Know the Hero from Sweet Love, Bitter Fruit by Lyndell Williams @laylawriteslove #RLFblog #urbanromance #contemporaryromanceLyndell Williams, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. I’m Kayelle Allen, author and owner of this blog. Happy to have you here! We’re excited to find out more about your hero, but first, tell us about the book.

Sweet Love, Bitter Fruit by Lyndell Williams

Genre romance

Book heat level (based on movie ratings): R

From Lyndell Williams, author of My Way to You, a new novel about keeping the flames of love and passion burning in a world determined to snuff them out.

Harlem lawyer Marcus Kent fights for justice while preserving a stable, passionate marriage with wife, Toni. Smart and confident, he has it all together—that is until his world turns upside down.

Not only is someone stalking his sister, but an intern at work is also getting too close for comfort.

On top of all of that, Toni’s renewed infertility obsession causes them to continually argue, adding more strain and cooling off their steamy union.

Struggling with insecurities and yearning to have a child, successful psychologist Toni Kent looks to her husband for support. Unfortunately, relentless distraction and stubbornness prevent Marcus from being there when she needs him the most and jeopardizes their happy home.

After multiple failed in vitro attempts, Toni is ready to try again, but Marcus is done. He doesn’t want another headache or more heartache. Will infertility tear this dream couple apart?

Know the Heroine from Sweet Love, Bitter Fruit

Here are some fun questions to help us know your heroine.

It’s late, she’s bored. What does she do?

Ever since Toni married Marcus, boredom became nonexistent. They have a very full life together. If she is not helping clients at her private therapy practice, she is helping at the community center, travelling or spending couples time with Marcus. She makes sure to align their schedules so there is plenty of that.

What kind of food would she impulse buy if hungry?

Toni’s mother, Whitley raised her to be conscientious about everything that goes into her mouth. So, she rarely eats on the fly.

She packs her fridge and cabinets with health, organic foods. There is very little processed stuff. She plans every meal so it doesn’t have to be. If she finds herself stuck out there with a growling stomach, the bag of unsalted almonds and vegan protein bar will do just fine.

Describe the kind of clothes she prefers to wear.

Toni’s fashion flare reflects her  Westport, CT upbringing and time living in Greenwich Village before moving uptown to Harlem when she married Marcus. She has a walk-in closet filled with designer labels to don for work, professional networking and partying. Whether a cocktail party or fundraising event for Marcus’ center, she is red bottom ready.

When she is home, feeling sexy helps her shed the day’s tensions. Clients dump a lot on her, so walking around their uptown apartment like a seductress with all of Marcus’ attention hits the spot for her ego. She floats around in her silk cami pant set, knowing is the one.

Does she know how to fix things?

Marcus is pretty competent when it comes to keeping things at home working. Toni concentrates of making sure he and the family are coping. So as far as fixing anything, she is really good at repairing a tense situation—that is—unless she is the one causing the tensions. She is the most stable person in the Kent family, but she is not a saint.

She tried to do something and it went badly. Tell us about it.

Toni felt really badly about how her need for some space impacted her best friend Regina. Sometimes, things are too hard to handle for even the strongest person. When the news that her sister-in-law was having another baby while she struggled with infertility tore into her, Toni headed for the hills. The guilt that she wasn’t there for Regina plagues her.

How does she act around children she doesn’t know?

Toni and Marcus are childless, so their niece Justine is the only kid she consistently spends time entertaining. She likes kids, but when she is at the center, she is helping the adults, so she is not around them too much. She wants a baby, and will make a great mother, but kids are not a major factor in her life.

What is she like first thing in the morning?

Toni loves her bed and fights hard to keep from being separated from it. She will snuggle deeper under the blankets while Marcus jumps up and prepares for his run. She calculates when he should return, and stays in the cushy warmth until the last possible minute. It is her sanctuary. When she has no other choice, she slips from the sheets and heads right for the coffee machine. No one better speak to her until that cup of brew is empty.

Can she use chopsticks?

Toni, Regina and Simon usually have a grand old time watching Marcus struggle with chopsticks. She shakes her head as her loving husband tries to balance them in his big hands, finally lifting some food to his mouth while he grabs a fork.

Does she drink coffee? If so, how does she take it? If not, what does she drink instead?

Coffee is on tap throughout Toni’s day. She starts at the machine on the kitchen counter and continues with stops at the local coffee shop near her office. She likes it with half-and-half and no sugar. She refuses to drink that Seattle stuff. How anyone can call it coffee is beyond her.

What apps would she have on her phone?

Toni’s phone is loaded with social media and calendar apps. She loves posting images and gliding down timelines for the latest fashion. She is a makeup and hair tutorial junkie, watching videos between clients.

Android or iPhone?

Marcus brought Toni to the iPhone darkside when they married. For her, it was easier to communicate with him. Facetime during business trips is a must.

Earrings or unpierced ears?

Toni rocks hoops with her bob. She has four piercings in each ear from when she work rows of them and diamond studs during her teen years. They drove her mom crazy. Now, she will wear only one pair unless she is feeling nostalgic.

Tattoos or unadorned skin?

Toni has a needle phobia. The rebellious teen she was, she probably would have gotten a tattoo if she wasn’t so scared of being stuck.

Personal vehicle or public transport?

New York City traffic is not a joy to navigate. Toni will hop a train or hire a car before getting behind the wheel. She occasionally drives when going to visit Marcus’ parents or when they go for a weekend away from the city.

Recycle or toss?

She better recycle. Marcus is a drill sergeant about it.

Thanks for helping us get to know your heroine!

Where to buy Sweet Love, Bitter Fruit


Lyndell Williams Social Media

Lyndell Williams (Layla Abdullah-Poulos) holds a B.A. in Historical Studies and Literature, M.A. in Liberal Studies, and an AC in Women and Gender Studies. She is an adjunct instructor as well as an anti-racism and gender equity advocate. She is the senior New York trainer for the Muslim Anti-Racism collaborative.
Williams is a cultural critic with a background in literary criticism specializing in romance. She has been published in peer-review journals and presented at national conferences about Muslim and interracial romance fiction as well as racism, sexism and the Black Muslim experience.
She is the founder and managing editor of the NbA Muslims blog on Patheos and a cultural contributor for Radio Islam USA. She is a contributor to the online publications About Islam and Haute Hijab.
Williams is the lead content editor WriteType Editorial Services and mentors aspiring writers across genres.
She’s had numerous short stories published in collections and enjoys a growing list of subscribers to her Layla Writes Love online short story series.
Williams self-published her first interracial romance novel My Way to You. The novel made it onto four Amazon bestsellers lists its premiere weekend.
She is committed to the traditional use of literature as social commentary to affect positive social change.
Williams is married and the mother of six children.
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