The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue by Mackenzie Lee / A Grand Tour of Europe w/ Highway men & Pirates




Author: Mackenzi Lee

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Format: Hardcover, 528 pages

Published: June 27th 2017

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An unforgettable tale of two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way.

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.

Witty, romantic, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a sumptuous romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.

Trigger Warning : N-word used several times

The Gentleman’s guide to vice & virtue was one of the most charming books I’ve ever read. The characters are the best thing about this book to be honest, the story didn’t impress me much.

  • Monty is a troublemaker– a drinking, partying, and infuriating rascal. His already-tense relationship with his father is strained further when he’s expelled from his school. His father then sends him off on a Grand tour of Europe, joined by his best friend Percy (whom he has the biggest crush on) and his little sister, Felicity.
  • Percy is a curly-haired, biracial cinnamon roll. You’ll adore him instantly, I guarantee. He grew up under a noble white family but is subjected to racism and discrimination from others, worsened by the fact that he is epileptic.
  • Felicity is a 15-year-old but intelligent af and 100% snarky. I love her. She has a passion for learning but is obviously faced with an obstacle as women were not allowed education at the time. I don’t think it’s explicitly stated but I’m pretty sure she’s asexual.

Monty, being the complete (lovable) asshat he is, makes one huge mistake that leaves him naked during a fancy party of high-society men and women, and in possession of a very valuable item. Soon, he and his companions are subjects of a manhunt across all of Europe. As they slowly discover the secrets of the item, they grow increasingly reluctant to giving it back. They’re now wrapped up in a plot of sinking islands, alchemy, pirates, highway men and one pissed off Duke.

Monty starts out as a self-centered scoundrel. As a white, privileged male, he is oblivious to his sister’s and his best friend’s situations. But this journey forces him to witness firsthand the racism and sexism his two companions face. He says and does ignorant stuff but is called out and put in place by Percy and Felicity. He learns, he grows. He comes to know more about his best friend and his sister, and that was truly beautiful to see.

Aside from that, the romance was just…

Monty and Percy are my OTP. Perfect amount of angst and tension, and the most swoony kissing scenes. YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED BY THE ROMANCE. I started shipping them from the very first page and just thinking about them warms my heart. SO ADORABLE, I MIGHT CRY. It’s supposed to be fantasy but there are no fantasy elements so don’t go in expecting that. I admit I was about to give this 4 stars but the ending just sold me and the whole book was so fun, I just couldn’t rate it any lower.

Mackenzie Lee

Mackenzi Lee holds a BA in history and an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Simmons College. She is the author of the historical fantasy novels THIS MONSTROUS THING and THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE (HarperCollins), as well as the forthcoming THE LADY’S GUIDE TO PETTICOATS AND PIRACY (coming in 2018 from HarperCollins) and SEMPER AUGUSTUS (coming in 2019 from Flatiron/Macmillan). She is also the author of BYGONE BADASS BROADS (Abrams, 2018), a collection of short biographies of amazing women from history you probably don’t know about but definitely should, based on her popular twitter series of the same name.

She currently calls Boston home, where she manages an independent bookstore, drinks too much Diet Coke, and pets every dog she meets.

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3 thoughts on “The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue by Mackenzie Lee / A Grand Tour of Europe w/ Highway men & Pirates

  1. I was a bit skeptical of this one because it sounded like it could verge on too silly BUT a lot of blogger friends I trust have been speaking highly of this and convinced me to get a copy from the library. Your review has convinced me to move it higher up my to read list.


    1. It’s not silly at all; it’s a fun read all around but covers some serious/heavier topics. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it! Happy reading (if you decide to get it)😁


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