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“Sin of a Woman” by Kimberla Lawson Roby


Nothing’s set in stone.

Few things are. Lucky for you, there’s usually a chance to change your mind or have a do-over. You can often get another go at something because few things are that firmly decided. As in the new book “Sin of a Woman” by Kimberla Lawson Roby, you can sometimes have a second chance.

More and more every day, Porsha Harrington got on Pastor Raven Jones Black’s last nerve.

But Raven absolutely had to put up with Porsha, which was part of the problem: Porsha, inheritor of her father’s estate and mistress of Raven’s then-husband-now-ex, had given Raven $250,000 to start New Vision Christian Center. The partnership would make them both rich; Raven would be the church leader, Porsha would be the assistant pastor, they’d both get paid from member contributions and tithes.

That is, as long as Raven could tolerate being near Porsha. Which wasn’t long.

Years ago, Raven spent time in prison for embezzlement from the church belonging to her ex-father-in-law, Rev. Curtis Black. She’d also stolen some money from a loan shark, and she’d told huge lies all the way to the bank. But that was all coming around to bite her now, and she needed another scheme to get everyone off her back. If she could start with Porsha and make money doing it, well, all’s the better.

So Raven just cooked up another lie.

Something was missing from Porsha Harrington’s life.

She was single, for one. More than anything, Porsha wanted to be married with a family, a desire that was so strong, it shocked her. Something else shocked her, too: she realized, in prayerful moments, that the men she’d mostly chosen were married ones, and God just couldn’t be happy about that at all. Instead, He seemed to be leading her to become more active at New Vision, and that made her heart glad. So did Dillon, the man she’d cheated with once, who’d now turned over a new leaf himself.

God would point Porsha into the direction she needed to be. He had plans for her.

Too bad Raven did, too.

Oh, yes. Now there you go: a novel with scandal, back-stabbing, nastiness, prayer, gutter behavior, responsibility, and pure entertainment. That’s “Sin of a Woman.”

And yet, just because author Kimberla Lawson Roby has put one of literature’s worst-behaved characters in a book that strongly features that character’s delicious awfulness doesn’t mean that the book itself is horrible. No, readers will be surprised to see that, while this story is sexy and wonderfully outrageous, it’s also rather tame; Roby veers away when the bedroom door closes, so there’s nothing offensive here. The story is spicy, but it won’t burn your eyes; one character even turns virtuous, which should tell you plenty. That obviously sets us up for a sequel, for which readers will hunger.

If you thought your summer was going to be boring, there’s still time to change your mind: look for this novel and enjoy. For you, “Sin of a Woman” is rock-solid.