Cover Image: A Shop Girl at Sea

A Shop Girl at Sea

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Member Reviews

A Shop Girl at Sea is the fourth novel in a series about a department store in Bath. Amelia, a window dresser and a colleague are sent to New York for research but travel on the ill-fated Titanic. Saga novels are not usually to my liking but the setting and historical background made this a pleasing read.
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This is Rachel’s fourth book in the Pennington series and each one is a throughly enjoyable read. Each book could be read as a stand-alone by why miss out on all the great adventures of the staff at Bath’s prestigious store. This book is written from a slightly different angle as it ventures across the sea to New York as well. You even get some history from the great tragedy of the sinking of the Titanic. I have loved reading each and every one of the Pennington Series and highly recommend it if you enjoy this genre.
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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.
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First I would like to thank Aria for asking me to review A Shop Girl at Sea and for being apart of the blog tour.
A Shop Girl at Sea is the fourth book in a series but can be read as a stand alone. In this story we follow three characters stories. Amelia is doing well working at Pennington's and loves her job dressing the windows of the store, she is given further privileges when offered a chance to visit New York to see what they are doing in the stores their. The Journey there is to be extra special as it means taking a trip on a new White Star liner, The Titanic. Samuel will also be on The Titanic as he helps to sail the liner across to New York, he is looking forward to some freedom and upon meeting Amelia he doesn't expect to find love. 
Ruby is taking over Amelia's job while she is away and is excited about the experience and improving her life.  While trying to keep her brother safe she must also try and keep her deepest secret a secret and with her fellow colleagues at Pennington's trying to get closer to her, as much as she would like this her secret could be revealed. 
I found this an exciting read and one that I got completely caught up in. I love reading about The Titanic and of course the film so I was excited about that part. Rachel has captured The Titanic and the horrors of that night in the pages of this book but she has highlighted the positive aspect of surviving while keeping it real so it is a lighthearted read that you enjoy. I enjoyed the exciting build up to the ending and the guessing of how it would all end and where the characters would end up. 
A brilliant story and perhaps my favourite so far. I am really looking forward to more from Pennington's.
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A Shop Girl at Sea has Amelia traveling to the USA on a mission to bring back experience and ideas that may give Pennington's Department Store in Bath where she works a new image and new challenges. 

Meanwhile, Samuel longs for freedom but has to take care of his family. 
I enjoyed the latest from Rachel Brimble and have reviewed others. Gripping plot and writing. 

Thanks to Rachel Brimble and Aria for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

4 stars
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Amelia's American adventure takes the reader away from Pennington's glamourous ethos. A popular subject for historical fiction, the Titanic tragedy gets a new perspective in this story.
Amelia and Samuel's lives are irrevocably changed when they get to opportunity to visit America on the luxury liner. Amelia is damaged, by a terrible past crime. Sam is drowning in unwanted responsibility. The chance to escape even for a short time is too good to miss. The romance is gentle but full of angst.  Well researched and sensitive writing emphasises the terrible loss, and courage of those on board the ship.

Ruby' story highlights domestic abuse and society's prejudice to single-sex couples.

This is an engaging romantic saga. It has a perfect balance of vivid characters, historical detail and poignant events. The complex protagonists are easy to empathise, the historical setting vibrantly brought to life by the easy to read writing style.

I received a copy of this book from Head of Zeus via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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As you will be aware, I have followed the Pennington's series ever since the first book was released.  With the release of A Shop Girl at Sea today, the whole series has had a facelift, and each book has been given a new title.  

A Shop Girl at Sea is the fourth book in the wonderful Pennington's series, a series based around the Pennington's department store in Bath.  Pennington's is a true rival to big department stores in the city of London, and Elizabeth Pennington dreams that she can make her store rival even the huge stores on New York.  In her quest to make Pennington's an international name amongst department stores, she enlists her employee and friend, Amelia Wakefield, to make the historic trip to New York aboard the Titanic to explore shopping trends of the major New York stores and their shoppers.

Samuel Murphy is a man weighed down by his responsibilities.  His mother and two sisters are entirely dependent on him following the tragic death of his father, and he sees his own dreams slip out of reach as it becomes clear that they are unwilling to let him go.  When an opportunity arises to work on the Titanic for its maiden voyage, he grasps it with both hands knowing that this is a once in a lifetime chance that could really further his prospects.  When he unexpectedly meets Amelia onboard, he finds himself hoping for a future that he thought out of reach.

