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The Best-Kept Secret Hardcover – February 1, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 127 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Rev. Curtis Black has finally changed his ways: no more close encounters with temptation, either of the flesh or of the wallet, just a simple existence running his new church and loving his young wife of two years, Charlotte, and their son, Matthew. But readers who relished Black's down-and-dirties in Roby's Casting the First Stone and Too Much of a Good Thing need not worry that the series will shy away from its deliciously trashy concerns. For Curtis has more than met his match in Charlotte, a babe 15 years his junior who didn't bargain on a solid middle-class existence when she married him—after all, he was a holy high-roller who knocked her up before she was 18. Charlotte fills the void she feels with spending sprees and wild sex with Curtis's best friend, Aaron. Of course, Curtis finds out, and Charlotte vows to be better. But Aaron, who has a history of mental illness, will stop at nothing to win Charlotte back—including sharing her entire sinful past (and Matthew's questionable paternity) with Curtis. Self-pitying, self-justifying Curtis figures that "nothing he'd ever done could compare to the sins Charlotte had committed," and so he promptly goes back on the prowl himself. The novel's utterly sleazy conclusion will leave readers shaking off the cooties—and eagerly awaiting the next scandalous installment.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Curtis Black is back! After failed marriages to Tanya (Casting the First Stone, 2000) and Mariah (Too Much of a Good Thing, 2004), two unsuccessful ministries in Chicago, and two children, Curtis has finally settled down with Carmen and their son, Matthew. He is committed to ensuring that Matthew has a happy childhood and relocates his family to a small town in Illinois. Curtis starts a new church there called Deliverance Outreach, writes a monthly column for the local paper, and is working on his first book. Although his family is not living extravagantly, they are comfortable. Yet Carmen is very dissatisfied that he is unable to provide the lifestyle she believes they deserve. She soothes her disappointment with overspending and having an affair with his best friend, Aaron Malone. Her manipulation is causing Curtis the same doubt and pain that he inflicted on his ex-wives. It isn't until Curtis receives a book deal that Carmen decides to break up with Aaron and all their secrets are revealed, and the reader is treated to a well-written narrative. Lillian Lewis
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (February 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060734434
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060734435
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #470,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
THE BEST-KEPT SECRET is the third book by Kimberla Roby featuring the infamous character, Reverend Curtis Black. In it, he is rebuilding his life - again, and hoping that the marriage to his newest wife, Charlotte, will succeed. He has left Chicago, and started a new church. The new church was a carefully planned endeavor; Curtis and Charlotte wrote the by-laws and hand selected the governing body with hopes of avoiding some of the power struggles he encountered in churches he pastored prior. Curtis has slowed down considerably, trading his womanizing role for that of a family man dedicated to raising his young son to the best of his ability. While on the surface things look great for him both professionally and on the home-front, things are not always as they seem. Curtis just may have met his match with his young wife, and add to that a healthy dose of betrayal, old skeletons and lots of conflict and you have a story that is sure to please.

Although I may not be anxious to see a fourth book featuring Curtis Black's character, I really enjoyed following his evolution from Casting the First Stone to THE BEST-KEPT SECRET. While the book could stand alone, knowing the history behind the various characters will make this a much more interesting read. My only real issue with this book was that I felt like a lot of the events that occurred in the story had happened before in an earlier book, just with different characters playing pivotol roles. This made the story less believable simply because it seemed unrealistic for Curtis to find himself amid such over-the-top, once-in-a-lifetime, dramatic events more than once. Still if any character would be swimming in drama, it would surely be Curtis Black, and because of that I still give the book an above average rating.

Reviewed by Stacey Seay

of The RAWSISTAZ™ Reviewers
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In this third in the series involving pastor Curtis Black, there is drama of course, but not of his doing. Seems as if wife and first lady Charlotte has learned a few tricks of her own from her husband. Charlotte is involved in a red-hot affair with Aaron Malone--illustrious church member and most notably, her husband's best friend. Poor Curtis Black hasn't a clue...he just knows that his wife is less attentive and seems to be "tired" all of the time. Charlotte's unhappiness stems from the Reverend Black's paltry six-figure salary--why can't he earn more to keep her in the lifestyle to which she had become accustomed? So she seeks solace in the arms of Aaron Malone--that is, until the book publishers come calling. When a publishing house offers the good Reverend big bucks for the book that he has written, Charlotte does an aboutface--turning into the idea wife, and ending things with Aaron--or trying to. That's when Charlotte finds out what a true nutcase she has become involved with; and Aaron lets ALL of the cats out of the bag...not only to the good Reverend, but to all of the members of Deliverance Outreach. All Charlotte can do is pray.....!!!

Good follow up to the second novel...and judging by the ending, the saga doesn't end here. Stay tuned.......!

DYB
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Format: Hardcover
This was Mrs. Charlotte Simmons Black motto. She knew the kind of man Curtis was before she married him. She knew that he was the type of guy that messed around because he messed around with her when he was married to someone else. Now, before he has a chance cheat on her, she decided to beat him to the punch by not only messing around on him, but with his friend, the deacon of the church. Sounds familiar? Curtis did this same thing to his deacon in the first book, Casting The First Stone. He messed around on his deacon's wife and finally drove that woman to insanity, which by the way was outrageous the way it ended. Imagine walking into a church with thousands of people and getting close enough to the pulpit to shoot the preacher. Not very realistic. Large churches have too much security to prevent that. Nevertheless, that was in the 2nd book.

Most of the members read books 1 and 2, but this is the only book we've read as a newly formed bookclub. In our opinion, two thumbs up for giving Curtis a taste of his own medicine. However, BEST KEPT SECRET lacked that gripping, page-turning style writing. After a while, we didn't care what happened to Curtis or Charlotte.

We felt this was an average read with no major twists and turns.

AfterWords Book Club

Omaha, Nebraska Chapter
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a complete dis to the church, and a poor example to show to non-believers. Sure, ministers are human and make mistakes. The problem with this book is that it deals with a minister that messes up, time after time, but does not turn to Jesus for forgiveness, repentance, and reconciliation. Although this is a work of fiction, if you are writing about a minister and a church, there should be something besides sin going on in the book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I didn't realize this book was a series so the first book I read was "The Reverend's Wife" and I was quickly drawn in by the story. Once I realized there were other books prior to this one starting with his first wife Tanya in "Casting the First Stone, then his second wife Mariah in "Too Much of a Good Thing and his third wife Mariah in this book I am now commenting on "The Best Kept Secret" I was hooked again and again. I read all three of these books in less than a week and I have a full time job so you can only imagine how "juicy" these books are.
The only thing I will say is that the show down at the church scenes seems to happen in every one of the books so in that sense it becomes predictable and for lack of a better term "stale" hopefully there will be a few changes in future reads.

Overall, its an awesome book!!!!
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