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Golden Lies

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  3,034 Ratings  ·  198 Reviews

From bestselling author Barbara Freethy comes a novel about three remarkable families--the fifty-year-old promise that once bound them together, the fiery betrayal that tore them apart, and the ancient bronze dragon that could destroy their future....

Riley McAllister, Paige Hathaway,
Paperback, 408 pages
Published February 3rd 2004 by Signet (first published February 2004)
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Mar 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: beach read, romantic mystery,
I'm sometimes leery of contemporary romance/chick lit because I feel like characters in many of these novels are self-absorbed and just generally whiny. That's why, when I happen to come across a book like Golden Lies, I breathe a sigh of relief and tuck in for a good read.

The narrative begins with Riley McAllister and his grandmother: Riley takes her to an Antiques Roadshow-like gathering and they discover that the dragon Nan Delaney found in her attic could possibly be worth hundreds of thousa
Jan 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
It's been awhile since I have read Barbara Freethy, thanks to free books on my Kindle I am rediscovering her. I enjoyed this book...mystery, romance, family issues.
Barry Doughty
May 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
You know what they say about judging a book by its cover. Anyway to be fair to the author it was not a bad read. I suppose “love story with a bit of intrigue” might sum it up. It is a story about a beautiful rich debutante whose family owns a large and exclusive antiques business. She becomes involved with a handsome young man who runs a security firm, not as you might expect though his business with her family’s store but because his grandmother finds a rare Chinese antique in her loft, “now ho ...more
C. McCarty
Jun 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
What begins as an attic find that gets appraised as a rare and valuable antique dragon, quickly turns into mystery with countless twists and turns. Sure, handsome man meets beautiful woman, but various complications turned it into a compelling read that kept this reader curled up. While offering a peek into family dynamics, the story continually unveils hidden secrets that intrigue the main characters -- who are often at odds albeit physically attracted to each other. For me, it was the interest ...more
Jan 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
To escape the enemy during WWII, two soldiers and a local Chinese man devise a plan to smuggle ancient artifacts into the U.S. After a mysterious fire, the artifacts are lost and the men part ways. Now, more than 50 years later, the sins of the fathers have come to light and it is up to their 3 grandchildren to make things right.

Another good romantic suspense from Freethy. Lots of family emotion and Chinese lore. Freethy always includes a list of book discussion questions. Similar to Kristen Han
Beth Peninger
Aug 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
I read books like this when my brain is tired from thinking and just needs a break, or when I am not sure what book I really want to read and just need something to get me through until I decide. I consider books like this one filler books. Not horrible but not terribly great either, rather predictable. This isn't the first Freethy title I have read, and it won't be the last because I always need filler books. :) But also Freethy doesn't write badly and in this particular book she even includes ...more
Sarah Pearce
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Golden Lies is a nice cosy read. Just add one large glass of red wine and one bar of Dairy Milk for the perfect evening.

It has love, lies, intrigue, mystery, betrayal and family secrets.

I was kept guessing as to whether the two main characters would end up together, or whether the chips on their shoulders were simply too large.

Most of the characters had skeletons in the closet, which made the story all the more intriguing. There was much to be revealed throughout the book.

The only thing that pre
Oct 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Barbara Freethy does a good job of introducing a variety of settings in her books. This one had a lot of Chinese art information, life in Chinatown in San Francisco. Yet it's not just boring information, but information woven into the story line. The one warning I have after reading three of her books, she's an excellent writer with an interesting story, but seems to include several unmarried sex scenes in her stories and they are all the same. I think she just changes the names of the character ...more
Mar 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literaryfiction
My Rating System
3 stars - A good book that I enjoyed reading
4 stars – Struck a chord with me, made me think or question
5 stars – Something about the book haunted me or stayed with me long after I finished it. Unforgettable.

Multi-layered contemporary that revolves around the discovery of an ancient Chinese dragon....that happens to carry a curse.

Reading Golden Lies is like sneaking into a chocolate factory and indulging in every kind of treat imaginable....sweet, bitter, o
Jul 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By chance I brought this book to the beach, having never read any of Barbara Freethy's novels before and I was wonderfully surprised. She will be on my list of authors to look for in the future. Golden Lies was a page turner,kept my interest and the dialogue between her characters was great. She is a super storyteller. This book involves three families and the how they are brought together. There is history,mystery/suspense,family secrets and romance in this book, what more could you ask for.
Feb 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book about complicated family relationships that evolved after 3 unlikely men became friends in WWII while stationed in China. One man was a native Chinese, one a wealthy scion from a prominent family, and one a poor Irish American. What happened in China, when the 2 Americans were shot down and were rescued by the Chinese man, has had a profound effect in the family members of all 3 men more than 50 years later.

I've yet to read one of Barbara Freethy's books I don't like.
May 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Not her best, wasn't convinced that the love story got the attention it deserved. Plot over-reached and as a result was never fully developed. She did, however, capture an honest portrayal Alyssa, the character who grew up torn between being half-Chinese and half-American. Shades of Amy Tan and the Joy Luck Club, but again, underdeveloped plot.
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, romance
Paige Hathaway is from a wealthy family, Riley McAllister is from a middle class home that had more than their fare share of rough times, and Alyssa Chen grew up in China Town outcast from her own family with only a secretive mother to rely on. Three very different people who all share a part of their history with each other.

