Governess Juliana Ashbourne has dreams reaching far beyond the confines of her current position, hoping to someday establish her own school for girls. When she inherits a fortune from her late grandfather, she is shocked to learn that “someday” may soon be within reach. However, there is one condition: she must spend a month at the estate of Havenfield—with the very family who disowned her mother. Intent on securing the money she needs to start her school, Juliana accepts the invitation, vowing to guard her heart against those who shunned her all her life.
But Havenfield is far from what she expects. She discovers a grandmother seeking forgiveness, a cold and disapproving aunt, and a painfully shy cousin. And then there is Mr. William Rowley. Though the heir to the estate is a merciless tease, Juliana finds in him a friend and confidant—and perhaps something more. As she struggles to make sense of her new place in the world, her stubborn independence clashes with a yearning to belong and the even more confusing desires of her heart.
|Size||6 x 9|
|Published||Covenant Communications 2018|
|Audiobook Narrator||Louise McCance-Price|
|Audiobook Runtime||Approximately 10 hrs.|
Everything I love about Regency and romance came together beautifully in this debut novel. Juliana is strong but also vulnerable, and tries to protect herself from potential hurts by holding herself back. William is so fun and charming, I loved their banter and the friendship and romance that eventually develop. There are family dynamics that Juliana needs to learn to navigate, and she learns valuable lessons from them and her new circumstances. I loved the subtle humor that gave a lighter feel to the story and the relationships especially. Looking forward to reading more from this author!
(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
What a great book! I loved each of the characters so much! The story was so good I never wanted to stop listening. I can’t wait for Joanna Barker’s next book!!
I absolutely loved this book. I looked forward to listening to it whenever possible. Loved the characters, the storyline, and the audio version. Very well written. Memorable, even when there are so many other stories in the Regency line. It wasn't a hashed over version of another story. Quite enjoyable. Thank you for a great read!
I loved this book!!! I couldn’t put it down- literally I read it until 2am!
I completely adored this book! The story line is so well told it will keep you engaged and begging for more.
I listened to the audiobook and was thrilled when the reader actually sang the song that Miss Ashbourne performed-- that was a wonderful addition!
I hope Joanna is planning on writing more books!
"The Truth about Miss Ashbourne" is a great novel. It's hard nowadays for romance authors to make their Regency Romance novel stand out from the others. I think debut author Joanna Barker did a great job of making her novel and characters original and outstanding. Main character
Juliana is strong, feisty, intelligent and humorous. She did not grow up as a lady of The Ton. So it's quite humorous at times how Juliana interacts with them. When they are turning their nose up at her, she turns things right around in her own favor.Many of these things made me LOL! I also truly loved Mr. William Rowley.Even though you knew he would be Juliana's love interest, it was a great joy to see how it all unfolded. He is a wonderful man & character. I loved how he treated others and especially how he shaved off the roughness to soften Juliana's heart to him and her extended family. Another favorite character was Juliana's estranged Grandmother who turned out to be a very bright spot in her life.
I highly recommend this book to all lovers of Regency Romance and those that like feisty female characters.
What a sweet regency romance! I don't think I've read anything by this author before so it was a treat to find a new author in this genre to enjoy.
While the story here is quite predictable, it is also quite regency which definitely limits how far one can divert off that beaten path. All the classic regency elements are present here from the divide in higher class and lower class, balls, gowns, proper etiquette, walking in gardens and the rare women trying to break out of the shell society has put them under (which is always my favorite part).
I kind of wish this story would have been told in third person or even a split first person point of view. William is a character I felt like I wish I had a more intimate knowledge of. He is a tease but also has a serious, loyal side. I would love to have felt more from his point of view because I think he would have stolen the show for me.
Juliana has much to recommend her though. I loved her passion for learning and teaching and how she wanted to change the way young girls were taught. The rags to riches story felt like a fairy tale and the dancing bits were of my favorites in the book.
This was a good, solid regency romance and I enjoyed it very much.
- I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
Joanna Barker's debut novel, The Truth about Miss Ashbourne, is engaging and well-written. I avoided many things this past weekend as I spent time learning about Juliana's past, present and future.
I love characters that don't fit the mold, and Juliana definitely fell into this category. She was a feminist for her time-so unlike the debutantes surrounding her. She valued education and had a passion for teaching. Her dream was to start a school for girls to give them the opportunity to learn so much more than needlepoint and how to catch a husband. She was working under less than favorable conditions as a governess to save money for this endeavor when she learned of an inheritance from her mother's estranged family. Although the strings attached weren't to her liking, the notice came at just the right time.
I can't imagine visiting relatives I'd never met and having to stay for a month! Juliana's grandmother, aunt and cousin lived as many of the upper class did at that time, and no one worked. A few weeks of relaxation sound lovely, but doing so among strangers (even if they were related) would be quite uncomfortable.
The interactions between Juliana and William were entertaining. Quite a few misunderstandings, lots of teasing, and some tender, heartfelt moments made for a sweet romance.
Some of the truth being revealed throughout the book was predictable, but despite that I enjoyed how it was presented. The variety of emotions really made for an enjoyable read.
I'm looking forward to reading more from Joanna Barker.
*I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own.
I love when I find new authors! The Truth About Miss Ashbourne is a a Regency Romance written by a debut author and it’s really good!
I have to say that I LOVED Miss Ashbourne, Juliana. She’s a governess in London. I loved that she wasn’t your typical governess. She’s young and pretty and willing to let her charges learn things that not a lot of society thinks they should learn. One of the things she does that her boss, Mrs Seymour objects to is taking the children to the park. Life sure is different these days!
Anyway…Juliana isn’t a governess for very much of the book. She learns early on that she’s actually an heiress. I loved the way she found out that she’s an heiress and the way she meets William Rowley. Juliana is always getting herself into scrapes that she needs help getting out of. Well…she doesn’t think she needs help getting out of them, but she does.
There is a lot going on with the backstory of this one. There were several parts relating to the backstory that I really loved. Probably my favorite part is her flashback when looking at the picture gallery. This one’s late in the story, so I’m not going to say more than that to not give anything away.
One thing about this story is that Juliana is the only character you get to be in the head of. That works sometimes really well, but I really would have loved to have seen what William thought. One thing I loved was that there were surprises for Juliana at the end of the book from her relatives that she’d gotten to spend time with.
I loved this book! Hopefully Joanna Barker is planning to write more books like this one!