This is the first novel in the Pennington's series which is actually set predominantly outside of the department store.  Amelia's time on the Titanic is beautifully described, you really feel as though you are there with her experiencing the decadence and luxury of the ship deemed to be 'unsinkable'.  Of course, we all know the story of Titanic; its hard not to.  But it was lovely to read a novel that focussed on the passengers and how they felt about being on such a historic journey, rather than on the tragedy that followed.  Naturally, the tragic sinking cannot and is not ignored, but it was nice to see that it wasn't the sole focus of this novel.  Instead it was focussed on the characters who had each suffered in their own way, and how that fateful journey changed them both.  It changed their outlooks on life, and rather than being victims it was nice to watch them both emerge stronger than ever.

I hope to learn more about Ruby Taylor in future novels, as I felt there was more to say about her past, present and future.  I really enjoyed the brief look at her life though, and the hardships she faces going forward at a time when people were certainly not open-minded or welcoming to anyone that was deemed to be different.

This really is a lovely novel, and an excellent addition to the Pennington's series.  Whilst it can definitely be read as a standalone, I highly recommend getting all four novels.  They will provide you with the perfect escapism during this period of uncertainty and lockdown.  Stay home!
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Thank you to Aria for providing me with a digital review copy of this book via NetGalley - my thoughts are my own.

This is the first book I've read by Rachel Brimble, so I haven't read the previous 3 books in the Pennington series - however I was still able to enjoy reading this book. I have added the previous books to my wish list though.

The story follows three residents of the city of Bath - Amelia, Ruby and Samuel. Amelia and Ruby work together at the Pennington department store before Amelia travels to New York on a fact finding mission for her employers and meets Samuel on the Titanic.

I enjoyed reading about life in Bath and on the Titanic in 1912. Today is the 108th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic and it has featured in many books and films. I felt that Rachel wrote about the sinking and the aftermath with lots of care and compassion for both the survivors and those who perished.

Ruby doesn't leave Bath but her story is no less compelling - she wants to protect her younger brother from their mother. 

I enjoyed this book - great characters, detailed descriptions and a story about the importance of friends and dreams about the future. An enjoyable historical fiction book I'm happy to recommend.
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Rachel Brimble’s exceptional saga series set in Bath’s finest department store Pennington’s continues with another engrossing and enthralling instalment that takes readers all to sea and on a fateful voyage on the Titanic: A Shop Girl at Sea.

Pennington’s had saved Amelia Wakefield’s life. The girl with the traumatic past had sought refuge in her work and has found the sanctuary which she has been searching for for so long at the famous Bath department store. When her employers entrust her with a special assignment that could see her go all the way to New York, Amelia is thrilled. She is overjoyed to have been given this assignment as it will not only take her all the way to America, but she will also get to travel on a luxurious ship: the Titanic. Amelia cannot wait to set sail, but does she know what she is letting herself into? Determined to give this job her all, is Amelia about to walk headlong into danger and jeopardy on board a ship everyone assures is her is as safe as houses.

Frustrated at the direction his life is going in, Samuel Murphy is yearning for adventure and for a chance to shake free the claustrophic shackles of his existence. A trip on the Titanic seems to be just what the doctor ordered and when he meets Amelia on board, Samuel is absolutely bowled over by her beauty. But Amelia is so reserved, she seems so intent on keeping him at arm’s length. Can he break through her reserve? Why is Amelia so aloof and so keen to keep everyone at bay?

Family has always come first for Ruby Taylor. Keeping her little brother safe is her number one priority and a responsibility she has absolutely no intention of shirking.  Ruby is a woman with many a secret in her heart – secrets which she keeps very close to her chest and which she is adamant never to reveal to anyone. When she gets an offer of sanctuary from Victoria Lark, Ruby wonders whether she should accept – as this could be an offer that could lead to her closely guarded secrets being revealed.

Three lives are about to be changed forever as they all go on a journey fraught with danger, risk and jeopardy.

Curling up with one of Rachel Brimble’s engrossing Pennington’s sagas always lifts the spirits and in the latest instalment, A Shop Girl at Sea, readers are once again treated to a heart-warming, engrossing and captivating tale rich in colour, atmosphere and detail which sweeps readers away to another time.

A beautifully written tale of secrets, second chances and the unexpected twists fate weaves, A Shop Girl at Sea is another exquisitely written novel by Rachel Brimble.
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4.5 Stars
It’s 1912 & Amelia Wakefield loves working at Pennington's, Bath's finest department store. An escape from her traumatic past, it saved her life. So when Elizabeth Pennington asks her 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 & jumps at the chance of working on the Titanic. Meeting Amelia on board the ship, Samuel can't help wonder what painful history has made the beauty so reserved. Ruby Taylor has always kept her Pennington co-workers at a distance. Making sure her little brother Tommy 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.
Two romances for the price of one! Another well written page turning emotional read. This is the fourth book in the series & whilst it could easily be read on its own, I’d recommend reading the whole of this lovely series. Strong characters & a well paced story had me engrossed. Parts of the story had tears streaming down my face, it was so heartbreaking reading about the Titanic sinking. It could be read as two couples finding love but it's so much more, it's about conquering adversity & rising from the ashes to lead better, happier lives. An enthralling read
My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
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A nice read, well written and good characters, clearly well researched as you felt like you were going back in time. A nice light read and my first by the author I’ll definitely be looking for more of her work now.

