Book Review

Book Review: The Truth about Miss Ashbourne by Joanna Barker

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Regency Romance
Length: 272 pages
Author: Joanna Barker
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Release Date: November 1st, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


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.


Joanna Barker can do no wrong in my bookish opinion. I have sincerely enjoyed the three books (so far) that I have read by her. I love the way she crafts a story. There’s FANTASTIC banter that makes me all giddy and swoony, deep kisses that have my heart squeezing.

There’s also really solid character development. One of the biggest things I look for in a read. I loved Julianna’s growth and exploration of her self as she came to terms with her past and the options being opened for her now. It wasn’t an overnight solution and the progress made had me loving her all the more.

Enter in our heartthrob William Rowley. From a bit of a disaster meet-cute (at least to Julianna) to rousing confessions of love, I was hooked on him from the get-go. I loved how he gently teased her and taught her new things. Being a safe space to land, even if it took Julianna time to realize it.

The only thing that made me a little cranky was part of the final conflict. I think it would have been easily solved another way and I just didn’t like that it was dragged out. The last scenes were super sweet so props to bringing it back for me. That little complaint is no reason not to pick up this great regency.

Overall audience notes:

  • Regency Romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: low
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of parents (off page, discussed), grief depiction

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