Today I’m delighted to feature author Rachel Brimble. Rachel largely writes historical and contemporary romances that include themes of female empowerment and social injustice as well as welcome doses of humour and delicious sensuality.
Rachel lives in a small town near Bath, England. She is the author of 29 novels including the Ladies of Carson Street trilogy, the Shop Girl series (Aria Fiction) and the Templeton Cove Stories (Harlequin). Her latest novel, Victoria & Violet was released 17th October 2022.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association as well as the Society of Authors and has thousands of social media followers all over the world.
When Rachel isn’t working, she likes to read, knit or walk the beautiful English countryside where she lives. She also confesses to watching far too much TV, especially period and crime drama…
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Over to Rachel :
Which five pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?
Super Trouper – Abba
Remember my dad playing Abba albums over and over in my house growing up and this was one I particularly loved – so much so I scratched the album. He was not happy…
I Feel For You – Chaka Khan
Every time I hear this song, it reminds me of my first crush on at local boy who started talking to me at the funfair that came to our village every Easter – it was 1984.
Del Amitri – Always The Last To Know
I was 18 and working in a bank when this was released, and it reminds me of my early working life so much – as soon as I heard I loved it and still do!
These Arms Of Mine – Otis Redding
I couldn’t create a list like this and not include our wedding song – my husband and I both adore this song, and it was wonderful to dance to it at our wedding in 1998. I am looking forward to dancing with him to it again on our silver anniversary in June.
Always Remember Us This Way – Lady Gaga
This has been one of my favourite songs ever since I watched the remake of A Star is Born with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper – it is just beautiful in every way. Makes me smile, dance, cry…just gorgeous.
What five things (apart from family and friends) would you find it hard to live without.
TV (lord, this are all screen orientated!)
A bubble bath
Faith in the Universe
Give five pieces of advice to your younger self?
Overthinking never does anyone any good
Self-love is the most important love of all
You can be and do anything
Wear the clothes, buy the jewellery, take the risk – life is too short for ‘some day’
Those A’s you got in English and History were given to you for a reason – go for it!
Tell us five things that most people don’t know about you
I haven’t had my hair professionally cut since my wedding day – it is so curly my husband or daughters give it a quick trim now and then
I can eat a whole pack of jam doughnuts without care or guilt
I have the WORST book buying addiction (to be fair, quite a few people know this!)
I am very spiritual
I am completely self-taught as a writer having left school at 16
Tell us five things you’d still like to do or achieve.
Travel more – next on my dream list are Vienna and Lake Como
See the Northern Lights
Sign a new book contract every year!
Grow my confidence
Have the ability to let go and surrender things I cannot control
Many thanks for joining me today Rachel, lovely to discover more about you. Some great music choices and as an Abba fan I’m always happy to see them make an appearance. Can’t argue with not being without a Kindle, I’m surprised I haven’t worn mine out, though I do have a spare on hand in case of emergencies. That might be because I might have to challenge you on having the worst book buying addiction, certainly in eBook terms! But we won’t fight about it. Definitely agree with your policy of wear the clothes, in my case it’s because I saved clothes for best and then put on weight before I’d worn them! I’m clearly someone who’d happily eat jam doughnuts (or anything else) without guilt. I hope you get to tick off the items on your dreams list – you can join our Five on Friday Northern Lights trip, there’s lots of us wanting to go! Good luck with the book contract. I also realise this is a bit of a way off yet but Happy Silver Wedding Anniversary for June.
(NB This post features Affiliate links from which I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases)
The Royal Maids series
Victoria & Violet #1
When Violet Parker is told she will be Queen Victoria’s personal housemaid, she cannot believe her good fortune. She finally has the chance to escape her overbearing mother, a servant to the Duchess of Kent. Violet hopes to explore who she is and what the world has to offer without her mother’s schemes overshadowing her every thought and action.
Then she meets James Greene, assistant to the queen’s chief political adviser, Lord Melbourne. From entirely different backgrounds and social class, Violet and James should have neither need nor desire to speak to one another, yet through their service, their paths cross and their lives merge—as do their feelings.
