Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Truth About Miss Ashbourne by Joanna Barker

book cover
The Truth About Miss Ashbourne
by Joanna Barker

ISBN-13: 9781524406646
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Released: Nov. 1, 2018

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Governess Juliana Ashbourne has dreams reaching far beyond the confines of her current position, hoping to someday establish her own school for girls. Then she inherits a fortune from her late grandfather, but there is one condition: she must spend a month at the estate of Havenfield—with the very family who disowned her mother. Juliana finally accepts the invitation even though resenting 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.

My Review:
The Truth About Miss Ashbourne is a romance set in 1820 in England. I think I would have enjoyed the story more if it'd started with her arriving at the empty house. I ended up really enjoying the story, but I didn't particularly like or understand Juliana at first. She defied her employers' wishes as to how their children should be educated and taught the children feminist principles and to resent their parents. She had so much resentment against her relatives because of how her grandfather treated her parents that she refused to spend a month with them. Even in order to receive a fortune that would allow her to open a progressive school for girls. She's in the wrong when she runs into the hero, then she's rude to him when he tries to be kind. Helping her required a lot of negotiation.

Then she's fired and has no choice except to visit her relatives. All but one are surprisingly kind. She starts to thaw, accept family and love, and become much more likable. We learn why she's had to be independent even as she works with the hero to bring about her dream of a school for girls. And, of course, they fall in love as they spend time together. But she still feels powerless, like she's "just the governess," so she makes a hurtful (though kindly meant) decision at the end that has to be overcome before she finds happiness. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable romance.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

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