Curtis Black, once a respected man of the cloth, has been forced out of several churches because of his shenanigans, and he's now a bestselling author. He swears he's turned over a new leaf but his ever-suspicious wife, Charlotte, can't be sure. After all, Curtis is on the road a lot. Charlotte herself is no angel and she's keeping plenty of secrets from Curtis. One is the strange behavior of their daughter Marissa—who actually may not be Curtis's child at all. Another is a disturbing visit from Curtis's so-called brother, a man Curtis has asked Charlotte not to see. When Curtis discovers what's going on, Charlotte finds herself between the proverbial rock and a hard place, and she has some tough decisions to make if she wants to salvage her marriage.
1. Why might Charlotte not be well within her rights to complain to Curtis about what he might be doing out on the road?
2. At the beginning of the book, do you feel Curtis should have had more compassion toward Charlotte, especially given his history of infidelity? How do you think a minister should behave in a situation like this?
3. As her mother, at what point should Charlotte have gotten help for Marissa?
4. Charlotte now has everything she could possibly want in terms of money and material possessions, but her marriage is in serious trouble. So, do you feel she's getting exactly what she deserves? Why or why not?
5. When Curtis's brother, Larry, first appears in the story, what did you think of him and his claims?
6. Why do you believe Janine allowed someone like Antonio to move in with her, knowing he was unemployed and had been living with his parents? Do you know other women who are intelligent, personable, and caring, but who are also willing to financially take care of their men if they have to?
7. Do you think Janine really believed that if she could just hang in there long enough, Antonio would eventually change for the better? Do you know other women who fall into this category?
8. Why does Janine allow Antonio, Killer, and the rest of their crew to smoke and sell marijuana in her home? How does her past affect her actions?
9. Were you surprised when Antonio attacked Janine so violently? How did you think their relationship would work out?
10. What was your opinion of Carl from the very beginning? How would you compare him to Antonio?
11. What do you predict about Curtis and Charlotte's marriage and fidelity?
Kimberla Lawson Roby is the author of the acclaimed novels Changing Faces, The Best-Kept Secret, Too Much of a Good Thing, A Taste of Reality, Behind Closed Doors, Here and Now, Casting the First Stone, and It's a Thin Line. She lives with her husband in Illinois.