Posted June 12, 2017 by Bee in Reviews / 10 Comments


The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

by Mackenzi Lee
Published on June 20th 2017
by Katherine Tegen Books
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, LGBT, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss

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.

I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

5 Stars

Okay so I don’t really know WHAT I expected when I picked this book up on Edelweiss on a whim, but it certainly wasn’t this. I did not expect to fall in love with a YA Historical Fiction book. Because that is NOT my genre and I rarely have success with it. But here I am, having just finished this book with the biggest, stupidest grin on my face and so completely and utterly in love with this story and these character that it’s almost ridiculous. Here I am, giving 5 stars to a historical fiction book. Whut even happened?

Where do I even start? Maybe my one negative? And it’s really a nitpick and doesn’t really have anything to do with the book itself… And that’s the cover. It’s really not pretty and doesn’t do the book justice at all. But of course that’s subjective and you might love it so. I just don’t. I think it deserves a prettier cover for sure. But that’s really the only negative I have to say about this book. I mean… I could go really deep and REALLY nitpick the hell out of this but I don’t want to because I love it and I just want to be positive about it. I’m not that girl that nitpicks just so she can say something bad about a book. I don’t want that. So I’m not gonna.

Now I get to gush for the rest of this review. YAY! I’m gonna start with the writing because it’s so beautiful and it’s never boring. I mean, Historical Fiction can get very boring to me with the old-timey stuff but this one never did. I was hooked from start to finish even though I’m not the biggest fan of Historical Fiction at all. So big props to Mackenzi for this. Also, the dialogue was surprisingly natural and so funny and sassy and I loved it. Which was helped by the excellent characters but I’ll get into those later. I also loved the story overall. The pacing was on point and the world-building too and I loved how we jumped from England to France to Spain to Italy and then a bit of Greece too. DIVERSITY IN SETTING! Also pirates! And a kind of mystery! So much win here. It was exciting and always moving and never boring. And I loved every second of it. Also male POV for the win!

NOW I get to dive into the characters and after that the romance because HOLY WOW both were on point. But I must calm myself and go over the most important ones that are worthy of a mention in this review. Before I go deeper into the main three, I just wanna shout that I hated Monty’s dad, wanted more of Dante and Lockwood and fiercely loved the pirate captain Scipio. That is all. Now on to the heroes of the book okay? Okay.

♦ First off is FELICITY. She’s Monty’s sister and my god she is awesome. I love her so much. She stitches up her own arm, she’s been putting smutty book jackets over medicine books and thus secretly studying medicine for years. She’s strong, independent, badass, smart, caring, loyal, sweet… I just love her to bits and it’s so good to see such an awesome female character like her in this genre.

PERCY is Monty’s best friend. He’s a POC, which brought a lot of extra depth to the book when it comes to racial relationships in that time and it made me angry and sad how he was treated sometimes because he’s just so precious. He’s so loyal to Monty and he’s funny and adorable and he just needs lots and lots of hugs. I loved how he had a mind of his own and didn’t just go along with Monty. He stood by his beliefs and stood his ground when he needed to. And plays violin and smacks bad guys in the face with the case. Badass. I’m telling you.

MONTY is the star of the show of course. He’s such a lovable dweeb sometimes. He makes mistakes and he’s flawed for sure but you can’t help but love him. I felt for him right from the start with his intense love for his best friend and his asshole dad. I just wanted to wrap him in blankets and hug him forever. He’s kind of spoilt and a bit impulsive and very much a flirt but he’s also smart and sweet and caring and adorable and hilarious. He’s so precious and I adore him. I wanted all the happy things for him.

I’m not gonna lie, the main reason why I picked this book up is the romance. Because LGBT romances are kind of my thing. And this romance was PERFECT. Absolutely perfect. It was established perfectly from the start and then bloomed beautifully throughout the book with JUST the right amount of swoon and drama effortlessly woven into the rest of the plot. And HOLY GOD this author knows how to write a kiss. And she doesn’t shy away from anything even though it’s YA and I LOVE her for it. MORE OF THIS PLEASE? Thank you. So yes. Perfect romance is perfect.

Now if you hadn’t noticed already, I quite liked this book. I dare say I love it. So maybe you should check it out. Because there’s romance and friendship and sibling relationships and adventure and Europe and pirates and mystery and what are you even still doing here? Go read this. NOW!


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10 responses to “Bee Reviews THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE by Mackenzi Lee

  1. Oh my God. Your review made me super pumped for this book! I’ve seen it around the blogosphere SO MUCH lately, but I’ve kind of dismissed it a bit because of the hideous and juvenile cover… maybe I should give it a fairer go. Thanks for the review!

  2. Leah

    I’m very excited for this one. All of the positive reviews are making the wait seem longer than it is. 😀

  3. I’ve been seeing this book around everywhere lately! Everyone seems to have loved it. I ended up passing on it honestly because I didn’t really like the cover (that’s so horrible, I know!! Shame on me!) but also because it was historical and like you said, I feel like sometimes I get bored. Looks like I should have given it a shot. I will have to check this one out soon! Great review!

    Julie @ Happily Ever Chapter recently posted: Double Review: Imago & Imagines by N.R. Walker
  4. Ahhhhh! I am planning on starting this one today– a friend just sent me her ARC of it, and I could not be more excited. Especially after seeing how much you loved it! Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres; plus, these characters sound wonderful and I cannot wait to meet them. WILL KEEP YOU UPDATED WITH MY THOUGHTS. Great review, Bee! <3

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