I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Rachel Brimble’s ‘The Mistress of Pennington’s’. Big thanks to BrookCottageBooks for the blog tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:
1910 – A compelling tale of female empowerment in Bath’s leading department store.
Perfect for the fans of the TV series Mr Selfridge and The Paradise.
Elizabeth Pennington should be the rightful heir of Bath’s premier department store through her
enterprising schemes and dogged hard work. Her father, Edward Pennington, believes his
daughter lacks the business acumen to run his empire and is resolute a man will succeed him.
Determined to break from her father’s iron-clad hold and prove she is worthy of inheriting the
store, Elizabeth forms an unlikely alliance with ambitious and charismatic master glove-maker
Joseph Carter. United they forge forward to bring Pennington’s into a new decade, embracing
woman’s equality and progression whilst trying not to mix business and pleasure.
Can this dream team thwart Edward Pennington’s plans for the store? Or will Edward prove
himself an unshakeable force who will ultimately ruin both Elizabeth and Joseph?
What does TWG think?
I absolutely adore books like this! I have to say that this reminded me so much of the BBC drama, ‘Mr Selfridge’, and there were times where the storyline was incredibly similar to said drama, I found it difficult to separate the two. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the premise of ‘The Mistress of Pennington’s’. I found the entire storyline captivating and enticing, with certain characters personalities making me react in various different ways. Whilst I loved watching ‘Mr Selfridge’ and I did enjoy this book, what let it down for me was just how similar the book was to the drama.
However, I thought that Elizabeth Pennington was such a wonderful character to read about, with her determination becoming the star of the entire novel due to how inspirational it was. I couldn’t help but find myself becoming emotional in regards to her history and the disastrous choices of her father, Edward Pennington. I realise that it took a while before women were allowed to be heard in the work place and at home, but it definitely hit home reading about the differences in gender equality through this storyline. I am incredibly honoured that I now live in a time where equality is nowhere near as bad as it was, yet I cannot forget the history of our female ancestors and the challenges they faced trying to get their voices heard. I really did appreciate just how Rachel Brimble got that historical message across through her characters. Times are changing, but it is very important to keep that history alive.
Overall, ‘The Mistress of Pennington’s’ was right up my street due to the historical elements themselves. Rachel Brimble has captured the story brilliantly, and I think that women of the 1900’s would be pleased with how the author made their voices come alive with her words.
Her gentle study drifted to his mouth and back again. ‘Did you love her? The woman you
once worked with?’
Joseph stared, as disquiet whispered through him. ‘Why do you ask?’
‘I find it implausible that a man who holds women in such high regard has not known
what it means to love one. You have been in love. I see it in your eyes. Unfortunately for you,
they’re very revealing.’
He ran his gaze over her face and hair. Every sound muted. The amber glow of the few lit
candles danced over her skin, turning it pearlescent. ‘I was married. To a wonderful, caring
woman. A woman who worked beside my father and I every day after we were married.’
Her voice softened. ‘What happened to her?’
‘She died.’ He would tell her no more, the shame of his failure burned like acid in his
chest and he quickly stood, wanting the intensity to ease, her justified scrutiny to end. ‘Will
you try on a pair of gloves?’
He brushed past her and breathed deep as he approached a box of his finished gloves.
Lifting a pair of soft kid, perfectly stitched and the exact green of her eyes, the pale cream
stitching the colour of her skin.
When he turned and walked back to his bench, she had sat in his seat. She carefully
watched his approach, her eyes unreadable.
About the author.
Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage 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 brand new Edwardian series set
in Bath’s finest department store. The first book, The Mistress of Pennington’s releases in 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.
Prize – £25/$25 Amazon Gift Certificate