This is a wonderful novel with very strong characters and a plot that will keep you guessing to the end. Ms. Freethy is a talented writer who wrote a very original story tha
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Secrets abound in this tale of three families whose grandfathers were friends during World War II until an ancient curse against first daughters is invoked. Eventually all the secrets are uncovered and the families reunited. Interesting. Some sex.
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An interesting book from the first page up until the last one!
Sharon Rudolph
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decent book

This book wasn't bad, but I found it very slow and very predictable. The characters were interesting and the storyline was good, just slow.
Kenneth Richardson

This book was bad bad bad bad bad bad bad but bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad. What was this book even not a very exciting.
Tashinka Roz
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. I have never read anything by her, but I'm pretty sure I will be reading more now. Her writing style is very similar to Nora Roberts.
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really good mystery involving bronze dragons from the Zhou Dynasty.
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm excited to find a new-to-me author, who has written many other books. Can't wait to read more!
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-ci-siamo
Voglio riportare la trama di questo libro:

"Un brivido di inquietudine la attraversò. Suo padre e suo nonno avevano entrambi perso una figlia. La primogenita." Da quando Paige Hathaway, erede di una famosa casa d'aste, inizia a occuparsi di un antico dragone cinese, tutte le sue certezze sembrano crollare a una a una. La famiglia, gli affetti, la sua vita: forse niente è quello che sembra. E a complicare le cose c'è il proprietario del dragone, Riley McAllister. Lui e Paige non potrebbero essere
Lynn Hutchinson
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this mystery story, guessed the whodunit, but not till very near the end.
Judy Miller
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. It had everything. Mystery, intrigue, romance. A real page-turner. I've told my husband to read it because I think he'll really enjoy the clever story which takes place in my hometown of San Francisco.
Feb 28, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
This book was very enjoyable - the plot was easy to follow and the protagonists were very likable and I found that I was able to understand them and to relate to their emotions. However I did find that the story was more than a little slow to get started and I struggled at first to stick with it but once the plot became apparent (the mystery element) the pace of the novel certainly picked up. Once the story did picked up I got into it a little more and as a result I definitely found myself more ...more
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
Riley McAllister, Paige Hathaway come from three very different old San Francisco families. Paige is the next generation of a Gump's-like appraising firm and high end fine art and furniture store, not to mention the only living child of a socially prominent family. Riley is the former Marine son of a runaway Hippie mom and guardian of his Irish grandparents. Alyssa Chen doesn't know who she is. Daughter of a Chinese mother and a Caucasian father she has never met, she straddles two worlds and do ...more
Oct 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Nan Delaney and her Grandson Riley are clearing out her loft when they come across an old dragon ornament that Nan claims never to have seen before. They take it to a televised antiques roadshow type of program and are soon contacted by millionaire art collector David Hathaway. Reluctantly, Riley agrees to leave the statue with David so it's origins can be verified, but overnight both David and the statue go missing. A day later it is discovered that David has been attacked in a Chinatown alley ...more
Blair McDowell
Feb 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-reviews
Set in San Francisco, Golden Lies is a mystery-romance involving three generations of three very different families, the Hathaways, influential members of San Francisco’s upper crust, the Delaneys, Irish Immigrants, and the Chens of China Town.

Connections and interconnections among the three families are disclosed as the story unfolds. The central love story involves the granddaughter of the Hathaway patriarch falling for the grandson of the Delaney’s, and along the way, a surprising family rel
Feb 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Barbara Freethy is a nice writer and delivers her usual entertaining story in GOLDEN LIES.

When Riley takes his grandmother to the House of Hathaway to have them appraise a Chinese dragon she found in her attic, the dragon disappears when one of the Hathaways takes it off site and disappears. The culprit is Paige's father and at first she's disbelieving (he'd never take someone else's property out of their showroom and emporium), then shocked, and finally frightened when her father turns up in an
Jul 26, 2013 rated it liked it
While this book had many aspects that I truly enjoyed, I thought some of the mystery could have been better portrayed. I loved that this book takes place in San Francisco and deals with Chinese heritage and traditions. I also loved Alyssa as a character as we both share a mixed racial background of half Chinese and half Caucasian, but where she was taught to be ashamed of her mixed heritage I had a very different upbringing and I found it interesting to see this different perspective. I could te ...more
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easy and enjoyable

A little mystery, Chinese culture, lots of people damaged by their past, some good romantic tension and San Francisco....what's not to like?
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Barbara's love of writing developed out of a love of reading. Growing up in an all-boy neighborhood, she spent quite a bit of time reading through her mother's large library, many of which were romantic novels. After graduating from the University of California at Santa Barbara, she went into Public Relations, but soon discovered that writing was her true passion.

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“No one else can fight your battles for you. In the end we all stand alone. So when it comes your time to stand front and center, raise your chin high, look everyone straight in the eye and know in your heart that you're up to the challenge.” 20 likes
“Don't think about the problems. Think about the possibilities. This could be the beginning of something amazing.” 8 likes
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