The first I have read in this long-running series, The Ultimate Betrayal is loaded with drama, angst, stellar characters and enough twists for a Gordian Knot. Kimberla Lawson Roby writes dialog that could be taken from an actual conversation, and her characters breathe through the pages: laden with contradictions, conflicts and insecurities galore.
Alicia is the daughter of Reverend Curtis Black, and her own life has not been free and easy. For the past four years, after divorcing her second husband, she has been dating her first husband, Phillip. Since she broke Phillip’s heart with her own infidelity, there is a sense of what you put out in the world comes back at you in the dissolution of her second marriage, as her husband was a cheating liar, and corrupt to boot. This has left her at a bit of a disadvantage: licking her wounds while trying to prove herself to Phillip.
But, just as things are looking up: Levi is released from prison, just as enamored with Alicia as he was when they had their affair, and Alicia just can’t get him out of her mind. When her best friend Melanie confides some of her own marital issues with Brad, and her own behavior becomes more erratic and confused, the plot heats up and one betrayal is followed by another, and another. Every choice has a Solomon-like option that would destroy relationships, ties and even faith.
With choices that are ‘less bad than good’ and less wrong than deadly, the characters never once catch a break from dealing with their own desires, their issues or the emotional toll that grows as events unfold. With the Reverend dropping in moments of wisdom and the pleas for turning to their faith in God to bring them peace and good decisions, the impact of hasty words or selfish choices and unforeseen consequences pile on to each character with abandon, giving readers that Need to Know feelings about the story that is mixed with a healthy dose of wanting to reach in and smack a few characters for being so foolhardy.
Not the last I will read from this author: characters, emotions, twists and turns all made this a stellar read and one that is hard to forget.
Title: The Ultimate Betrayal
Author: Kimberla Lawson Roby
Genre: African-American, Contemporary Romance, Literary Fiction /Family Saga
Published on: 9 June 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 9 Hours
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance ♦ iTunes ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound
It's been four years since twenty-eight-year old Alicia Black, daughter of Reverend Curtis Black, divorced her second husband, the most womanizing and corrupt man she has ever known. Since then, Alicia has been dating her first husband, Phillip Sullivan, a wonderfully kind and true man of God whom she'd hurt terribly by cheating on him. Alicia has worked hard to prove herself worthy of his trust once more, and when he asks her to marry him again, she couldn't be happier.
But Levi Cunningham, the drug dealer Alicia had an extramarital affair with, has just been released from prison, and he has completely turned his life around for the better. Still head-over-heels in love with Alicia, he will do whatever is necessary to win her back. Remarrying Phillip is the one thing Alicia has wanted for years, but she can't get Levi out of her mind.
Alicia and Phillip aren't the only ones in the middle of a crisis. Their best friends, husband and wife Brad and Melanie Richardson, are struggling to keep their marriage together. Workaholic Brad is never home and has begun losing thousands on bad investments. Or so he says. Melanie, who is certain there's more to the story, is determined to get at the truth. At the same time, her frustration and stress cause her to eat a lot less, and she behaves in an extreme fashion. Alicia worries that she could be suffering from anorexia, but Melanie steadfastly denies it. Their friendship begins to suffer, and it isn't long before they're talking to each other like enemies.
Fresh betrayal leads to consequences no one saw coming, and Alicia's relationship with Phillip might not be the only thing that needs saving. But is it already too late?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.