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.
I have seen a lot of positive reviews in this book and I’ve seen it in various bookish list so I decided that I need to read this book. At the same time, I was looking for a way to not be bored on my bus ride to the university I go to which is around 2-3 hours away from my hometown. So, I downloaded audible and this book was my free book for the free trial.
From the first minute and a half, I could feel that I was going to like the book. The first chapter was a very good introduction of what the book was going to be. We were immediately introduced to the traits and humor of the main character, Monty. We can actually decipher then the other main characters- Felicity and Percy. From the very first chapter, I actually found myself immediately rooting for Monty and Percy. I just wanted to delve into the book and know more about their relationship, or lack of.
One thing that I liked about this book is that they were childhood friends. I’m a sucker for stories where characters grew up together and ended up falling in love. But the best part here is that it was mentioned how it bothered Monty – one minute Percy was just a boy he grew up with and then in the next he’s a boy he wants to kiss.
“The great tragic love story of Percy and me is neither great nor truly a love story, and is tragic only for its single-sidedness. It is also not an epic monolith that has plagued me since boyhood, as might be expected. Rather, it is simply the tale of how two people can be important to each other their whole lives, and then, one morning, quite without meaning to, one of them wakes to find that importance has been magnified into a sudden and intense desire to put his tongue in the other’s mouth.
A long, slow slide, then a sudden impact.”
That quote made my heart beat 10x faster. I loved it so much. This book’s plot is also very interesting and the pacing is great. I don’t know what to expect all throughout reading the book. I like how the book surprises me almost every chapter.
Another thing I loved about this book is Monty as a main character. It just feels like his narrative is so honest. I like that he is not pretentious at all. He’s a rake and he’s not in the business of denying that. I really liked that he’s human and not an overly romanticized hero. In spite of it, it’s really so obvious that he loves Percy. And this is something different for me in the Historical Fiction genre. Other historical romances are fueled by lust and this is not the case in this book. I also really liked Felicity as a character. She’s a typical Historical Romance character that I have been reading – instead of balls and gentlemen, she is more interested in books and being something more than somebody’s wife.
The best thing about this book are the details. I just love how I can imagine them all in my head. I guess that’s the advantage of listening to an Audiobook version. Sometimes, I tend to skim paragraphs I don’t really see as important. But when you’re listening, you hear the details and like an instinct, you imagine it in your head. And how Mackenzi Lee described details is awesome.
Overall, I really think that Mackenzi Lee did an awesome job. The characters are all very interesting and 3-dimensional and they really made this book enjoyable.
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Pre-order the sequel: The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy
Felicity Montague is through with pretending she prefers society parties to books about bone setting—or that she’s not smarter than most people she knows, or that she cares about anything more than her dream of becoming a doctor.
A year after an accidentally whirlwind tour of Europe, which she spent evading highwaymen and pirates with her brother Monty, Felicity has returned to England with two goals in mind—avoid the marriage proposal of Callum Doyle, a lovestruck suitor from Edinburgh; and enroll in medical school. However, her intellect and passion will never be enough in the eyes of the administrators, who see men as the sole guardians of science.
But then a small window of hope opens. Doctor Alexander Platt, an eccentric physician that Felicity idolizes, is looking for research assistants, and Felicity is sure that someone as forward thinking as her hero would be willing to take her on. However, Platt is in Germany, preparing to wed Felicity’s estranged childhood friend Johanna. Not only is Felicity reluctant to opening old wounds, she also has no money to make the trip.
Luckily, a mysterious young woman is willing to pay Felicity’s way, so long as she’s allowed to travel with Felicity disguised as her maid. In spite of her suspicions, Felicity agrees, but once the girl’s true motives are revealed, Felicity becomes part of a perilous quest that will lead her from the German countryside to the promenades of Zurich to secrets lurking beneath the Atlantic.
Pre-order the sequel: Amazon | Book Depository
Pre-ordering The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy will give you a free novella as a glimpse of the life of Monty and Percy after the events of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue.