Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

Thursday, October 4, 2018

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (2017) Mackenzi Lee

Set in Europe in the 1700s

Henry “Monty” Montague is a rake. He was kicked out of Eton, is constantly in drunk, and is the despair of his parents.

He is also in love with his best friend, Percy.

In a last ditch attempt at reform, Henry is being sent on a Grand Tour with Percy, and Henry’s younger sister, Felicity is going along for the first part, before being sent to finishing school.

“Under my watch,” Lockwood says, “there will be no gambling, limited tobacco, and absolutely no cigars.”

Well, this is turning a bit not good.

“No visitations to any dens of iniquity,” he goes on, “or sordid establishments of any kind. No caterwauling, no inappropriate relations with the opposite sex. No fornication. No slothfulness, or excessive sleeping late.”

It’s beginning to feel like he’s shuffling his way through the seven deadly sins, in ascending order of my favorites.

“And,” he says, rust on the razor’s edge, “spirits in moderation only.”

It took several tries for me to get started on this book. Mostly because Monty is so dissolute, I had a hard time caring what happened to him.

But I quite liked Percy, and I really liked Felicity.

“They’re going to throw you out of school if you behave this way.”

“Well, it took Eton years to catch on to your larks, and I’m a fair amount cleverer, so I’m not concerned.”

“I’ve been stripping the covers off amatory novels and swapping them with medical textbooks for years so Father wouldn’t find out. He’d rather I read those trampy Eliza Haywoods than study almanacs on surgery and anatomy.”

But slowly we discover more about Monty, and learn why Percy puts up with him. And that he isn’t quite as much of an ass as he seems.

I want to run away right then but there’s just Percy in the cabin and water on either side, and the person I most want to run away from is me.

He really does turn out to be far better than he seems at first, and you do end up rooting for him, if only to get his life in order.

But mostly it’s a fun romp, and quite enjoyable.

I am better than the worst things I’ve done.

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Rating: 8/10

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