Only Victoria’s court is not always the place for romance, but rather secrets, scandals, and conspiracies…
The Ladies of Carson Street series
A Widow’s Vow #1
From grieving widow…
1851. After her merchant husband saved her from a life of prostitution, Louisa Hill was briefly happy as a housewife in Bristol. But then a constable arrives at her door. Her husband has been found hanged in a Bath hotel room, a note and a key to a property in Bath the only things she has left of him. And now the debt collectors will come calling.
To a new life as a madam.
Forced to leave everything she knows behind, Louisa finds more painful betrayals waiting for her in the house in Bath. Left with no means of income, Louisa knows she has nothing to turn to but her old way of life. But this time, she’ll do it on her own terms – by turning her home into a brothel for upper class gentleman. And she’s determined to spare the girls she saves from the street the horrors she endured in the past.
Enlisting the help of Jacob Jackson, a quiet but feared boxer, to watch over the house, Louisa is about to embark on a life she never envisaged. Can she find the courage to forge this new path?
Trouble for the Leading Lady #2
As a girl, Nancy Bloom would go to Bath’s Theatre Royal, sit on the hard wooden benches and stare in awe at the actresses playing men as much as the women dressed in finery. She longed to be a part of it all and when a man promised her parents he could find a role for Nancy in the theatre, they believed him.
His lie and betrayal led to her ruin.
Francis Carlyle is a theatre manager, an ambitious man always looking for the next big thing to take the country by storm. A self-made man, Francis has finally shed the skin of his painful past and is now rich, successful and in need of a new female star. Never in a million years did he think he’d find her standing on a table in one of Bath’s bawdiest pubs.
Nancy vowed never to trust a man again. Francis will do anything to make her his star. As they engage in a battle of wits and wills, can either survive with their hearts intact?
A Very Modern Marriage #3
He needs a wife…
Manchester industrialist William Rose was a poor lad from the slums who pulled himself up by his bootstraps, but in order to achieve his greatest ambitions he must become the epitome of Victorian respectability: a family man.
She has a plan…
But the only woman who’s caught his eye is sophisticated beauty Octavia Marshall, one of the notorious ladies of Carson Street. Though she was once born to great wealth and privilege, she’s hardly respectable, but she’s determined to invest her hard-earned fortune in Mr Rose’s mills and forge a new life as an entirely proper businesswoman.
They strike a deal that promises them both what they desire the most, but William’s a fool if he thinks Octavia will be a conventional married woman, and she’s very much mistaken if she thinks the lives they once led won’t follow them wherever they go.
A Shop Girl in Bath #1
1910 – A compelling tale of one woman’s fight for recognition in Bath’s leading department store.
Hardworking and whip smart, Elizabeth Pennington is the rightful heir of Bath’s premier department store – but her father, Edward Pennington, believes his daughter lacks the business acumen to run his empire. He is resolute a man will succeed him.
Determined to break from her father’s hold and prove she is worthy of inheriting Pennington’s, Elizabeth forms an unlikely alliance with ambitious and charismatic master glove-maker Joseph Carter. They have the same goal: bring Pennington’s into a new decade while embracing woman’s equality and progression. But, despite their best intentions, it is almost impossible not to mix business and pleasure…
Can the two thwart Edward Pennington’s plans for the store? Or will Edward prove himself an unshakeable force who will ultimately ruin both Elizabeth and Joseph?
Previously published as The Mistress of Pennington’s.
A Shop Girl Gets the Vote #2
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 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?
Previously published as A Rebel at Pennington’s.
A Shop Girl’s Christmas #3
Christmas sees Pennington’s at its most glorious, thronged with shoppers, its grand staircase and balcony adorned with holly, mistletoe, tinsel and lights. It should be the happiest time, but dramas are seething beneath the surface.
For Cornelia Culford, in charge of jewellery, a divorce hearing looms, where she could lose custody of her young sons to her overbearing and unfaithful husband.
For Stephen Gower, being head of security at Pennington’s is the perfect refuge from a tragic past at Scotland Yard. But soon the past will call him back, as Joseph Carter and Elizabeth Pennington beg him to help solve the murder of Joseph’s first wife, now that it seems as if the killer has struck again.
For Joseph and Elizabeth, their marriage depends on exorcising the past. But can it ever be laid to rest?
Previously published as Christmas at Pennington’s.
