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The Devil Is a Lie

The Devil Is a Lie

4.3 19
by ReShonda Tate Billingsley

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All that glitters isn’t gold in this new compelling tale of love, money, and divorce gone wrong from award-winning and #1 Essence bestselling author ReShonda Tate Billingsley.

Most people think that money is the key to happiness, but when an ecstatic Nina Lawson wins millions in the Powerball lottery, her world is turned upside down.


All that glitters isn’t gold in this new compelling tale of love, money, and divorce gone wrong from award-winning and #1 Essence bestselling author ReShonda Tate Billingsley.

Most people think that money is the key to happiness, but when an ecstatic Nina Lawson wins millions in the Powerball lottery, her world is turned upside down. At first, she and her fiancé, Rick, are delighted with the unexpected windfall and immediately begin planning their future. Soon, family members and friends begin coming out of the woodwork to claim a piece of Nina’s winnings. But the most unexpected request comes from Todd, Nina’s ex-husband. He and his fiancée, Pam (with whom he had the affair that ended their marriage) reveal that the paperwork making Todd and Nina’s divorce official was never filed...and she may be compelled to share half the money with her husband. As the situation begins to spiral out of control, Nina risks losing her heart and her newfound winnings to find out what really matters.

With just the right blend of joy, drama, and humor, Billingsley entertains and inspires readers with every turn of the page—it’s no surprise that her readership grows with each new book.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Billingsley's latest (after Can I Get a Witness?) chronicles the devilishly rude awakening in store for Houstonite Nina Lawson after she wins $8 million in the lottery. Not only are family members she hasn't seen in years itching to share the loot, but her fiancé, Rick Henderson, starts counting on his piece before the check's in the bank. Things get even more complicated after Todd, Nina's ex-husband, ends up not being an ex; turns out his hoochie mama girlfriend, Pam, spent the divorce filing fee on a Fendi bag. Pam urges Todd to wrangle a chunk of Nina's dough, and he agrees, though with a near-reasonable motivation: to get his ailing Grams a new heart. The ensuing slapstick is fast moving and hilarious as Billingsley ponders how Nina's impulse to do the right thing gets her in trouble-and yet, somehow, love (and God) provides. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

Pocket Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt


My eyes must be playing tricks on me. Nina Lawson glanced at the digital clock in the lower corner of her Hewlett-Packard laptop. It was two forty-five in the morning. Yes, her eyes had to be playing tricks on her. She was dog tired after staying up studying for her latest real estate exam, so she knew she shouldn't put much stock in the email that was blaring at her. She'd only checked it because she came across it as she was looking for an email from one of her clients. She realized she hadn't checked her numbers from Saturday's drawing, so she decided to quickly look at the update email from the Lottery Commission.

She never expected this.

"'The winning lotto numbers for Saturday's Texas Lotto drawing are four-seven-fourteen-seventeen-twenty-one-twentyfive,'" she mumbled, reading the email again.

Nina's eyes made their way back down to the little pink ticket clutched tightly in her right hand. 4-7-14-17-21-25. This was her fifth time comparing the numbers, and the results were still the same.

Slowly, any semblance of weariness began to fade away.

"Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod." Nina's whispers gradually turned into an all-out shout.

"I won! I won! Yes!" Nina began screaming as she jumped up from her leather chair, sending it toppling to the floor. She didn't realize how loud she was being until she looked up to see her fiancé, Rick Henderson, standing in the doorway to her office.

"What in the world is wrong with you?" he groggily asked. "You know I have to get up and go to work in the morning. Why are you still up? And why are you in here screaming like you're crazy?"

Nina shook out both her hands, trying to calm herself down. Rick was standing there shirtless, his caramel-colored skin and rippled abs reminding her why he was one of the most soughtafter personal trainers in Houston. They'd met two years ago, after he whipped her best friend Michelle into shape. He'd flirted with Nina, telling her how pretty she was and how much she looked like Gabrielle Union. Even so, she didn't give him the time of day because she was married at the time. Then, two months after her divorce, she'd bumped into him at the gym where he worked. They'd gone to lunch, and the next thing Nina knew, he was spending every night at her house.

Rick was sweet, caring, and the finest man she'd ever seen. But more than that, he was good to her. After her ex-husband, Todd, betrayed her, Nina thought she'd never be in love again, but Rick had quickly changed that. Too quickly, her friends said. He'd moved in with her about six weeks after their first date to help her with her bills, which she'd been struggling to pay since Todd left. Despite her apprehension about getting involved with someone so soon after her marriage ended, things had progressed quickly. Before she knew it, not only were they living together but they were engaged to be married.

"Baby, you're not going to believe this," Nina said, bringing her excitement level down a notch.

"Do you know what time it is?" he repeated. "I have a client at five o'clock, Mrs. Brighton. And you know she comes all hyped up and ready to work."

