"THE TRUTH ABOUT MISS ASHBOURNE," by Joanna Barker, Covenant Communications, $16.99, 253 pages (f)
When Juliana Ashbourne is summoned to a lawyer’s office, she’s shocked to hear she’s been bequeathed a large sum of money by a grandfather she’d never met. The only catch is she must spend one month at the home of her relatives, strangers who have never shown any interest in her or her later mother in “The Truth About Miss Ashbourne.”
Juliana always knew her mother had given up wealth and prestige to marry her father. But she didn’t realize her grandmother had always regretted the rift with her oldest daughter. So, when Juliana arrives at Havenfield, prepared to meet those who shunned her mother, she’s shocked when her grandmother lovingly and eagerly receives her.
A kindhearted grandmother isn’t her only surprise. Juliana also meets William Rowley, the new heir to Havenfield, and he isn’t a bit what she expected. As Juliana and William get to know each other, romance blooms. But Juliana first must go through the pains of being received into an unforgiving, and unforgetting, British society.1 comment on this story
New author Joanna Barker has written a lighthearted, clean novel that can be a fun read for romance-lovers. While “The Truth About Miss Ashbourne” doesn’t have powerful dialogue or memorable scenes and its plot is rather obvious, reading about Juliana can be a fun romp into a pretend world where happy endings abound and the bad guy gets his comeuppance.
“The Truth About Miss Ashbourne” has clean language, no described violence and romance that doesn’t go beyond a few kisses. It is a 2018 Whitney Awards finalist in both the historical fiction and best novel by debut author categories. The Whitney Awards are given to authors who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
A graduate of BYU, Barker lives in Utah with her husband and children.