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The Governess of Banbury Park ~ Review with Snippet

The Governess of Banbury Park
by Julie Matern

Sophia Cavanaugh is crushed when she learns that her father made no provisions for her future. But she is determined to protect his good name and to do so she must leave all her friends and acquaintances behind. With no destination in mind and funds limited she sent out to make a new life for herself, seeking employment as a governess.

Choosing Kersey as her destination Sophia is blessed to find a room with the Burleys, an older couple who take her in as if she were their own daughter. She soon develops a few friendships and to her discomfort catches the eye of the local minister who is considered most eligible. But Sophia has set ideas about marriage and desires one like her parents - one based on love and not one of convenience. 

But Charles Mortimer is a man of status and his mother has a plan for both her children - one that will elevate their social standing. And one that doesn't include a penniless orphan of a minister nor a governess. And to make sure that Sophia and Charles don't form an attachment Mrs. Mortimer is more than happy to assist Sophia in securing a position far from Kersey.

The Governess of Banbury Park starts out in such a way that the reader thinks that this is a gentle read with the greatest obstacle is Sophia's search for a position and a society mama who looks down upon her. But upon her arrival in Banbury Park, the story takes a marked turn. Sophia's employer is not what he appears at least according to his wife but is she just a disenchanted wife or do her complaints have merit? 

This book takes a look at the need to climb the social and financial ladder through the arranged marriages of one's children. Feelings had no bearing in marriage as it was, for the most part, the equivalent of a business contract between two parties benefitting in some manner. Daughters and wives were often given little protection under the law, considered little more than a possession to be traded away.

Once this work took Sophia from Kersey the story added some depth giving the reader more than a pretty story to pass the hours. This is an intriguing read that I highly recommend. Set in the Regency period one can truly appreciate just how the world has changed, allowing one to follow one's heart and not despising those who have to seek employment. Having read Julie Matern's previous book work I can honestly say there are marked differences so one does not feel as if one is reading a reworked book - tweaked just enough to be published with a new title.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations but that I provide my honest opinion. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Genre: Regency, Romance
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Publication date: April 14, 2020
At the reading of her father’s will, Sophia Cavanaugh learns that she is suddenly destitute. Impoverished, grief-stricken and alone, she sees only one course open to her – becoming a governess. With little experience and no references, securing a position proves more difficult than expected until she finds a champion in the dashing and well-connected Charles Mortimer. he quickly captures her heart but are the feelings mutual?
Sophia is provided a position by his meddling mother and the two are parted, but fate thrusts them back together. Will Sophia risk her heart and confess her love?

About the Author

This is the second regency romance by Julie and the third is well underway.
Julie was born and raised in London, England and still visits often to see family, wander around her old haunts and order cream teas with scones full of clotted cream and jam and a big cup of hot chocolate. She loves all things Jane Austen as well as mysteries, photography, chocolate, shoes, pickle ball and …chocolate.
 On the final day, the whole company, including Sophia and Emily, was taking a walk around the estate after lunch when the redoubtable Mrs. Mortimer hung back. Sophia viewed her approach with dread and slowed her own progress, but Mrs. Mortimer, it appeared, was determined and stopped completely, waiting for Sophia to draw near. 
“You appear happy here, Miss Cavanaugh,” she began, touching her perfectly coiffed hair. “You must be most indebted to our family for finding you such an agreeable situation.”   
Sophia feared a verbal trap was being sprung and simply nodded.
 “Is it not then a poor show of appreciation to dally with my son’s affections?” she glowered. 
Sophia was caught off guard by such a direct reproach. Usually the gentry were much more discreet in their conversations. She must be absolutely furious. “I . . .” she began. 
“Do not deny it!” Mrs. Mortimer spat out, eyes narrowed to slits. “Let me explain how the world works for you. There are distinct social principles that divide the classes. Under no circumstances should these be crossed!” Sophia stepped back. “Charles is destined for great things, and as my only son, certain conduct is expected of him. My grandchildren must be the progeny of both a mother and father of the highest bloodline to honor our family’s good name and standing in society. The children of a governess will not do! Do I make myself clear?” She waited for no response before ploughing on. 
“Charles is weak when it comes to matters of the heart, and you are a distraction. He does not know his own mind and is easily persuaded by a pretty face. It is his duty to marry a woman of fortune and title, and therefore his history must not be besmirched by a dalliance with a servant. If you care for him at all, you must relinquish him.” She stopped and planted herself directly in front of Sophia. “Do I have your promise to give him up?” 
Righteous indignation had swelled during this scolding and now rose like a genie from a bottle within Sophia, knowing as she did the heritage of the woman berating her. She was torn between calling Mrs. Mortimer out as the worst of hypocrites, which would cause Charles more grief, or agreeing with her to smooth his path. Though she felt the flame of shame burning on her cheeks, her discomfort did not deter the woman or appeal to her sympathies. Rather, Charles’s mother bore down with all the authority she could muster to pressure her into compliance. The challenge merely emboldened Sophia, though she decided that she would keep her counsel on Mrs. Mortimer’s ancestry for Charles’s sake.


TGOBP Tour Giveaway
-(2) winner’s will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card (open Int.)
-(1) winner will receive an ebook copy of The Secret of Haversham House (open Int.)
-(1) winner will receive their choice of a print copy of one of Julie’s books (US only)
Enter the giveaway HERE.

Giveaway ends May 13 at 11:59pm MT.
Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Tour Schedule

Follow along with the tour over on SLB Tours.

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