The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue: Guide (Book 1)
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 passion – 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 of his best friend and travelling 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 aboard into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.”
I knew nothing about this book, until I heard that it was rumoured to be in an Owlcrate box, I then looked into it and it sounded amazing. I also got it with an exclusive cover.
Monty has been thrown out of Eton and has come to an arrangement with his parents that he and his best friend, Percy, will do their Grand Tour of Europe for a year, before Monty comes home to help his father run the family estate and Percy goes to law school in Holland. They are also to have Monty’s sister Felicity along with them (cramping their style) until they drop her off in Marseilles. Just before they leave Monty finds out they are to have a strict chaperone and no drinking or folicking with either sex with be permitted dampening his spirits before they even set off, but Monty has a way of getting round rules and trouble always seems to find him.
Oh my, that was amazing. I was really looking forward to reading this book and I was not disappointed. It was punchy, fast paced (when it needed it) and grabbed me from the first page. I was put through so many emotions, happy, sad, tense, laughing, crying.
My favourite part has to be the whole story, it was just incredible. I loved that it was relatable to today’s climate with people not accepting others for their sexuality or race, I find that it is sad that things like this are still relevant to today’s society, but it is also an eye-opener to how people can be. I have heard about people going on Grand Tours, and it is so fun to read about the adventures had.
I cannot pick one favourite character, so I am going with Monty, Percy and Felicity as all my favourite. I loved reading from Monty’s point of view, especially as I always read female points of view. Percy was fabulous and you could see little things he did that said how he felt but Monty could not put it together. Felicity is gorgeous and I love that she wants to break out of the ‘female’ mould that was set for women until the last century.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue does not really end on a cliffhanger, as it is a standalone, but it is left in such a way that you really want to know what they get up to next. Update: I knew Mackenzi was writing another book, but it has been announced that this is a sequel from Felicity’s point of view, it is called The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy and will be out next year.
While reading this book, I described it as a bisexual man travelling round Europe with his best friend (who is also the guy he fancies) and his sister during Georgian times, therefore he cannot be open about his sexuality. I would recommend this to adults and teenagers. 5 out of 5.