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Love, Honor, and Betray

Kimberla Lawson Roby

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Table of Contents

Reading Group Guide

Copyright Page

For my dearest, Will.

Thank you for twenty fabulous years of marriage.

You are the absolute best husband and have always been

such a tremendous blessing in my life.

I love you with all my heart, and I certainly

look forward to another twenty years and beyond.


As always, I thank God for guiding my direction and for protecting my family, friends, and me every day of our lives. WithoutYou and Your countless blessings, nothing would be possible.

To the man I love with all my heart and all my soul: Will Roby, Jr. Thank you for absolutely everything and, of course, forjust being you.

To my wonderful and very loving family: my brothers, Willie, Jr., and Michael Stapleton; my mother-in-law, Lillie; my stepsonand daughter-in-law, Trenod and LaTasha Vines; my step-grandsons, Lamont, Trenod, Jr., and Troy; my brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law,and all my aunts, uncles, and cousins. I love all of you so very much and thank you for always supporting me.

To the women who genuinely love me like a sister and who have encouraged me to do what I do as a writer for over fifteen years:Kelli, Lori, and Janell. I wish everyone on earth knew what it was like to have friends like each of you.

Then, to the best literary agent ever, Elaine Koster (1940–2010). You took me completely under your wing, you took such greatcare of my career and represented me for twelve fabulous years, and I still can't believe you are gone. You were such an amazingfriend and confi­dante, and Will and I will never forget all the wonderful times we shared with you and Bill whenever we visitedNew York.  We had such great times, and I will love you and miss you always, Elaine.

To Dr. Betty Price at Crenshaw Christian Center​—​there are no words fitting enough to describe how kind, caring, and encouragingyou are, so I’ll just say thank you for everything, and that I love you so, so much.

To my brand-new publishing family, Grand Central Publishing! Words cannot express how excited I am and how grateful I am tohave joined such a warm and very talented group of people. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you, thank you,Karen Thomas (my editor), Jamie Raab (my publisher), Deb Futter (my editor-in-chief), Emi Battaglia (my associate publisher),Linda Duggins (my publicity director), Elizabeth Connor (my art director), Latoya C. Smith (assistant editor and Karen’s assistant),Dorothea Halliday (my production editor), the entire sales force and marketing team, and everyone else at Hachette/GCP.

Then, to the most efficient and kindest assistant I know, my assistant, Connie Dettman; the most efficient and kindest freelancepublicist I know, Shandra Hill Smith; and the most efficient and kindest website and e-blast designer I know, Luke LeFevre.Thank you for all your amazing talent and for doing all that you can to make things run as smoothly and competently as possible.

To Janet Salter and Jaymee Robinson for working around my sporadic schedule and to Scinetra Martin in Florida for all yourencouragement and support!

To all my wonderful writer friends, including Patricia Haley (my cousin), Victoria Christopher Murray, Eric Jerome Dickey,Trisha R. Thomas, Eric Pete, Mary B. Morrison, Curtis Bunn, Trice Hickman, ReShonda Tate-Billingsley, and so many others.

To all the book clubs that choose my work as their monthly selection year after year and to all the wonderful bookstores andlibraries that carry it. I will always be indebted.

To all the local, regional, and national media folks and outlets, including newspapers, magazines, TV, and radio, who promotemy work to the masses. It certainly means everything.

Last but most important, to the people who make my writing career possible: my fabulous and very dedicated readers. Your loyalsupport over the years has made all the difference for me as a writer, and I will forever love and appreciate all of you.

Much love and God bless you always,

Kimberla Lawson Roby


The verdict had sort of been in for months now. But at this very moment, Charlotte’s feelings were crystal clear: She hatedCurtina. She de­spised this tiny, little two-year-old with a passion and wanted her out. She wanted her gone because it wasn’tfair that Charlotte had to stomach Curtis’s illegitimate daughter on a daily basis. Curtina was there all the time, what withher tramp of a mother going in and out of the hospital on the regular. Of course, it was true that Tabitha had been strickenwith the AIDS virus and hadn’t been able to care for Curtina the way any mother would want, but that wasn’t Charlotte’s fault.As a matter of fact, it was Tabitha’s own fault a thousand times over, thanks to all the whoring around she’d done.

But since today was Christmas and Curtis and Matthew were so elated to have Curtina there with them, Charlotte was going to plaster on the best fake smile she could and pretendto be happy. She would act as though she loved Curtina and was overjoyed about being her stepmother. She would do this even though she couldn’t stand that little heifer.

“Wow, Dad, thank you!” Matthew yelled out when he opened yet another one of his gifts and then went over and hugged his father.Then, he reached down, all six foot two inches of him, and hugged Charlotte. “This is exactly what I wanted, so thank you,too, Mom. And just wait until Elijah and Jonathan hear about this!” He was already pulling out his iPhone to text his twochildhood best friends.

Charlotte looked at Curtis and they both smiled. Of all the presents they’d gotten Matthew, they knew this two-thousand-dollargift card would be the one he loved most, since he would now be able to purchase that set of chrome rims he’d been beggingfor over the last three months. Never mind that a perfectly nice set of rims had come standard with the brand-new ragtop BMWthey’d bought him shortly after he’d finished driver’s school, Matthew had still decided he wanted something different. Butsince he continued getting straight A’s at the college preparatory school he’d attended for

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