Good Day! Today I am showcasing A Shop Girl at Sea by Rachel Brimble. It is the 4th book in the Pennington's series. Rachel Brimble lives in Wiltshire, England with her husband of twenty years, two teenage daughters and her sweet chocolate Labrador, Tyler. Multi-published in the US, she is thrilled to have a new beginning writing for Aria in the UK. When Rachel is not writing, she enjoys reading multiple genres, knitting and walking in the English countryside with her family. They like to drop in at the local pub for lunch and a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Rachel is on Facebook (@RachelBrimble) and Twitter (@RachelBrimble). For more information about the author and her books, visit her website.
About the Book
Amelia Wakefield loves working at Pennington's, Bath's finest department store. An escape from her traumatic past, it saved her life. So when Miss Pennington sets her a task to set sail on the Titanic and study the department stores of New York, she couldn't be more excited – or determined!
Frustrated with his life at home, Samuel Murphy longs for a few weeks of freedom and adventure. Meeting Amelia on board the Titanic, Samuel can't help wonder what painful history has made the beauty so reserved. But he already has too many responsibilities for love.
Ruby Taylor has always kept her Pennington co-workers at a distance. Making sure her little brother is safe has always been her priority. But when that means accepting Victoria Lark's offer of sanctuary, more than one of Ruby's secrets is under threat of being revealed...
A riveting and uplifting saga, perfect for fans of Elaine Everest and Fiona Ford.
|First Class Passengers on the Titanic|
A Shop Girl at Sea by Rachel Brimble has Amelia Wakefield traveling to America aboard the luxurious Titanic for Pennington’s. Elizabeth Pennington has charged Amelia with studying the department stores in New York and bringing back the information to help Pennington’s. Samuel Murphy longs for freedom and adventure, but he is responsible for his mother and two sisters. He is hoping that this trip will be his chance to break free. He does not count of meeting the lovely Amelia. Ruby Taylor holds herself aloof from her co-workers. She is afraid of letting people get close to her because of her family situation. Ruby needs to keep her brother safe. Victoria Lark, a co-worker, learns of the problem and offers them a sanctuary. Ruby is grateful for the opportunity, but she does not like the gossip that is circulating around the store. Her secret could be exposed, and Ruby’s life forever changed. A Shop Girl at Sea is the 4th novel in the Pennington’s series. It can be read as a standalone, but I recommend reading this charming series in order. While each book features different characters, the characters from the previous books appear (so she can see how they are doing). I thought the book was well-written that moved along at a steady pace. The story contains strong, flawed characters that are realistic. This is more than a historical love story. It is about people overcoming their pasts, embracing their potential and moving forward with their lives. Amelia suffered a terrible tragedy at the hands of her employer, Samuel has been responsible for his mother and two sisters since he was nineteen years old (and the sisters are pieces of work), and Ruby has an alcoholic mother who is abusive (violent). These individuals are given a chance to change their lives. They just need the courage to make the leap. I like how the author handled the Titanic tragedy. She managed to mix the truth with her fiction beautifully. I always love reading about Pennington’s and the wonderful merchandise they carry. It was a delight to “see” R. H. Macy & Co. (as it was called then) through Amelia’s eyes. There are wonderful historical details that capture the time period. A Shop Girl at Sea is an appealing historical novel with a terrible tragedy, fabulous fashions, wonderful widows, and joyful journeys.
|Second and Third Class Titanic Fashions|
Sickness churned in Amelia’s stomach. Her job at Pennington’s meant the world to her. It was her shining light in a life that had been filled with drudgery and service, abuse and, ultimately, rape. She had suffered a history that continued to haunt her, but Pennington’s had given her hope – a reason to believe what had happened to her wouldn’t always define her. If she were to lose her position here, would she find another job in retail? The mere thought of returning to domestic service… the hairs on her arms rose as she sat on the velvet-covered settee alongside Elizabeth.
