Book Review – ‘The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue’ (#1 Montague Siblings) by Mackenzie Lee

Schoolies – 18th Century style!

Genre: Y/A, Historical Fiction, LGBT

No. of pages: 513

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.

I was delighted by ‘The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue,’ because I’m not really one to enjoy historical fiction, but this novel was hilarious and kept a contemporary tone while being set in an 18th Century adventure across Europe.

Our protagonist, Henry ‘Monty’ Montague is a lad. Spoiled pretty party boy who is not discerning with whomever he “parties” with. Male, female, they are each equally attractive and alluring – which is how he ends up in frequent scandals from trysts in the night, and drunken night crawls. In short Monty is a cad, a man-whore, a stuck-up privileged snot. But I found myself endeared to him and invested in his story as he slowly begins to redeem his character.

Accompanied with his sister Felicity, and friend *cough-crush-cough* Percy this trio embark on a Grand Tour of Europe which will see Felicity in finishing school because she is not lady-like enough, always with her head in a book and an obstinate temperament; and Monty to make business connections, grow up, and return home to start running the families estate.

I was not expecting the amount of comedy, action, or adventure present in ‘The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue.’ It really is a jam-packed story that had me gripped from start to finish. Not in my wildest dreams could I have envisioned what goes down in this book. Mackenzi Lee’s writing style has instantly endeared me to this series.

I did predict the romantic element of the story, but that’s about it. The plot is so crazy, I was glued to the page to discover what hijinks would happen next. For a 500 paged novel I consumed it in two-to-three sittings and loved every minute of it.

The character development is second to none, Mackenzie Lee manages to reveal motivations, secrets, and show growth in a marvellous way which was enchanting. I really want to go on raving about this book, chuckle over some of the events that happen, but I feel it would do an injustice to any reader yet to discover ‘The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue.’

Definitely recommend this one, it has all the elements that keep me entertained for a weekend read and I have already added ‘The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy,’ ‘The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky,’ to my shopping cart, and am eagerly awaiting the release of ‘The Nobleman’s Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks’ next year.

A surprising and delightful recommendation from me.

Overall feeling: So charming…

© Casey Carlisle 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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