The Truth About Miss Ashbourne
By Joanna Barker
Covenant Communication, 2018. 252 pgs. Historical Romance
Juliana Ashbourne is a governess with big dreams of someday being able to save enough money to start her own school for girls. She endures working for horrible parents because she adores the two children she spends her days with. Just as her situation gets unbearable she discovers that her grandfather has died and she has inherited a fortune. The only problem is that this is the same grandfather that disowned her mother. Juliana has never met her relatives and the condition of her inheritance is that she must return to Havenfield, the family estate, and live with her extended family for thirty days. With few other choices, she goes to Havenfield hoping to endure the time so she can receive her money and move forward with her dreams. She doesn't expect to find a caring grandmother, a shy cousin that she connects with and the teasing Mr. William Rowley, heir to the estate.
This debut novel by Joanna Barker was a sweet Regency romance that was well written and really captured me from the very beginning. I loved Juliana's character. She had a lot of unknowns in her life that made her vulnerable, but she faced her challenges and worked toward her passion for creating her school. William was the perfect swoon-worthy hero. He was honorable and kind but also knew how to tease Juliana to keep her from being too serious. I loved watching their friendship progress. I would recommend this book for those looking for clean romance or fans of Julianne Donaldson or Sara Eden.