherine's innocence. By then she had become well versed in her role as a daughter of his flock. True to her mother's predictions, others became jealous, especially Nettie. Later, Nettie would have reason to hate Katherine, and that she didn't, even to this day, was why Katherine respected her more than any other woman. Their unlikely friendship had lasted for more than four decades.
Also true to her mother's prediction, Katherine became the topic of gossip and the object of scorn for most females in their small town. More than once, she was accosted by a church mother after coming out of the pastor's parsonage, especially when Thomas's wife, Mrs. Nancy Thicke, wasn't there.
"You ain't got no business in there when the Missus ain't home," one would say.
"She asked me to come over," Katherine would reply.
Excerpted from Reverend Feelgood by LUTISHIA LOVELY Copyright © 2010 by Lutishia Lovely. 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Dumb! I'm sure I was supposed to find some lesson. However this book was an insult and showed a perverse look at the gospel which only adds fuel to the fire of ignorance in the black community and the view on church. Thanks for a waste of my money this author is now on my ban list falling under I for IGNORANCE. This is why African American authors have such a hard time, people see the drama in even the smallest platforms. One star only because the author found a publisher for this mess which also on the ban list for encouraging stupid behavior.
I get that the overall topic of this book is taboo but i just couldnt finish it. I was reading this book for entertainment but i couldnt get past the mothers coaching their daughters to sleep with their pastor or that the pastor was whoring around sleeping with all the women in the church (mothers, daughters...age didnt even matter!) I know things like this happen in real life but im sorry writing about grown men sleeping with 12 year old girls is not comical to me nor entertaining. Maybe this shouldve been put together as some type of self help book instead.
I usually love Ms. Lovely's plots and storyline but this one was just disturbing. Having the good reverend "cover" the mother, daughter and eventually turn out the 16 year old granddaughter is criminal. Hope the younger audience knows this is fiction but i have to wonder if that is how some of our young legal age brothers end up in jail behind some fast behind young girl with hopes that she is going to end up like Destiny married and living happily ever after. REALLY Nate was a grown man molesting an under age girl. The women in this book had no self esteem...the mother, daughter and grand-daughter all sleeping with the man. AGAIN REALLY disgusting. I kept reading this only to see if it improved. Would not recommend this book but love her others.
Up until I purchased my Nook, I had not heard of her. I found her on another website and decided to give her a try...she is FANTASTIC. Great storyline and loved the characters (even the ones who were up to no good). I read this book in its entirety before I found out that this is the fifth book in her "Hallelujah Series"...needless to say, I've downloaded the first four books and have already started reading "Sex in the Sanctuary". Her storyline reinforces the importance of studying God's Word for yourself lest you be tricked into some foolishness that is not of God!
A little jumpy, but turned out to be good. I will read more from this author....