My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: Regency Romance
Book Description: 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.
My thoughts: This is a sweet Regency Romance. It is also the debut novel of Joanna Barker, which made this book more impressive! The book was well written and easy to read. I loved the characters, setting, and the plot.
The book is told from Julianna Ashbourne's point of view. As the book begins she is a governess with a dream of having her own school and teaching girls subjects that were reserved for boys. She loves children and wants to help them improve. Her work position is precarious and an opportunity comes her way where she can inherit a large sum of money if she spends a month with her estranged grandmother.
The book takes some interesting turns when she discovers the heir to the estate her grandmother loves on is a man she ran into on the street. Let's just say that she didn't form a favorable impression. I enjoyed William Rowley's character. He seems to have many edges, so I wish that I could have gotten to know him better and what he was thinking.
The story has a vindictive aunt, a jealous employer, a loving grandmother, a sweet cousin, and the woman who will do anything to get the man she wants. There are many things to love about this book.
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About the Author: Joanna Barker was born and raised in northern California. She discovered her love for historical fiction after visiting England as an eleven-year-old, and subsequently read every Jane Austen book she could get her hands on. After graduating Brigham Young University with a degree in English, she worked as an acquisitions editor before devoting herself full-time to writing. She enjoys music, chocolate, and reading everything from romance to science fiction. She lives in Utah and is just a little crazy about her husband and two wild-but-loveable boys.
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