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Darkest Lies

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The truth hurts, but lies are deadly.


Ten years ago, my world was ripped apart and intertwined with a man I had never met.
Now, someone’s threatening the freedom I so desperately want after a decade of suffering.
Pushed to relive my mother’s death and dig up the truth for answers, I discover more than a few lies. Starting with the man responsible.

Or so I thought…

I have to decide how far I’m willing to go for the truth and what I’m willing to sacrifice. Happiness? Love? My life?


I served ten years for a crime I didn't commit.
All to protect my brother.
But when the survivors of the atrocity suddenly start dying, a detective offers me a chance at redemption by helping him save who's left.
I’ll have to face the people that my brother’s crimes haunt.
Including Devyn.
A girl I should avoid but can’t seem to resist.
The harder I try to pull away, the more we collide together.

All I ever wanted was to protect those I cared about, but all I’ve ever done is to fail them, repeatedly.

Now, failure is not an option. I won’t let innocent people die over my mistakes again.

This is an emotionally-dark romantic suspence novel. It contains situations that some readers might find offensive or triggering. Recommended for 18+ readers because of adult content and language.

Kindle Edition

Published April 1, 2021

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 46 reviews
Profile Image for Nagma (Take A Look At My Bookshelf).
1,030 reviews74 followers
June 23, 2021
Darkest Lies by Bella Shay is a fantastic debut! It’s an action-packed, age-gap, slow-burn romantic suspense filled with murder, mystery, and danger.

Devyn and Elliot’s lives were forever changed that fateful day 10 years ago. It was Devyn’s birthday and her mother took her to work with her at the bank. It just so happened that the bank was robbed that day and three people including Devyn’s mother were murdered. Elliot was wrongly convicted of his involvement in the bank robbery and has served 10 years in prison, but survivors from the robbery are being killed and he must figure out who is doing the killing. For 10 years Devyn bounced from foster home to foster home and faced unimaginable abuse and is determined to find out what happened the day that changed her life. She crosses paths with a mysterious stranger on her mission and together they both set out to find out what really happened that day.

Wow! This book was really good and different from what I usually read, but a great read nonetheless. The plot of this book is unique and full of so many unexpected twists and turns. Devyn is such a strong character. She has overcome so much abuse/trauma and come out on the other side stronger. She has issues with physical contact except with her best friend and Elliot. Elliot is a complex person, he’s troubled and dealing with issues from his childhood. Elliot and Devyn have had similar pasts and are closed off as a result, except something about the other makes them vulnerable. The chemistry and attraction between the two are intense, but their relationship is very much forbidden because of their shared history. This is a slow burn with some romance at the end. There were so many things I wasn’t expecting in this book and the author threw me for a loop many times. I also was not expecting this book to end abruptly the way it did. I need the next book asap!

Rating: 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Profile Image for Stacey Gomez.
696 reviews16 followers
June 14, 2021
Oh, so this is a suspense/mystery/murder romance book and I am all for it. Devyn and Elliot have some how been intertwined from the one tragic day that changed their lives forever. Devyn's was suppose to have a nice birthday celebration with her mom that day, but went with her to work. She was kept in the back to keep away from the normal day to day transaction. But, something happened where her world comes crashing down. Devyn is then thrown to the foster care system and ended up with terrible foster mom who cared less for her wards. But, what Devyn doesn't know is that Elliot is serving 10 years for a crime he didn't commit but is recently there are murders of survivors that saw the crime he supposedly did. He is asked by the detectiwive who put in prison for help. To help clear his name he is to watch over the remaining survivors and help protect them and figure out who's out to get them. But, Elliot is attracted to the young Devyn but doesn't not want to get side track. But, their situation gets dyer, someone is watching their moves and wants to kill Devyn. Devyn must remember what really happened that day, while recovering her past she finds out things she doesn't like. But, she and Elliot are willing to collect the evidence to clear his name and tell the truth. But will they suceed? There is a cliffhanger, I can't wait to read book two.

Anyways if you like age gap, alpha male, sassy heroines and mystery mixed with suspense..then this book is for you.
Profile Image for Laura Horne.
234 reviews
June 13, 2021
Just finished my arc reading of this and wow! I really really enjoyed it! It’s a debut novel but you’d never know, the writing is really good!

It’s a slightly different book to the normal smut I read but it still kept me hooked completely. It’s more of a mystery/thriller type book focusing on the main characters Devyn & Elliot whose past is intertwined from a bank robbery 10 years before.

