The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.
But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.
Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.
Gift from my Books and Tea Secret Santa.
The description of this book sounded so fun I was really interested in reading this from the moment I heard about it, so I very much love my Secret Santa for picking it for me! We ended up choosing The Gentleman’s Guide for our February read-along book on Books and Tea as well since our theme was “favorite 2017 release”.
So yeah, I really enjoyed this book! It starts out really funny and the humor stays through the whole story even though it has some really sad and serious moments as well, and it’s a good thing those moments exist because otherwise it would be really easy to forget that the 18th century really wasn’t the easiest time to live in. Once they end up on their less fancy adventure I can only imagine how gross the whole main trio must have been after a while.
The romance between Monty and Percy was adorable and Monty struggling with his feelings was heartbreaking at times. Monty honestly surprised me a little bit, because I just expected him to be a carefree rich kid (which is pretty much the first impression of him) but turns out there’s a pretty good explanation for his rebellious behavior. I liked that Felicity and Percy didn’t let him get away with acting like an idiot when he actually did though. Felicity also became one of my favorite characters because she’s a very very smart girl. I’m so excited she’s gonna be the protagonist in the sequel!
All the alchemy stuff felt a bit out of place to me, but luckily it was left pretty open how successful any of that stuff actually was, so the book didn’t accidentally go from historical fiction to fantasy. It makes sense that the characters would look into something like alchemy for help in an impossible situation though, and I’m happy with how everything was resolved in the end. Monty and Percy deserve a little happiness. ❤