REVIEW: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee 

Author: Mackenzie Lee 

Genre: LGBT, YA, Historical Fiction, Romance.

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Publication Date: June 27th, 2017.

Rating:

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 hasn’t been able to curb absent 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 Grandma 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 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 abroad into a harrowing manhunt that sound across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.


Yet again, I’m probably one of the last people to read and review this book. A fellow blogger said it was very sexist (I completely disagree) and I avoided it for as long as possible. I wish I had ignored that review and read it all the same. It’s a lovely novel to try during a reading slump.

As you can see from the genre, this book is historical fiction. I haven’t read that genre since I was 14. I got tired of the whole “not-girly girl × rake” thing and I didn’t expect to like this book even though it’s a gay historical fiction but I really did.

First, this novel is so British! The characters used words like ‘shag’, ‘dally’, ‘lad’. It’s so different and I really liked it. I actually read a lot of chapters in my head with a fake British accent 😂😂😂 (No offence meant to my readers)

Monty, the main character was a gorgeous, spoilt, flirtatious guy utterly blind to the racism and sexism around him. Despite this, it was hard to dislike him especially with his darling’s and dear’s. He could be very thick-headed sometimes but he was a good guy. He also had a very sad back story that made me pity him and his love for Percy was utterly pure and true. The story is told entirely from his POV.

Percy on the other hand was my darling baby. He had to deal with racism from several bigots including his own aunt and uncle, strangers who asked him “when he came from Africa” or who assumed he was Monty’s manservant. Then, he had something else to deal with (can’t spoil it) and he managed to handle all his problems so well and so elegantly. He had so much patience (especially for Monty) and he was just an amazing guy❤

Felicity, Monty’s 15 year old sister was a not-so-girly girl who–unfortunately–wanted to be a doctor. The unfortunate part was because they lived in the 18th century and girls were not allowed to do stuff boys could do. So, after disturbing her parents that she wanted to go to school, they decided to send her to a finishing school. Like, wow!!

Anyway, she was very logical, straightforward, honest and quite bossy. She also made Monty realise how much of an idiot he was with priceless words like:

“Do you know how horrid it feels to watch my brother get tossed out of the best boarding school in England, then get to travel the Continent as a reward, while I’m stuck behind, not permitted to study the same things or read the same books or even visit the same places while we’re abroad, just because I had the bad luck to be born a girl?”

As you can see, she was also quite a feminist and she was an AMAZING main female character.

The Plot

The relationship between the three was very friendly and real. Thankfully, they didn’t use a lot of Old English when speaking so I had no problem understanding the dialogue in the book. The romance between Monty and Percy was so so cute and Percy was as much of a big brother to Felicity as Monty (or even better).

The story flowed beautifully and could be fast-paced or slow depending on the events. Their journey and adventures were told in an engaging form and I could actually visualise quite a few scenes (something that’s very hard for me because I don’t have an imagination).

Summary: This book is very interesting and I think everyone should read it. It’s not just a cute gay book, it also shines some light on bigotry in the society centuries ago which still occurs now.

 

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4 thoughts on “REVIEW: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee 

  1. I really really want to read this! I’ve heard amazing things about it and I think a sequel to it is on the way so I really need to gear up and get this done, haha. Loved the review! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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