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Lies of Gold by Jan Selbourne is a Kindle Unlimited pick #romanticsuspense #ku #giveaway


Lies of Gold


Jan Selbourne


Historical suspense romance

Book Blurb:

Their love affair ended in anger and painful consequences.

In Regency England, Lady Katherine Ashford has guarded a secret through years of abuse from her husband and now, after his death, from his brother who is also guardian to her children.

Hard living and fighting wars has numbed Julian Ashford, Lady Katherine’s former love. Then, as so often happens, fate steps in.

A traitor is smuggling gold across the Channel to Napoleon Bonaparte, and Julian is ordered back to Halton Hall and Katherine, the woman he’s tried for years to forget. It's her secret and their increasing danger that rekindle the love they once shared.

Even when a murder reveals the shocking truth of the gold smuggling, nothing can prepare them for the devastating betrayal that awaits when they finally face the mastermind behind the sordid operation. Will they survive—and will their love?


Julian Ashford didn’t bother raising his head when the hired coach slowed to a walking pace. They were driving through Halton village within the large Ballingford estate and the hollow clatter of hooves told him they were crossing the ancient bridge. The pace picked up and a few minutes later they were through the crested gates and trotting smartly down the broad oak lined avenue, a legacy of his great grandfather. Julian leaned forward to put his head in his hands as the coach turned into the circular driveway and stopped at the entrance of Halton Hall. The large red brick Jacobean home of his ancestors. The home he’d vowed never to step foot in again.

As the footman pushed down the step and opened the door, Julian fought down the urge to order the driver to turn the coach around and leave. Instead, he took a deep breath and stepped down onto the waiting mat. Standing at the bottom of the steps an immaculately attired butler bowed deferentially. “Welcome to Halton Hall, Major Ashford.”

“Thank you,” Julian raised his eyebrows to the dignified man.

The butler bowed again. “Jennings sir, at your service.”

They walked into the Great Hall and Julian stopped as the years peeled away. The soaring oak beams, the paneled walls, the tapestries, the massive fireplaces, the two grandfather clocks, the marble statues and the broad oak staircase winding up to the gallery above were from another life and yet it seemed like only yesterday.

The butler was announcing, “Major Julian Ashford, sir,” and he crossed the polished parquet floor to where the Honourable Martin Ashford stood. The family resemblance was striking. Both were six feet tall with black hair, coal black eyes and olive skin and that’s where the similarity ended. As Julian bowed curtly, his eyes moved from Martin’s peacock blue velvet coat to the elaborate cravat, the primped black hair and came to rest on the florid, haughty face.

Martin extended his hand. “Julian.”

“Martin,” Julian shook the proffered hand and stood back. They loathed each other but civilities were scrupulously observed.

“I was told to expect you two days ago,” Martin said abruptly. “Keeping me waiting was most inconsiderate.”

“Surely you were aware of the storms wreaking havoc on the roads. Did you expect me to grow wings and fly over the cavernous potholes?”

Martin’s eyes narrowed as he scanned Julian’s sober attire. “Has your tailor refused you credit?”

“No. Shall we stand here discussing our coats and shirts or shall we move to somewhere more comfortable?” Julian sighed loudly. “The journey was more than tedious.”

Martin didn’t move. “You will not take another step until I make it perfectly clear you are not wanted here. If Charles was alive you would not get past the front gates but unfortunately, as trustee of the estate I could not refuse the order to keep you here until”—his lip curled with contempt—“you are deemed suitable to return to civilized society.”

“If Charles was alive, I’d have chosen the New South Wales penal colony. However, the decision to send me here was made by people with more authority than you and me,” Julian replied evenly.

Martin’s cold eyes studied him for a few seconds. “I have guests for the weekend and this evening I am hosting a masquerade ball. While you are in this house you will dress and act appropriately.”

Julian smiled faintly. “I promise to be on my best behavior, Martin. I hope you have a spare mask for me.”

Martin glared at him as the butler opened the door to the drawing room richly furnished with thick red velvet curtains, a huge chiffonier and brocade upholstered sofas. All new since he was last here. Three men lounged in armchairs conveniently close to a table holding a decanter of wine. A flushed, bewhiskered face looked up and broke into an insolent smile.

“Good Lord, I am finding it hard to believe my eyes. Home from the colonies, Julian?”

“It would appear so Albert, as I am standing here before you,” Julian replied. “Any other incredible observations you wish to share?”

His companions chuckled as Albert’s mouth opened to reply and closed without speaking. The thinner of the other two stood up and shook Julian’s hand.

“Must be two years since I’ve seen you, Julian.”

“And who would have thought we’d meet here, Frederick.”

“Hope you brought your manservant,” Frederick grinned amiably. “Martin’s weekend house parties can be very taxing on one’s stamina.”

“My manservant accompanies me everywhere except the privy.” Julian yawned.

“Did he accompany you to the colonies?” Albert smirked. “Help you swat away the natives and flies and reptiles?”

“Why don’t you go and play with yourself in a corner and leave the grownups alone?” Julian said contemptuously. “Martin, I hope you have set aside something larger than a broom closet for my bed.”

“Consider yourself fortunate you won’t be sleeping in the broom closet,” Martin retorted. “The guest wing and every spare room is full.”

“Wherever it is, I must prepare myself for tonight’s festivities, so ring the butler’s bell.”

Albert got to his feet. “Were you born rude or did you just turn out that way?”

Julian raised his eyebrows. “Only when the occasion demands, my dear Albert.”

The moment Jennings appeared at the door Julian followed him to the wide oak staircase lined with portraits of long-gone ancestors. Not one of the imperious, posing Ashfords had moved an inch since he was last here sixteen years ago. He was about to wink at his grandfather but resisted. He’d hated the old tyrant. They walked through the first floor gallery to the guest wing and down the hallway to the last room which Jennings opened with a flourish.

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

Amazon (available in print and on Kindle Unlimited)

What makes your featured book a must-read?

Lies of Gold is a Napoleonic spy story of suspense and long-lost love. Napoleon’s army is receiving gold through some means, but the British can’t determine how. Thus, Julian is sent undercover to a country estate to see what he can find. The actual history of how this bounty was secreted to France is as horrific as it was surprising. My love of history and discovering its secrets is what makes every historical book a “must read,” and I feel Lies of Gold is no different. Journey with me to find treachery and traitorous greed as well as loyalty and bravery in Britain during the war to save the continent from Boney.

Giveaway –

Enter to win a $40 Amazon gift card:

Open Internationally.

Runs November 7 – November 16, 2023.

Winner will be drawn on November 17, 2023.

Author Biography:

Jan Selbourne was born and educated in Melbourne, Australia and her love of literature and history began as soon as she learned to read and hold a pen. After graduating from a Melbourne Business College her career began in the dusty world of ledgers and accounting, working in Victoria, Queensland and the United Kingdom. On the point of retiring, she changed course to work as secretary of a large NSW historical society. Now retired Jan is enjoying her love of travelling and literature. She has two children, a stray live in cat and lives near Maitland, New South Wales.

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1 Comment

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N. N. Light
Nov 13, 2023

Thank you, Jan, for sharing your book in our KU Bookish Event! It sounds so intriguing.

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