Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Gentleman's Guide To Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

The Gentleman's Guide To Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Release Date - June 27, 2017
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 528 pages
My Rating - 4.5/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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 love books that are based around some kind of journey or trip. Especially ones set in Europe. I also love romances, and stories filled with adventure. Luckily, The Gentleman's Guide To Vice and Virtue has all of this and more. It's the kind of novel you'll want to immediately push onto others, and the type that makes you want to read it again once you've turned that last page.

This story is less fluffy than I anticipated. I didn't expect it to have the levity and weight that the story has. It's much more thoughtful and thought provoking than it might appear at first glance. It is still a whole lot of fun with some epic adventures within these pages, but it also tackles deeper issues with equal skill. It is the type of book you'll to discuss with others, because of the topics handled within these pages, as well as the feel good feeling it leaves you with.

Monty is a charming rogue who you will spend equal time wanting to smack and kiss. He both infuriates and invokes sympathy in equal measure. I appreciated how complex Mackenzi Lee made this character. He could have easily been a caricature, but instead we have a great example of character growth without losing what makes the character special. Monty never looses his spark, even as he comes to terms with his faults.

Percy is a character that I wish I had gotten to know a little more. We learn quite a bit about him, but I find his part of the story arc to be something I really wanted more of. Race, racism, and class structure are all examined through this character and the ways in which others view and treat him. His character is so incredibly sweet that you instantly feel protective of him because he really is just a decent young man.

Felicity ends up stealing every scene she is in. She's determined, focused, and caring. She is just so vivid, and her voice really jumps off the page. She is a character who follows the path they choose, even when it seems impossible to do so. I predict many readers will love her just as much as I do.

The romance is everything I hoped it would be. It is grin inducting, and swoon worthy. It has a delightful tension to it. There is the push and pull that exists in large part due to the 'will they/won't they' nature of the romance. It ultimately leaves you rooting for them both as a couple, and own their own. It really is the heart of the novel, and I anticipate plenty of people will feel the same way I do. They're really easy to ship together, and the relationship is one of the sweetest payoffs of the story.

There are so many action adventure type scenes within the novel. I was surprised at the amount of these scenes within this novel.  It could easily be a movie with it's blend of action, humour, romance and strong characters. The action scenes add an element of danger, and risk to the story that is definitely welcome. It really makes this a grand adventure in all meaning of the word, and it is (perhaps) the most eventful Grand Tour that has even been written.

My slight issue with the novel was that I would have preferred this to be a series. There is so much more I want from this novel that I wish we had more time with this story. I wanted some characters to be explored more, I wanted some plot points to have more details. It really is a testament to how wonderfully this novel is written that it left me wanting more.

This is the book that I never knew I wanted. It's filled with fantastic characters, big adventures, and wonderful character development. It's left me eager to return to this world and I can only hope that Mackenzi Lee will return to this world, and these characters again and again. 

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