Review: The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue
Author: Mackenzi Lee
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Montague Siblings #1
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.
What I Liked
It's taken me a while to think of a coherent review for this book, because up until now it would have just been me shrieking about how much I love it. The three main characters--Monty, Percy, and Felicity--are each very fun to start off with, and in every chapter they grow more and more endearing. Monty's aimless debauchery is fun, and then the magic (?) of the alchemy adds some seriousness. The ending... the ending. Oh, the ending. It's perfect.
What I Would Have Liked to See
This is where the shrieking sets in. THE SEQUEL GIVE ME THE SEQUEL AAAUUGGHHH okay, the sequel is Felicity's story, and she's so wonderful, and I CANNOT WAIT to read it.
MONTY. The book is told from Monty's POV, and he's a little turd, you guys. But a turd you don't mind reading about. He's insufferably pompous, delightfully flirtatious, and heart-wrenchingly damaged. His voice is alive. You can hear him speaking as you read his dialogue. The development of Monty's inner workings made me stop a couple of times, and hurt my heart. The abuse that defines so many of his actions is never explicitly shown, but it hits so hard nonetheless.
Queer historical romance, alchemical magic, political intrigue, and very friendly pirates make for a book I couldn't put down.