Nina smiled widely. "Well, you need to call Mrs. Brighton and tell her you aren't coming to work out with her tomorrow. Tell her you won't ever be working out with her again."

Rick rubbed his closely shaven head. "Nina, what are you talking about?"

She had to use everything in her power to contain her excitement. She inhaled deeply, then sauntered over to him, lightly waving the pink ticket in front of him. "This is what I'm talking about. This little piece of paper is about to change our lives."

"What is that?" he asked, squinting.

"Here." She excitedly handed him the ticket. "Take a look at this."

He took it but continued to frown as she raced back over to the computer.

"Look, girl, I don't have time to be playing. I need to get some sleep."

"Just gimme a minute." Nina began reading the computer screen again. "'The winning numbers for Saturday's Texas Lotto drawing are four-seven-fourteen-seventeen-twenty-one-twenty-five.'" She stood up triumphantly and pointed at the ticket. "What do the numbers on that ticket say?"


"What do the numbers say?" she repeated.

He huffed in frustration, then read the ticket. "Four-seven-fourteen-seventeen-twenty-one..." His eyes grew wide as he looked up at Nina. "Oh, my God. I...is this for real?"

Nina was grinning like a kid at a chocolate factory as the excitement began building up again.

"As real as it gets!" She could no longer contain herself. She raced over and threw her arms around his neck. "We're rich, baby. Rich, rich, rich!"

Granted, they weren't married, but he had popped the question out of the blue two months ago. Rick was trying to open his own gym, and he wanted to be financially secure before they actually set a wedding date. He had bought her a small band, with promises to upgrade to a platinum and diamond one as soon as he got his money right. Still, Nina had no doubt that she was sharing her winnings with her man. Shoot, if anything, they were definitely ready to marry now.

Rick pulled away from Nina, taking a look at the ticket again. Shock was still blasted across his face. "H-how much?"

She kissed him hard. "Sixteen million," she said, pulling back. "I mean, I did the cash option payout, so I don't know how much that actually equates to, but I'm sure it's somewhere in the millions, even after taxes."

Rick kept staring at the ticket like he couldn't believe it. "But how, I mean...is this for real?"

She nodded. "I wouldn't play around with something like this, especially at three o'clock in the morning."

"Since when did you start playing the lottery?"

Nina shrugged. "I'm not a regular player. I just play every now and then. I was in the gas station Saturday and found a five-dollar bill folded up in my pocket, so I just bought five tickets. I never in a million years thought I'd win."

For once Rick was speechless. He was a hustler, so he was always talking a good game. Nina always told him that his gift of gab was so great, he should've been in sales.

Nina took Rick's hand and led him out of her office, down the hall, and into the living room of their small three-bedroom home, which she'd moved into after her divorce.

"Do you know what this means?" she said, easing him down onto the sofa.

"It means you're rich?" he said slowly, like everything was still registering.

"It means we're rich, baby. I can pay off those student loans, get out of debt, open my real estate business, and you — you can now finally open that gym you've wanted to open."

Rick had been scrimping and saving for years to fulfill his dream of opening an upscale gym that catered to young professionals. He'd managed to save a nice chunk of change, but three months ago, his only brother was killed, and Rick had to use the money to bury his brother. So he was essentially starting all over.

A smile finally crossed Rick's face as his eyes began to twinkle. "We're rich?"

Nina nodded, matching his smile. "We're rich."

He jumped up and swung her around in circles as they both let out piercing screams. Nina couldn't remember a time she'd been happier. She knew from that moment forward, their lives would never be the same.

Copyright © 2009 by ReShonda Tate Billingsley

Meet the Author

ReShonda Tate Billingsley
is a former television reporter and has won numerous awards for her journalism and fiction, including the Nova Lee Nation Award from the Greater Dallas Writing Association and the prestigious Gold Pen Award for Best New Author for her first novel, My Brother’s Keeper.

