Today it is my stop on the blog tour for A Rebel at Pennington’s by Rachel Brimble.
One woman’s journey to find herself and help secure the vote. Perfect for fans of the TV series Mr Selfridge and The Paradise.
1911 Bath. Banished from her ancestral home, passionate suffrage campaigner Esther Stanbury works as a window dresser in Pennington’s Department Store. She has hopes and dreams for women’s progression and will do anything to help secure the vote.
Owner of the prestigious Phoenix Hotel, Lawrence Culford has what most would view as a successful life. But Lawrence is harbouring shame, resentment and an anger that threatens his future happiness.
When Esther and Lawrence meet their mutual understanding of life’s challenges unites them and they are drawn to the possibility of a life of love that neither thought existed. With the coronation of King-Emperor George V looming, the atmosphere in Bath is building to fever pitch, as is the suffragists’ determination to secure the vote.
Will Esther’s rebellious nature lead her to ruin or can they overcome their pasts and look to build a future together?
I was lucky enough to read and review the first book in the Pennington’s series, The Mistress of Pennington’s last year, so was very pleased when I was offered the opportunity to read and review the latest instalment in this series. I really do enjoy revisiting places and getting to know characters that previously only played a small role. This novel gave me just that. I found myself back at the prestigious Pennington’s department store located in Bath, the setting for the first book in this series. We are given the opportunity to check in with Elizabeth Pennington and Joseph, which is always lovely as we get to see where characters we have grown to love are at in their lives. A Rebel at Pennington’s brings Esther, a window dresser at Pennington’s, to the forefront of the story. A friend of Elizabeth’s, we learn that Esther is a staunch supporter of the suffragist movement and is keen to enable women’s progression in society at a time when they didn’t yet have the vote. Kicked out by her own father for her beliefs, she is fiercely independent and forever fearful that if she were to let a man into her life he would attempt to hold her back.
Lawrence Culford is a very successful businessman, and widowed father of two beautiful children. Despite his adult successes, his own upbringing has scarred him making him shy away from love. Lawrence and Esther find themselves pulled together by their mutual support of the Cause, but also by something deeper – we follow them in this novel as they both attempt to overcome their own internal barriers to really work together, both in life and love.
I love novels set in years gone by. I am a big fan of history, yet I have actually read very little about the suffragists and suffragettes. Historical fiction such as A Rebel at Pennington’s intertwines a beautiful fictional story with the factual events of the past, ensuring that we are able to learn something new whilst immersing ourselves in such a wonderful, vivid story. Rachel Brimble really brings this story to life with the vivid descriptions of Pennington’s and Bath, along with a group of flawed but well-rounded characters who you can really relate to, despite the decades separating us. I really enjoyed this novel, and do not hesitate to recommend it to you – if you enjoy novels featuring strong, independent women (and equally strong, independent men) then you will love this series. I look forward to reading the next one!
Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖
Thank you to Rachel Brimble and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of this novel.
Rachel lives with her husband their two daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. Since 2007, she has had several novels published by small US presses, eith books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and four Victoria romances with eKensington/Lyrical.
In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store. The first book, The Mistress of Pennington’s released July 2018.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England. She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!