The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

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 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.

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This was such a delightful story and it had me laughing SO much!
“The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue” had an incredible pack of characters (I can’t name a favourite), it was filled with action and I deeply enjoyed each step in their “tour”. The potatoes scene might need mentioning because it had me laughing out loud.

What started as the dream of a delightful trip full of drink, love affairs and indulgence, turned into a new way for Monty’s father to ruin his plans, by sending someone to watch over them and mess with their fun. And then it turned into a way for drink and love affairs to break hell loose in a race around Europe to save their runaway, hunted asses.

Highwaymen, pirates and Monty’s forbidden feelings for his (dark-skinned) best friend make for a hilarious story of (old days) British high society. The author also tackles tactfully subjects like gender, race, illness and homosexuality in the given time period. The story is rich in humour and even though light and silly at times, it keeps the reader highly addicted to the aventures the trio work through.

“What’s the use of temptations if we don’t yield to them?”

I loved the growth Monty went through and Felicity was amazing!

His sarcastic narration painted him as immature and foolish, but in a cute and entertaining way. Running into trouble again and again, mocking everyone and everything including himself, coming to terms with his willingness to cross the thin line between his privileges and his heart’s desires… Monty was simply adorable.

On the other hand, Felicity was an intelligent and headstrong young woman. All she wanted was to study medicine and be seen as more than a pretty decoration. She wasn’t a burden on this trip, as Monty expected, and their relationship changed slowly throughout the story.

The same happened to Monty and Percy. They grew apart and found each other over and over and their story was definitely cute. I also liked Percy’s part in this story – his genetic inheritance and his illness made the story gather some depth in a natural way.

All in one, “The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue” is a highly addictive and humorous story and it left me giddy and wanting for more.

“We are not broken things, neither of us. We are cracked pottery mended with laquer and flakes of gold, whole as we are, complete unto each other. Complete and worthy and so very loved.”


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