“Kimberla Lawson Roby has reached a pinnacle
most writers only dream of.” – Rockford Register Star
After her very public divorce from Dillon, Raven Black is recovering nicely. Dillon has done everything he can to discredit her, but Raven has learned from her mistakes and him. In fact, she’s intent on using every bit of Dillon’s revenge and betrayal, as she prepares to take what is hers—and more. Her ambitions have never been so great, and Raven always knows how to get what she wants. She also won’t allow anything or anyone to get in her way.
She has become her ex-husband in more ways than one and is slowly leading those connected to her down a terrible path of destruction. But playing with the lives of innocent people has dire consequences—the kind that Raven won’t see coming. Raven, of all people, should know that what happens in the dark will eventually come to light…and that there’s only so far you can run before your past catches up to you.
Raven—Pastor Raven Jones Black, that is—scanned the interior of her massive second-floor office, smiled, and strolled closer to the large picture window. But as she gazed down at all the vehicles that were lined up in the church’s parking lot, it was still hard to believe that everything had evolved so quickly. And in such perfect order, too. Yes, having a one-thousand-plus-member congregation was all that she’d hoped for, but she wasn’t sure she’d expected to see her dreams come to pass in only two years. Of course, it hadn’t hurt that nearly two hundred members from her ex-husband’s former church had joined right away. Because had they not, she knew her ministry would have taken a lot longer to build.
Raven gazed around her office again, admiring her espresso-colored Italian leather sofa, matching loveseat, two oversized chairs, CEO-style mahogany desk, and executive chair. When they’d first purchased New Vision Christian Center and had moved into the building six months ago, the pastor’s study had been only half the size it was now. But the more folks had joined the congregation and paid tithes and offerings on a regular basis, the more upgrades Raven had been able to make—both at the church and for herself. From tearing out a wall and doubling the size of her office to clearing out her closet at home and stepping up her wardrobe game, she’d made lots of changes for the better.
To tell the truth, she’d always dressed in expensive clothing, even when she’d been married to that awful ex-husband of hers, Pastor Dillon Whitfield Black. But today she only wore suits that came from some of the highest-end stores people shopped at. In fact, the couture-style fuchsia jacket and skirt she wore now had come from Bergdorf Goodman in New York. She didn’t get the opportunity to shop there often, what with her residing in Mitchell, Illinois, but whenever she did fly to New York for a ministry engagement, she never left before spending at least a little time at Bergdorf, Barneys, or Saks’s flagship location. She did the same thing at the Neiman Marcus flagship store when she visited Dallas, and although some people might not understand her great desire to live well and have the best of everything, she knew it was only because they didn’t know her story. Her childhood horror story. Her reason for deciding early on that when she became an adult, she would never go without any of the things she wanted, not if she could help it.
What was so amazing, though, was that regardless of how great her life seemed to be going, she still reflected on her blemished past. She certainly didn’t want to, but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t forget about her very public and very nasty divorce from Dillon. She couldn’t pretend she hadn’t spent time in prison for stealing a hundred thousand dollars from her former father-in-law, Reverend Curtis Black. She couldn’t dismiss the fact that she’d once struggled with a very serious gambling addiction.
She hadn’t even known Dillon back when she’d worked as CFO for his father’s church, and now, she regretted the day she’d contacted him. But when she’d heard about the fallout between him and his dad, she’d decided to reach out to Dillon, letting him know that she understood his pain and that she could help him build a much larger church than the one Pastor Black had founded. This, of course, had secured Dillon’s undivided attention, and not long after she’d been released from prison, they’d begun seeing each other and had gotten married. Raven had truly loved him, too, and she could tell he’d loved her—at least for a while. But then greed and power had become a lot more important to Dillon, and he’d commenced having an affair with another woman. And then a second one.