Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Mistress of Pennington's

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.

Title of Book: The Mistress of Pennington’s
Series: Pennington’s Department Store
Genre: Saga/Romance
Release Date: 1st July 2018
Publisher: Aria Fiction

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?

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.

Very well written with characters I really cared about, this historical novel will appeal to fans of Downton Abbey and Selfridges historical television series. Set in a time of emotional change and hard fought struggle, this story is about women being seen as more than possessions and bargaining chips for their fathers and families.
Edward Pennington is a difficult man to read, easy to dislike, but I wanted to feel there was more to him. His daughter feels his behavior is responsible for her mother's death. In the book this is paralleled by Joseph's guilty feelings of responsibility for his own wife's death.
Elizabeth Pennington is in the difficult position of being heir to a retail dynasty with the fault that she is not male. She is intelligent and strong willed and passionate, most of which are not given credit simply because she is female in a patriarchal society.
Joseph Carter is also intelligent, passionate, talented and strong willed. He is a visionary with philanthropic dreams. His father and grandfather before him were milliners and leather workers. His specialty is gloves. Although he wants to continue the family name and reputation for fine goods, his dreams are even grander.
Joseph takes a bold step toward achieving greater recognition and making his gloves available to a wider audience. Changes begin to happen the moment he and Elizabeth meet.
Will secrets between the two families be enough to be their downfall or can potential attraction between visionaries who are fighting for their own lives as well as for the future of the masses prevail and be strong enough to give birth to dreams?

The tension is thick as fog as they struggle to move forward and not encourage Mr. Pennington's wrath. Can they bring the store into a modern age? Will they open their hearts to each other and risk pain?

A well rounded historical novel filled with growth potential and champions to root for.

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.

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