A Shop Girl at Sea #4
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…
Templeton Cove stories
Finding justice #1
Old friends, new secrets
Sergeant Cat Forrester lives by her own set of rules. When her childhood friend is murdered, Cat’s world is thrown into chaos. Especially because Jay Garrett—a man from her past—is a suspect, and he needs her help to prove he’s innocent. After all they once shared, how can she say no?
The attraction flares between them, and getting involved with a suspect is a huge risk. But the more time Cat spends with Jay, the stronger the tug on her heart. He is the same caring, irresistible man she remembers. Yet she can’t let her emotions interfere with the case—solving it is top priority. And as she digs deeper, she discovers Jay has secrets that may jeopardize any possible future together.
A Man Like Him #2
After two years in hiding, Angela Taylor knows her independence is worth it. As long as she can escape her past, she has everything under control. Until a flash flood hits the park where she works, and the hot Chris Forrester shows up the exact moment she needs a hero.
Chris proves he can save lives – and weaken a girl’s knees. But how she can make him understand that she’s off limits, that getting close to her will endanger his life? Her happiness or his safety: it shouldn’t even be a choice. Because when you love someone, you protect them, no matter the cost.
At least that’s what Angela keeps telling herself…
What Belongs to Her #3
Since the moment a local crime boss claimed ownership of her family’s fairground, Sasha Todd has dreamed of righting the wrong. Now it’s time to act, and backing down to the man’s estranged son is definitely not an option. After all, giving up her legacy to hot-blooded John Jordon means losing the chance to finally heal the wounds in her past.
Stopping John in his tracks—and resisting the sizzle between them—is Sasha’s best defense. But there’s more to him than she thought, which changes everything. With what matters most at stake, she’ll have to risk a brand-new future with John, or walk away from the man whose heart belongs to her.
Christmas at the Cove #4
More family for Christmas?
Scott Walker doesn’t have time for a relationship. The sexy mechanic has career ambitions, not to mention a mother and three sisters to take care of. The last thing he needs is Carrie Jameson, the beauty he never forgot, arriving in Templeton Cove over the holidays with some unexpected news.
Scott still finds Carrie irresistible, and he’s not one to shirk responsibility. Scott’s issues with his own dad make the prospect of parenthood a minefield. But if he and Carrie can overcome their fears, this Christmas could bring them the best gift of all.
Her Hometown Redemption #5
She’s back to right her wrongs
When Tanya Todd returns to Templeton Cove, she knows better than to expect a warm welcome. She burned a few bridges on her way out of town, and making amends won’t be easy. First on her list is the man whose heart she carelessly shattered, Liam Browne.
Seeing the successful criminal lawyer after all these years, Tanya is interested in more than just Liam’s forgiveness. As they work together to bring the man who hurt her sister to justice, the attraction between them sizzles. Suddenly Tanya’s second chance could include a future with Liam…if she can prove she’s changed.
Saved by the Firefighter #6
How can she forgive him for what he didn’t do?
Photographer Izzy Cooper feels as frozen as her pictures. Trent Palmer might be the hottest firefighter in Templeton Cove, but she can never face him again. Not after he failed to save her brother. But when they’re forced together by a calendar shoot, the sparks between them are undeniable.
Izzy knows it’s not fair to blame Trent for the tragedy, but opening herself up to loss again isn’t something she’s prepared to do, no matter how determined Trent is to show her that pain is part of life and that love—their love—can make any suffering bearable.
Ethan’s Daughter #7
There’s safety in solitude…isn’t there?
Single dad and best-selling thriller writer Ethan James has no problem being Templeton Cove’s most famous recluse…until a surprise visit from the past plunges him into a real-life crime drama, just as feisty nurse Leah Dixon barges her way into his world.
Ethan’s first priority is to protect his daughter. His second priority is to keep Leah out of this dark web—and that means out of his bed. Except Leah isn’t going anywhere; she’s afraid little Daisy is in danger. Ethan couldn’t live with himself if anything happened to Leah…but pushing her away may be even harder!
A Stranger in the Cove #8
He came for answers… He never expected to find her
Mac Orman is on a mission. When he discovers his recently deceased father had been searching for his birth mother, Mac aims to finish the job by finding the grandmother he never knew. His quest leads him to Templeton Cove—and a firecracker of a woman who instantly jump-starts his tortured heart.
