One woman’s journey to find herself and help secure the vote. Perfect for the fans of the TV series Mr Selfridgeand 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 am very pleased to share a guest post with you giving us 5 reasons we should read the book. Enjoy!
1) Department Stores – who doesn’t love a department store?? Even today, department stores hold a certain kind of wonder. All the floors, choices, colour, light and excitement fill us (or at least me!) with a sense of opportunity. Now transport yourself back to a time when department stores were a new phenomenon. A place where shoppers could come and browse, touch and taste the merchandise before they made a single purchase. Department stores were places of social interaction, places to see and be seen. The glamour was wonderful and, in some ways, it still is today.
2) Women’s Suffrage – The first book in the Pennington’s series, The Mistress of Pennington’s, covered women in business and A Rebel At Pennington’s is all about women obtaining the vote. This was a period in history that captured my attention when I was a young teenager and still inspires me today. I have wanted to write a book covering the subject for a long time and, at last, the right time and characters arrived. The passion and fight in the amazing women who paved the way for liberty and opportunity started over a hundred years ago, but it is still a fight, in many ways, that continues today…
3) Esther Stanbury – Lord, how I love Esther! She is the heroine of this book and was an absolutely joy and privilege to write. Feisty, caring, hurting and an all-round wonderful woman, Esther began life in my imagination as a character unfairly treated by her family. Yet, as she grew into herself in book 1 (The Mistress of Pennington’s), it soon became clear she needed a book of her own. In A Rebel At Pennington’s, Esther enters as a suffragist, peaceful yet determined in her campaigning for the vote. As the suffrage movement gathers momentum, she has to battle with her internal demons as well as outside obstacles. I adore her!
4) Lawrence Culford – A widowed father and successful hotelier, Lawrence Culford is a man of passion and integrity. Someone who suffered terrible treatment at the hands of his father but rose to achieve phenomenal success alone and with an incomparable self-belief. When he meets Esther, he quickly accepts he’s met the woman who will complete him. The trouble is, how does he convince such a new, independent and ambitious woman that she will also be happy as a wife and mother to another woman’s children?
5) Female Empowerment – As a woman in today’s world, I am as influenced by female pioneers of the past as I am by women such as Michelle Obama, Beyonce and Meghan Markle today. Women who support women. Women who want women to stand proud and chase their dreams. This sums up the Pennington’s series completely. I hope these books entertain, empower and influence readers to believe if the heroines of these books could do the things they did in the early 20th century, what can we achieve today?
Thank you, Rachel Brimble and RachelsRandomResources
About the author
Rachel lives with her husband and their two daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. Since 2007, she has had several novels published by small US presses, eight books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and four Victorian 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!