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  • Writer's pictureRaykel Tolson

Can women handle the truth?

Undefiled is my latest inspirational romance novella. Liz desires to be married, but she chose a man just like her father who lied, cheated and ultimately left his family. When a "save the date” card arrives and announces her ex's engagement to another woman, it's the impetus Liz needs to move forward with her life. When Liz’s mentor, Edna, suddenly falls ill, she meets Edna’s son, Anthony. Their attraction is instant, and love blooms quickly. Anthony is the man of her dreams and the answer to Liz’s prayers, but one of Anthony's disgruntled ex-lovers threatens their happily-ever-after. The night before their wedding, Anthony tells Liz an uncomfortable truth about his past Liz has to decide if she can get beyond the shocking reality of Anthony's past, or will she leave him standing at the altar.

Undefiled is a thought-provoking story that seamlessly weaves themes of forgiveness, acceptance, love, and intimacy. Intimacy is often confused as sex. However, you can have sex without intimacy, and you can have intimacy without sex. The best definition of intimacy came from one of my former pastors. He said that intimacy means “in to me see.” Intimacy, to me, means you know me, accept me, and will give me a safe space to grow into the best me.

Liz, like many women, could not handle the truth when it is told to her. The R & B singer, Ne-Yo, has a song, Good Man. In the song, he sings, “Tell the truth, tell the whole damn truth. Never leavin' out the parts I know gon' upset you.” Women have encouraged the men in our lives to fabricate palatable facts or leave out important information to keep us from getting upset. Let’s face it, women, especially women of color, are like the Hulk when we get upset. If a man feels the need to withhold the truth from his woman, then there is no true intimacy in the relationship.

I am not giving men a pass for lying to the women in their lives. Anthony was wrong for not telling Liz about his past until the night before the wedding. Nevertheless, Liz’s anger was more about the truth of his past and not the fact that he omitted that truth at the beginning. Her reaction to the truth was exactly the reason Anthony chose not to tell her. How can we women provide a safe space for men to tell us a truth that may be difficult to hear? I would love to hear your suggestions.

Please read Undefiled, and let me know if you think Liz did the right thing. Undefiled is available on and If you would like an autographed copy, go to We will discuss this and other topics on my new podcast, Blessed, on

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