The moment the door closed behind Mrs Chadwick, Elizabeth lifted the papers on her lap, her eyes shining as resplendently as her dark red hair. How can she look so happy if she is about to sack me?
Amelia swallowed. ‘Am I to be dismissed, Miss Pennington?’ ‘Sorry?’
‘You said you can spare me. I can only assume—’
‘Oh, my dear girl. I am so sorry.’ She squeezed Amelia’s hand. ‘Of course not. I apologise. I have clearly given you a fright and that was not my intention at all. You must know how invaluable you’ve become to the department? To Pennington’s?’
‘Well, I—’ ‘And that is why Mr Carter and I have come to the conclusion, you can do more good for the store elsewhere.’ The excitement on her employer’s face and the reference to her husband, Pennington’s co-owner, completely contradicted Elizabeth’s words. What on earth was happening?
‘Elsewhere? I don’t understand.’
Grinning, Elizabeth opened the envelope and held out its contents. ‘Here. Read this and tell me what you think.’
Amelia slowly slipped the envelope from Elizabeth’s fingers and dragged her gaze downwards. The words she read caused her heart to pick up speed. ‘You want me to board the Titanic?’ She stared at her name imprinted in gold. Second-class cabin. Departing 10th of April. ‘But why? I couldn’t possibly—’
‘It’s time for Pennington’s to challenge America.’ Elizabeth stood, her delight palpable as she opened her arms wide. ‘We are the best in Bath, yes, but we are far from the best in the world. We need to know what the department stores in New York are doing. Compare their windows. Compare their staff and merchandise.’ She laughed. ‘Compare everything!’
Amelia’s heart pounded.
‘You have a wonderful eye. A wonderful instinct that I trust implicitly. You are young, beautiful, full of passion and keen to learn. I have every confidence you will soak up all there is to see and be inspired. You will then return to us and set about putting Pennington’s on the world map. This is your chance to travel. To shine. What do you say?’
Any words stuck like pieces of glass in Amelia’s throat. She had no idea what Elizabeth saw when she looked at her, but Amelia barely recognized the woman her employer had described. Any beauty she might hold attracted unwanted attention. Her age went against her so much that she often wished herself older. As for passion? For her work, maybe, but everything else inside of her was in a constant state of detachment.
She opened her mouth to say something, anything, when Elizabeth returned to the settee and picked up the teapot. ‘Tea?’ Nausea coated Amelia’s throat and she shook her head. ‘I know you are the perfect person to do this,’ Elizabeth continued as she filled a cup for herself. ‘You will have an adventure, I promise you.’
‘But to travel to America alone. I couldn’t possibly—’ ‘Oh, you won’t be alone. Mr Weir will be accompanying you.’
‘Mr Weir?’ Amelia’s heart sank even lower. The head of the men’s department was staid, strict, and if the man were to ever crack a smile, the rest of Pennington’s would think him in the throes of some sort of spasm. ‘But surely he would not want to accompany me? We work together reasonably well, but he and I are so very, entirely, different.’
Are ready to read A Shop Girl at Sea? A Shop Girl at Sea can be obtained from Amazon*, Kobo, Google Play and iBooks. . The other novels in the Pennington's series are A Shop Girl in Bath (formerly The Mistress of Pennington's) which is available through Kindle Unlimited, A Shop Girl Gets the Vote (formerly A Rebel at Pennington's), and A Shop Girl's Christmas (formerly Christmas at Pennington's). Aria publishes A Shop Girl at Sea and many other wonderful novels. You can find out more here. Thanks to the publisher, I have a digital copy of A Shop Girl at Sea to giveaway. Please leave a comment with your email address (so I can contact you if you win) by April 26 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Or you can enter by emailing me at: Doodlesink@hotmail.com. Please make sure to put A Shop Girl at Sea in the subject line and include your name. Good Luck! Thank you for visiting today. I hope I have helped you find a new book to read. I will return tomorrow with my review of Copycat Killer by Laura Scott. I hope you have a beautiful day. Take care, stay safe and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader
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