Don’t get it wrong though.. the chemistry and sexual tension between the two is absolute FIRE 🔥

This ended on such a cliffhanger and I’m dying for the second one now to find out what’s going on and who else is at play in this! A super interesting read that kept me completely engrossed! Definitely recommend 🖤
Profile Image for Tasja Twing.
42 reviews5 followers
June 9, 2021
I was honored enough to receive an ARC of this book and HOLY TOLEDO! This debut from Bella Shay has me so pumped to see what else she comes up with and where she takes this story. I don’t know how many times I messaged her an “OMG” while I was reading, but she probably hated me now 🤣

This book has the forbidden love vibe and so action packed I couldn’t put it down. I had to keep turning the page to see what she had in store for Devyn next. Both Devyn (FMC) and Elliot (MMC) have had harder lives then most. The way their stories intertwine cause undeniable sparks to fly.

I cannot wait for book 2 after the cliffy book 1 ended with!
Profile Image for Lindsey Davis.
550 reviews39 followers
June 13, 2021
This is Author Bella Shay's debut book and I enjoyed it very much. It's dark with lots of mystery and keeps you guessing throughout the book. Everytime I thought I knew I didn't know. Devyn and Elliot's story started long ago before they even new it did and the actions that happened that day would one day bring them to cross paths. They have both been through hell and back with what they have lived through and now things seems to be getting more complicated. This book will leave you with some questions and a cliffhanger wanting to know what's going to happen next. I can't wait for the next book.
Profile Image for Philomena Callan Cheekypee.
3,889 reviews395 followers
June 22, 2021
A debut novel. An amazing read. An author I’ll be looking forward to reading more of. That was my initial thoughts when I had finished this story.

I really like the two main characters Devyn and Elliot.

I’m not gonna go into the storyline.. you need to read this gem for yourself. If you like stories full of suspense then I recommend this one.

As this was such a great read and it’s the authors debut I’m really excited to read more from her in the future.
Profile Image for Sara.
873 reviews9 followers
June 27, 2021
I really had a hard time getting into this book. It didn’t really flow smooth and it was very repetitive. I skimmed a bit and really I wasn’t that excited to read it. A lot of talks of abuse & trauma, lots of suspense mystery…Ends on cliffhanger.
Profile Image for XxLaVampiresaAlexisxX.
540 reviews28 followers
July 30, 2021
This is Bella Shay's fantastic debut. This was actually a perfect pace and burn, with all of the suspense and mystery. This had me hooked with all of the twist and turns. Very eager to read more!!
September 3, 2021
Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Okay, so I have said this a few times by now, but this story is amazing! It’s so amazing that I really do not want to wait for the next book to come out, but alas I must.

I will preface this to let you know that she does advise towards a trigger warning and sensitive content at the beginning towards child abuse and sexual abuse. Although, it is light and doesn’t go into gory details about it, I have never been in the situation so I cannot relate and cannot say how bad this will trigger someone.

This is a slow burn low heat story about a girl, Devyn, who has grown in up in foster homes because of her mother’s death. When she ages out of the system she begins to try and find out what happened during the robbery that killed her mother.

Elliot is a man that has been in prison for ten years for allegedly killing Devyn’s mother. Except he didn’t, he took the fall for a crime his brother committed all to protect him. The detective who put him away, offers him parole to help solve a case that he is working on.

Devyn and Elliot are from two different sides of the robbery that killed Devyn’s mother, or are they really? Read to find out!

I really enjoyed reading the details that go into this story. From what the characters looked like to what Elliot smells like. The way this man is described, he sounds like sex on a stick, and it seems like Devyn thought thought he looked as such! Shay gives us snippets of what happened during the robbery ten years ago, but it seems to change just a little bit every time that Devyn acquires more information about it. The trauma of her history has blocked so much out in the past and she was living in her made up memories because she was just an eight year old child when it happened. There is so much sexual tension between the two it’s crazy hot. Will they give in to the temptation thought? I suggest reading it to find out!

Shay’s writing is also excellent. I didn’t have any problem reading it! There were no grammar or spelling mistakes that I noticed, and everything flowed very well!

I will say… I HATE cliffhangers, and that’s why I usually don’t read a series before all of the books are completely out. Luckily we only have to wait a few months until the next installment of the series is out! Now I just have to remember to add it to my TBR when it’s out on Goodreads.

