THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE
Written by Mackenzie Lee
Published by Katherine Tegen Books, June 27, 2017
My star rating: 4 stars
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. Find it on Goodreads
When this book came out, for some reason I wanted nothing to do with it. Which makes no sense! I love historical fiction! But I just wasn’t interested in any way, shape, or form, so I stayed away from all reviews and info because, I just didn’t plan on reading it. After quite a few months though, it was hard to ignore the reviews. Even people who don’t like historical fiction were falling over their feet with this one. So, I went for it. And I’m so happy I did!
First off, I LOVED MONTY!!! OMG I loved him SO much! I am adding him to my list of people that I want as a best friend, or as a person that I would spend a day drinking with. His confidence, sarcasm, humour, whit, charm – he was everything! Excess and extravagance seeped from his skin but not in your typical high society way. I felt the whole time that this was a mask of sorts. If he was confident and acted as though everything was fine, then nothing could bother him.
And then there’s Percy. Monty’s best friend and the apparent apple of his eye. Monty’s feelings of Percy crept up out of nowhere and it was so wonderful to see him attempt to deal with these newly found feelings. He was in a difficult position. Percy was a friend, he was a man, and he was also of colour. Being that this book was set MANY years ago, it was illegal for two men to be in a relationship. Also, people of colour were seen as servants and lesser than the rest. So many awful rules, laws, and (BS) opinions that kept the two of them apart – and the sexual tension was INTENSE!!!! I loved these two and feeling the discomfort of their messy miscommunications.
This book also had a representation of a medical illness and how it was handled many years ago. So much was not understood and how certain diseases were handled back then was just appalling! That doctors and people thought that certain illnesses were deserving of people being put into a mental institution…….. I just couldn’t believe it!!
The pace of this book was pretty consistent. There were times that I was a little put off by the direction of the story though. It started off light and funny, then turned serious, then turned dark, then turned crazy and weird. I felt that a few of the situations were there just as a way to shock the reader and was in left field a little bit. It was a little annoying and uncomfortable. It was as if the climate and mood of the book didn’t really seem to be able to decide where it wanted to be and what it wanted to do. It was confusing when you looked at the book as a whole.
In the end I was so happy that I gave this book a shot. It’s a historical fiction of a time period that I’ve rarely read, so for that alone I was happy! But then there was the added bonus of the adventure and the amazing characters. I’m also really excited to see that this is a series! Can’t wait to continue!
Until next time, happy reading!