Perilous Love

Jan Selbourne and I have become friends through our love of writing. I have to say, her writing and dedication to facts in her historical novels is impressive. Because of this I invited her to share a bit about what inspired her to write Perilous Love which I could not put down.

Thank you very much Eileen for inviting me to talk about my book Perilous Love

April 25 was Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand.

On the 25th of April 1915 the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps formed part of the allied expedition which landed at 5.30 am on the Gallipoli (Turkey) peninsula. These became known as Anzacs and the pride they took in that name continues.  

When WW1 began in 1914, Australia and New Zealand were part of the British Empire. We were young countries with populations of only 4.9 million and 1.1 million respectively. That didn’t stop our young men from lining up to join the fight 13,000 miles away. A grand adventure to teach the Germans a lesson and be home by Christmas. Some fretted the action would be over before they got there. They weren’t to know that four long brutal years later 62,000 Australians and 16,500 New Zealanders would never see home again.   

Each year, except for 2020, Australia and New Zealand hold dawn services in each city and town and again at 11.30am – 5.30am in Turkey – to remember the Anzacs and all those who served and who gave their lives in wars and conflicts and peacekeeping operations.  Each year an enormous crowd gathers at the Gallipoli Peninsula for an Anzac dawn service in harmony with the Turkish government and people.

My grandfather enlisted in early 1915 and served in Egypt and the battlefields of Belgium and France. It was at Etaples (France) Army Base Camp housing up to 100,000 British, Canadian, Scottish and Anzac forces that he actually bumped into his brother, whom he had not seen for six years. Both men returned home but the deaths and carnage and appalling conditions on the Western Front left a terrible mark on them.

I could see why when I visited those battlefields a few years ago. Miles of beautiful soft green countryside until our guide held up enlarged photos of blackened, smoky wasteland. Not just the huge craters and bodies of horses and soldiers and overturned cannons but the toll on local citizens whose towns and farms were destroyed, and lives lost.  I wanted to write about it but couldn’t put it together.

It was not long after I came home that I read an article on how a person’s true character is revealed when faced with extreme danger or a life-threatening situation. For instance, the tough chest beating he-man turns to water and runs. The shy introvert steps up to face the danger head on. I had my story.

Perilous Love begins in 1914 England with Europe on edge after the assassination of an archduke.

Here’s the blurb –

Gabrielle Bryce’s plan to leave her miserable empty marriage ends when her estranged husband Adrian announces he’ll accompany her and their two children on the annual trip to Belgium. She wasn’t to know the British government ordered Adrian to find proof her aristocratic uncle is secretly supporting the German Empire’s quest for war.

What Adrian finds pushes them into a nightmare of betrayal, forcing them to run for their lives as the German forces cross the border. With only a stolen horse and buggy to their name and facing danger, brutality, and painful truths about themselves, they reach safety as two different people. Waiting for them are charges of treason and a woman who’ll stop at nothing to see Adrian dead.

Perilous Love – Review

by Jan Selbourne


As the world rushes towards a war, the British government orders wealthy businessman, Adrian Bryce to leave his mistress and accompany his estranged wife, Gabrielle, to Belgium. They require proof Gabrielle’s uncle is supporting the German Empire. Adrian discovers secrets which plunge him and Gabrielle into a nightmare of betrayal. Forced to run for their lives as Germany invades, they must trust each other in the midst of danger, brutality, and injury.
Gabrielle enjoys her role of mother of their two children. Wanting only to be with her lover, and now fearful of exposure, she readies herself and her children for a difficult trip. With no way out, Gabrielle knows the visit with her aristocratic traditional family will be a trial, and Europe is on edge. She had no idea the danger she, Adrian and her children would be in.
Will Adrian and Gabrielle reach safety? If they do, are they out of danger or will the intrigue and treason follow them back to England?


This is a 4.5 star read for me. It’s a book where I was annoyed each time I was interrupted when readingBy it.

Set in the first world war, Perilous Love (which has a much better new cover) has been newly updated and rereleased with a new cover. The cover is much more fitting. The story takes right before the start of the war. The two main characters I didn’t like – Adrian and Gabrielle. They are rich and spoiled and obnoxious. They travel from England to Belgium for their annual visit to Gabrielle’s family (Belgium royalty). What occurs in Belgium forces these characters to look at themselves, their marriage, and each other.

Selbourne takes them through the hell of a country invaded and under siege. The violence and the horror of the time is handled beautifully by Selbourne. Instead of forcing the reader to go through horrific scenes of rape, debauchery, and violence, Selbourne has the reader experience it as the characters do. These keeps the horror of what were realistic events of the war from overwhelming the central story. Her characters are well researched and fit the time period she’s using. Her story line is well paced with a balance of fast paced OMG what will happen next to the moments when the characters connect and are real with each other.

I don’t typically read historical novels. Too often I find mistakes on word usage, setting, or items in the book being out of place or time. Selbourne clearly did her research when it came to all of these things. This is well written. It’s got depth and heart in it. When you read the book, you feel like you’re in the time period with the characters.