Characters: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Writing: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Story/Plot: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Heat: ⭐️

Cry Factor:
Profile Image for FS Meurinne.
Author 2 books87 followers
June 15, 2021
Nice refreshing new series, this is a suspense age-gap romance, Davyn and Elliot's story is intriguing, lots of mystery, a crime has been committed and a man is blamed for it. He needs to clear his name so he is forced to keep save those involved. I can't wait for book 2 to find answers, this is very interesting and entertaining suspense. One you should give the chance.

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Profile Image for Heather.
180 reviews17 followers
June 21, 2021
This book was different than most I read. It had a more mystery-type theme to it. It was definitely good for a debut. There is a lot of suspense and has some dark themes. Elliot is in prison after taking the fall for his twin brother for a bank robbery 10 years ago. Devyn was at the bank the day it happened though she doesn’t remember many details. After her mom was killed she ended up being bounced from one bad foster care to another. She had a lot of hardships growing up but it has made her tough. On her 18 birthday, she moves out of her current foster home and in with her best friend. She starts to feel like she is being watched and getting random roses and packages. She takes it upon herself to start looking for answers to help her memory of what happened all the years ago. Elliot is released on parole after the case detective tells him some shady stuff is happening to all the people at the bank that day. He tells Elliot he needs his help because he doesn’t trust anyone else. Elliot agrees to help him if he helps look for his missing brother in return. Elliot starts to follow the victims including Devyn. After he saves her life a couple of times she comforts him about who he is. They are both immediately attracted to each other, but with Devyn being suspicious of him and Elliot thinking she is too young they fight their feelings. The story is very intriguing and keeps you wanting to know all the secrets that are being hidden. The only thing I didn’t enjoy was that it was slow pace in the first half. The main characters didn’t interact much and while we got some information about what was happening it didn’t really pick up until the second half of the book. I’ll definitely be reading the second book though after that ending!
Profile Image for Heather  Chaotic Creatives.
1,046 reviews48 followers
June 12, 2021
Ok call me intrigued... Have you ever watched a suspenseful mystery movie or tv show and feel like you have it all figured out? You are sitting there piecing the clues together and just know that you know who did what and why? Then all of a sudden BAM what you think you know you really don't? I will say this book was choked full of those kind of surprises for me. I thought for sure I knew the who, what, why, where, & how of everything.
Our two main characters have a intertwined history with one another because of an event that took place a few years prior. Elliot and Devyn both need each other even if they really shouldn't go down that road. They both have had some rough times and really deserve to find their HEA. Elliot has been locked away for years and he is out and in need of some answers. Question is will he like the answers to the questions he has. Devyn is a young naive woman who just needs someone.
If you are in need of a good read that will take you on a ride please grab a copy of Bella Shay's Darkest Lies. It is one of those books where you will be taken down a twisted road.
Profile Image for Wendy Livingstone.
13.8k reviews131 followers
June 22, 2021
This is the 1st in a new series as well as being a debut from this author, and there are so few debuts whose work is mindblowing as this one is, and this is more definitely an author to look out for in the future. Devyn’s world came crashing down on her 10-years ago with a devastating event, and her life is forever entwined with Elliot due to this tragedy. Elliot has spent the last 10-years in prison for a crime he did not commit to save his brother, and now that the survivors who witnessed the crime are being murdered, a detective approaches Elliot asking for his help to protect and keep the remaining survivors safe, and to clear his name. Devyn wants answers’, but can she and Elliot work together to find the murderer before it is too late? This is an amazing dark story which is well written, and is filled with emotions, intrigue, danger, suspense, mystery, and truths, which all had me totally enthralled throughout this riveting page turner, and I look forward to reading more from this talented author whose work I highly recommend.
1,173 reviews4 followers
July 23, 2021
I absolutely loved this book. It took me awhile to read because of quite a few personal issues going on in my life but this book gave me a little escape from that personal drama and I absolutely fell in love with the story. Devyn went through a major tragedy when she was younger and her mother died. She was put in to foster care and suffered much abuse during that time. Elliot went to prison for a crime he did not commit and was stuck there for ten years. He gets out when people that were apart of that crime start dying. He has to figure out what is happening. Devyn and Elliot meet each other and their chemistry together is off the charts. This book was so amazing. It had many surprising twists and turns and I really liked the characters. With the way it ended, I am eagerly anticipating the release of the next book. This is the first story I've read from this author but it definitely will not be my last. I received a review copy of this story and am leaving a voluntary honest review.
Profile Image for Jennifer Pierson.
11k reviews140 followers
July 31, 2021
OH MY EVER LOVIN' HOLY HELL! Darkest Lies was totally my jam & then some so I CANNOT believe it's Bella Shay's debut. I'm all about romantic suspense, but that almost seems too tame of a description for the wild ride I was taken on to be honest. Poor Devyn, her life was awesome until one tragic day that set her on a different course in foster homes with awful people. Poor Elliot, he was sent to do a ten year bid in prison for a crime he didn't commit. These two had their lives ripped apart from that tragic day, and now their paths are going to reconnect as the survivors of that day are all being murdered. He's going to help the detective while she's on the search to find out the truth as she's come across some lies, putting her smack dab in the middle of danger because she's not hiding. The twists are seriously coming in hot to the point that I was dropping loud f-bombs, and I STILL have questions, probably because this ends on a huge cliffhanger leaving me dying for more so the next book CANNOT be released soon enough! HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
Profile Image for Cathy Brockman.
Author 5 books89 followers
June 22, 2021
Warning: this does end in a cliffhanger so if that’s not for you... read on maybe I will change your mind lol!