For Mac, Kate Harrington is the most tempting kind of distraction. But their sizzling connection comes with a side of suspicion for Kate, who doesn’t trust this brooding stranger in her town. Mac arrived with no plans to stay, but as he falls for Kate, he wonders how he could ever possibly leave.
The Seduction of Emily
Seduction is a wicked game, and no one plays it better than the devilish Will Samson in Rachel Brimble’s captivating new novel. . .
Since girlhood, Emily Darson has accepted that she will marry Nicholas, the son of her father’s trusted business partner. The marriage contract safeguards her family legacy, Emily’s fortune, and everything she values–except her independence. Only when a sinfully handsome scoundrel enters her life does Emily realize quite how much a loveless match will cost her.
Will Samson has advanced from expert pickpocket to confidence trickster of the highest caliber. Now he has come to Bath to exact vengeance on the man who destroyed his mother–the man Emily will soon marry. But from his first glimpse of the enemy’s bewitching, spirited fiancée, Will’s plan changes.
Amid the ballrooms and salons of elegant society, heated glances explode into scandalous kisses. Revenge is sweet, but surrender will be irresistible. . .
The Temptation of Laura
Laura Robinson has always been dazzled by the glamour of the stage. But perhaps acting and selling one’s favors are not so different—for Laura must feign pleasure with the men she beds to survive. Now, with her only friend at death’s door and a ruthless pimp at her heels, escaping her occupation seems impossible. Hoping to attract a gentleman, she attends the theater. Yet the man Laura captivates is no customer, but a rising star and playwright. . .
Adam Lacey has been driven to distraction since the moment he saw Laura. She is his ideal leading lady come to irresistible life—and so much more. Certain they can make the perfect team on and off stage, he is determined to win her heart—and discover her story. But that is precisely what Laura fears. And she has no idea that Adam harbors shameful secrets of his own. Will the truth free them to love—or destroy all their dreams. . .?
What a Woman Desires
From country girl to actress of the stage, one woman dares to live her dreams—but is she brave enough to open her heart. . .?
Monica Danes always wanted more than the village of Biddlestone had to offer. After a failed courtship to a man of her parents’ choosing, she fled for the city of Bath and never looked back. Today, Monica is the undisputed queen of the theater—a wealthy, independent woman. But when she is called home in the wake of tragedy, Monica returns—intending to leave again as soon as possible.
Thomas Ashby has been a groom at the Danes estate since he was a boy—and has been enamored with Monica for almost as long. He knows he isn’t a suitable match for his master’s daughter, despite the special bond he and Monica have always shared—and their undeniable attraction. But now that she’s returned, Thomas has one last chance to prove himself worthy—and to show Monica a life, and a love, she won’t want to give up. . .
Her One True Love
She Can’t Forget Him…
Jane Charlotte Danes has loved the squire of her idyllic country town for as long as she can remember. He is good, kind, and alluring beyond words… and he chose to marry another. Tired of dwelling on her futile longings, Jane plans a move to Bath, where she dreams of a new beginning. But the man who has so imprisoned her heart is only a few steps behind…
He Can’t Let Her Go…
Until now, Matthew Cleaves has endeavored to meet the responsibilities of his position with dignity and good spirits–including his dutiful marriage. But when his wife leaves him for another man, Matthew is at last free to pursue his one true love. Only one vital question remains: will the captivating, stubborn, beautiful Jane allow him the challenge, and the pleasure, of winning her back?..
If I Want You
When local journalist, Tori Peterson, fails to prevent a child abduction outside her niece’s school, her horror and guilt sparks a vow to do whatever it takes to get little Abby Brady home to her parents.
While Tori battles the vile memories of her own kidnapping as a child, she accepts the help of widowed father, Mark Bolton. As he and Tori join forces with the local police, their attraction and intimacy grows…along with their fears for Abby.
Links are uncovered between Abby’s disappearance and Tori’s kidnapping, and Tori is forced to accept the monster who held her captive is back. But this time, Tori is all grown up, and there is no way she will let him hurt another little girl.