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The Devil Is a Lie 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Kaileigh More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. The author was not shy about starting off with the story from the beginning. I was able to predict PART of the ending, but definitely not all of it. I couldn't put the book down. I'm sure some might feel the main character was a little naive at times, but I honestly feel that she was realistic. I read this a lot faster than I normally read books. It was a great, easy read.
Anita33 More than 1 year ago
From the beginning the story leaves you trying to guess the ending. Even if you think that you know the answer, the author gives you another twist to keep the suspense going. The characters can be related to people that we know. Everyone knows someone that could fit into each of these characters. The main character's grandmother seems to be the one stable character that continues to display her faith in God. She is the one character that makes it well known that having faith doesn't make you worry. She is so down to earth and calm through this chaos, that it is actually funny. Overall, the book opens many topics of discussiona and I think that it would be a very good book club discussion book for men and women alike.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book.
DarleneGinn-Hargrove More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book and the ending was wonderful...
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AndreaDenise More than 1 year ago
I'm terribly fond of this read as it has all of the makings of a charming read: drama, humor and lessons learned. In "The Devil Is a Lie", Nina Lawson feels she's hit the big time once she becomes the sole winner of $16 million dollars. She and her fiancé, Rick, hastily make plans to spend their newfound wealth and live happily ever after. Regrettably, Nina's bombarded with unruly, eager family members who believe they deserve a slice of the pie due to their shared DNA. To make matters worst, Todd, Nina's financially strapped, ex-husband, and his flamboyant girlfriend, Pam, are seeking half of the lottery prize. Their selfish actions halts Rick's dream of opening his very own fitness center and he's not thrilled about it. The relationship between Nina and Rick becomes strained and that's when the real headaches begin. At times, we go through things that are not in our hands but are in the hands of God. Thankfully, Nina discovers that the individuals she deems nearest and dearest aren't what they seem. One particular character has their true intentions exposed. Others have redeemed themselves even if they were slightly coerced. My favorite characters were Grandma Odessa, Grams and Lee Roy. They all provided an equal balance of humor and drama to the storyline. Last of all, you best believe that I've been playing 4-7-14-17-21-25 since reading ReShonda's latest. Hey, you never know. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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KLBCHOICES More than 1 year ago
Nina Lawson is estatic when she finds out she won millions of dollars in the Texas Lotto. And when she assures her fiance, Rick Henderson, it isn't just her money but "their" money, he's happy that he'll finally be able to live his dream of owning a business. The word gets out about Nina's big win and family she hasn't seen in quite some time shows up expecting their share. This isn't really a problem for Nina since she has a giving heart and wants to share the wealth to bring happiness to certain family members. But she isn't at all pleased when her ex-husband, Todd Lawson, and his girlfriend, Pam, expect half of the $16 million ($8.6 million after taxes). Then so many other unexpected things start happening and Nina regrets she ever won the lottery. This was an entertaining read! I love it when I find a book that can make me laugh. Some of the things Nina's family did, some of the things they said - so funny. And I really liked Chapter 26. The way it began I thought I knew what Nina was going to discover but it was something totally different - so, so funny! I also really liked Nina's grandmother, Odessa; a woman of godly character and wisdom. I've heard the saying 'money changes people' but it's my belief that money brings out the "real" person. Pam, this woman was the voice of Satan. But even though Satan used her to destroy Nina's marriage, God had plans of His own. The ending was just what I hoped it would be. I've read two of Billingsley's young adult novels, which I really enjoyed, but this is the first adult novel I've read. Her characters are always believable, stories always entertaining and she doesn't write long, drawn out chapters; she gets right to the point and moves on. There's one thing I didn't agree with in this one and that's the mention of karma, but, other than that, like I mentioned before The Devil Is a Lie was an entertaining read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once again ReShonda Tate Billingsley have wrote a Awesome book. I really enjoy read her books. This was a up lift novel. These are the kind of books you start reading and can't put down once you start to read. I cannot not wait until she write the next one. I have read all of her books. ReShonda Tate Billingsley is one of my favor author. I read a lot but I love read her books. E.Lynn Harris was my favor author until I start read her books. Keep up the good work ReShonda Tate Billingsley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Houston, Nina Lawson is euphoric when she learns that her six selected numbers were called in the lottery, which means she has won the eight million dollars prize. Her elation quickly turns to rancor and outrage when everyone including strangers and family members she has not heard from in seemingly centuries demand a piece of the action. However, the worst betrayal is her fiancé Rick Henderson, who is spending the money even before she has officially received the check. Soon afterward, she learns that she is still married to Todd; his girlfriend Pam spent the divorce filing fee on a Fendi bag. Pam feels it is destiny and insists Todd demand his share of the loot; he agrees, but hides his reason from his shallow lover; he needs money to pay for a heart transplant for his Grams. This is a lighthearted amusing contemporary romance starring a wonderful caring protagonist who finds winning the lottery is not as life simplifying as she expected with people coming out of the woodwork like roaches demanding their share. Rick and Pam are stereotypes of avaricious users while Nina and Todd are compassionate souls. Fans will enjoy Nina's plight as winning seems more like losing but with love and God she can overcome the devils blighting her life with their greedy burden. Harriet Klausner
AliciaLuv2Read More than 1 year ago
When Nina hits the lotto for millions of dollars she thinks she would be sitting pretty and all her finicial problems would be solved. "The Devil Is a Lie" brings forth the saying "money is the root of all evil" Just when Nina and her soon to be husband Rick begin making plans for their future, Nina finds out she is still married to Todd. Rick, Todd and his gold-digger girlfriend Pam try to get their hands on Nina's winnings. "The Devil Is a Lie" and on top of all that Nina's family has their hands out for a hook-up also. Nina learns that money can't buy happiness. She realizes that she must get on her knees and pray for God to send her answers and open up her hurt for forgivness.