- Page Count: 528
- Release Date: June 27, 2017
- My Rating: 4 stars
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.
This is definitely going to be popular and I recommend it if you like historical fiction and/or YA!
The actual story itself is average, but the characters make it so great. Monty is a philandering aristocrat who was kicked out of Eton, so his father sends him on a Grand Tour of Europe with his sister and best friend Percy. Monty steals a box from a Duke in Versailles and they get wrapped up in all sorts of plots and adventures as they’re chased around Europe (and there are PIRATES).
Monty was a really difficult character for me to like, which is part of the reason why I took a star off. He was funny and endearing at first, but then his idiotic behavior kept hurting those around him and he didn’t learn. I wasn’t entirely convinced he had changed at the end, either. Most of the story could have been avoided if he had just USED HIS WORDS and/or not been dumb.
I was totally reading for the side characters, though. Felicity (Monty’s sister) is pretty badass and saves everyone so many times. She’s spent years sneakily reading medical textbooks and even lectures Monty on women’s rights. And then Percy is mixed race, (view spoiler) and epileptic, so he faces a lot of battles in society. His guardians are planning on locking him up in an asylum when he returns from the trip. Monty is bisexual and realizes he’s in love with Percy, so that’s one of the better parts of the story.
But the ending wasn’t as solid as I would’ve liked… I just wanted more resolution in some areas. There’s a lot about how Monty’s father beats him for being a sodomite, so maybe something more conclusive there would’ve helped. I really thought this was part of a series based on how flimsy the end was. But the rest of the story was really fun!
Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC!