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The Governess of Highland Hall (#01 in Edwardian Brides Series)

Carrie Turansky
The Governess of Highland Hall (#01 in Edwardian Brides Series)
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The Governess of Highland Hall (#01 in Edwardian Brides Series)

Carrie Turansky

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Worlds lie between the marketplaces of India and the halls of a magnificent country estate like Highland Hall. Will Julia be able to find her place when a governess is neither upstairs family nor downstairs help?
 
Missionary Julia Foster loves working alongside her parents, ministering and caring for young girls in India. But when the family must return to England due to illness, she readily accepts the burden for her parents’ financial support. Taking on a job at Highland Hall as governess, she quickly finds that teaching her four privileged, ill-mannered charges at a grand estate is more challenging than expected, and she isn’t sure what to make of the estate’s preoccupied master, Sir William Ramsey.
 
Widowed and left to care for his two young children and his deceased cousin Randolph’s two teenage girls, William is consumed with saving the estate from the financial ruin. The last thing he needs is any distraction coming from the kindhearted-yet-determined governess who seems to be quietly transforming his household with her persuasive personality, vibrant prayer life, and strong faith.
 
While both are tending past wounds and guarding fragile secrets, Julia and William are determined to do what it takes to save their families—common ground that proves fertile for unexpected feelings. But will William choose Julia’s steadfast heart and faith over the wealth and power he needs to secure Highland Hall’s future?

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About "The Governess of Highland Hall (#01 in Edwardian Brides Series)"

Worlds lie between the marketplaces of India and the halls of a magnificent country estate like Highland Hall. Will Julia be able to find her place when a governess is neither upstairs family nor downstairs help?
 
Missionary Julia Foster loves working alongside her parents, ministering and caring for young girls in India. But when the family must return to England due to illness, she readily accepts the burden for her parents’ financial support. Taking on a job at Highland Hall as governess, she quickly finds that teaching her four privileged, ill-mannered charges at a grand estate is more challenging than expected, and she isn’t sure what to make of the estate’s preoccupied master, Sir William Ramsey.
 
Widowed and left to care for his two young children and his deceased cousin Randolph’s two teenage girls, William is consumed with saving the estate from the financial ruin. The last thing he needs is any distraction coming from the kindhearted-yet-determined governess who seems to be quietly transforming his household with her persuasive personality, vibrant prayer life, and strong faith.
 
While both are tending past wounds and guarding fragile secrets, Julia and William are determined to do what it takes to save their families—common ground that proves fertile for unexpected feelings. But will William choose Julia’s steadfast heart and faith over the wealth and power he needs to secure Highland Hall’s future?

- Publisher

Meet the Author

Carrie Turansky

Carrie Turansky lives in New Jersey with her husband Scott. They have been married for over thirty years and have five young adult children and two grandsons. Carrie leads women's ministry at their church and teaches Bible studies. She also enjoys reading, gardening, and walking around the lake near their home. Carrie and her family spent one year in Kenya as missionaries, giving them a passion for what God is doing around the world. Carrie's website is: www.carrieturansky.com.

Excerpt

Excerpt from: The Governess of Highland Hall (#01 in Edwardian Brides Series)

One

October 1911, England

Julia Foster lifted her gaze to the clear October sky as a lark swooped past. Her steps slowed and her thoughts took flight, following the bird as it dipped into the golden trees beyond the meadow. If only she could fly away, back to the familiar life and cherished friends she had left behind in India. But that dream would have to wait.

She shifted her gaze to the country lane rising before her. Around the next bend she would see Highland Hall. At least that was what she remembered, but twelve years had passed since she had attended a charity bazaar at the large estate before her family left for India. What if she had misjudged the distance or the time it took to walk from the village of Fulton to Highland Hall? She quickened her pace. It wouldn’t do to be late for her ten o’clock appointment with Mrs. Emmitt, the housekeeper.

When she reached the top of the rise, she spotted an expensive-looking navy-blue motorcar with a black roof pulled to the side of the lane. A tall man, who had discarded his jacket and rolled up the sleeves of his white shirt, stood over the open hood. He reached in and pulled on something, then bent lower and scowled.

She considered walking past since they had not been introduced, but her conscience would not allow it. Stopping a few feet away, she cleared her throat. “Excuse me, sir. Do you need some assistance?”

He turned and glared at her. “Assistance?” His dark eyebrows rose to a haughty slant. “I suppose you know something about car engines?” 

Julia lifted her chin, suppressing the urge to match his mocking tone. “No sir. But I’m on my way to Highland Hall, and I could ask someone there to come and help you if you like.”

He huffed, grabbed the rag lying on the car’s running board, and wiped his hands. “It won’t do any good. No one there knows a blasted thing about cars.” He tapped the gold Highland insignia on the door.

Julia stepped away, more than happy to leave the brooding chauffeur behind.

“Wait, you say you’re headed to Highland Hall?”

She turned and faced him again. “Yes, I have an interview with Mrs. Emmitt.” Perhaps if he knew she might soon be working for Sir William Ramsey, the new master of Highland Hall, he would treat her with a little more respect.

He narrowed his deep blue eyes and assessed her. “An interview? For what position?”

She looked away, debating the wisdom of continuing the conversation with a man who wasn’t civil enough to introduce himself.

“It’s all right. You can tell me.” He nodded to her, obviously expecting a reply.

“If you must know, I’m applying for the position of governess.”

A look of disbelief flashed across his face and the scowl returned. “You look too young. Do you have any experience?”

She straightened, trying to add another inch to her petite stature, but she was still at least a foot shorter than he. “I’ve been teaching children for nine years.”

“Really? Did you begin teaching when you were ten?”

She clenched her jaw. Was there no end to the man’s rudeness? “No sir. I was eighteen. And if you’ll excuse me, I must go, or I’ll be late for my appointment.” She turned and strode away.

“There’s no need to rush off in a huff.” He caught up with her. “I didn’t mean to insult you.”

“I’m not insulted, just intent on being punctual.” She cast him a quick side glance. “I don’t have the time or luxury to stand by the roadside and fiddle with car engines.”

He grinned and then chuckled.

Heat flashed into her face. Infuriating man! How dare he laugh at her. She hurried on, not giving him the satisfaction of a reply.

“Well, pardon me.”

She sent him a withering look and walked on so quickly she got a stitch in her side.

With his long legs, he had no trouble keeping pace. “You certainly have spirit. I like that.”

She gulped in a big breath and spun toward him. “You, sir, are entirely too familiar and too rude for words!”

His jaw dropped, and he stared at her, wide-eyed.

With her face burning, she marched away. She’d only gone a few steps before regret overtook her. Forgive me, Lord. I should not have spoken to him like that. But he was so ill mannered I couldn’t help myself. She sighed and lifted her eyes to heaven. I’m sorry. I know that’s not true. You’re faithful to give me the strength to control my tongue if I will only ask. But please, Lord, could You make him forget what I said? Or at least let me have little contact with him at Highland?

She doubted that last part of her prayer would be answered. While Highland Hall was a large house, the staff probably saw each other throughout the day.

What a terrible way to start off. No doubt he’d tell everyone she was hot-tempered and not worthy of the position of governess. And that was assuming she got the job. And she must. Her father’s illness had stretched on for months, forcing them to leave India and return to England. Now that he was unable to practice medicine, her parents depended on her for support. She must not let them down, no matter how humbling or difficult the job might be.

The lane curved to the right, and Highland Hall came into view. Julia’s steps slowed as she took in the lovely grounds and large house. It looked more like a castle, standing four stories high at its tallest point, with a wide lawn and curved, gravel drive leading to the front door. It was built of sandcolored stone, and though some sections had turned yellow and gray with age, it still looked sturdy and imposing. A tall, round turret stood at the right corner, and an arched portico stretched halfway across the front of the house.

Oh Lord, that house is worth a fortune, and the people who live there are definitely used to a different life than I’ve lived. How will I ever fit in?

She shook her head, then straightened her shoulders. There was no time to fret, not if she wanted to make a good impression and arrive at the appointed hour. She made her way around the side of the house, following the directions Reverend Langford had given her.

A broad-shouldered man wearing a brown cap and tweed coat pushed a wheelbarrow toward the greenhouse. He stopped and nodded to her. “Can I help you, miss?” He looked about thirty-five and had a kind, honest face.

She returned his nod with a slight smile. “I have an appointment with Mrs. Emmitt.”

He pointed to a door tucked in a corner at the back of the house. “Just ring the bell there, miss, and someone will be along to help you.”

She thanked him and crossed the rear courtyard. Pulling in a deep breath, she smoothed her hand down her cloak and skirt and checked her hat. Everything seemed to be in place. Lifting her hand, she pressed the bell while her stomach fluttered like a nervous bird.

Only a few seconds passed before the door opened and a plump young woman with rosy cheeks and bright blue eyes greeted her. She wore a white apron over her dark green servant’s uniform and a white cap. “How can I help you, miss?”

“I’m Julia Foster. I’m here to see Mrs. Emmitt.”

“Very good. Come this way.” She started down the steps and smiled over her shoulder. “I’m Lydia, one of the housemaids. Are you here about a position?”

“Yes.” Remembering her encounter with the brooding chauffeur, she decided not to add any more details. As they reached the bottom step, the heavenly scent of baking bread and roasting meat floated toward her. She breathed deeply, savoring the smell. Her empty stomach contracted, reminding her that she had walked off the simple breakfast of porridge she’d eaten at seven.

Lydia led the way past the kitchen. Julia glanced through the doorway and saw two young women and a man in a white chef’s jacket chopping vegetables at the table in the center of the room. He said something to one of the women, but his French accent was so strong Julia couldn’t understand him.

