Read Lady Jasmine Online

Authors: Victoria Christopher Murray

Tags: #Fiction, #African American, #General, #Christian, #Romance

Lady Jasmine

P
RAISE FOR
V
ICTORIA
C
HRISTOPHER
M
URRAY

“Murray has always impressed me with her ability to live the life of her characters and make them come alive with each turning page.”


Indianapolis Recorder

“Victoria is an exceptional writer who knows how to deliver a story.”

—Kimberla Lawson Roby, author of
Changing Faces

Praise for
Too Little, Too Late

“An excellent entry in the Jasmine Larson Bush Christian Lit saga; perhaps the best so far…Fans will appreciate this fine tale…. A well-written intense drama.”


Midwest Book Review

“One would think it isn’t possible, but like fine wine, Victoria’s writing has improved with her newest novel.”

—RomanceInColor.com

“[In this book] there are so many hidden messages about love, life, faith, and forgiveness. Murray’s vividness of faith is inspirational.”


The Clarion-Ledger
(Jackson, Mississippi)

“Juicy Jasmine Larson Bush returns…Murray efficiently illustrates the importance of honesty and trust in marriage, and manages to contain Jasmine’s outrageousness within the context of Christian faith.”


Publishers Weekly

Praise for
The Ex Files


The Ex Files
is a moving-on song in four-part harmony.”

—Donna Grant and Virginia DeBerry, authors of
Tryin’ to Sleep in the Bed You Made
and
Gotta Keep On Tryin’

“My girl, Victoria Christopher Murray, has done it again! I love her work and this book will bless you, so read it.”

—Michele Andrea Bowen, author of
Church Folk, Second Sunday,
and
Holy Ghost Corner

“The lessons of growth, love, and faith are what Victoria does best…. [An] excellent read.”

—Naleighna Kai,
Essence
best-selling author of
Every Woman Needs a Wife

“The engrossing transitions the women go through make compelling reading…. Murray’s vivid portrait of how faith can move mountains and heal relationships should inspire.”


Publishers Weekly

“This is a book everyone can enjoy…and more important, this is a book that can reach out to the brokenhearted no matter who they are and where they are.”

—Book Bit (WTBF-AM)

“Reminds you of things that women will do if their hearts are broken…Once you pick this book up, you will not put it down.”

—UrbanReviews.com

“Murray does it again and definitely delivers a great story. This one will grip your heart.”

—APOOO Book Club

“Victoria Christopher Murray continues to confront real-life issues in her latest novel…. A heartfelt read.”

—AOL Black Voices

Praise for
A Sin and a Shame

“As with Murray’s previous novels,
A Sin and a Shame
is intriguing and well written. If you loved and hated Jasmine in
Temptation,
you’ll love and hate her again.”


Indianapolis Recorder


A Sin and a Shame
is Victoria Christopher Murray at her best…. A page-turner that I couldn’t put down as I was too eager to see what scandalous thing Jasmine would do next. And to watch Jasmine’s spiritual growth was a testament to Victoria’s talents. An engrossing tale of how God’s grace covers us all. I absolutely loved this book!”

—ReShonda Tate Billingsley,
Essence
bestselling author of
I Know I’ve Been Changed

“Riveting, emotionally charged and spiritually deep…What is admirable is the author’s ability to hold the reader in suspense until the very last paragraph of the novel!
A Sin and a Shame
is a must read…Truly a story to be enjoyed and pondered upon!”

—RomanceInColor.com

A
LSO BY
V
ICTORIA
C
HRISTOPHER
M
URRAY

Too Little, Too Late

The Ex Files

A Sin and a Shame

Grown Folks Business

Truth Be Told

Temptation

Joy

Blessed Assurance
(contributor)

Touchstone
A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2009 by Victoria Christopher Murray

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information address Touchstone Subsidiary Rights Department, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.

T
OUCHSTONE
and colophon are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Murray, Victoria Christopher.
Lady Jasmine: a novel / by Victoria Christopher Murray.
      p. cm.
   “A Touchstone Book.”
1. Bush, Jasmine Larson (Fictitious character)—Fiction. 2. African American women—Fiction. 3. Christian women—Fiction. 4. New York (N.Y.)—Fiction. I. Title.
   PS3563.U795L33 2009
   813'.54—dc22 2008043781

ISBN-13: 978-1-4169-8714-7
ISBN-10: 1-4169-8714-2

Visit us on the Web:
http://www.SimonandSchuster.com

To my literary goddaughters: Courtney Parker, Sherri Lewis, Tia McCollors, Rhonda McKnight, Mikasenoja, and DiShan Washington.
I am so proud of each of you, walking in the path God has set for
you. Continue to do His work and He will make your way great.

MARCH
2007

PROLOGUE

D
EATH WAS ON HER MIND,
but Jasmine wasn’t thinking of her own demise. Her hands still trembled as she looked down at the letter she held.

Would the charge be first degree murder or would it be more like manslaughter? Either way, she would go to jail for both before she allowed anyone to reveal this secret.

Jasmine read the words that she’d already memorized:
Get your husband to step down from the pulpit or else everyone will know what you did in the summer of 1983.

Hours had passed since she’d first read the letter last night, and she still trembled. Until a few weeks ago, those days had been totally forgotten; expunged from her mind many years before. The summer of ’83 was just a small blip on her life’s radar. A mistake. A secret.

But it was a big secret that she’d kept from everyone—including her husband, Pastor Hosea Bush.

Jasmine closed her eyes and remembered the question Hosea had asked her just five months before when they were in Los Angeles.

“Are there any other secrets, Jasmine? Any other lies?”

She’d told him then every truth she could remember, revealed every lie that she’d ever told—how she was forty-three and not thirty-eight. How she’d been married before. She’d even told him how much weight she’d really gained since she’d had her baby. She’d told her husband everything she could think of.

But she hadn’t told him this.

“I have to talk to Hosea,” she whispered, remembering the commitment they’d both made never again to keep secrets.

She could tell him—convince him—that this was something she’d simply forgotten. But even as she had that thought, she knew that would never happen. There was nothing that would ever make her tell
this
truth. If Hosea found out about this, she’d lose more than her husband: Hosea might even try to take their daughter, Jacqueline, away from her. This was an unforgiveable sin; at least it would be in Hosea’s eyes.

No, she would commit murder before she allowed this to come out. No one could ever know that she’d spent the summer of ’83 hanging high and swinging low from a pole.

No one could ever know that Jasmine Cox Larson Bush, the first lady of New York’s City of Lights at Riverside Church, used to be a stripper!

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