I honestly had no idea going in this was a series and would end on a cliffhanger but that really doesn’t bother me. It only makes me want the next book. ( though it was just getting to the good stuff)

There isn’t any real romance here and though towards the end there is a little arc it’s hot and well written.

This is a suspense and maybe crime thriller.
I loved both characters and Elliot is hot, an ex convict ( yummy bad boy) that becomes an avenging Angel.

I liked Devyn and my heart went out to someone so young that has been through so much. The plot keeps you on your toes, and has some real twists near the end.

If you like bad boys, ex convicts, age gap, thrillers, suspense, and twists you will like this! I can’t wait for the next book!
Profile Image for Shawna Jimenez more.books.forever.
1,518 reviews51 followers
June 12, 2021
Okay this was a fantastic debut that leaves me begging for more! I absolutely loved every moment of it! This story is action packed and will have you hooked from beginning to end. Devyn and Elliot have not had the easiest time in life to say the least. Devyn for everything that she has been going through is still as strong as ever. Elliot this man *swoon* lord he is such a protector of everyone no matter the costs which you can’t help but fall in love with! The chemistry between these two is amazing. There is so much mystery so much suspense and so much we still don’t know but I am here for the journey I can’t wait to see where the author takes us. Plus that cliffy left us like WTF!! This was absolutely a fantastic read and I am so looking forward to what this author comes up with next!
July 31, 2021
As soon as I found out about this book while scrolling through social media I instantly started looking forward to it! I wasn't sure what all to expect going into this story and I really liked that! I enjoyed this first book!

This first book in Devyn and Elliot's journey grabbed my attention from the start! Their story kept me on my toes and had me feeling so many different things throughout reading! I liked the realness shown throughout this book as well!

With Darkest Lies, Ms.Shay has created such a good debut! I am so looking forward to book two!

*I volunteered to read and review a copy of this book from Enticing Journey Book Promotions / the author*
Profile Image for Jessica.
368 reviews1 follower
June 11, 2021
You can tell from the beginning that Devyn is strong. She was dealt a rough hand but she keeps going. She is determined to find the answers.
Elliot is a protector. He served time to save his brother, who does that?! He protects Devyn even before she knows who he is. I love how Devyn calls him her stranger.
I think I made the last 25% of the book more tense than it was 🤣 I kept waiting for that moment when something happened. Worried about what it would be and hoping for the best. Nail biting, edge of the seat, the secrets and Ohhhhh the cliffhanger. I need the next book now 😫
Profile Image for Lou Loves Literature.
125 reviews15 followers
June 13, 2021
Wow. What a journey so far!
Devyn is such a strong person, even if she does feel like she's falling apart. How she has lived through what she has, and still finds the strength and courage to get up and carry on every day, is amazing.
Elliott is a tortured soul. He's been like a horse with blinkers on following his path, until Devyn.
They know they shouldn't be drawn to each other like they are. But they can't help it.
This book almost killed me with the slooooooow burn!
And that that ending! What a place to end!
Roll on book 2... I need answers!
Profile Image for Aimee Convoy.
310 reviews6 followers
June 14, 2021
wow what a book. From the very start it is action packed with a plotline that just draws you in. It all started with a horrible and dreadful day that has our two main characters thrown together in a series of events. Elliot is put in prison and Devyn is put in the system. Over time, things change and he finds her again but will they able to work together to find out what really happened that day. This book is full of suspension, mystery and steamy moments. I cannot wait for the 2nd book in this series.
55 reviews
June 22, 2021
Was not expecting that!

