My guest this week is popular romance author Rachel Brimble. Rachel is sharing a scene from A Rebel at Pennington’s, the first book in her brand new Edwardian series, set in Bath.
Isn’t the cover evocative?
Let’s find out a bit more about the book:
One woman’s journey to find herself and help secure the vote. Perfect for the 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?
It sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? Now let’s read a scene from the book:
Lawrence Culford crossed the street towards her, his gaze on hers, seemingly oblivious to the passing horse and carriage that separated them for a brief second. He was alone. No children to act as a barrier should he look at her for too long with his deep blue eyes.
Eyes that were maddeningly memorable.
She swallowed. What was he doing here? Could he be looking for her? The sentiment sent a shiver through her which she wasn’t certain derived from pleasure or alarm.
Turning to the window, she quickly feigned intense interest in her notes, hating the slight tremor in her pencil.
She briefly closed her eyes against the warming effect of his deep, rich voice before turning, her smile in place.
She turned. ‘Mr Culford. No children today?’
‘Alas, Nathanial is taking a trip to the park with his nanny, and Rose is at school.’
‘So, you find yourself in town. Might I ask, for business or pleasure?’
‘Business. I’m a hotelier.’
‘Yes, I know.’
Heat pinched her cheeks for so willingly admitting she’d learned more about him than he’d previously offered. ‘Yes, Elizabeth… Miss Pennington knew of you when she saw you the other day.’
He drew his gaze over her hair and face. ‘I see.’
‘Yes. I’ll leave you to carry on. I’m sure you’re just as busy as I am.’
But Mr Culford continued unperturbed. ‘Did you grow up in the city?’ he asked.
A little taken aback, Esther hesitated but conceded answering his question could do no harm. ‘No. I grew up in the Cotswolds but moved here about two years ago.’
‘Then that’s another thing we have in common.’
She frowned. ‘Another? I wasn’t aware there was a first.’
His eyes gleamed with that infernal spark of amusement. ‘But, of course.’
Pulling back her shoulders, Esther regarded him with suspicion. ‘Which is?’
‘The Cause, of course.’
She exhaled. ‘Oh, yes. Of course. You never told me your role in the fight. Are you a campaigner?’
‘More of a supporter. I help as and when I can.’
‘I see.’ Although a little disappointed he didn’t play a more active role, Esther nodded, pleased he was at least on the women’s side. ‘Well, we could most definitely use more men behind us.’ She glanced towards Pennington’s doors. ‘I’m afraid I really must get back to work, Mr Culford. If you’ll excuse me…’
As she turned, he gently clutched her elbow. ‘Miss Stanbury, I…’
Her heart raced and when she looked into his eyes, she saw what could only be described as over-interest. What did he want with her? Worse, why was he having such an alien effect on her? No one had ever made her feel such confusion or interest.
She eased her arm from his grasp, the indecision in his gaze rousing her self-protection. ‘Why are you here?’
‘That is a question I am scrambling to answer myself. In all honesty, I don’t know, but I do know it feels right to be here. Talking. With you.’
Their gazes locked and Esther’s body heated under the sudden sombreness of his gaze. He smiled so often, his eyes lighting with amusement and humour, yet both had now disappeared as he considered her.
And, in that moment, she had no idea which of the two sides of him she preferred.
If, like me, you’re hooked and want to read more you can buy the book here:
Amazon UK: http://amzn.eu/d/aMjIi3K
Amazon US: http://a.co/d/dAhCQiZ
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 with book two coming February 2019.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America and has thousands of social media followers from all over the world. To sign up for her quarterly and new release newsletter, click here to go to her website: https://rachelbrimble.com/
Amazon Author Page:
Thanks for dropping by to tell us about your fascinating novel, Rachel. Wishing you many sales!
Bring a little sunshine into your life with one of my feel-good romances, all set in glorious locations.Check out my Amazon Author Page for details.