“You’ll want to mind your p’s and q’s with Mrs. Emmitt,” Lydia said, continuing down the hallway. “She’s a stickler for proper manners and such. But you’re smart-looking. That should help it go well for you.”

“Thank you,” Julia murmured, though she wasn’t sure that was the right response.

“This is it.” Lydia stopped in front of a closed door. “Mug’s parlor, at least that’s what we call it.” She grinned and nodded. “Go on, then. Give it a knock, and good luck to you.”

“Thank you.” Julia sent off one more silent prayer, then rapped on the door while the maid disappeared into another room.

The door swung open, and a stern-faced woman who appeared to be about sixty looked out at her. She wore a plain navy-blue dress with a cameo pinned at the high neck and a set of keys clipped to her waistband. Small, wire-rimmed glasses perched on the bridge of her nose.

“Good day, ma’am. I’m Julia Foster.”

“Come in. I’ve been expecting you.” She motioned toward the straightbacked chair by the fireplace while she lowered herself onto the settee. “Do you have your letters of reference?”

“Yes ma’am.” Julia took the letters from Reverend Langford and Lady Farnsworth from her handbag and gave them to Mrs. Emmitt.

The housekeeper pursed her lips and read Lady Farnsworth’s letter first. “She says your family has been acquainted with hers for many years.”

“Yes, my father served as her family physician since the time of her marriage to Lord Farnsworth.”

“I’m not sure what that has to do with you.” Mrs. Emmitt opened and read Reverend Langford’s letter next, her stern expression never softening. “It says you’ve been out of the country for twelve years. Is that correct?”

Julia nodded. “Our family has been serving in India since 1899 with the London Missionary Society.”

Mrs. Emmitt’s nose wrinkled slightly as her gaze dipped back to the letter. “You were a teacher there?”

“Yes, we opened a home for girls and ran a medical clinic for the village.”

Customer Reviews For "The Governess of Highland Hall (#01 in Edwardian Brides Series)"

Write Your Own Review
Fantastic
4 stars By Victoria, Jan 31 2016
Love this book, set in a fasinating era. Would highly recommend this series.
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Fantastic
4 stars By Victoria, Jan 31 2016
Love this book, set in a fasinating era. Would highly recommend this series.
Did you find this review helpful? Yes or No

The Governess of Highland Hall
3 stars By Jenny Skinner, Sep 03 2014
Carrie Turansky has captured life of the Edwardian Era. Staid butlers, controlling housekeepers, conniving young woman and difficult children, an opinionated governess and nervous under servants all with lives that are inextricably linked to the rise and fall of fortune of their employer, Sir William Ramsey. 
Life as a Governess in a household that strictly conforms to societies expectations is not easy for Julia Foster, newly arrived from missionary service in India. Accustomed to having an opinion that is valued by others she struggles to keep these to herself in her new role as Governess. Her heart is drawn to the struggles of Sir William and ideas form to help him but will he accept them? Julia tries not to analyse these feelings that burden her heart. Surely they come from her missionary background and desire to aid those in need? 
The Governess of Highland Hall is an enjoyable read, not exciting and a little predictable, but lovely all the same with a satisfying ending.
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For fans of Downton Abbey (isn't that everyone?)
5 stars By Iola, Oct 18 2013
Illness has forced the Foster family to return to England from their missionary school and orphanage in India. Julia gains employment at Highland House, the home of Sir William Ramsay, as governess to his children, Andrew and Millicent, and to his teenage cousins and wards, Katharine and Penelope. 

Sir William is looking for a governess who won't mind staying in the country, because he has only recently inherited Highland Hall, and the death duties are placing a lot of financial pressure on him. Julia hasn't told him she plans on returning to India with her family as soon as her father is well again, and as she spends more time at Highland Hall, getting to know Sir William and his family, she has to rethink her future plans.  

The story and characters captured my attention from the start. I like an intelligent heroine who isn't afraid to have her own opinions, so I liked Julia. William was a man with many troubles, but made a fitting hero. I liked the romantic subplot featuring Sarah, William's sister, and I liked the Christian aspect of the story-Julia, especially, has a strong Christian faith. 

The novel combines elements of classic British fiction like Jane Eyre with the Edwardian era, currently made fashionable by the TV series Downton Abbey. The Governess of Highland Hall is the first of a trilogy, and I look forward to reading the next in the series. Recommended.
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Product Details

Product Details
  • Catalogue Code 378262
  • Product Code 9781601424969
  • ISBN 1601424965
  • EAN 9781601424969
  • Pages 336
  • Department General Books
  • Category Fiction
  • Sub-Category Romance
  • Publisher Multnomah Publishers
  • Publication Date Oct 2013
  • Sales Rank #80589
  • Dimensions 209 x 139 x 21 mm
  • Weight 0.303kg

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