So normally when it comes to mysteries, I like to watch them on tv, but this book definitely has me wanting to pick up more mystery novels.
We follow Elliot and Devyn around trying to piece together what happened ten years ago when their worlds collided.

Be warned, you may think you know what is coming, but you don’t! Definitely ready for the next book in the series!!!

As Bella Shay’s first book, I can’t wait to see how she progresses as an author!
Profile Image for VANESSA BARRITT.
700 reviews7 followers
June 22, 2021
Love love love

Omg this book is everything it should be, forbidden love, mystery and death I love it like really really love it,

Elliot and devyn brought together by a tragedy that concerned them both, I love the whole 2 sides of a story point, Elliott one one side of the tragedy and devyn on the other side, I love their partnership from the sarcasm to the loving, I really can't wait for the 2nd book now and yes I shall be stalking your Facebook Bella just so I can keep an eye out lol
Profile Image for Kerrie Goodman.
385 reviews6 followers
June 22, 2021
Well this is a corker of a debut thats for sure

A gripping suspense novel with an age-gap/ forbidden romance aspect. Brought together by association with a crime from the past Devyn is searching for answers whilst Elliot teams up with a detective to work out why survivors are suddenly dying. Elliot finds himself fighting his attraction to Devyn whilst trying to keep her alive, the sexual tension between the two is off the charts.

As more secrets and lies are uncovered and danger creeps ever closer they find themselves having to work together to survive.

I need book 2 like now!
Profile Image for Jen.
760 reviews
June 13, 2021
4.75⭐️ WoW! Amazing story! Hard to believe that this is the first book written by Bella Shay.

I loved how the story is starting to unfold. What you think you know…you don’t. What you remember….your wrong. It’s crazy how the mind processes information in a way so that it protects.

I just loved Devyn. She needs some good in her life after the crap hand she was given.
I’m still not sure what to make of Elliott yet. There is so much more to him than has been shown to us readers. I can’t wait for book 2 after that ending!!!

This is a story about forbidden love, crazy conspiracy theories that is so full of action that it doesn’t disappoint. If this sounds good to you then you need to read Darkest Lies!
Profile Image for Katy Jenkins .
365 reviews2 followers
June 12, 2021
Wow this book was very good it is everything you could want in a murder, mystery suspense, romance book. And for a debut book I was thoroughly impressed with the writing. I loved the character development and the authors ability to make the book immediately intriguing. Devyn and Elliot have immediate chemistry even though they both know they probably shouldn’t. This book takes some twists that I didn’t see coming and kept me intrigued the entire time.
643 reviews24 followers
June 13, 2021
Suspense and Romance all rolled into one. This book is an interesting debut book for this author and it definitely captured my attention. Devyn and Elliot's lives are entwined in such a way that it is amazing to see how they are together. Devyn has had a hard life since the death of her mother and as secrets from that day are revealed, it adds to the suspense of a who done it type mystery. I cannot wait to see what happens next.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
173 reviews1 follower
June 20, 2021
I received a ARC for this book to review with my honest opinion.

This book was amazing! I loved it! I'm glad there was a trigger warning before I started reading so I could prepare myself. Even with the trigger warning I still loved it. It consumed me. If you like alpha male, and romance mystery suspense this book is just for you! I love Bella Shays writing and I can't wait to read more from her. The cliffhanger at the end has me needing more!
June 29, 2021
3.5 Stars

Great debut novel.
I do love a great twisty story that keeps me on my toes trying to work it all out.
My heart was torn for Devyn & Elliot. Life certainly throw them some whopping curve balls turning their lives upside down and inside out through no fault of their own.
This unlikely pair are on a mission to uncover the past they share and hopefully pave a path for a better future.
Looking forward to seeing it all happen in the next installment.
3,085 reviews
June 13, 2021
Another new to me author! I am in BIG TROUBLE! So very hard to believe this is a debut novel!

There's a reason to read suspense romance novels, and this story is one of them.

Devyn and Elliot are great characters, and it was interesting to read Ms. Shay taking them through their paces!

I'll be definitely watching for more.

Can't wait to watch this writer's growth!
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