16 Marsden Place
There isn’t a situation that cant be fixed by a coat of chocolate body paint or a liberal smear of Champagne Lick, right? Wrong Ever since her father was murdered by a gang of youths, Sienna Lloyd has named herself Potterfords protector-her sexy lingerie shop is a place where the towns women can visit and feel safe. But when that shop is in danger of closing, Sienna needs a solution that will keep her in Potterford, where she can always look out for her mother, friends, and clients. The answer? Move the shop to her home at 16 Marsden Place. The problem? Her new neighbor, the delicious but seriously uptight Jack Beaton. Oh, and his four-year-old twin girls. Jack has just moved to the tiny town of Potterford in a bid to start over. To build a new life that keeps his children safe from their violent and sex-crazed mother. So when he discovers his neighbor intends to open a sex shop right next door, Jack will do anything to ensure it doesnt happen…including fighting every ounce of his attraction to the shops owner and his innate need to trust again.
The Survival of Lily Curtis
At the mention of an arranged marriage, Elizabeth Caughley feels her life is over at the age of three and twenty…so she hatches an escape plan. She will reinvent herself as a housemaid. Overnight, Elizabeth becomes Lily – on the understanding if her attempt at independence fails, she will return home and marry a man of her parents’ choosing.
Viscount Westrop will ensure his legacy is passed to his own son one day. Even though he feels insurmountable pity for the unborn child already, he knows how much pain a broken promise can cause and will do what is right. But with the arrival of his new housemaid, his plans are thrown into disarray. Lily is funny and feisty and the most beautiful creature on earth – Andrew is thunderstruck. But if anyone suspects how much he wants to ravish her and endlessly love her, Andrew’s lineage will undoubtedly be in peril.
Professional singer Julia Kershaw is leaving town and moving on with her life. She desperately needs an escape from her mother’s grief over the loss of Julia’s brother–shot and killed by an overzealous cop–and an ex-boyfriend who refuses to believe it’s over. But when she becomes the sole witness to the murder of a man she’s known all her life, how can she leave until the killer is found? And how can she work with a cop after everything the police put her family through?
When Detective Inspector Daniel Conway is removed from the city chaos he thrives on, and sent to a sleepy seaside town, the last thing he expects is to catch a murder case. With an impeccable record he intends to keep that way, for personal as well as professional reasons, he refuses to allow his very beautiful, sexy–and secretive–witness to walk away from his case. Or him.
Searching for Sophie
Harbouring the secret pain of giving up her child for adoption thirteen years ago, Melanie Royal has hidden herself behind the quiet role of Head Librarian in Layley Hill. But then a crazed admirer rips her daughter from a loving home and Melanie is thrown into a race against time to save Sophie?s life?
When Detective Inspector Kieran Joseph is put in charge of finding a missing thirteen- year- old girl, it evokes buried mistakes that he?d vowed never to repeat and so he?ll be suspicious of everyone this time, including the girl?s sexy and achingly beautiful, mother, Melanie Royal?
To keep herself from the depths of poverty, Milly Shepherd needs to be appointed manager of the Red Lion Tavern. The elderly owner is in failing health and has promised her the job permanently if no one more suitable applies. Milly will fight with her entire being to make the job her own.
Joseph Jacobs needs to supplement his income to pay off his father’s creditors and save him from debtor’s prison. Though the job as manager of the local tavern looks promising, Milly is favored by both the owner and customers. Instead, Joseph swallows his pride and agrees to tend bar.
As they work together, their attraction grows, their goals cross, and both Millie and Joseph find they must face their fears –the question is whether they face them alone or together?
In a desperate bid to escape the bitter reality of her children accepting her ex-husband’s new – and younger – fiancée, Lisa Cavendish travels from the UK to accompany her friend to a high school reunion. The last thing she expects is to fall in love with the school soccer coach who, it appears, holds as much regard for his child as her ex did when he walked out on them.
Aaron Taylor can’t believe his eyes or ears when he is introduced to Lisa. Sexy and funny, she has no idea how her accent enhances the heartbreak he endures waiting for his daughter to ask him to return to the UK. But after spending three short weeks with Lisa, he sees the answer to his pain in the eyes of the most phenomenal British lady he has ever met.
So lovely to learn more about your Rachel. Terrific interview! I hadn’t realized how many books you’ve published. My poor kindle is going to be soooo overloaded! Best of luck on reaching your dreams!
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Thanks for joining us Kim, hope your kindle survives. Happy reading x