Tuesday, September 1, 2020

{Book Review} The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee


I put this on my TBR list when Margot with Epic Reads spouted her love of this novel in one of her videos (check out said video by clicking here - side note: she mentions that the book is narrated by Percy, but it's actually narrated by Monty). I'm not really sure what I was expecting but ... OH ... MY .... GOODNESS.

Monty is an absolute rake, but an adorable one, and he knows it. He's a bisexual nobleman in a time when being bisexual is VERY much frowned upon and could possibly get you hung. He has a younger sister, Felicity, a baby brother that he calls the Goblin, and a best friend, Percy. When he gets kicked out of Eton, his father beats him black and blue. The only way Monty knows how to deal with it is to continue doing what he's always done: drink, steal, and being promiscuous.

Felicity is sick and tired of being treated like a simpering female. She's interested in medicine and wants to go to university, not finishing school, but the times being what they are doesn't offer her much of a choice as far as career paths go.

Percy lives with his aunt and uncle. They love him but treat him differently when company's around. Why? Well, they're white English residents and Percy is a brown English resident. People of color are treated horridly in England during this time. They're not allowed in many hotels, they're not given very many jobs, and they're automatically distrusted because of the beautiful color of their skin. Add his epilepsy on top of that and the poor guy can't catch a break socially. This era of the English looks at epilepsy as demonic possession and enter those affected into insane asylums if exorcisms and other extreme measures don't work.

Enter one last hurrah for Monty, Percy, and Felicity under the guidance of Mr. Lockwood. The three are to go on a Tour before heading off in different directions: Monty to learn how to take over the estate, Felicity off to finishing school, and Percy off to learn a profession ... or so they all think.

Not long after the tour starts, the three go to a ball. They try to have a good time but Monty gets bored and starts his usual mess. Off he goes to the bedroom of some lady, which turns out to be in the apartments of the Duke of Bourbon ... someone that Monty does not really care for. So, while in the Duke's apartment, Monty looks around and finds something he wants to steal. Enter the Duke, exit Monty through an open window with the stolen artifact, and the chase begins.

Monty, Percy, and Felicity have an adventure beyond their wildest imaginations. Through it all, they learn more about themselves and each other. Felicity admits she wants to be a doctor ... and is actually offered an opportunity in a most unusual way. Monty realizes his drinking and promiscuity is something that he has GOT to get under control. Percy finally confesses what really awaits him at the end of the Tour and what it is he really wants.

This book was heartbreaking and exciting and sweet and a jolly good read. I've seen where there are two more books in this series so I'll be continuing them to see what else these three rapscallions have in store. I can't wait!

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