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
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The fourth book in the Pennington series, A Shop Girl at Sea can be read as a stand alone, but the experience will be more enriched by having read the first three. This was also the most emotional of the series, and with part of the story taking place aboard the Titanic, it was unsurprising. The author handled the subject with much respect and fewer details, and I greatly appreciated it. Each character has lots of their own issues to overcome, but the author keeps the story moving and interesting, and it made for a much quicker read than I anticipated.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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A Shop Girl at Sea is a beautiful captivating story of a shop girl in London who boards the Titanic. The writing is amazing and made me feel like I was back in time at that moment. It was so descriptive and emotional I loved this Historical novel!
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Wonderful historical novel of a shop girl in a London department store who travels on the Titanic to NYC.. The characters were warm and vibrant and you were transported into her world.  A pleasure to read from beginning to end.
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Amelia, who is an ace window dresser for Pennington's department store, is on her way to America- on the Titanic.  You know what's going to eventually happen so enjoy getting to know her and Samuel, who is also on the ship.  This is a love story more than anything else.  No spoilers as to how things end up.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  Although it is part of a series, it's really fine as a standalone  and a good introduction to Brimble's work.
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Another excellent addition to this fabulous series! I love how unpredictable this story is . . .

Amelia Wakefield loves her job at Pennington's department store; with her mentor now on maternity leave, she has stepped up in the design department and her confidence is growing daily. When Elizabeth Pennington proposes a trip to America - and on the maiden voyage of the Titanic no less - to find out what the stores do there that is so different, Amelia is at first a bit nervous, then she gets quite excited at the task in front of her. Samuel Murphy is also travelling on the ship, as crew, and his path crosses with Amelia's often and, much as he likes her, he has other responsibilities which stop him seeking romance in his life. Meanwhile, back at Pennington's, Ruby Taylor continues to hide the horrors of her home life from her colleagues, but when her only friend there offers her sanctuary, they find themselves the object of nasty gossip and speculation.

This is a wonderful fourth novel in the Pennington's series; focusing on different characters and rolling out their stories in a very appealing manner. It's all very cleverly written, with all the separate tales beautifully entwined giving the reader plenty to consider. I love that the language reflects the period; there was definitely a stiffer manner of speech at that time and Rachel Brimble reflects that throughout. A grand tale - thoroughly enjoyable and one which stands well on it's own, but is even better when read as part of the series. Absolutely worth all five sparkling stars and definitely recommended by me!

My thanks to the publisher for my copy via NetGalley and to Vicky Joss for my spot in this tour. This is - as always - my honest, original and unbiased review.
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A Shop Girl at Sea is the fourth book in the Penningtons series set in a department store of the same name. Having read the previous three books I have really enjoyed stepping back in time and seeing a snapshot of women gaining the social freedom to work in management positions, to campane to get the vote for women and how the general mood of life was in that time period. This book is a little different as its main focus is about life on board the Titanic, featuring Amelia who works for Penningtons, she is traveling to America to compare what the department stores are like in New York. On the journey she meets Samuel a member of the ship's crew and they become romantically involved.
Back at the department store we see a subplot about Ruby a window dresser and how she finds her opportunity to escape her violent drunken mother with her younger brother intoe. She gets help from Victoria a fellow Penningtons employee that Ruby has feelings for. It's a little taboo for the time setting of this story but it shows some of the prejudice people had back then and how hard it was to care for someone of the same gender.
This book has a lot of emotional storyline, the characters face so much tragedy and drama, with many scattered emotions of uncertainty as they learn to survive what life has thrown at them. This was such an engaging and well written story that I really felt all the emotions that the characters were going through. This is a wonderfully detailed story that will keep you reading well into the night until you've finish it. Rachel Brimble has written another great addition to this gripping and outstanding series.
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This reminded a bit like Mr Selfridge with the added pleasure of the titanic  Brilliant book will definetely read more by this author
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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC of this. I usually wouldn't pick up a book like this. I really enjoyed the story. I feel in love with the characters.
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A good addition to this series I really liked. It's engrossing and entertaining, well written and with a plot that flows.
The characters are well written as usual and I couldn't help rooting for them.
A good read, recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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