The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue – 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 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.
With a title and cover like that, how can I resist? Right off that bat, I know it was going to be a fun, lighthearted read with adventure and laughter and kissing at the end. And indeed it is.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is about Monty, his sister Felicity and his best friend Percy and their Grand Tour gone awry (to be expected because Monty). Feckless is a word I learned recently and it is something that can be used to describe Monty, along with fun-loving and not the brightest spark in the room. Monty’s sister Felicity can throw a better punch than him. Probably the only things we can commend him on are his indecent supply of good looks and that he really does love Percy with all the love his silly little heart can give. Felicity is the nose-buried-in-a-book/can-do-anything type aka the smarter one and Percy is a music loving, well-mannered guy whose darker looks makes him a bit more circumspect with his behavior compared to his more reckless best friend.
If this was a movie, the visual style, storytelling and soundtrack might be something like what Sofia Coppola did with Marie Antoinette. Not entirely accurate but still gives a good sense of time, place and mood. This would also have been a solid 5-star book had it been a little more concise but I felt it was stretched out a tad too long like the author felt the trio had to have as many misadventures and go to as many places as possible before resolving everything.
3 Stars – not exactly setting my world on fire but I liked it
Soundtrack: City of Culture
Artist: Slow Riot