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 travelling 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.Taken from book blurb
Length: 10 hours 47 minutes
Series: Montague Siblings #1
Genre: Young Adult. QUILTBAG. M/M Romance.
Read as an: eAudiobook
While listening to the first chapter of this audiobook, I was very tempted to stop reading. Don’t get me wrong, the narrator was amazing and the writing was good – it was just the character Monty was such a prick that I didn’t want to listen to a whole book about him.
I am SO glad that I powered through because I came to love Monty. While it might be stretching it to say that he grew as a person, he none the less grew on me as I came to understand him.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a young adult, historical, LGBTQ+ romance adventure novel. Encompassing that many genres may be a stretch with some books, but Lee pulls it off spectacularly. Soon I was absorbed in the world of the novel and was fighting for Monty and his love affair with Percy.
“We’re not courting trouble,” I say. “Flirting with it, at most.”
So much. The writing and conversations within The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue are so entertaining. The internal monologue of Monty, while initially annoying soon won me over as I came to realise it was all a defence mechanism.
The narrator of the audiobook, Christian Coulson (Tom Riddle in the Harry Potter movies) really brings Monty to life and I cannot stress how enjoyable it was hearing the conversations read aloud.
“My head’s higher than his, but we’re close enough that I can see the freckles beneath his eyes. If I had to pick a favourite part of Percy’s face – which would be impossible, really, but if held at gunpoint and forced to make a selection – it would be that small star-map across his skin. A part of him it feels as though no one else but me is ever close enough to see.”
Say what you want about this being a ‘cute little YA novel’ but included within it’s pages is a story that explores deep and dark issues such as bigotry and abuse, all the while expanding the boundaries of historical romance novels and existing in a space of such a beautiful casual queerness.
I loved The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and could not recommend it more.
If you can I would really recommend giving the audiobook a listen, it was really enjoyable and the narrator made each sentence a pleasure.