A man who once thrived on wickedness and counted on forgiveness, Curtis Black has changed his ways. Back in the heart of his congregation and his family, he will no longer stray from the beaten path. Or so he's promised his long-suffering wife, Charlotte. But the sins of the past have strange ways of coming to light. First, Curtis's former mistress shows up with their newborn baby daughter-named Curtina-and insists that Curtis be a part of their lives. Charlotte has forbidden her husband to have anything to do with them, but the trouble is, Curtis's newfound conscience is leading him to have uncomfortable thoughts of responsibility. Also, the interim pastor who took over while Curtis was on a book tour is threatening blackmail. He's gotten too used to life at the pulpit and will do everything in his power to stay there. Meanwhile, Charlotte has her own previous transgressions to deal with. The man who claims to be her son's biological father has turned up and wants to make amends for the past thirteen years.
Flawed Rev. Curtis Black returns in Roby's latest melodrama (following Love and Lies). The repentant, 46-year-old Curtis has finally made amends with his 31-year-old wife, Charlotte: she's forgiven him for his five-year affair with Tabitha, but forbids him from seeing Tabitha or the infant daughter he fathered with her. An enraged Tabitha harasses Curtis, stalks Charlotte around their hometown of Mitchell, Ill., and threatens to go public. Haunted by her own daughter's death and determined to keep her husband's secrets, Charlotte decides to take matters into her own hands. Meanwhile, interim pastor Rev. Tolson, who knows a thing or two about Curtis's business, is smarting from his loss of power now that Curtis has returned to the pulpit from a book tour and speaking engagements. And Curtis and Charlotte risk losing their 13-year-old son, Matthew, after David, the man they believe is Matthew's biological dad, decides to seek full custody. Roby has got smalltown church politics down, but spends more time on stiffly repeated backstory and hollow finger-wagging than on plot, leading to a hurried, undermotivated denouement. (Jan.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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January 21, 2008
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