River Heights Book Review

The books you'll want to read.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

vice and viruteJune 2017
Katherine Tegen Books

The back copy of this substantial novel advertises this as the “Big Gay European Road Trip Novel you didn’t know you were waiting for,” and frankly, I can’t think of a better way to put it. There are pirates, and highwaymen and a forbidden romance that will make your heart bleed.

Henry Montague (he prefers Monty) is a young lord with a reputation as a rogue—and it’s a well-deserved one. He’s been tossed from Eton for gambling, drinking and sleeping with other boys, a serious offense in the 1700’s. His father, a cruel man quick with a fist, has decided to send Monty on a tour of the continent with his best friend Percy. Henry senior hopes that some time abroad taking in culture and meeting with his political contacts will toughen Monty up and prepare him to work on the family estate. He also leaves Monty with a final warning—if he’s caught mucking about with boys again, he won’t be welcome to return home.

Monty can’t think of anything worse than being trapped in a life with his father, but neither can he imagine what he could do to support himself. All he is looking forward to is this year of frolicking in foreign cities with his best friend Percy. Just as soon as they can ditch Monty’s sister Felicity and the uptight chaperone they’ve been saddled with.

Did I forget to mention that Monty is madly in love with Percy? Being near him is both torture and heaven. But he’s afraid his oldest and dearest friend might not feel the same.

So when Monty and Percy have a disagreement in Paris, Monty does what he does best—he behaves very badly at a ball with a young lady, and in the process steals a trinket that he thinks is worthless, but will have a bit of a go at the jerk that owns it. Except that what Monty has thoughtlessly pocketed is invaluable to the French crown, and sends the boys—and Monty’s sister—on a dangerous path across Europe.

The adventure itself is fun and fraught with excitement and danger, with a damned good alchemical mystery at its heart. And the romance is positively swoon-worthy. While you want to shake Monty—quite regularly, actually—he is still a lovable and sympathetic character. And who wouldn’t fall in love with dear Percy? All in all, this is an absolute treat for both young adults and those young at heart.

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This entry was posted on May 30, 2017 by in Reviews, Uncategorized, YA and tagged , , .
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