The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on June 27, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Historical, Fantasy, LGBTQIA+
Pages: 528 Format: ARC Source: Library
This ARC was received by my library department for marketing purposes. This does not impact my thoughts and opinions in any way.
An unforgettable tale of two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way.
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’m in love! I’m in love! And I don’t care who knows it! In The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, Mackenzi Lee blew me away with an outrageous romp through Europe and some of the most wonderful characters out there. Monty, Percy, and Felicity’s trek across countries had the perfect mix of peril, debauchery, and shenanigans to make this historical fiction truly shine.
Let’s start with these freaking wonderful characters! Monty, despite being an ass and a complete mess most of the time, is charming, funny, and cares so deeply. His voice is realistic, compelling, and pulls the reader right in. Percy may be the greatest friend of all time though. He puts up with all of Monty’s crap but calls him on it every step of the way. And then there’s Felicity; intelligent, absorbed by learning, and calm and collected in the face of danger. She’s a force to be reckoned with!
In historical terms, Lee does 18th century Europe justice. From balls and operas to pirates and aristocratic villains, she clearly did in depth research. Especially in regards to grand tours, medical practices of the time, and views on sodomy and race. I’d expect nothing less from a fellow BA in History though. She also handles sensitive topics with extreme care and this ended up being an extremely diverse book in terms of representation.
Honestly though this book will give you all the feels!!! The romance is so angsty and Monty and Percy are ridiculously shippable. Every twist and turn kept me on the edge of my seat and there’s just so much that happens along the way. I mean, who wouldn’t want to go on a European adventure through the streets of Paris, across the open seas, and to a sinking island. I even loved the little hint of magic that propels the narrative and characters along.
Overall I abso-bloody-lutely adored Mackenzi Lee’s The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. It’s such a fast paced, emotional roller coaster with tons of heart and I fell in love with these characters right from the start. The author handled the history and difficult topics with care and I couldn’t ask for more. The hype is real people and I hope that everyone joins in on Monty, Percy, and Felicity’s journey!
So are you excited for The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue? Where would your European adventure begin and end? Let me know in the comments below!