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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Book Review: Pleasing Mr. Pepys by Deborah Swift

02_Pleasing Mr. Pepys_Cover
Pleasing Mr. Pepys
by Deborah Swift
e-Book, 407 pages
Accent Press
September 28, 2017
goodreads button

Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Received for review for tour with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

From acclaimed historical novelist Deborah Swift, Pleasing Mr Pepys is the story of Deb Willet, Samuel Pepys’s servant, told from a fresh perspective.  Well-educated but, due to circumstances beyond her control, not quite respectable, Deb Willet is desperate to escape her domineering aunt and takes a position as companion to Elisabeth Pepys, Samuel’s wife. Deb believes it will give her the respectability it craves – but it proves far more complicated than she could ever have imagined. London during the 1660s is a time of turmoil. Although Charles II has been restored to the throne, there is the prospect of war with the Dutch – the world’s great power of the era. In the midst of this tumult strides Samuel Pepys – diarist and man of note. Pepys’ influence in Restoration London means that the Dutch are keen to get their hands on his secrets – even if that means murder, espionage and blackmail to get them… Deb is soon caught up in the middle of a dangerous game – while at the same time trying to counter Mr Pepys’s lust for her…

There are so many different elements to talk about with Pleasing Mr. Pepys that I’m not totally sure which to begin with…so I will just begin at the…beginning!

I really had no idea what I was getting into when I started Pleasing Mr. Pepys. I knew that I had enjoyed Deborah Swift’s prior novels, so regardless the subject, I knew I would probably enjoy the writing, so I dove right in with not a preconceived notion in sight! The first chapter will suck you right in immediately; there is drama and intensity…before you even know who these characters are! I was hooked!

Swift’s narrative is told from several different perspectives that put you into the different aspects that surround Samuel Pepys: from the servant, to his wife, to a disgraced mistress of a colleague, to a local cleric. I liked that each had their own perspective of the man complete with his flaws. I wasn’t his biggest fan to be honest, he seemed to like to play the victim a lot and I never warmed to him. Deb Willet is a sympathetic heroine, but I didn’t find her to necessarily be my favorite character; she took awhile to get her feet under her but she found who she really is by the end and I did come around to liking her.  However, I found Abigail to be much more complex and fascinating. 

Most exciting, and this shouldn’t be unexpected because I have commented on this in all my other reviews of her works, was how London was a living world. This novel is set relatively recently after the fire of London, so there is a lot of devastation, poverty, displaced persons, and a general dreariness that engulfs the city. For me this is one of few novels that I have read set in this time period that don’t take place solely within Charles’ court, which is an entirely different world to visit. Swift also engulfs the reader into the political drama of the time that existed between the English and the Dutch as well as the problems socially being faced by the people who are struggling to just get by in the ravaged city and the sailors who are awaiting to be paid. I creates a very complex world that Deb has to move her way through.

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Chapters

Also by Deborah Swift:

the lady's slipper
The Lady’s Slipper

gilded lily
The Gilded Lily

[My Review]

a divided inheritance
A Divided Inheritance
[My Review]

shadow on the highway
Shadow on the Highway
(Highway Trilogy #1)
[My Review]

spirit of the highway
Spirit of the Highway
(Highway Trilogy #2)
[My Review]

lady of the highway
Lady of the Highway
(Highway Trilogy #3)

Find Deborah Swift:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Blog |

Tour Wide Giveaway

During the blog tour there is a giveaway open tour wide and entries can be made at any participating blog. Up for grabs is a signed copy of Pleasing Mr. Pepys to one lucky winner! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below. Any questions should be directed at the tour coordinator.  Good luck!

Giveaway Rules –

  • Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on October 20th.
  • You must be 18 or older to enter.
  • Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
  • Only one entry per household.
  • All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
  • Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

 Pleasing Mr. Pepys

Follow the Tour!

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At HFVBT Website

On Twitter: #PleasingMrPepysBlogTour #DeborahSwift

Thursday, September 28
Review at The Maiden’s Court
Guest Post at Books of All Kinds

Friday, September 29
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Monday, October 2
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Tuesday, October 3
Review at The Lit Bitch
Feature at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Wednesday, October 4
Feature at A Holland Reads

Thursday, October 5
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Friday, October 6
Feature at Passages to the Past

Monday, October 9
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, October 10
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Wednesday, October 11
Review at Book Nerd

Friday, October 13
Review at Poppy Coburn

Monday, October 16
Review at Just One More Chapter
Review at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

Tuesday, October 17
Review at Laura’s Interests
Interview at Suzy Approved Books

Wednesday, October 18
Review at Jo’s Book Blog

Thursday, October 19
Feature at T’s Stuff

Friday, October 20
Review at A Literary Vacation
Guest Post at The Writing Desk


  1. Wow, Heather! What a fabulous review! I am thrilled that you enjoyed Pleasing Mr. Pepys so much and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with your readers.

    Good luck to all who enter the giveaway!

    HF Virtual Book Tours

  2. Thank you for this review.
    Also for the opening of giveaway to all.


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